Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had worked his way into Friday night’s A-Main at the Chili Bowl Nationals at the Tulsa Expo Center, but a crash on the opening lap of the Feature will relegate him into an E-Main on Saturday, part of the alphabet soup of qualifier races.
Stenhouse, a last-minute addition to the entry list for Keith Kunz Motorsports, will have to battle his way through that gauntlet if he hopes to make it into the big race on Saturday.
The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500 champion Stenhouse started Friday’s A-Main from the 12th position, but on the opening lap he found trouble, damaged the front end so severely that the left front shock broke, and he spun around.
After being pulled into the work area, Stenhouse’s team told the officials they were done for the race. As a result, Stenhouse would finish 23rd in the 24-car field.
Last year’s Chili Bowl Nationals champion Logan Seavey topped Polesitter Ryan Timms for the win, and in doing so locked his spot in Saturday’s Chili Bowl Nationals Main Event. Seavey had an impassioned finish to the race as he blasted from the seventh starting position, and then found a way around Timms, who was running an aggressive line, which made passing a challenge.
In the closing laps, Seavey and Timms had an incredible battle for the A-Main win, and things got very intense as they fought through lapped traffic.
However, a caution for Justin Grant flipping from the third position with five laps remaining gave Timms and Seavey a chance to breathe.
Here is the flip that temporarily ended the duress that Timms was under from Seavey:
— FloRacing (@FloRacing) January 13, 2024
As the race went back to green, Seavey tracked Timms for a few laps before finally snagging the top spot with one lap to go. By finishing runner-up, Timms also secured his place in Saturday’s main event.