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Ford Cashes in on Wednesday Qualifier
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1/5/2005

1/5/2005

Chili Bowl Nationals


Ford Cashes in on Wednesday Qualifier

Lonnie Wheatley, TULSA, Okla. (January 5, 2005) – The 19th edition of the O’Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals kicked off at Tulsa Expo Raceway Wednesday night with California’s Josh Ford scoring an impressive wire-to-wire triumph in the 25-lap Creek Nation Casino Qualifying Showdown.

Ford was chased to the line by Wisconsin shoe Chad DeSelle, Missouri’s Danny Lasoski and Arizona’s Casey Shuman, each of whom locked themselves into Saturday night’s 50-lap O’Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals championship main event.

“I was just two laps away from my first USAC Sprint win here at Tulsa Fairground Motorplex in September and I cut a tire and lost that race, so I guess Tulsa just paid me back,” Ford quipped afterward. “Man, Keith (Kunz) and those guys gave me a great car, that thing was awesome.”

“This plaque means a lot to me, it’s the biggest thing I’ve won. Keith Kunz and Pete Willoughby are so on and as long as I stay focused, I just seem to keep doing better and better. We’ll have a good chance on Saturday night but there’s gonna be a lot of good guys, if it works your way you might get it. But as he (Danny Lasoski) knows sometimes it doesn’t work your way and you might end up second or third, we all want that Golden Driller so we’re gonna give it all we’ve got,” Ford concluded.

Ford earned the pole position for Wednesday night’s Creek Nation Casino Qualifying Showdown by virtue of racing from seventh to win the third of the evening’s dozen heat races. Ford was joined on the front row by ninth heat race winner Mike Welker as Steve Buckwalter and Dustin Morgan made up the second row.

Ford outgunned Welker at the drop of the green and led fifth-starter Jon Stanbrough, seventh-starter DeSelle and Buckwalter across the stripe to complete the first lap. The caution flew moments later when Welker looped his mount in turn two, collecting several cars in the process. On the ensuing restart, Welker toppled his mount in the same corner, bringing an early end to his night.

Ford set the pace on the restart with Stanbrough and DeSelle dicing for the second position just three car-lengths back. DeSelle soon took command of second from Stanbrough while Buckwalter and Brandon Waelti vied for fourth.

After a lap seven caution for a tangle involving Sparky Howard and Levi Jones, Waelti’s strong run was cut short when he spun down the front stretch after making contact with Stanbrough as the pair raced for fourth.

The final 18 rounds were run in non-stop fashion, with Ford piloting the Keith Kunz-owned Esslinger-powered No. 73 Vital Express/Temecula Valley Pipe Supply Bullet flawlessly to capture the biggest win of his young career.

After earning 2004 Chili Bowl Wildcard Award honors, DeSelle held second the rest of the way to lock himself into Saturday’s finale aboard James Fiscus’ Esslinger-powered RFS Advanced Fastening System No. 6d Buzzard.

Meanwhile, Lasoski had advanced from his twelfth starting position into sixth by the final caution on lap seven, then had moved up to fourth by the tenth lap. Lasoski then put the pressure on young Shuman, who had taken over third on the ninth round after starting the feature in ninth. Lasoski’s persistence paid off as he snared the show position aboard Jerry Russell’s Mopar-powered Bass Pro Shops No. 20L on the 23rd lap, with Shuman keeping A.J. Felker’s Pontiac-powered Main Street Billiards/Pro Shocks No. 37x Stealth in the final transfer position to Saturday’s main event.

Stanbrough settled for a fifth place finish, with Paul White racing from 17th to claim sixth. Buckwalter crossed the line in seventh, with veteran Chili Bowl prankster Kevin Olson racing from 23rd to snare eighth. Mike Spencer was ninth, with Cole Carter completing the top ten.

Heat race winners for Wednesday night’s 83-car field included Tyler Brown, Stanbrough, Ford, Carter, Buckwalter, Shuman, Spencer, Joey Montgomery, Welker, Nick Lundgreen, Waelti and Dan Boorse. J.J. Yeley topped the 10-lap D Main, with Cody Weisensel and Bob Harr claiming victory honors in the twin “C” Mains. White and Montgomery were both victorious in “B” Main action.

