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Thorson Rebounds from Incredible Injury to win Chili Bowl Prelim – Autoweek

Thorson Rebounds from Incredible Injury to win Chili Bowl Prelim – Autoweek
20 Jan
2:47
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Brendon Bauman for Tanner Thorson Racing

Tanner Thorson outdueled a manic field to score an emotional victory in Friday night’s preliminary qualifying bout in the Tulsa Expo Center at the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals.

The dramatic win advances Thorson to the A-Main on Saturday, which is remarkable considering it was just last March he was involved in a serious accident that left him hospitalized. His injuries were a cracked sternum, broken ribs, a punctured lung, a broken right foot and a broken left arm, which surgeons told his parents he might never be able to use again.

“I didn’t know if I would ever be able to race again,” recalled Thorson, the 2016 USAC National Midget champion.

Pole-sitter Chris Windom pushed out front for the opening three of 30 laps, with NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in tow. That would all change on lap 4 as Stenhouse executed a power move off the bottom of turn two to take the lead.

After starting fifth in the Hayward Motorsports No. 19, Thorson hung tough with the frontrunners and climbed up to second by lap 5, and then made a run to the front of the 24-car field on lap 15 as Stenhouse grazed the cushion off turn four.

Unfortunately for Stenhouse, he would retire with just 13 laps to go with a flat right rear tire.

Meanwhile, numerous cautions brought mayhem as Windom found his way to the lead on lap 18, only for Thorson to regain it a lap later. As those two battled side by side, they invited new players to the party and Ryan Bernal took advantage by diving to the bottom and moving to the lead on lap 20.

After shaking off Windom to take hold of the runner-up spot, Thorson reset his sights on the leader. Thorson closed in on Bernal, reclaiming the lead for the last time on lap 25 to claim a 0.166 seconds margin of victory.

“I raced a lot with Ryan on the West Coast and you don’t get many guys who will race you clean like all those guys did tonight,” Thorson said. “It was a hell of a race. I knew the top would come in, and when it did this car was on rails. It’s a bad-ass car, this team is bad-ass and I’m excited for tomorrow.”

The stout second-place finish also progresses Bernal into the A-Main on Saturday.

“I know this is just a preliminary but it means a lot,” Bernal said. “A couple of buddies put this team together with the help of Matt Wood and it’s been a blast. Tanner did a great job, so hats off to him, but this team did a great job too.”

Windom was left disappointed after finishing third, which moves him and fourth-place finisher Tucker Klaasmeyer into the B-Main on Saturday.

“I think I just jumped to the top a little too early and lost a few spots,” Windom said. “I still thought that we had the best car on the longer runs. (Team owner) Chad Boat has given us some great cars. I wish we could have capitalized and locked it into Saturday’s A-Main, but we’ll take a podium.”

The complete results from Friday night at the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals can be found below.

A Main

1. Tanner Thorson
2. Ryan Bernal
3. Chris Windom
4. Tucker Klaasmeyer
5. Justin Allgaier
6. Justin Grant
7. Daryn Pittman
8. 15-Donny Schatz
9. Chad Boespflug
10. Justin Peck
11. Sam Johnson
12. Chris Andrews
13. Ace McCarthy
14. Sam Hafertepe Jr.
15. Jody Rosenboom
16. AJ Hopkins
17. Josh Lakatos
18. Andrew Layser
19. Maria Cofer
20. Steven Drevicki
21. Brody Roa
22. Josh Most
23. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
24. Bill Balog

C-Features: Top 4 advance to corresponding B-Feature.
C-Main 1: 1. 93-Dustin Morgan[2]; 2. 88E-Tim Estenson[7]; 3. 35-Ben Schmidt[15]; 4. 20C-Conor Daly[9]; 5. 20-Tadd Holliman[13]; 6. 13A-Austin Yarbrough[6]; 7. 19U-Pierce Urbanosky[8]; 8. 1NP-Terry Nichols[5]; 9. 56X-Mark Chisholm[11]; 10. 21S-Russell Shoulders[12]; 11. 08J-Jace McIntosh[4]; 12. 42C-Chris Cochran[10]; 13. 4R-Jared McIntyre[3]; 14. 911-Waylon Weaver[14]; 15. 4C-Kyle Bellm[1]

