Seavey Stars During Wild Friday Prelim In Tulsa

Seavey

Logan Seavey (center) topped Friday's final Chili Bowl Nationals preliminary night at Tulsa Expo Raceway. (Brian Walker photo)

TULSA, Okla. – Friday’s Hard Rock Casino Qualifying Night feature at Tulsa Expo Raceway was an instant classic that contained a little bit of everything.

The end result was just the same as it was a year ago.

Despite a wicked bout of flu-like symptoms and a mid-pack starting spot, Logan Seavey continued his dominance of the SageNet Center during the 38th Chili Bowl Nationals powered by NOS Energy Drink.

In perhaps one of the grittiest and most determined performances in Chili Bowl prelim night history, Seavey clawed his way forward from seventh on a technical and viciously tricky racing surface, eventually finding himself in a wild, late-race battle with polesitter Ryan Timms for Friday night glory.

Using a daring slide job pass in turns three and four, Seavey slashed down off the banking, crossed up in front of Timms coming to the white flag, and held on from there for his second straight Chili Bowl prelim victory.

“I was just really trying to be patient,” explained Seavey in victory lane. “I was actually too patient early on [in the heat race], and that got me in trouble in the qualifier to where we didn’t start as far forward as we should have. I knew eventually, once we got some green flag laps in, that we could get going and running the top [lane] … you just need to try and get more than one [car] at a time.

“The cautions hurt me, really, every single time … but late in the race, I knew we had something,” Seavey added. “I did it all year [outdoors] with the Abacus [Racing] guys; we’d just pick our way through, so I knew that if we were in the race tonight, we’d have a shot to win. We showed it there, coming from P7.

“It takes a good race car to carve through the field like that. I wish I could say I was waiting [to pass Timms late] … but I thought if I kept messing up, Felker had me [for second]. … It just worked out.”

It was the latest in a list of achievements for Seavey and car owner Kevin Swindell inside the SageNet Center. The pair won their prelim night last year before adding the grand finale and Golden Driller to the tally, and also won Monday’s Race of Champions before authoring Friday night’s stroke of brilliance.

In short, since Jan. 13, 2023, Seavey and Swindell are undefeated in Chili Bowl Nationals competition.

Some drivers would look at such a stretch and say that it puts a target on their back, but Seavey has exuded calm confidence all week long and believes his team is “right where it needs to be” entering Saturday’s finale events.

“I could have run fifth tonight and landed in a B [main] for Saturday, and I’d still be just as confident that we could win the big one as I am now,” he tipped. “It doesn’t change when you’re in good race cars.”

Despite the joy of a prelim night win, the flu bug that has hampered Seavey all week showed afterward.

“I’m exhausted,” Seavey admitted. “I haven’t eaten in about three days, I feel like, and that’s not the race track you want when you’re worn out. I just had to take deep breaths under yellow and shrug it off.”

While Seavey’s pass for the win was as dramatic as any moment all night, the entire 30-lap feature was one for the ages. Though it got off to a harrowing start – with four cautions in the first four laps, including a lap-one flip by Daytona 500 winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – things heated up quickly after that.

Timms led the first seven circuits, hoping to give owner Keith Kunz his third win in five prelim nights, but a hard-charging Steven Snyder Jr. quickly surged from fifth on the grid to second. He then slid Timms for the point on lap eight after Timms’ car biked into a wheelie down the backstretch and broke rhythm.

That stumble for Timms allowed journeyman Chili Bowl veteran Andrew Felker to throw his name into the conversation with a pass for second, while further back, five-time Friday winner Justin Grant and Seavey were lurking in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Timms got back to second by the halfway point, soaring back past Snyder for the lead a lap later on the outside of turn four in a move that allowed Grant and Seavey to come calling into podium contention as well.

Grant took second on lap 17 and Seavey followed into third one lap later, setting the stage for a wild duel of veteran experience versus youthful exuberance down the stretch run to the finish.

