Cannon McIntosh held on after a late-race caution to win Monday night’s preliminary night feature at the 37th annual Chili Bowl Nationals.
McIntosh started on pole position for the 30-lap A-Main over Trey Marcham and Chris Windom. The No. 08 machine led by a large margin late in the feature when a caution came out for the slowing No. 85 of Jerry Coons Jr. who was running fourth at the time.
At the same time, McIntosh’s right rear tire started going flat, concerning the Oklahoma native.
“I think about six or seven (laps) to go, the right rear started to go flat and I could feel it,” McIntosh said. “I couldn’t run it on the curb. It just threw the nose and I knew something was wrong. I could almost hear it and rolling by on the screen it looked fine, but then toward the end right before we went back green I could really tell it was going down.”
McIntosh had to race on the bottom groove of the track to maintain his tire’s integrity and the tire held for the final few laps to lock McIntosh into Saturday’s 55-lap A-Main.
Following McIntosh across the line was Shane Golobic in the No. 17W. The Californian stole the final transfer spot for Saturday’s A-Main from Chris Windom who finished third, the first driver locked into Saturday’s B-Main.
Finishing fourth was Marcham ahead of Chase Briscoe.
After starting seventh, Coons Jr. was looking at trying to get a podium spot or at least a high starting position in one of Saturday’s B-Main features. Instead, a right rear issue brought Coons Jr. to the work area, his race finished.
The Arizona native finished 22nd, slotting him into one of Saturday’s E-Mains.
Bayston Wins Race of Champions
Spencer Bayston won the Race of Champions from fifth on the grid over McIntosh and Rico Abreu. Abreu led early from the pole as Bayston made his way to second. McIntosh got by the two-time Chili Bowl Nationals winner near halfway with McIntosh following close behind.
McIntosh tried to get by Bayston a few times in the second half of the race but couldn’t get by the No. 1S machine. Despite all his best efforts, McIntosh had to settle for second after starting sixth.
The race was slowed once for a three car accident involving Sammy Swindell, Zach Daum and Sahne Cockrum.