Chili Bowl Nationals Diary: Night 3

Photo Credit: Chili Bowl Nationals

Chili Bowl Diary Night 3: Every year there is a surprise on the podium, someone that no one thought could make it there. Tonight was the night. Although the winner was no surprise and for the most part it was a foregone conclusion about him claiming victory, the third place competitor showed his muscle. Tim "TMac" McCreadie, the World of Outlaws Late Model stand out, pulled off the surprise third place podium finish.

McCreadie struggled throughout the night. His heat race produced a fourth place finish that was good enough to put him in the qualifiers but not a strong run. His qualifier race also netted him a fourth place finish and it was good enough to transfer to the A Main although not really a breathtaking display of prowess. McCreadie had won the 2006 Chili Bowl and knew that the secret to success was to keep working and to make the jump to the big show on the first night. “I learned a long time ago if you throw enough darts you get lucky and hit it," he said during post race interview.

His 15th place starting spot did not bode well for the chances of locking in to Saturday's A Main but his classic dirt late model persistence served him well. He picked them off one at a time, patiently waited for the car to come in and when it did, about half way through the race, he pointed it to the front, dropped to the bottom and set sail. When the double checkers waved and the dust cleared, Tim McCreadie was standing on the podium. “I am just thrilled to be in the feature. I usually leave here with my tail between my legs. So to come here and make the feature means the world to me. We never quit and this is what it's all about."

McCreadie wasn’t the only stand out tonight. Second generation driver Sheldon Haudenschild didn’t transfer to the A Main on Saturday but he gave an awesome performance in his first Chili Bowl race with a 13th place A Main finish tonight. He looked very much like the confident protégé of his father as he arced the car into the corners and then slide to the bottom of the straight-a-ways. He was fast, smooth and impressive in his first appearance at the largest dirt race in the world.

Other standouts that will start high up in the alphabet soup include Cole Whitt who made his return to the Chili Bowl after an absence last year due to NASCAR Nationwide Series commitments. Former triple crown winner JJ Yeley won his heat race but lost the handle on the car in the qualifiers and never regained it. Also flexing his muscle, while proliferating the myth that he can drive anything, was California's Bud Kaeding who turned in a strong performance but came up short.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the night has to go to Jerry Coons Jr who held second place all the way through until five laps to go. Brad Sweet put a power slide on him to take the position and then McCreadie got by him on the next to last lap to take third. Coons had run well, was fast all night and seemed destined to be a lock in but it didn’t come to pass. He will start in the B Main and try to race his way into the A Main on Saturday.

The top two finishes went to very experienced drivers in Midgets. Race winner Kevin Swindell is a three-time Chili Bowl winner and the defending champion. There was little doubt that he would take the win tonight after his dominating performance in the "Race of Champions" on Tuesday. Swindell did not disappoint. Even though he started his heat mired deep in the pack, he cut his way through the competition and took the checkers.

Towards the end of the A Main Swindell hit very heavy lap traffic. He mistakenly assumed that Sweet was on his bumper and drove hard through it. At the end he won by a half of a straight-a-way. "I didn't know I was that far ahead or I wouldn't have taken some of the chances that I took in lap traffic," remarked Swindell from his victory celebration.

Second place went to Brad "The Big Cat" Sweet. Although he struggled early but made the A main from the qualifying race, he took second late in the race and tried to run down Swindell. But that task proved more that the veteran open wheel driver could muster. "We basically won tonight from all the normal guys. The Swindells have this place down to an art. They just know something we don’t know.”

The arena is quiet now. The track is getting a much needed drink of water and a little brush of her hair before they turn out the lights then tuck her in for the night. She ushered three more to the big show and did it with defining style and grace that is unmistakably the Chili Bowl. Who will conquer her on the final night? It’s hard to say. But what is easy to say is there will not be a single driver or team that won’t be pouring his heart out on her surface to be one of the top 12 who will do battle in Saturday’s Chili Bowl Nationals.

