No Stopping Day In Wednesday Chili Bowl Prelim

Day
Corey Day in victory lane Wednesday at Tulsa Expo Raceway. (Jack Reitz photo)

TULSA, Okla. – Corey Day’s upcoming season is going to feature a lot of winged sprint car racing, but he made a hefty splash Wednesday in a midget during York Plumbing Qualifying Night at the 38th Chili Bowl Nationals powered by NOS Energy Drink.

Day, the reigning NARC 410 Sprint Car Series champion who will tackle the full High Limit Racing schedule this year in partnership with Jason Meyers Racing and Clauson-Marshall Racing, took midget owner Willie Kahne to a dominant preliminary night victory by leading all but the opening lap.

After passing polesitter and high point man Jake Swanson with a turn-one slide job on the second rotation, Day controlled the proceedings at Tulsa Expo Raceway for the remaining distance. He opened up leads of nearly a straightaway multiple times during the 30-lapper en route to a 1.957-second victory.

Wednesday’s breakthrough performance marked Day’s first prelim night score in three attempts.

“Man, it’s pretty crazy to be back on this stage,” said Day, a past winner during the Tulsa Shootout for micro sprints. “The last time I stood up here was for a Shootout Driller in … Restricted [class], I think, six or seven years ago.

“The times have definitely changed, but I’m glad to be back up here all the same.”

While Day and Swanson were the class of the field for much of the feature, their eventual one-two finish didn’t come without its challenges, particularly due to a rash of caution flags throughout the feature.

The yellow fever started with four laps in, when Tyler Courtney spun and smacked into the turn one hay bales, halting an early charge from 16th on the grid for Sunshine after a lackluster qualifier earlier on.

Just ahead of Courtney, Daison Pursley looped his CB Industries entry but never fully stopped, adding to the early-race chaos.

Day held serve through the ensuing restart, but a spin by 17th-running Alex Bright coming to nine laps complete led to the second yellow of the night and sparked an early war for the second lock-in position.

After the green flag returned, Michael Faccinto quickly went to work on Swanson, wresting second place away briefly before Swanson regained control of the spot in his Alex Bowman Racing-prepared mount.

From there, Swanson had a brief look at Day’s bumper for the lead – after Day lost momentum by jumping the turn-four cushion coming to halfway – but could never mount a challenge for the lead.

The biggest incident of the night came with 13 to go, when Mitchel Moles climbed the turn-one berm and barrel rolled along the fence before coming to rest, collecting Kyle Cummins in the aftermath.

Though Moles was uninjured, he was dejected after running as high as fourth and respectfully declined to comment about the crash.

Another flip, this time by Caleb Stelzig, forced a lap-19 caution and led to a more extended slowdown when a tractor came out to pack down the indentation where his car caught the racetrack. That was followed by a stalled Blake Hahn on lap 21, setting up a nine-lap shootout to the finish.

Day continued his perfection on the restarts, while Faccinto looked low to take second from Swanson. That maneuver worked in the short-term, but once Swanson wound up his race car on the high side, he rocketed back past to retake the runner-up spot for good.

A final caution with four laps left, when B-main transfer Jonathan Beason got on his side after climbing as high as eighth, gave Swanson one last shot at Day. However, the Californian was too strong on this night.

A relieved Day noted after the race that he “wasn’t having fun” during all of the late race yellow flags.

“I never thought that one was going to end,” Day chuckled. “I had to keep my tires spun up on the restarts or else I was going to get tight [in the corners], and it made me get off into [turn] one pretty hard. [The cushion] got big there in [turns] one and two … right up against the fence, and it was really high in the middle of the corner before you’d come down the hill.

“You had to be really precise with what you were doing all race.”

That precision also came with blinders, particularly as the 18-year-old Californian got closer to the finish.

“I don’t know who was on my tail or who was even running second, man; I was blacked out,” Day added. “But I love running curbs like that. That kind of racing is what we have at home [in California], so I’ve gotten real accustomed to running on tracks like we saw tonight.

“Hopefully, we’ll get something like that on Saturday to race with and we can have some fun.”

Behind Day and Swanson, who both secured their starting spots in Saturday’s championship feature, Briggs Danner, Faccinto and Colby Copeland closed the top five.

Rookie Kale Drake was the best-finishing Keith Kunz Motorsports driver in sixth, followed by Jade Avedisian, Courtney, Brent Crews and Jerry Coons Jr., who wheeled a spare car loaned to him by Matt Estep after Coons’ primary car encountered engine trouble during Monday’s Race of Champions.