After winning the night’s twelfth heat race, two-time Chili Bowl winner Boorse exited the feature after 14 rounds with a cut right front tire.

Yeley, who suffered a broken radius rod in his heat race, struggled in his “C” Main after the “D” Main triumph and exited before the checkered flag. Yeley, who advanced 69 positions by racing from an “F” Feature to third in the 2004 edition of the O’Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, will find himself mired deep in the alphabet soup of Saturday’s features for the third year in a row.

There were in excess of a dozen flip victims in Wednesday’s action, with R.J. Johnson, Zach Chappell and Matt Michaels taking the wildest of the rides. There were no injuries.

The five-lap Scott Performance Wire/Rocket Chassis Late Model Chili Bowl Challenge featuring Rick Eckert, Bart Hartman, Tim McCreadie and Jeep Van Wormer was postponed to Friday night due to time constraints.

Results for Heat races (10 laps) Wednesday night
(top 16 in passing points to A; next 28 to two B Mains; next 28 to two C Mains; rest to D Main)

Heat 1: 1. #34 Tyler Brown, Norco, CA; 2. #93 Dustin Morgan, Owasso, OK; 3. #79 Damion Gardner, Concord, CA; 4. #19 Chris Wagner, Colorado Spring, CO; 5. #22J Jasiel Randolph, Tulsa, OK; 6. #2 Mark Bush, Cumming, GA; 7. #8A Matt Hummel, Brownsburg, IN.

Heat 2: 1. #25 Jon Stanbrough, Danville, IN; 2. #1W Paul White, Temple, TX; 3. #84 Nelson Stewart, Avon, IN; 4. #74 Eddie Sauer, Loves Park, IL; 5. #12J Jay Mounce, Downs, IL; 6. #90 Mark Lightfoot, Springfield, MO; DNS #97 Patrick Bruns, Champaign, IL.

Heat 3: 1. #73 Josh Ford, Ventura, CA; 2. #12H Rick Hendrix, Canoga Park, CA; 3. #74K Brad Kuhn, Avon, IN; 4. #6R Bill Rose, Plainfield, IN; 5. #81 Shane Carson, Yukon, OK; 6. #32F Dave Fuhrman, Avon, IN; 7. #24L Roy Larkin, Tulsa, OK.

Heat 4: 1. #007 Cole Carter, Brownsburg, IN; 2. #3 Tracy Miller, Reading, PA; 3. #42B Garratt Boyden, Santa Cruz, CA; 4. #14B Kevin Battles, Collinsville, OK; 5. #51J R.J. Johnson, Phoenix, AZ; 6. #05 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, MO.

Heat 5: 1. #5B Steve Buckwalter, Royersford, PA; 2. #6D Chad DeSelle, Sun Prairie, WI; 3. #27C Sparky Howard, Santa Rosa, CA; 4. #7A Doug Elliott, Port Orange, FL; 5. #32P Randi Pankratz, Atascadero, CA; 6. #51Z Zach Chappell, Talala, OK; 7. #11OS J.J. Yeley, Stilesville, IN.

Heat 6: 1. #37X Casey Shuman, Chandler, AZ; 2. #10 Greg Lueckert, Kansas City, MO; 3. #25X Jerome Rodela, El Monte, CA; 4. #71 Jay Drake, Val Verde, CA; 5. #31 Donnie Lehmann, Springfield, IL; 6. #1P Conner Pullen, Amarillo, TX; 7. #39X Lee Beckwith, Joliet, IL.

Heat 7: 1. #50M Mike Spencer, Temecula, CA; 2. #20L Danny Lasoski, Dover, MO; 3. #10C Chris D’Arcy, San Jose, CA; 4. #20W Cody Weisensel, Sun Prairie, WI; 5. #1AZ Adam Young, Phoenix, AZ; 6. #31S Evan Sewell, Jenks, OK; 7. #15T Michael Trimble, San Jose, CA.