Seavey grabbed second from Grant with 12 to go, setting his sights on Timms as his car continued to dial in but still needing to make up more than a second to the race leader. He methodically slashed the deficit down, cutting it from 1.2 seconds to just a handful of car lengths in just four trips around the Tulsa clay.

Once Timms caught the slower car of Jace Park and became mired in lap traffic, Seavey was all over him and the race was on.

The pair was nose-to-tail with six laps left, but as Seavey showed his nose to Timms at the five-to-go point, Timms executed a perfect slice into turn one through the middle to both pass a lap car and simultaneously take away the line Seavey was trying to use through the corner.

It was a move that, perhaps, would have won Timms the race – if not for a late pair of caution flags.

The yellow waved coming to lap 26 of 30, when third-running Grant jumped the frontstretch cushion with the right-rear of his NOS Energy Drink No. 2j and flipped wildly down the straightaway.

It was a wild crash, but Grant quickly exited the car under his own power. His night, however, was done.

On the five-to-go restart, Timms escaped with the lead as Seavey had to contend with Snyder for second, but Snyder was docked two spots after the caution came out right away for a multi-car spin in turn three.

That left Timms to contend with Seavey and Felker, who actually ducked past Seavey for a moment when racing resumed for the final time, but Seavey retook second for good on lap 27 before setting up his winning pass.

While Seavey and Timms locked into the championship finale, Felker hung on for third and will start toward the front of one of Saturday’s B-mains as a result. Snyder was fourth and Emerson Axsom, who transferred to Friday’s headliner through a B-main, charged through the field from 18th to finish fifth.

Sixth through 10th were Bryant Wiedeman, Daryn Pittman, Ace McCarthy, Gavin Miller, and rookie Cale Coons.

Tyler Edwards, Ronnie Gardner, Miller, Pittman, Grant, Timms, Coons, Stenhouse, and Wiedeman each won their respective eight-lap heat races to begin the night. Chris Cochran and Chris Roseland split the 10-lap D-Feature victories, with Don Droud Jr. and Anton Hernandez topping the 12-lap C-Features.

Snyder, Hunter Schuerenberg, Timms, and Grant were victorious in Team Toyota Qualifiers, with teenagers Coons and Axsom splitting the 15-lap B-Features to lead the transfers into the main event.

Action during the 38th Chili Bowl Nationals powered by NOS Energy Drink concludes Saturday with Championship Night and the famed “alphabet soup” program, beginning with twin P-Features.

Every lap of every main event can be streamed live via FloRacing. Racing begins at 10 a.m. ET.

38th Chili Bowl Nationals; Hard Rock Casino Qualifying Night; Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Raceway; Jan. 12, 2024

OERB Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Tyler Edwards [2]; 2. Logan Seavey [4]; 3. Luke Hall [1]; 4. Stuart Snyder [6]; 5. Tyler Robbins [7]; 6. Steve Gresham [3]; 7. Brad Wyatt [9]; 8. Chris Cochran [8]; 9. Jeff Schindler [5].

OERB Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Ronnie Gardner [1]; 2. Robbie Smith [2]; 3. Josh Hodge [3]; 4. Will Armitage [9]; 5. Glenn Styres [5]; 6. John Egan [7]; 7. Bill Rose [4]; 8. Nathan Smith [8]; 9. Sam Johnson [6].

OERB Heat #3 (8 laps): 1. Gavin Miller [1]; 2. Emerson Axsom [4]; 3. Jason McDougal [2]; 4. Don Droud Jr. [3]; 5. Wesley Smith [6]; 6. Tim McCreadie [9]; 7. Pierce Urbanosky [7]; 8. Casey Hicks [8]; 9. Bryan Stanfill [5].

OERB Heat #4 (8 laps): 1. Daryn Pittman [6]; 2. Justin Bates [1]; 3. Henry Chambers [3]; 4. Kyle Steffens [5]; 5. Jace Park [7]; 6. Cam Schafer [8]; 7. Zach Boden [2]; 8. Josh Bilicki [4]; 9. 6C-Rayce Rudy (DNS).

