K. Swndell Follows in Dad’s Footsteps

Lonnie Wheatley, TULSA, Okla. (January 12, 2012) – Last January, Kevin Swindell became the first back-to-back winner in a quarter century of Chili Bowl Nationals competition at the QuikTrip Center’s Tulsa Expo Raceway.

On Thursday night, the 22-year-old from Germantown, TN, put himself in a prime position for a three-peat by winning the 25-lap Suburban Chevrolet qualifying feature event atop the ¼-mile clay oval on the third night of action at the 26th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.

Swindell battled past Brad Sweet on the sixth round and then weathered a pair of late cautions to take his second career Chili Bowl preliminary win aboard the Esslinger-powered John Christner Trucking/NOS Energy Drinks No. 39 Spike. Swindell took the checkered flag with a 1.705-second advantage over Indiana’s Shane Cottle and Sweet, who also locked into Saturday night’s 50-lap Chili Bowl championship finale.

With Swindell starting the feature outside the second row, Sweet led the field to the green flag with J.J. Yeley alongside. Sweet gunned into the lead at the start, with Swindell into second on the opening round ahead of third-starter Shane Golobic and Yeley.

With the leaders all working the low side, Swindell moved to the top of turns three and four and swept past Sweet for the lead upon the completion of the sixth round. Sweet kept Swindell within striking distance, with traffic coming into play just three laps later.

Swindell found open track again after the 12th round when Don Droud, Jr., spun to a stop in turn three after contact from another car. Swindell went the final half of the race virtually unchallenged, though he nearly spun exiting turn four on the 20th circuit.

“It seems like coming off turn four is a little different this year,” Swindell explained. “It’s challenging, you almost have to diamond it to hit it right.”

The only thing that slowed his charge to the checkered flag was a pair of incidents with 21 laps in the books. After Damion Gardner came to a stop in turn four after contact while battling for sixth with Yeley, it was Golobic and Buckwalter tangling in the same corner while dicing for fourth on the ensuing restate with Yeley caught up in the fracas and getting upside down.

Swindell cruised to the stripe over the final four laps, while Cottle raced past Sweet on the 23rd lap to snare runner-up honors in Dr. Kenneth Love’s Mopar-powered RDL Holdings No. 71xx Spike. “We started a little tight, but as the track slicked off we got better and better,” Cottle explained.

Sweet held on for the show position in the Kasey Kahne Racing Speedway Engines-powered Sage Fruit No. 49x Spike, explaining that, “We were a little conservative with our car, we didn’t see it getting quite that slick.”

California’s Richard VanderWeerd turned in the strongest performance thus far by a Chili Bowl rookie contender by climbing from seventh to claim fourth aboard Mike Sala’s No. 19s Spike, with Indiana’s Brady Short rounding out the top five.

Tracy Hines turned in the night’s top passing performance by racing from 22nd to sixth after advancing through both “C” and “B” Main action, with Rico Abreu, Tim Siner, 17th-starter A.J. Fike and 16th-starter Brian Camarillo completing the top ten.

VanderWeerd was one of two event rookies to make Thursday’s feature cut, with fellow California contender Ryan Bernal posting a 21st place finish.

Johnny Herrera, Golobic, Patrick Stasa, Gardner, Siner, Shane Cockrum, Kyle Steffens and Billy Lawhead each posted heat race victories among the 66-car field, with Golobic, J.C. Bland, Bernal and Cottle winning the Qualifying races.

Tim Crawley and Chris Windom won the “C” Mains, with Cockrum and Mario Clouser victorious in the “B” Mains.

Thursday’s Suburban Chevrolet Qualifier Results from the 26th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals:

Heat Races (8 Laps each, Top 40 in passing points to A Qualifiers; Balance to twin C Mains)

Heat 1: 1. #75H Johnny Herrera, Albuquerque, NM; 2. #98 JC Bland, Springfield, IL; 3. #44S Clint Schubert, Calhan, CO; 4. #37B Brady Short, Bedford, IN; 5. #51X Matt Lundy, Phoenix, AZ; 6. #24 Tracy Hines, New Castle, IN; 7. #94AU Brad Cox, Gunnedah, Australia; 8. #2D Doug Day, Winder, GA; 9. #35M Matt Sherrell, Owasso, OK

Heat 2: 1. #26 Shane Golobic, Fremont, CA; 2. #1J J.J. Yeley, Phoenix, AZ; 3. #98K P.J. Jones, Torrance, CA; 4. #19S Richard VanderWeerd, Visalia, CA; 5. #3AJ A.J. Fike, Galesburg, IL; 6. #7J Shawn Jackson, Bear, DE; 7. #2AZ Rick Shuman, Gilbert, AZ; 8. #15K Conner Kassik, Lake Havasu, AZ; 9. #81B Ryan Beechler, McKinney, TX

Heat 3: 1. #19 Patrick Stasa, Kingman, KS; 2. #22 Brian Camarillo, Camarillo, CA; 3. #8J Blake Hahn, Sapulpa, OK; 4. #71XX Shane Cottle, Kokomo, IN; 5. #11B Travis Berryhill, American Canyon, CA; 6. #27C Kip Hughes, Enid, OK; 7. #12J Joe Walker, Harrisonville, MO; 8. #83H Jonathan Halford, Tulsa, OK