Heat 8: 1. #52C Joey Montgomery, Fredericktown, MO; 2. #6J Levi Jones, Olney, IL; 3. #42 Bugs Norbury, Prescott Valley, AZ; 4. #16 Tiffany Wyzard, Williamsville, IL; 5. #96 Cody Brewer, Choctaw, OK; 6. #41 Matt Sherrell, Tulsa, OK; 7. #7 Shannon McQueen, Bakersfield, CA.

Heat 9: 1. #22 Mike Welker, Peoria, AZ; 2. #5 Davey Ray, Davenport, IA; 3. #11A Brett Anderson, Belleville, IL; 4. #2H Bob Harr, Arvada, CO; 5. #51N Mike Nigh, Brownsburg, IN; 6. #9M Matt Michaels, Choctaw, OK; 7. #19N Nick O’Neal, Wagoner, OK.

Heat 10: 1. #40 Nick Lundgreen, Indianapolis, IN; 2. #73E Jason Yount, Fresno, CA; 3. #14M Jason Meyers, Clovis, CA; 4. #61A Toby Brown, Carthage, MO; 5. #77U Chris Urish, Elkhart, IL; 6. #71BG Mike Leslie, Peoria, AZ DNS - #17M Austin Martin, Brownsburg, IN.

Heat 11: 1. #3W Brandon Waelti, Sun Prairie, WI; 2. #25P Frank Polimeda, Fort Lee, NJ; 3. #99 Kyle Rayburn, Pueblo West, CO; 4. #6C George Aimone, Gardner, IL; 5. #85X Jordan Noblitt, Columbus, IN; 6. #48 Jimmy Miller, Parowan, UT; 7. #95J Rik Forbes, Omaha, NE.

Heat 12: 1. #88 Dan Boorse, Milwaukee, WI; 2. #10B Thomas Briggs, Anna, OH; 3. #6M Kevin Olson, Rockford, IL; 4. #21 Steve Stroud, St. Charles, MO; 5. #1C Chad McDaniel, Concordia, KS; 6. #03 Kirk Kubik, Long Beach, CA; 7. #2M Dave Shirk, Mohnton, PA.

D Main (10 Laps) - top 4 to Twin C Mains

D Main: 1. #11OS J.J. Yeley, Stilesville, IN; 2. #8A Matt Hummel, Brownsburg, IN; 3. #7 Shannon McQueen, Bakersfield, CA; 4. #15T Michael Trimble, San Jose, CA; 5. #97 Patrick Bruns, Champaign, IL; 6. #2M Dave Shirk, Mohnton, PA; 7. #19N Nick O’Neal, Wagoner, OK; 8. #39X Lee Beckwith, Joliet, IL.

C Mains (12 Laps) - top 2 to Twin B Mains

First C Main: 1. #20W Cody Weisensel, Sun Prairie, WI; 2. #32P Randi Pankratz, Atascadero, CA; 3. #51J R.J. Johnson, Phoenix, AZ; 4. #31S Evan Sewell, Jenks, OK; 5. #77U Chris Urish, Elkhart, IL; 6. #7 Shannon McQueen, Bakersfield, CA; 7. #48 Jimmy Miller, Parowan, UT; 8. #85X Jordan Noblitt, Columbus, IN; 9. #12J Jay Mounce, Downs, IL; 10. #05 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, MO; 11. #6C George Aimone, Gardner, IL; 12. #96 Cody Brewer, Choctaw, OK; 13. #1P Conner Pullen, Amarillo, TX; 14. J.J. Yeley, Stilesville, IN. DNS - #90 Mark Lightfoot, Springfield, MO; #9M Matt Michaels, Choctaw, OK.