OERB Heat #5 (8 laps): 1. Justin Grant [2], 2. Ace McCarthy [7], 3. Kory Schudy [3], 4. Hunter Schuerenberg [8], 5. Joey Klemish [4], 6. Gage Rucker [6], 7. Jack Wagner [9], 8. Johnny Murdock [5], 9. Harry Elzo [1].

OERB Heat #6 (8 laps): 1. Ryan Timms [3], 2. Steven Snyder Jr. [4], 3. Frankie Guerrini [6], 4. Michael Hubert [9], 5. Brett Becker [8], 6. Kolton Gariss [1], 7. Beau Gastineau [2], 8. Josh Hawkins [5], 9. Kurt Blackaby [7].

OERB Heat #7 (8 laps): 1. Cale Coons [3], 2. Andrew Felker [5], 3. Harli White [4], 4. Terry Nichols [7], 5. Glenn James Bratti [8], 6. Kevin Brewer [9], 7. Chris Roseland [1], 8. Jamie Speers [2], 9. Kevin Carl [6].

OERB Heat #8 (8 laps): 1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. [1], 2. Tadd Holliman [2], 3. Jody Rosenboom [4], 4. Shane Cottle [8], 5. Earl McDoulett Jr. [3], 6. Rece Wommack [6], 7. Kaylee Bryson [7], 8. Marc Dailey [5], 9. Chase Osterhoff [9].

OERB Heat #9 (8 laps): 1. Bryant Wiedeman [3], 2. Chris Andrews [2], 3. Chase Stockon [5], 4. Anton Hernandez [4], 5. Donovan Peterson [7], 6. Santino Ferrucci [1], 7. Kyler Johnson [8], 8. Hayden Reinbold [6].

D-Feature #1 (10 laps, top two transfer): 1. Chris Cochran [1], 2. Hayden Reinbold [4] / 3. Josh Hawkins [3], 4. Josh Bilicki [6], 5. Jamie Speers [5], 6. Jeff Schindler [7], 7. Casey Hicks [2], 8. Sam Johnson [8], 9. Beau Gastineau (DNS), 10. Harry Elzo (DNS).

D-Feature #2 (10 laps, top two transfer): 1. Chris Roseland [3], 2. Marc Dailey [5] / 3. Johnny Murdock [4], 4. Nathan Smith [1], 5. Chase Osterhoff [6], 6. Kevin Carl [8], 7. Zach Boden [2], 8. Kurt Blackaby [7], 9. Bryan Stanfill (DNS), 10. Rayce Rudy (DNS).

Smiley’s Racing Products C-Feature #1 (12 laps, top four transfer): 1. Don Droud Jr. [2], 2. Kaylee Bryson [9], 3. Hayden Reinbold [12], 4. Cam Schafer [3] / 5. Chris Cochran [11], 6. Santino Ferrucci [10], 7. Earl McDoulett Jr. [5], 8. Steve Gresham [8], 9. Kevin Brewer [1], 10. Jack Wagner [6], 11. Joey Klemish [4], 12. Rece Wommack [7].

Smiley’s Racing Products C-Feature #2 (13 laps, top four transfer): 1. Anton Hernandez [1], 2. Wesley Smith [2], 3. Glenn Styres [3], 4. Pierce Urbanosky [8] / 5. Kyler Johnson [7], 6. John Egan [4], 7. Marc Dailey [12], 8. Bill Rose [10], 9. Gage Rucker [6], 10. Brad Wyatt [5], 11. Chris Roseland [11], 12. Kolton Gariss [9].

Team Toyota Qualifier #1 (10 laps): 1. Steven Snyder Jr. [3], 2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. [2], 3. Bryant Wiedeman [5], 4. Daryn Pittman [6], 5. Will Armitage [4], 6. Terry Nichols [1], 7. Tyler Robbins [10], 8. Kory Schudy [9], 9. Justin Bates [7], 10. Brett Becker [8].