Trey Osborne, Hahn, Courtney, Swanson, Moles, Faccinto, Stelzig, Brody Wake and Danner each won eight-lap heat races to begin the night’s racing action. R.J. Corson and Steve Buckwalter split the 10-lap D-Feature wins before Bradley Fezard and Tanner Berryhill topped their respective 12-lap C-Features.

Moles, Danner, Pursley, and Cummins each collected Team Toyota Qualifier triumphs, while Osborne and Beason won the 15-lap B-Features to lead the transfer cars into Wednesday night’s main event.

Action during the 38th Chili Bowl Nationals powered by NOS Energy Drink continues Thursday with Victory Fuel Qualifying Night. Every lap throughout the week can be streamed live via FloRacing.

Day

Corey Day in action during Wednesday's Chili Bowl preliminary feature. (Jack Reitz photo)

38th Chili Bowl Nationals; York Plumbing Qualifying Night; Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Raceway; Jan. 10, 2024

OERB Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Trey Osborne [2], 2. Rylan Gray [3], 3. Jonathan Beason [1], 4. Daison Pursley [7], 5. Mike Hess [8], 6. Keith Martin [5], 7. Casey Friedrichsen [4], 8. Caleb Padgett [9], 9. Tristan Lee [6].

OERB Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Blake Hahn [2], 2. Chelby Hinton [1], 3. Steven Shebester [3], 4. Kale Drake [8], 5. Wout Hoffmans [6], 6. Zach Hampton [9], 7. Chance Morton [5], 8. R.J. Corson [7], 9. Brandon Dean [4].

OERB Heat #3 (8 laps): 1. Tyler Courtney [3], 2. Corey Day [6], 3. Jerry Coons Jr. [5], 4. Danny Wood [2], 5. Sammy Swindell [8], 6. Sean Robbins [1], 7. Ben Worth [4], 8. Branigan Roark [7].

OERB Heat #4 (8 laps): 1. Jake Swanson [5], 2. Isaac Chapple [6], 3. Colby Copeland [8], 4. Shawn Jackson [3], 5. A.J. Hernandez [1], 6. Dillon Welch [4], 7. Bradley Fezard [2], 8. Colby Stubblefield [7].

OERB Heat #5 (8 laps): 1. Mitchel Moles [1], 2. Kyle Cummins [2], 3. David Gasper [5], 4. David Camfield Jr. [6], 5. Logan Mitchell [8], 6. Kevin Cook [7], 7. Kurt Stellhorn [4], 8. Charlie Louden [3].

OERB Heat #6 (8 laps): 1. Michael Faccinto [3], 2. Jade Avedisian [8], 3. Preston Lattomus [7], 4. Tanner Berryhill [2], 5. Daniel Whitley [4], 6. Robert Carson [1], 7. Jarrad Warhurst [6], 8. Dekota Gay [5].

OERB Heat #7 (8 laps): 1. Caleb Stelzig [3], 2. Garet Williamson [6], 3. Colten Cottle [7], 4. Devin Simmons [2], 5. Darren Kauffman [8], 6. Chad Frewaldt [5], 7. Johnny Brown Jr. [4], 8. Chase Young [1].

OERB Heat #8 (8 laps): 1. Brody Wake [3], 2. Brandon Waelti [2], 3. Brent Crews [6], 4. Kyle Simon [4], 5. Paul May [5], 6. Wyatt Rotz [1], 7. Jace McIntosh [7], 8. Robert Speak [8].

OERB Heat #9 (8 laps): 1. Briggs Danner [1], 2. Alex Bright [4], 3. Chance Crum [2], 4. Michael Stewart [8], 5. Gage Laney [6], 6. Cade Cowles [3], 7. John Sarna [5], 8. Steve Buckwalter [7].

D-Feature #1 (10 laps, top two transfer): 1. R.J. Corson [3], 2. Dillon Welch [5] / 3. Tristan Lee [6], 4. John Sarna [1], 5. Kurt Stellhorn [2], 6. Chase Young [4], 7. Charlie Louden (DNS).

D-Feature #2 (10 laps, top two transfer): 1. Steve Buckwalter [3], 2. Dekota Gay [4] / 3. Johnny Brown Jr. [5], 4. Robert Speak [2], 5. Sean Robbins [6], 6. Casey Friedrichsen [1], 7. Brandon Dean [7].

Smiley’s Racing Products C-Feature #1 (12 laps, top four transfer): 1. Bradley Fezard [1], 2. Daniel Whitley [3], 3. Chad Frewaldt [5], 4. Shawn Jackson [4] / 5. R.J. Corson [11], 6. Colby Stubblefield [7], 7. Wyatt Rotz [9], 8. Dillon Welch [12], 9. Caleb Padgett [10], 10. A.J. Hernandez [8], 11. Cade Cowles [6], 12. Devin Simmons [2].

