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Coons Conquers Chili Bowl Foes in Friday's Action


Chili Bowl Nationals

Coons Conquers Chili Bowl Foes in Friday's Action

Lonnie Wheatley, TULSA, Okla. (January 9, 2004) – Friday night’s 25-lap qualifying feature for the 18th Annual O’Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at Tulsa Expo Raceway had a western states flavor to it, with Arizona’s Jerry Coons, Jr., fending off the late challenges of California shoes Cory Kruseman and Josh Wise to claim the victory.

Danny Ebberts of Canyon Lake, CA, made a last lap pass to snare the fourth and final transfer position to Saturday’s prestigious main event, giving drivers from the left coast a sweep of Friday night’s top four finishing positions.

After wheeling Karl Warnke’s Fontana-powered Stealth to a wire-to-wire victory, albeit a close one, Coons commented that, “It’s not the most prestigious ride here. They’re a super-nice bunch to drive for though and they give me everything I need to be competitive. From the Stealth and Fontana, to tires and shock-wise, they make sure we have what we need.”

Coons continued, “It’s not like some of the higher-profile teams where you just show up, sit in the trailer while they do all the work and then you jump in and drive. I’ve been able to work on the car, I’ve been playing crew chief and driver and I’m kinda happy that we did what we did tonight. I just hope we can do it again tomorrow night.”

After pulling the highest possible pill (100) in the pre-race draw for starting position, Coons started eighth in the grid in the evening’s fourth heat race. After being involved in a pair of early incidents, Tucson’s Coons sliced through the field in less than five laps en route to the heat win, securing the pole position for the main event.

Coons was joined on the front row of the main event by Ron Kuhn, who charged from sixth to win the fifth heat race, with ever-present Chili Bowl threat Kruseman and Shane Hollingsworth in the second row.

Coons outgunned Kuhn at the drop of the green flag, with Kruseman quickly moving into second. Coons’ pace was interrupted on the sixth round when fourth-running Rickie Gaunt tagged the turn one wall. Gaunt was able to rejoin the race.

Coons resumed his quick pace on the low side of the track with Kruseman, Ebberts, Kuhn and seventh-starter Wise in pursuit. Coons and Kruseman gradually separated themselves from the field, with Wise taking advantage of the cushion to race past Kuhn for fourth on the 15th circuit, one lap before the caution flew for Gaunt’s disabled mount on the backstretch.

With Coons and Kruseman working the low side of the track, Wise stuck to the cushion and slipped around Kruseman for second on the 22nd round. Bidding for the lead, Wise jumped the cushion in turn three two laps later, allowing Kruseman to regain command of the runner-up slot.

With Coons holding a slim lead, Kruseman moved the Barnes-powered Kwik Change Bondio machine to the high side on the final lap but fell two car-lengths short of Coons at the stripe, with Wise a close third.

In a wild multi-car battle for fourth, Kuhn overtook Ebberts for the position on the 23rd round. Ebberts returned the favor in turns one and two on the final round, as Kuhn tangled with another machine on the backstretch. After starting 13th, Kasey Kahne was in the thick of the battle for the final transfer in the final rounds but settled for fifth.

Hollingsworth was sixth, while Robby Flock turned in the evening’s top passing performance by racing from 19th to seventh. Bobby East advanced from 17th to eighth, with 15th-starter Dave Darland and Doug Lippincott completing the top ten.

Gary Taylor, Kruseman, Wise, Coons, Kuhn, Lippincott, Kahne, Darland, Flock and Matt Westfall topped heat race action for Friday night’s 74-car field. Mat Neely and Jan Howard claimed victories in the twin 12-lap C Mains, with East and Shane Cottle topping the twin 15-lap B Mains.

Jesse Giannetto, Travis Johnson, Travis Miniea, Eddie Leavitt, Jr., Dean Franklin and Cliff Servetti were all heat race flip victims, with Matt Sherrell and Kirk Kubik taking B Feature tumbles. There were no injuries.

Friday night’s 18th Annual O’Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals Qualifier Results:

Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. #5D Gary Taylor, Snohomish, WA; 2. #96 Cody Brewer, Choctaw, OK; 3. #81X Alex Coonan, Ransom, IL; 4. #22A Steve Aplin, St. Louis, MO; 5. #27A Amy Maris, Gilbert, AZ; 6. #27 Jan Howard, Byhalia, MS; 7. #21S Bob Shreffler, Plainfield, IL; 8. #D6 Jesse Giannetto, Palo, IA.

Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. #47 Cory Kruseman, Ventura, CA; 2. #85 Shane Hollingsworth, Indianapolis, IN; 3. #35 Marc Dailey, Brownburg, IN; 4. #45A Adam Young, Phoenix, AZ; 5. #91 Cole Houser, Cave Creek, AZ; 6. #3 Butch Middleton, Lafayette, CO; 7. #12C Rick England, Wichita, KS; 8. #80 Travis Johnson, Tacoma, WA.

Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. #59 Josh Wise, Riverside, CA; 2. #14E Danny Ebberts, Canyon Lake, CA; 3. #3P Robby Parish, Knightstown, IN; 4. #37 Matt Mitchell, Yorba Linda, CA; 5. #03 Kirk Kubik, Long Beach, CA; 6. #1M Travis Miniea, Indianapolis, IN; 7. #22 Scott Pierovich, Alamo, CA; 8. #0 Johnny Murdock, Kaufman, TX.

Heat 4 (10 Laps): 1. #23 Jerry Coons, Jr., Tucson, AZ; 2. #2AZ Rickie Gaunt, Torrance, CA; 3. #24 Rick Eckert, York, PA; 4. #51D Chris DeShon, Littleton, CO; 5. #57B Brian Gard, Kelseyville, CA; 6. #56 Doug White, Houston, TX; 7. #6 Eddie Leavitt, Jr., Knoxville, IA; 8. #5H Dean Franklin, Bloomsburg, IN.

Heat 5 (10 Laps): 1. #10K Ron Kuhn, Lee’s Summit, MO: 2. #97 Aaron Berryhill, Broken Arrow, OK; 3. #78 Todd Plemons, Denver, CO; 4. #95J Jay Jordan, Lincoln, NE; 5. #99S Shon Deskins, Scottsdale, AZ; 6. #90 Mark Lightfoot, Springfield, MO; 7. #61G Damion Gardner, Concord, CA.

Heat 6 (10 Laps): 1. #4L Doug Lippincott, Minden,NV; 2. #86 Shane Cottle, Kokomo, IN; 3. #49 Billy Alley, Lincoln, NE; 4. #44C Al Cole, McFarland, WI; 5. #17 Kenny Brown, Millstadt, IL; 6. #2H Todd Houser, Decatur, IL; 7. #20W Cody Weisensel, Sun Prairie, WI.

Heat 7 (10 Laps): 1. #67K Kasey Kahne, Huntersville, NC; 2. #21 Aaron Andruskevitch, Riverton, IL; 3. #51L Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, MO; 4. #55K Steve Knepper, Belleville, IL: 5. #24L Roy Larkin, Tulsa, OK; 6. #24S Cliff Servetti, San Francisco, CA; 7. #11S Tom Hessert, Cherry Hill, N.J.

Heat 8 (10 Laps): 1. #11W Dave Darland, Lincoln, IN; 2. #4B Bobby East, Brownsburg, IN; 3. #12H Rick Hendrix, Canoga Park, CA; 4. #41 Matt Sherrell, Tulsa, OK; 5. #31B Brandon Hartsell, Joliet, IL; 6. #61 Bugs Norbury, Dewey, AZ; 7. #87X Raymond Merrill, Sallisaw, OK

Heat 9 (10 Laps): 1. #19S Robby Flock, Murrieta, CA; 2. #2 Robert Harr, Arvada, CO; 3. #18 Floyd Alvis, San Carlos, CA; 4. #87 Rich Camfield, Decatur, IL: 5. #4E Nick O’Neal, Wagoner, OK; 6. #8X Murray Erickson, Odessa, TX. DNS - #5B Scott Bertkin, Tracy, CA.

Heat 10 (10 Laps): 1. #73 Matt Westfall, Ludlow Falls, OH; 2. #75 Roger Miller, Milan, IL; 3. #15 Todd Beach, Donnelsville, OH; 4. #25M Johnny Heydenreich, Indianapolis, IN; 5. #17N Mat Neely, Robinson, IL; 6. #14AJ Jeff Harder, Glenbeulah, WI. DNS - #25 Jon Stanbrough, Jamestown, IN.

C Features - top 2 to Twin B features

First C Main (12 Laps): 1. #17N Mat Neely, Robinson, IL; 2. #12C Rick England, Wichita, KS; 3. #20W Cody Weisensel, Sun Prairie, WI; 4. #61 Bugs Norbury, Dewey, AZ; 5. #3 Butch Middleton, Lafayette, CO; 6. #2H Todd Houser, Decatur, IL; 7. #99S Shon Deskins, Scottsdale, AZ; 8. #14AJ Jeff Harder, Glenbeulah, WI; 9. #91 Cole Houser, Cave Creek, AZ; 10. #D6 Jesse Giannetto, Palo, IA; 11. #87X Raymond Merrill, Sallisaw, OK; 12. #56 Doug White, Houston, TX; 13. #0 Johnny Murdock, Kaufman, TX; DNS - #6 Eddie Leavitt, Jr., Knoxville, IA; #5B, Scott Bertkin, Tracy, CA.

