Boyd Adams photo
Bryan Clauson has won just about every meaningful midget race that exists during the past few years – Hut Hundred, Turkey Night, Belleville and Night Before the 500. But the Chili Bowl has eluded USAC’s perennial all-around champion. He’s been fast, just never first.
“We’ve run real good here, just never got to victory lane and it’s the one thing missing from my resume,” said Clauson after blowing away the competition in Friday night’s A feature. “But my car owner Rusty (Kuntz) built this new car over the winter and it’s fantastic… all I had to do was point it in the right direction.”
Well, not exactly. Starting second, he stalked polesitter and 2009 Chili champ Tim McCreadie for the first seven laps before blasting by on the high side and the 24-year-old Noblesville native was never challenged.
“It was a little tricky on top, kind of slick and then it was a shelf so I figured I was gonna have to deal with (Dave) Darland because he’s the best in those conditions,” said Clauson, who will start third in Saturday night’s 55-lap main event. “But I managed to get a pretty good lead by the time I hit traffic and that was all I needed.”
McCreadie and Darland also transferred to the A Main.
Kasey Kahne, driving for Tony Stewart in the memory of former USAC midget champion Jason Leffler, who lost his life last summer in a sprint car race, was running second in Friday night’s B main before running into mechanical trouble. So the NASCAR star will have to try and make it by going through the C and B mains.
Saturday night’s 28th annual classic at the Tulsa Expo Center will be televised live on MAVTV, beginning at 8:30 p.m.