Smiley’s Racing Products C-Feature #2 (12 laps, top four transfer): 1. Tanner Berryhill [1], 2. Keith Martin [4], 3. Ben Worth [5], 4. Branigan Roark [6] / 5. Jace McIntosh [7], 6. Steve Buckwalter [11]*, 7. Jarrad Warhurst [9], 8. Dekota Gay [12], 9. Robert Carson [8], 10. Chance Morton [10], 11. Paul May [2] 12. Kevin Cook [3].

Team Toyota Qualifier #1 (10 laps): 1. Mitchel Moles [2], 2. Jake Swanson [6], 3. Rylan Gray [1], 4. Garet Williamson [5], 5. Brandon Waelti [7], 6. Trey Osborne [3], 7. Caleb Stelzig [4], 8. Danny Wood [9], 9. Zach Hampton [10], 10. Sammy Swindell [8].

Team Toyota Qualifier #2 (10 laps): 1. Briggs Danner, 2. Corey Day, 3. Blake Hahn, 4. Colby Copeland, 5. David Gasper, 6. Chelby Hinton, 7. Chance Crum, 8. Brody Wake, 9. Kyle Simon, 10.

Team Toyota Qualifier #3 (10 laps): 1. Daison Pursley [1], 2. Kale Drake [2], 3. Alex Bright [3], 4. Jerry Coons Jr. [9], 5. Tyler Courtney [5], 6. Isaac Chapple [6], 7. Wout Hoffmans, 8. David Camfield Jr. [7], 9. Darren Kauffman [8], 10. Preston Lattomus [4].

Team Toyota Qualifier #4 (10 laps): 1. Kyle Cummins [1], 2. Brent Crews [3], 3. Michael Faccinto [5], 4. Jade Avedisian [6], 5. Jonathan Beason [9], 6. Michael Stewart [2], 7. Colten Cottle [4], 8. Steven Shebester [8], 9. Mike Hess [7], 10. Gage Laney [10].

WWTR B-Feature #1 (15 laps, top four transfer): 1. Trey Osborne [3], 2. Rylan Gray [1], 3. Brandon Waelti [2], 4. David Camfield Jr. [8] / 5. David Gasper [4], 6. Preston Lattomus [9], 7. Colten Cottle [5], 8. Mike Hess [11], 9. Wout Hoffmans [7], 10. Bradley Fezard [13], 11. Brody Wake [6], 12. Shawn Jackson [16], 13. Daniel Whitley [14], 14. Zach Hampton [10], 15. Logan Mitchell [12], 16. Chad Frewaldt [15].

WWTR B-Feature #2 (15 laps, top four transfer): 1. Jonathan Beason [2], 2. Chelby Hinton [4], 3. Michael Stewart [5], 4. Caleb Stelzig [3] / 5. Danny Wood [7], 6. Sammy Swindell [9], 7. Kyle Simon [10], 8. Chance Crum [6], 9. Tanner Berryhill [11], 10. Steven Shebester [8], 11. Isaac Chapple [1], 12. Ben Worth [13], 13. Gage Laney [12], 14. Branigan Roark [15], 15. Darren Kauffman [16], 16. Keith Martin [14].

York Plumbing A-Feature (30 laps): 1. 41-Corey Day [2], 2. 55a-Jake Swanson [1], 3. 1i-Briggs Danner [5], 4. 5u-Michael Faccinto [3], 5. 27w-Colby Copeland [9], 6. 71k-Kale Drake [12], 7. 71-Jade Avedisian [6], 8. 57-Tyler Courtney [16], 9. 67k-Brent Crews [7], 10. 7x-Jerry Coons Jr. [15], 11. 5d-Michael Stewart [22], 12. 3w-Brandon Waelti [21], 13. 83m-Rylan Gray [19], 14. 3g-Kyle Cummins [11], 15. 52-Blake Hahn [13], 16. 86-Daison Pursley [10], 17. 25m-Alex Bright [14], 18. 60x-Garet Williamson [8], 19. 4b-Chelby Hinton [20], 20. 1a-Trey Osborne [17], 21. 16c-David Camfield Jr. [23], 22. 8j-Jonathan Beason [18], 23. 45s-Caleb Stelzig [24], 24. 19t-Mitchel Moles [4].

Lap Leader(s): Jake Swanson 1, Corey Day 2-30.

Hard Charger: Michael Stewart (+11)

High Points: Jake Swanson, 233

Kickstarter-Logo2

Great NEWS! We have taken the green flag and have officially launched our Race Face Digital Kickstarter crowdfunding. To make your pledge click on the button below. Pledges start at $10.

For Race Face Digital merchandise please visit our online store!

Don’t forget to follow Race Face Digital on social media.