TULSA, Okla. — Kyle Larson may have seen his four-year streak of winning preliminary-night features during the Chili Bowl Nationals end on Tuesday night, but he’s very much alive with an opportunity to win the prestigious event for the third consecutive season.
By finishing second to USAC national midget champion Buddy Kofoid, Larson is locked into Saturday night’s main event and will start the 55-lap race and will start the event anywhere from 10th to the pole, depending on his performance during the pole dash events.
“It’s a bummer that I didn’t win, but we are still locked in and still have a shot on Saturday,” said Larson, who fought off Chris Windom during the closing laps to secure second place.
• Windom passed Larson on the final lap, only to see Larson zip back past him to secure the final transfer. Windom will start up front in one of Saturday’s B mains.
“I feel our car is good and I think we’ll be there Saturday,” said the CB Industries driver. “We passed Kyle on the last lap, but then just left the door a little too open at the end and you can’t do that with Kyle.”
• With Buddy Kofoid, Kyle Larson and Chris Windom finishing in the top three on Tuesday, Toyota-powered machines swept the podium. What’s more they represented entries from three different teams — Keith Kunz Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian, CB Industries and Kyle Larson Racing.
• Reigning Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion Tim McCreadie, who won the Chili Bowl in 2006, raced from 23rd to finish 10th in Tuesday’s feature.
• Ten-time World of Outlaws sprint car champion Donny Schatz finished 15thin Tuesday’s feature.
• Kaylee Bryson started third and finished sixth Tuesday night, giving her a good starting position for one of Saturday’s B mains aboard one of the Keith Kunz Motorsports entries.
“It feels pretty good. I’m out here racing with the best of the best,” she said. “We’re starting pretty high up in the B feature on Saturday night and the goal is to make the feature and I think we can get it done.”
Bryson raced from third to win the seventh heat race of the night.
“We went third to first in the heat race. This James Hodge Toyota Keith Kunz Motorsports car was ripping,” she continued. “They gave me the car I needed to do well tonight. We went from fifth to second in the qualifier and that started us third in the feature. Racing with the very best, it’s humbling me. I think these guys are teaching me something. I’m racing hard every lap and I can’t ask for anything more.”
• Nine drivers who raced in last year’s Chili Bowl main event competed during Tuesday night’s preliminary program.
• Steven Snyder Jr. won the Giveback Classic last fall and earned a Chili Bowl ride with Keith Kunz Motorsports.
His Chili Bowl got off to a rocky beginning on Tuesday night. Snyder was involved in a pair of on-track incidents during the opening B main and was eventually black-flagged for rough driving.
When Snyder pulled off the track a brawl ensued in the pitlane. Snyder addressed his evening with regret on Twitter.
“I want to apologize for everything tonight,” he wrote. “I made a big mistake and there’s no way around it, I learned a big lesson tonight. I can’t thank everyone enough for this opportunity.”
• The World Wide Technology Raceway Flip Count made it to 18 with everyone able to walk away.
• There were some interesting moments after the No. 4x machine piloted by Carson Sousa became stuck in the catch fence during the first B main. Earlier, Sousa had won the first of two C mains.