Heat 4: 1. #05G Damion Gardner, Concord, CA; 2. #39 Kevin Swindell, Germantown, TN; 3. #93 Dustin Morgan, Broken Arrow, OK; 4. #7D Michelle Decker, Guthrie, OK; 5. #2R A.J. Hopkins, Brownsburg, IN; 6. #88D Rusty Dukes, Fair Grove, MO; 7. #2G Terry Goodwin, Laveen, AZ; 8. #77G Mike Goodman, Broken Arrow, OK

Heat 5: 1. #15 Tim Siner, Dupo, IL; 2. #25B Steve Buckwalter, Royersford, PA; 3. #25 Dylan Peterson, Sioux Falls, SD; 4. #17R Mario Clouser, Auburn, IL; 5. #29S Tim Kent, Sapulpa, OK; 6. #31E Evan Sewell, Tulsa, OK; 7. #85J Matt Johnson, Edmond, OK; 8. #11W Chris Windom, Canton, IL

Heat 6: 1. #14C Shane Cockrum, Benton, IL: 2. #49X Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA; 3. #39B Jake Blackhurst, Mapleton, IL: 4. #9M Cory Mallo, Cheyenne, WY; 5. #44 Don Droud Jr., Lincoln, NE; 6. #91H Mike Hudson, Carterville, IL: 7. #71P Tim Pyle, Gresham, OR; 8. #1XS Donovan Peterson, Brookings, SD

Heat 7: 1. #91X Kyle Steffens, St. Charles, MO; 2. #6A David Gough, Machesney Park, IL: 3. #12B Chad Boat, Phoenix, AZ; 4. #38N Kyle Neal, Ewing, IL; 5. #00 Pete Davis, Pleasanton, CA; 6. #71D Paige Polyak, Tiffin, OH; 7. #69 Randy Boyer, Belleville, KS; 8. #22K Kyle Bellm, Nixa, MO

Heat 8: 1. #21M Billy Lawhead, El Reno, OK; 2. #72 Ryan Bernal, Hollister, CA; 3. #67K Rico Abreu, Rutherford, CA; 4. #6X Chris Morgan, Topeka, KS; 5. #14W Matt Westfall, Ludlow Falls, OH; 6. #4J Tim Crawley, Benton, AR; 7. #17K Tanner Berryhill, Bixby, OK; DNS – #2A Donald McIntosh, Dawsonville, GA

C Mains (10 Laps – Top 4 in each transfer to back of corresponding B Main)

C Main 1: 1. #4J Tim Crawley, Benton, AR; 2. #29S Tim Kent, Sapulpa, OK; 3. #35M Matt Sherrell, Owasso, OK; 4. #22K Kyle Bellm, Nixa, MO; 5. #31E Evan Sewell, Tulsa, OK; 6. #12J Joe Walker, Harrisonville, MO; 7. #2AZ Rick Shuman, Gilbert, AZ; 8. #85J Matt Johnson, Edmond, OK; 9. #83H Jonathon Halford, Tulsa, OK; 10. #2G Terry Goodwin, Laveen, AZ; 11. #88D Rusty Dukes, Fair Grove, MO; 12. #77G Mike Goodman, Broken Arrow, OK; 13. #69 Randy Boyer, Belleville, KS

C Main 2: 1. #11W Chris Windom, Canton, IL; 2. #24 Tracy Hines, Wilkinson, IN; 3. #51X Matt Lundy, Phoenix, AZ; 4. #1XS Donovan Peterson, Brookings, SD; 5. #81B Ryan Beechler, McKinney, TX; 6. #15K Conner Kassik, Lake Havasu, AZ; 7. #94AU Brad Cox, Gunnedah, AUS; 8. #91H Mike Hudson, Carterville, IL; 9. #17K Tanner Berryhill, Bixby, OK; 10. #71D Paige Polyak, Tiffin, OH; DNS — #2D Doug Day, Winder, GA; #71P Tim Pyle, Gresham, OR; #2A Doug McIntosh, Dawsonville, GA

A Qualifiers (10 Laps – Top 16 in combined passing points to A Main; Balance to twin B Mains)

A Qualifier 1: 1. #26 Shane Golobic, Fremont, CA; 2. #37B Brady Short, Bedford, IN; 3. #1J J.J. Yeley, Phoenix, AZ; 4. #15 Tim Siner, Dupo, IL: 5. #93 Dustin Morgan, Broken Arrow, OK; 6. #05G Damion Gardner, Concord, CA; 7. #00 Pete Davis, Pleasanton, CA; 8. #25 Dylan Peterson, Sioux Falls, SD; 9. #9M Cory Mallo, Cheyenne, WY; 10. #44S Clint Schubert, Calhan, CO