A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 39-Kevin Swindell[1]; 2. 67X-Brad Sweet[4]; 3. 47X-Tim McCreadie[15]; 4. 63-Jerry Coons Jr[2]; 5. 24-Tracy Hines[13]; 6. 5-Cole Whitt[3]; 7. 1ST-J.J. Yeley[6]; 8. 7N-D.J. Netto[7]; 9. 21D-A.J. Hopkins[5]; 10. 11A-Andrew Felker[11]; 11. 19S-Richard VanderWeerd[21]; 12. 05K-Bud Kaeding[8]; 13. 71S-Sheldon Haudenschild[9]; 14. 11R-Troy Rutherford[17]; 15. 67-Rico Abreu[14]; 16. 35-Billy Pauch Jr[19]; 17. 35S-Matt Sherrell[24]; 18. 69-A.J. Fike[20]; 19. 14W-Matt Westfall[22]; 20. 87-Tim Crawley[18]; 21. 11BA-Brett Anderson[12]; 22. 8L-Matt Ward[23]; DNF 25B-Steve Buckwalter[10]; DNF 15D-Andrew Deal[16]

B Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 11R-Troy Rutherford[1]; 2. 35-Billy Pauch Jr[9]; 3. 19S-Richard VanderWeerd[5]; 4. 8L-Matt Ward[4]; 5. 38N-Joey Moughan[6]; 6. 5G-P.J. Gargiulo[15]; 7. 56P-Jason Leffler[2]; 8. 2B-Tyler Reddick[16]; 9. 5B-Tommy Brown[12]; 10. 7DA-Dakoda Armstrong[13]; 11. 7D-Michelle Decker[11]; 12. 2D-Troy DeCaire[10]; 13. 06-Mario Clouser[14]; 14. 115-Conner Kassik[3]; 15. 96-Brad Noffsinger[8]

B Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 87-Tim Crawley[2]; 2. 69-A.J. Fike[4]; 3. 14W-Matt Westfall[1]; 4. 35S-Matt Sherrell[6]; 5. 62-Dennis Howell[9]; 6. 12F-Nic Faas[5]; 7. 37-Cameron Hagin[3]; 8. 3F-Tanner Swanson[13]; 9. 70-Peter Palazzolo[12]; 10. 6A-David Gough[8]; 11. 35L-Cody Ledger[15]; 12. 11XS-Donovan Peterson[11]; 13. 26X-John Golobic[10]; 14. 19-Patrick Stasa[7]; 15. 2AU-Alex Orr[14]; 16. 50-Daniel Adler[16]

C Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 7DA-Dakoda Armstrong[1]; 2. 06-Mario Clouser[2]; 3. 5G-P.J. Gargiulo[8]; 4. 2B-Tyler Reddick[12]; 5. 12G-Chris Gurley[3]; 6. 72K-Kevin Olson[6]; 7. 55B-Brian Shirley[7]; 8. 87R-Danny Smith[4]; 9. 14S-Tom Casson[5]; 10. 12J-Jay Mounce[13]; DNS 43-Brent Beauchamp; DNS 93R-Jake Rosario; DNS 2P-Payton Pierce; DNS 7JS-Kyle Bellm

C Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 3F-Tanner Swanson[10]; 2. 2AU-Alex Orr[3]; 3. 35L-Cody Ledger[1]; 4. 50-Daniel Adler[5]; 5. 31E-Evan Sewell[7]; 6. 75-Landon Simon[2]; 7. 40-Andy Huston[13]; 8. 27C-Kip Hughes[8]; 9. 51X-Matt Lundy[4]; 10. 6C-Michael Heberling[11]; DNF 4C-Chuck McGillivary[6]; DNF 73X-Greg Edenholm[9]; DNS 29S-Tim Kent

A-Feature Qualifier #1 (10 Laps): 1. 39-Kevin Swindell[6]; 2. 1ST-J.J. Yeley[3]; 3. 14W-Matt Westfall[1]; 4. 67-Rico Abreu[7]; 5. 56P-Jason Leffler[10]; 6. 87-Tim Crawley[4]; 7. 115-Conner Kassik[5]; 8. 19-Patrick Stasa[9]; 9. 62-Dennis Howell[2]; 10. 7D-Michelle Decker[8]

A-Feature Qualifier #2 (10 Laps): 1. 5-Cole Whitt[5]; 2. 63-Jerry Coons Jr[6]; 3. 7N-D.J. Netto[4]; 4. 47X-Tim McCreadie[7]; 5. 37-Cameron Hagin[2]; 6. 8L-Matt Ward[3]; 7. 38N-Joey Moughan[8]; 8. 6A-David Gough[10]; 9. 26X-John Golobic[9]; 10. 70-Peter Palazzolo[1]