Team Toyota Qualifier #2 (10 laps): 1. Hunter Schuerenberg [2], 2. Andrew Felker [5], 3. Jace Park [9], 4. Robbie Smith [1], 5. Ace McCarthy [6], 6. Harli White [7], 7. Frankie Guerrini [3], 8. Michael Hubert [4], 9. Glenn James Bratti [8], 10. Jason McDougal (DNS).

Team Toyota Qualifier #3 (10 laps): 1. Ryan Timms [6], 2. Logan Seavey [4], 3. Shane Cottle [2], 4. Tyler Edwards [5], 5. Ronnie Gardner [3], 6. Tadd Holliman [1], 7. Jody Rosenboom [7], 8. Kyle Steffens [9], 9. Donovan Peterson [10], 10. Josh Hodge [8].

Team Toyota Qualifier #4 (10 laps): 1. Justin Grant [5], 2. Gavin Miller [3], 3. Chris Andrews [1], 4. Tim McCreadie [10], 5. Emerson Axsom [4], 6. Luke Hall [9], 7. Cale Coons [6], 8. Stuart Snyder [7], 9. Chase Stockon [2], 10. Henry Chambers [8].

WWTR B-Feature #1 (15 laps, top four transfer): 1. Cale Coons [3], 2. Ronnie Gardner [2], 3. Frankie Guerrini [5], 4. Jody Rosenboom [7] / 5. Kyle Steffens [8], 6. Kaylee Bryson [14], 7. Hayden Reinbold [15], 8. Cam Schafer [16], 9. Justin Bates [9], 10. Tadd Holliman [6], 11. Don Droud Jr. [13], 12. Glenn James Bratti [10], 13. Harli White [4], 14. Josh Hodge [12], 15. Brett Becker [11], 16. Will Armitage [1].

WWTR B-Feature #2 (15 laps, top four transfer): 1. Emerson Axsom [1], 2. Luke Hall [3], 3. Michael Hubert [5], 4. Donovan Peterson [7] / 5. Chase Stockon [8], 6. Wesley Smith [10], 7. Glenn Styres [11], 8. Stuart Snyder [6], 9. Terry Nichols [4], 10. Robbie Smith [2], 11. Anton Hernandez [9], 12. Tyler Robbins (DNS), 13. Kory Schudy (DNS), 14. Jason McDougal (DNS), 15. Henry Chambers (DNS), 16. Pierce Urbanosky (DNS).

Hard Rock Casino Tulsa A-Feature (30 laps): 1. 39-Logan Seavey [7], 2. 67-Ryan Timms [1], 3. 11a-Andrew Felker [3], 4. 40x-Steven Snyder Jr. [5], 5. 68k-Emerson Axsom [18], 6. 81-Bryant Wiedeman [6], 7. 21-Daryn Pittman [4], 8. 28-Ace McCarthy [11], 9. 97-Gavin Miller [10], 10. 63-Cale Coons [17], 11. 63g-Frankie Guerrini [21], 12. 68-Ronnie Gardner [19], 13. 19-Tim McCreadie [14], 14. 95-Chris Andrews [16], 15. 36-Michael Hubert [22], 16. 14j-Jody Rosenboom [23], 17. 5x-Shane Cottle [15], 18. 45x-Jace Park [9], 19. 11x-Donovan Peterson [24], 20. 2j-Justin Grant [2], 21. 8w-Hunter Schuerenberg [8], 22. 56e-Tyler Edwards [13], 23. 71r-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. [12], 24. 74-Luke Hall [20](DNS).

Lap Leader(s): Ryan Timms 1-7, Steven Snyder Jr. 8-15, Ryan Timms 16-28, Logan Seavey 29-30.

Hard Charger: 68k-Emerson Axsom (+13)

High Points: 67-Ryan Timms, 235

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