Justin Grant wins final heat race to earn spot in Chili Bowl
TULSA, Okla. (AP) Kasey Kahne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are two former sprint car stars who are on the outside looking in right now at the Super Bowl of Midget Racing.
Neither NASCAR driver scored a top-three finish in Friday night's qualifier, where the podium drivers earn automatic berths into the main event - the Chili Bowl A Main at the Tulsa Expo Center.
Justin Grant won the Friday night heat, while Spencer Bayston and Andrew Felker finished second and third. The trio claimed the final three slots of the 24 automatic berths into the main event that have been up for grabs all week. Grant won his Friday night heat a year ago and started from the pole in the A Main, but finished third.
Kahne finished fifth and Stenhouse was 11th. They will be among the 300-plus drivers who race all day Saturday, advancing though heats to determine who will complete the A Main lineup.
Already locked in are Kyle Larson (Tuesday night winner), Rico Abreu (Wednesday night winner), Christopher Bell (Thursday night winner) and Grant. Also advancing by earning podium finishes were Brad Sweet, Tyler Courtney, Tyler Thomas, Kevin Thomas Jr., Shane Golobic, Chase Johnson and Bayston and Felker.
Feature racing begins early Saturday morning with the "O" feature and continues through the alphabet the rest of the day. Drivers try to advance all the way to the A Main through those heats.
There will be a pole to determine the starting order of the top 12 starters in the A feature finale, which will take place before the opening ceremonies and the Parade of States. The A feature is expected to run before midnight, with Bell and Larson on the front row, followed by Abreu and Grant in the second row.
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Updated January 13, 2018