Second C Main (12 Laps): 1. #27 Jan Howard, Byhalia, MS; 2. #1M Travis Miniea, Indianapolis, IN; 3. #24S Cliff Servetti, San Francisco, CA; 4. #57B Brian Gard, Kelseyville, CA; 5. #21S Bob Shreffler, Plainfield, IL; 6. #31B Brandon Hartsell, Joliet, IL; 7. #5H Dean Franklin, Brownsburg, IN; 8. #25 Jon Stanbrough, Jamestown, IN; 9. #11S Tom Hessert, Cherry Hill, NJ; 10. #61G Damion Gardner, Concord, CA; 11. #4E Nick O’Neal, Wagoner, OK; 12. #22 Scott Pierovich, Alamo, CA; 13. #90 Mark Lightfoot, Springfield, MO; 14. #8X Murray Erickson, Odessa, TX. DNS - #80 Travis Johnson, Tacoma, WA.

B Features - top 3 in each to A Feature

First B Main (15 Laps): 1. #4B Bobby East, Brownsburg, IN; 2. #19S Robby Flock, Murrieta, CA; 3. #12C Rick England, Wichita, KS; 4. #51L Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, MO; 5. #95J Jay Jordan, Lincoln, NE; 6. #24L Roy Larkin, Tulsa, OK; 7. #81X Alex Coonan, Ransom, IL; 8. 75 Roger Miller, Milan, IL; 9. #35 Marc Dailey, Brownsburg, IN; 10. #44C Al Cole, McFarland, WI; 11. #37 Matt Mitchell, Yorba Linda, CA; 12. #17N Mat Neely, Robinson, IL; 13. #87 Rich Camfield, Decatur, IL; 14. #3P Robby Parish, Knightstown, IN; 15. #27A Amy Maris, Gilbert, AZ. DNS - #97 Aaron Berryhill, Broken Arrow, OK.

Second B Main (15 Laps): 1. #86 Shane Cottle, Kokomo, IN; 2. #2 Robert Harr, Arvada, CO; 3. #24 Rick Eckert, York, PA; 4. #15 Todd Beach, Donnelsville, OH; 5. #17 Kenny Brown, Millstadt, IL; 6. #18 Floyd Alvis, San Carlos, CA; 7. #45A Adam Young, Phoenix, AZ; 8. #22A Steve Aplin, St. Louis, MO; 9. #03 Kirk Kubik, Long Beach, CA; 10. #25M Johnny Heydenreich, Indianapolis, IN; 11. #96 Cody Brewer, Choctaw, OK; 12. #55K Steve Knepper, Belleville, IL; 13. #27 Jan Howard, Byhalia, MS; 14. #41 Matt Sherrell, Tulsa, OK; 15. #51D Chris DeShon, Littleton, CO; 16. #1M Travis Miniea, Indianapolis, IN.

A Feature - top 4 transfer to Saturday A feature; others to Saturday B & C features

A Main (25 Laps): 1. #23 Jerry Coons, Jr., Tucson, AZ; 2. #47 Cory Kruseman, Ventura, CA; 3. #59 Josh Wise, Riverside, CA; 4. #14E Danny Ebberts, Canyon Lake, CA; 5. #67K Kasey Kahne, Huntersville, N.C.; 6. #85 Shane Hollingsworth, Indianapolis, IN; 7. #19S Robby Flock, Murrieta, CA; 8. #4B Bobby East, Brownsburg, IN; 9. #11W Dave Darland, Lincoln, IN; 10. #4L Doug Lippincott, Minden, NV; 11. #73 Matt Westfall, Ludlow Falls, OH; 12, #5D Gary Taylor, Snohomish, WA; 13. #2 Robert Harr, Arvada, CO; 14. #86 Shane Cottle, Kokomo, IN; 15. #21 Andrew Andruskevitch, Riverton, IL; 16. #49 Billy Alley, Lincoln, NE; 17. #12C Rick England, Wichita, KS; 18. #78 Todd Plemons, Denver, CO; 19. #10K Ron Kuhn, Lee’s Summit, MO; 20. #24 Rick Eckert, York, PA; 21. #2AZ Rickie Gaunt, Torrance, CA; 22. #12H Rick Hendrix, Canoga Park, CA.

Submitted By: Admin Account

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