C-Main 2: 1. 17R-Alex Schutte[2]; 2. 29A-Tim Buckwalter[1]; 3. 19X-Don Droud Jr[3]; 4. 52F-Logan Faucon[6]; 5. 95T-Buddy Tubbs[9]; 6. 72C-Chris Tarrant[5]; 7. 27F-Jesse Frazier[11]; 8. 93Z-Zachary Patterson[10]; 9. 3F-Tim Barber[7]; 10. 44D-Evan Turner[8]; 11. C27-Clint Wilson[4]; 12. 17X-Kurt Stellhorn[13]; 13. 15L-Merril Lamb[12]; 14. (DNS) 84Z-Johnny Murdock; 15. (DNS) 20G-Noah Gass

Qualifiers: Top 16 in combined passing points advance to the A-Feature.
Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[2]; 2. 17S-Ricky Stenhouse Jr[5]; 3. 27-Tucker Klaasmeyer[6]; 4. 28-Ace McCarthy[3]; 5. 72J-Sam Johnson[7]; 6. 15J-David Prickett[1]; 7. 9K-Kevin Olson[9]; 8. 88W-Dustin Weland[8]; 9. 19M-Ethan Mitchell[4]; 10. (DNS) 10J-Jeffrey Newell

Qualifier 2: 1. 15-Donny Schatz[1]; 2. 21-Daryn Pittman[5]; 3. 14H-AJ Hopkins[3]; 4. 87W-Ryan Bernal[6]; 5. 7A-Justin Allgaier[4]; 6. 2R-Steven Drevicki[2]; 7. 37X-Karter Sarff[8]; 8. 57-Maria Cofer[9]; 9. 37M-Matt Mitchell[7]; 10. 10W-Marcus Thomas[10]

Qualifier 3: 1. 4A-Justin Grant[3]; 2. 19-Tanner Thorson[5]; 3. 5K-Justin Peck[4]; 4. 14X-Jody Rosenboom[2]; 5. 82-Andrew Layser[6]; 6. 7-Shannon McQueen[8]; 7. 78-Raven Culp[9]; 8. 11D-Colton Fisher[10]; 9. 5O-Timmy Thrash[7]; 10. 81-Colten Cottle[1]

Qualifier 4: 1. 89-Chris Windom[6]; 2. 7M-Brody Roa[1]; 3. 57A-Bill Balog[5]; 4. 95-Chris Andrews[2]; 5. 92-Josh Most[4]; 6. 25P-Chad Boespflug[3]; 7. 8K-Josh Hawkins[7]; 8. 88-Terry Babb[9]; 9. 68W-Josh Lakatos[10]; 10. 22B-Troy Betts[8]

B-Features: Top 4 advance to the A-Feature.
B-Main 1: 1. 72J-Sam Johnson[2]; 2. 92-Josh Most[1]; 3. 57-Maria Cofer[8]; 4. 25P-Chad Boespflug[3]; 5. 93-Dustin Morgan[13]; 6. 37X-Karter Sarff[6]; 7. 8K-Josh Hawkins[7]; 8. 7-Shannon McQueen[4]; 9. 88E-Tim Estenson[14]; 10. 22B-Troy Betts[12]; 11. 5O-Timmy Thrash[10]; 12. 20C-Conor Daly[16]; 13. (DNF) 88W-Dustin Weland[9]; 14. (DNF) 35-Ben Schmidt[15]; 15. (DNS) 19M-Ethan Mitchell; 16. (DNS) 10J-Jeffrey Newell

B-Main 2: 1. 14X-Jody Rosenboom[1]; 2. 95-Chris Andrews[2]; 3. 2R-Steven Drevicki[3]; 4. 68W-Josh Lakatos[10]; 5. 37M-Matt Mitchell[9]; 6. 88-Terry Babb[8]; 7. 17R-Alex Schutte[13]; 8. 78-Raven Culp[6]; 9. 15J-David Prickett[4]; 10. 9K-Kevin Olson[5]; 11. 52F-Logan Faucon[16]; 12. 81-Colten Cottle[11]; 1

Source: https://www.autoweek.com/racing/more-racing/a30574783/tanner-thorson-victorious-after-intense-chili-bowl-prelim-finale/

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