Grant Drives Toyota To Fifth Straight Chili Bowl Prelim Feature Win

Image Credit: Michael Fry

Starting from the outside of the front row, Justin Grant powered into the lead heading into the first turn and never relinquished the lead on the way to winning the Friday’s Driven 2 Save Lives Qualifying Night feature event to advance to Saturday’s A Main feature at the 35th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals. 

The victory gave Toyota a sweep of the week’s preliminary night feature events. In addition, Toyota drivers earned eight of the 10 positions that advanced directly into Saturday night’s feature event where the manufacturer will be looking for its seventh consecutive Chili Bowl win.

Grant, in his first race with the RMS Racing team, was dominant throughout the 30-lap event, going straight to the lead running the high side into turn one on the opening lap. From there on out, only yellow flags were able to slow him through much of the race as he stretched his lead out to more than three seconds on multiple occasions. He would run into heavy lapped traffic late in the race, but was able to maneuver anywhere on the track in dicing between them, despite a rear tire that was losing air pressure in the late going.

“RMS brought a bunch of great race cars and I think every one of us finished in the top-five in the A Mains this week,” said Grant. “I’m proud to be out there representing NOS Energy Drinks, Delco Wheels and everyone on our car. The Toyota motor screams in that thing. They absolutely rip. We were pretty fast out of the gate and we kept fine-tuning all week.  We were really good there in the feature. We were pretty comfortable, but when we got into lapped traffic, it got pretty thick.” 

Tanner Thorson turned in some of the most impressive drives of the day in finishing fourth, despite flipping his car early in the opening heat race. The Dave Mac Motorsports driver started the C Main from the fifth spot and climbed up to third to advance to the B, where he went from 15th to second to advance to the A Main. He then proceeded to charge from the 20th position all the way up to second to earn a spot in tomorrow’s B Main.

Also earning top-10 finishes were Jesse Love, who celebrated his 16th birthday on Thursday, and Aaron Reutzel, who earned seventh and eighth, respectively.

This year’s Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals features 309 entries – each fighting for one of the 24 openings in Saturday night’s “A Main” feature event.  

# # #

Toyota Friday ResultsFinished
Justin GrantA Main – 1st
Tanner Thorson A Main – 4th
Jesse LoveA Main – 7th
Aaron ReutzelA Main – 8th
Ace McCarthyA Main – 13th
Tucker KlaasmeyerA Main – 15th
Cody JessopA Main – 16th
Luke IckeA Main – 23rd
Jesse ColwellA Main – 24th
Brayton LynchC Main – 5th

Toyota Saturday Race Line-up

Car #DriverHometownQualified
71KCannon McIntoshBixby, Okla.A Main
01Kyle LarsonElk Grove, CAA Main
97Rico AbreuSt. Helena, Calif.A Main
84XChristopher BellNorman, OKA Main
2JJustin GrantIone, CAA Main
7XThomas MeseraullSan Jose, CAA Main
25XAlex BrightCollegeville, PAA Main
67Buddy KofoidPenngrove, CAA Main 
52Blake HahnSapulpa, OKB Main
5DZach DaumPocohontas, ILB Main
1RBrad SweetGrass Valley, CAB Main
89Chris WindomCanton, ILB Main
1SSpencer BaystonLebanon, INB Main
08Tanner ThorsonMinden, NVB Main 
1DDavid GravelWatertown, CTB Main
49JJoe B. MillerMillersville, MOB Main
35Jacob DennyColumbus, OHB Main
97KJesse LoveRedwood City, CAB Main
87Aaron ReutzelKannapolis, ILB Main
32TTrey MarchamNewcastle, OKC Main
9PDaison PursleyLocust Grove, OKC Main
21TCarson MacedoLemoore, CAC Main
71Kaylee BrysonMuskogee, OKC Main
32Gary TaylorSnohomish, WAC Main
71XBrian CarberPipersville, PAC Main
08KMichael FaccintoHanford, CAC Main
28Ace McCarthyTahlequah, OKC Main
8JJonathan BeasonBroken Arrow, OKC Main
15AEmerson AxsomFranklin, INC Main
27Tucker KlaasmeyerPaola, KSD Main
20HNoah HarrisBroken Arrow, OKD Main
91TTyler ThomasCollinsville, OKD Main
4CMCody JessupMadera, CAD Main
98KTanner CarrickLincoln, CAD Main
4DRobert DalbyAnaheim, CAE Main
56iLuke IckeLittleton, COE Main
14Jesse ColwellRed Bluff, CAE Main 
67KHolley HollanTulsa, OKF Main
26RTristin ThomasBurlington, WAF Main
79SLandon SimonIndianapolis, INF Main
91AChris AndrewsSandusky, OHF Main
17Tanner BerryhillBixby, OKF Main
26Cory EliasonVisalia, CAF Main
25KTaylor ReimerBixby, OKG Main
10Santino FerrucciWoodbury, CTG Main
79Ryan HallMidlothian, TXH Main
91SKyle ShipleyKingman, KSJ Main
81XDillon WelchCarmel, INJ Main
5WBen WorthCoalinga, CAJ Main
79MKeith MartinBurleson, TXJ Main
1KBrayton LynchSpringfield, ILK Main
25CCourtney CronePenngrove, CAK Main
50KKaeden CornellWillard, MOL Main
4FChad FrewaldtKansas City, MOL Main 

Toyota Racing PR

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