Second C Main: 1. #2H Bob Harr, Arvada, CO; 2. #1AZ Adam Young, Phoenix, AZ; 3. #81 Shane Carson, Yukon, OK; 4. #21 Steve Stroud, St. Charles, MO; 5. #8A Matt Hummel, Brownsburg, IN; 6. #1C Chad McDaniel, Concordia, KS; 7. #32F David Fuhrman, Avon, IN; 8. #51N Mike Nigh, Brownsburg, IN; 9. #41 Matt Sherrell, Tulsa, OK; 10. #31 Don Lehmann, Springfield, IL; 11. #22J Jasiel Randolph, Tulsa, OK; 12. #2 Mark Bush, Cumming, GA; 13. #71BG Mike Leslie, Peoria, AZ; 14. #97 Patrick Bruns. DNS - #51Z Zach Chappell, Talala, OK; #03 Kirk Kubik, Long Beach, CA.

B Mains (15 Laps) - top 4 to A Main

First B Main: 1. #1W Paul White, Temple, TX; 2. #6J Levi Jones, Olney, IL; 3. #27C Sparky Howard, Santa Rosa, CA; 4. #6M Kevin Olson, Rockford, IL; 5. #14M Jason Meyers, Clovis, CA; 6. #6R Bill Rose, Plainfield, IN; 7. #32P Randi Pankratz, Atascadero, CA; 8. #20W Cody Weisensel, Sun Prairie, WI; 9. #42 Bugs Norbury, Prescott Valley, AZ; 10. #74K Brad Kuhn, Avon, IN; 11. #14B Kevin Battles, Collinsville, OK; 12. #73E Jason Yount, Fresno, CA; 13. #10 Greg Lueckert, Kansas City, MO; 14. #42B Garratt Boyden, Santa Cruz, CA; 15. #99 Kyle Rayburn, Pueblo West, CO; 1. #11A Brett Anderson, Belleville, IL.

Second B Main: 1. #52C Joey Montgomery, Fredericktown, MO; 2. #79 Damion Gardner, Concord, CA; 3. #71 Jay Drake, Val Verde, CA; 4. #25P Frank Polimeda, Fort Lee, NJ; 5. #61A Toby Brown, Carthage, MO; 6. #12H Rick Hendrix, Canoga Park, CA; 7. #16 Tiffany Wyzard, Williamsville, IL; 8. #19 Chris Wagner, Colorado Springs, CO; 9. #1AZ Adam Young, Phoenix, AZ; 10. #2H Bob Harr, Arvada, CO; 11. #10C Chris D’Arcy, San Jose, CA; 12. #7A Doug Elliott, Port Orange, FL; 13. #25X Jerome Rodela, El Monte, CA; 14. #74 Eddy Sauer, Loves Park, IL; 15. #84 Nelson Stewart, Avon, IN; 16. #40 Nick Lundgreen, Indianapolis, IN.

A Main (25 Laps) - top 4 transfer to Saturday A feature; others to Saturday B & C features

A Main: 1. #73 Josh Ford, Ventura, CA; 2. #6D Chad DeSelle, Sun Prairie, WI; 3. #20L Danny Lasoski, Dover, MO; 4. #37X Casey Shuman, Chandler, AZ; 5. #25 Jon Stanbrough, Jamestown, IN; 6. #1W Paul White, Temple, TX; 7. #5B Steve Buckwalter, Royersford, PA; 8. #6M Kevin Olson, Rockford, IL; 9. #50M Mike Spencer, Temecula, CA; 10. #007 Cole Carter, Brownsburg, IN; 11. #79 Damion Gardner, Concord, CA; 12. #71 Jay Drake, Val Verde, CA; 13. #25P Frank Polimeda, Fort Lee, NJ: 14. #27C Sparky Howard, Santa Rosa, CA; 15. #3W Brandon Waelti, Sun Prairie, WI; 16. #88 Dan Boorse, Milwaukee, WI; 17. #5 Davey Ray, Davenport, IA; 18. #52C Joey Montgomery, Fredericktown, MO; 19. #6J Levi Jones, Olney, IL; 20. #22 Mike Welker, Peoria, AZ; 21. #10B Thomas Briggs, Anna, OH; 22. #93 Dustin Morgan, Owasso, OK; 23. #34 Tyler Brown, Norco, CA; 24. #3 Tracy Miller, Reading, PA.


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