A-Feature Qualifier #3 (10 Laps): 1. 25B-Steve Buckwalter[1]; 2. 67X-Brad Sweet[4]; 3. 71S-Sheldon Haudenschild[8]; 4. 15D-Andrew Deal[7]; 5. 24-Tracy Hines[6]; 6. 69-A.J. Fike[9]; 7. 12F-Nic Faas[3]; 8. 35-Billy Pauch Jr[10]; DNF 2D-Troy DeCaire[2]; DNF 15S-Tim Siner[5]

A-Feature Qualifier #4 (10 Laps): 1. 11A-Andrew Felker[1]; 2. 05K-Bud Kaeding[3]; 3. 11BA-Brett Anderson[4]; 4. 21D-A.J. Hopkins[6]; 5. 11R-Troy Rutherford[5]; 6. 19S-Richard VanderWeerd[9]; 7. 35S-Matt Sherrell[8]; 8. 96-Brad Noffsinger[2]; 9. 11XS-Donovan Peterson[10]; 10. 5B-Tommy Brown[7]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 11BA-Brett Anderson[1]; 2. 37-Cameron Hagin[2]; 3. 2D-Troy DeCaire[3]; 4. 67-Rico Abreu[4]; 5. 11XS-Donovan Peterson[5]; 6. 35L-Cody Ledger[6]; 7. 12G-Chris Gurley[7]; 8. 4C-Chuck McGillivary[8]; DNF 40-Andy Huston[9]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 1ST-J.J. Yeley[1]; 2. 11R-Troy Rutherford[5]; 3. 7N-D.J. Netto[7]; 4. 47X-Tim McCreadie[6]; 5. 70-Peter Palazzolo[9]; DNF 87R-Danny Smith[3]; DNF 2B-Tyler Reddick[8]; DNF 43-Brent Beauchamp[2]; DNF 3F-Tanner Swanson[4]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 67X-Brad Sweet[2]; 2. 25B-Steve Buckwalter[1]; 3. 11A-Andrew Felker[4]; 4. 19S-Richard VanderWeerd[3]; 5. 6A-David Gough[5]; 6. 69-A.J. Fike[9]; 7. 2AU-Alex Orr[8]; 8. 73X-Greg Edenholm[7]; DNF 12J-Jay Mounce[6]

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 8L-Matt Ward[1]; 2. 14W-Matt Westfall[2]; 3. 7D-Michelle Decker[3]; 4. 15D-Andrew Deal[8]; 5. 35-Billy Pauch Jr[5]; 6. 06-Mario Clouser[7]; DNF 55B-Brian Shirley[4]; DNS 7JS-Kyle Bellm

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 39-Kevin Swindell[5]; 2. 24-Tracy Hines[6]; 3. 35S-Matt Sherrell[1]; 4. 96-Brad Noffsinger[7]; 5. 5B-Tommy Brown[8]; 6. 14S-Tom Casson[2]; 7. 31E-Evan Sewell[4]; DNF 2P-Payton Pierce[3]

Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 15S-Tim Siner[3]; 2. 87-Tim Crawley[5]; 3. 38N-Joey Moughan[2]; 4. 05K-Bud Kaeding[8]; 5. 7DA-Dakoda Armstrong[4]; 6. 75-Landon Simon[6]; 7. 50-Daniel Adler[7]; 8. 29S-Tim Kent[1]

Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 12F-Nic Faas[1]; 2. 21D-A.J. Hopkins[6]; 3. 5-Cole Whitt[8]; 4. 56P-Jason Leffler[2]; 5. 19-Patrick Stasa[7]; 6. 51X-Matt Lundy[3]; 7. 5G-P.J. Gargiulo[4]; DNF 93R-Jake Rosario[5]

Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 63-Jerry Coons Jr[5]; 2. 115-Conner Kassik[6]; 3. 71S-Sheldon Haudenschild[2]; 4. 62-Dennis Howell[8]; 5. 26X-John Golobic[7]; 6. 72K-Kevin Olson[1]; 7. 27C-Kip Hughes[4]; DNF 6C-Michael Heberling[3]

Chili Bowl Nationals Diary: Night 3 Chili Bowl Nationals Diary: Night 3 Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, January 11, 2013 Rating: 5