We have reached the final day of the 2022 Chili Bowl Nationals. Through the week, we have seen a ton of racing, and by the end of the night on Saturday, a starting field of 395 entries will be whittled down to just 24 starters in the Chili Bowl National A-Feature.
So, who is already locked into the big show?
By way of finishing top-two in their preliminary A-Mains through the week, 10 drivers are locked into Saturday night’s A-Main.
Justin Grant, Christopher Bell, Tanner Carrick, Rico Abreu, Buddy Kofoid, Kevin Thomas Jr., Tanner Thorson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Larson and Tyler Courtney are the 10 drivers who can breathe a sigh of relief, while the remaining 385 drivers nervously try to lock their way in through the alphabet soup features throughout the day.
What NASCAR related names are in the alphabet soup?
And what does the path look like for them to advance to Saturday night’s Main Event?
Santino Ferrucci, who ran part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2021, is listed as the last-place starter in the first Q Feature of the day, however, after suffering a concussion in a crash during Hot Laps on Friday, Ferrucci will sit out the remainder of the 2022 Chili Bowl Nationals.
Conor Daly, who started a NASCAR Xfinity Series race in 2018 and had one NASCAR Truck Series start in 2020 and 2021, will start from the pole of the First O Feature. If Daly finishes top-six in this feature, he will advance further in the alphabet soup.
Daly will need to find a way to be in a transfer position in 13 Feature races on Saturday to make it into the big show. It’ll be a tall task.
Jesse Little, who will drive in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Young’s Motorsports this season, will roll off 10th in the Second M feature. Heading into the weekend, Little told TobyChristie.com that he hoped to make it further than the L Feature.
If Little can finish top-six in the M, and top-six in the L, then he will accomplish that goal. However, if Little wants to make it into the A-Feature, he’ll have to advance through 12 Feature races on Saturday.
Ryan Ellis, who ran part-time in the NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series in 2021, will start from the sixth-position in the First L feature. Ellis will need to advance through 10 Feature events on Saturday to make it into the A-Feature.
Carson Hocevar, a 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff Contender, will start ninth in the Second J Feature. Hocevar will need to transfer through a total of nine Feature events on Saturday to lock into the A-Feature.
J.J. Yeley will roll from the second spot in the First F Feature and he’ll be joined by 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Chase Elliott who will start 13th in the feature. Both drivers will need to advance through five Features to make it into the A Feature on Saturday.
Jesse Love, 2021 ARCA West Series Champion, will start second in the First D Feature. Tanner Berryhill, three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts in 2021, will start 12th in the Second D Feature. Both drivers will need to advance through three Features to secure a spot in the A Feature.
Alex Bowman, who won four NASCAR Cup Series races in 2021, will start second in the First C Feature and he’ll be joined by 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year Chase Briscoe (7th) and Ryan Newman (11th), who has 18-career NASCAR Cup Series wins, in this Feature. All three drivers will need to advance through two Features to notch a starting spot in the A Feature.
David Gravel, who had two NASCAR Truck Series starts in 2020, will start fourth in the Second B Feature, he’ll be joined by Shane Golobic (6th), who had one NASCAR Cup Series start in 2021, Dillon Welch (11th), a NASCAR television pit reporter, and Kasey Kahne (13th) who has 18-career NASCAR Cup Series wins. Seven drivers transfer from this Feature to the A Feature. If all four can work their way into the top-seven, they’ll be in the Main Event on Saturday.
Saturday’s Hot Laps coverage will begin at 10 AM ET and Feature races kick off at 11 AM ET. FloRacing will have streaming coverage of everything from Hot Laps to the D Features. The C Features, B Features and Main Event A Feature will be broadcast on MAVTV.