Recap of Thursday night Chili Bowl action
There were a number of fast midget cars that raced in the Thursday preliminary night action at the 30th annual Chili Bowl, but during the 25-lap 'A' feature, no one had anything for Oklahoma native Christopher Bell in his #71 Keith Kunz Toyota JBL sponsored midget.
Several apparent challengers emerged early in the evening, namely 2015 USAC midget champion Tracy Hines, Danny Stratton in the #47 Bondio midget, second-generation Indiana racer CJ Leary and young NEMA charger Anthony Nocella, but they could not carry that success into the evening's highlight the 'A' feature. Stratton was extremely fast in his qualifier race, but his chances for victory in the 'A' Main ended early when NASCAR racer Justin Allgaier inexplicably forced Stratton into the backstretch fence early in the race and knocked Danny out of a promising third place run.
At the drop of checkered flag it was Bell, Jerry Coons Jr. and Shane Cottle on the podium. Though no one in the crowd could quite explain how Coons and Cottle were able to finish so high on Thursday night, the fact remains that by finishing in top three to lock in for Saturday night, Coons will start his 13th career Chili Bowl A Main Saturday night and Cottle the 10th of his racing career .
Mark Lowrey's midget is sponsored by racing historian Richard Woodland's
Woodland Auto Display in Paso Robles, CA
The evening saw impressive Chili Bowl rookie runs from Robert Dalby and Mark Lowrey, while two prominent female drivers, Oklahoma’s Michelle Decker and IndyCar’s Sarah Fisher both had disappointing evenings.