A Qualifier 2: 1. #98 JC Bland, Springfield, IL; 2. #67K Rico Abreu, Rutherford, CA; 3. #39 Kevin Swindell, Germantown, TN; 4. #98K P.J. Jones, Torrance, CA; 5. #22 Brian Camarillo, Camarillo, CA; 6. #14C Shane Cockrum, Benton, IL; 7. #14W Matt Westfall, Ludlow Falls, OH; 8. #39B Jake Blackhurst, Mapleton, IL; 9. #38N Kyle Neal, Ewing, IL; 10. #7J Shawn Jackson, Bear, DE

A Qualifier 3: 1. #72 Ryan Bernal, Hollister, CA; 2. #19S Richard VanderWeerd, Visalia, CA; 3. #25B Steve Buckwalter, Royersford, PA; 4. #17R Mario Clouser, Auburn, IL; 5. #75H Johnny Herrera, Albuquerque, NM; 6. #3AJ A.J. Fike, Galesburg, IL; 7. #6A David Gough, Machesney Park, IL; 8. #91X Kyle Steffens, St. Charles, MO; 9. #6X Chris Morgan, Topeka, KS; 10. #27C Kip Hughes, Enid, OK

A Qualifier 4: 1. #71XX Shane Cottle, Kokomo, IN; 2. #49X Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA; 3. #44 Don Droud Jr., Lincoln, NE; 4. #12B Chad Boat, Phoenix, AZ; 5. #8J Blake Hahn, Sapulpa, OK; 6. #11B Travis Berryhill, American Canyon, CA; 7. #7D Michelle Decker, Guthrie, OK; 8. #2R A.J. Hopkins, Brownsburg, IN; 9. #21M Billy Lawhead, El Reno, OK; 10. #19 Patrick Stasa, Kingman, KS

B Mains (15 Laps – Top 4 in each transfer to A Main)

B Main 1: 1. #14C Shane Cockrum, Benton, IL; 2. #3AJ A.J. Fike, Galesburg, IL; 3. #19 Patrick Stasa, Kingman, KS; 4. #35M Matt Sherrell, Owasso, OK; 5. #75H Johnny Herrera, Albuquerque, NM; 6. #91X Kyle Steffens, St. Charles, MO; 7. #4J Tim Crawley, Benton, AR; 8. #93 Dustin Morgan, Broken Arrow, OK; 9. #00 Pete Davis, Pleasanton, CA; 10. #7J Shawn Jackson, Bear, DE; 11. #6X Chris Morgan, Topeka, KS; 12. #9M Cory Mallo, Cheyenne, WY; 13. #25 Dylan Peterson, Sioux Falls, SD; 14. #29S Tim Kent, Sapulpa, OK; 15. #8J Blake Hahn, Sapulpa, OK; 16. #22K Kyle Bellm, Nixa, MO

B Main 2: #17R Mario Clouser, Auburn, IL; 2. #6A David Gough, Machesney Park, IL: 3. #24 Tracy Hines, Wilkinson, IN; 4. #44 Don Droud Jr., Lincoln, NE; 5. #11W Chris Windom, Canton, IL; 6. #39B Jake Blackhurst, Mapleton, IL: 7. #21M Billy Lawhead, El Reno, OK; 8. #51X Matt Lundy, Phoenix, AZ; 9. #11B Travis Berryhill, American Canyon, CA; 10. #1XS Donovan Peterson, Brookings, SD; 11. #7D Michelle Decker, Guthrie, OK; 12. #38N Kyle Neal, Ewing, IL; 13. #27C Kim Hughes, Enid, OK; 14. #2R A.J. Hopkins, Brownsburg, IN; 15. #14W Matt Westfall, Ludlow Falls, OH; 16. #44S Clint Schubert, Calhan, CO

A Main (25 laps – Top 3 advance to Saturday Night’s Main Event)

“A” Main: 1. #39 Kevin Swindell, Germantown, TN; 2. #71xx Shane Cottle, Kokomo, IN; 3. #49x Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA; 4. #19s Richard VanderWeerd (Visalia, CA); 5. #37b Brady Short, Bedford, IN; 6. #24 Tracy Hines, Wilkinson, IN; 7. #67k Rico Abreu, Rutherford, CA; 8. #15 Tim Siner, Dupo, IL; 9. #3aj A.J. Fike, Galesburg, IL; 10. #22 Brian Camarillo, Camarillo, CA; 11. #12b Chad Boat, Phoenix, AZ; 12. #35m Matt Sherrell, Owasso, OK; 13. #6a David Gough, Machesney Park, IL; 14. #44 Don Droud, Jr., Lincoln, NE; 15. #19 Patrick Stasa, Kingman, KS; 16. #05g Damion Gardner, Concord, CA; 17. #25b Steve Buckwalter, Royersford, PA; 18. #98k P.J. Jones, Torrance, CA; 19. #26 Shane Golobic, Fremont, CA; 20. #17r Mario Clouser, Auburn, IL; 21. #72 Ryan Bernal, Hollister, CA; 22. #1J J.J. Yeley, Phoenix, AZ; 23. #14c Shane Cockrum, Benton, IL; 24. #98 J.C. Bland, Springfield, IL (DNS).

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