Thorson wins first career Chili Bowl championship race


By James Essex

Tanner Thorson became the 22nd driver to top the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire when the Nevada native wheeled the Reinbold/Underwood Motorsports entry to Victory Lane on Jan. 15 at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“I knew I had to step it up from Thursday night,” Thorson stated on his thoughts going into the day. “Bell was obviously better than me, and I knew they were going to bring the same car if not better. It helped having Kasey (Kahne])there running another car that was set up nearly identical. It brought a lot to my attention, and the car ended up feeling pretty good.”

Chasing Christopher Bell, traffic came into play quickly but would prove ineffective at giving him a shot at the pass. Slowed on Lap 17, the restart saw several drivers start stepping their line up the track. Top by bottom just past Lap 25, traffic was again in the mix until Lap 36 when Justin Grant biked the cushion and tipped over in the second turn.

Stalking the iRacing No. 71w, Thorson threw the slide on Lap 37, taking the lead off the fourth turn. Back after Thorson as the pair sliced through traffic, Bell retook the lead for a moment through the first and second turns with six laps to run. Splitting the slower car of Brady Bacon, the No. 21h ended up going to a ride right between the leaders as he battled for position.

Back to green, Bell was set on attack, but contact with the wall let the No. 19t get away. Nearly dropping to third in the process, Bell regrouped and quickly gained ground. Picking up momentum to the final lap, time would run out as Thorson crossed with a 0.688-second advantage.

On the late-race move, Thorson said, “I knew it was getting late in the race and when they said how many laps were down, it was just like Turkey Night where I had to break Bell’s momentum a little bit because if not, it was going to be hard to beat him, so I just had to get going. Buddy was there and he was pressing me a little bit, but my car actually seemed to get better throughout the run and used what I learned off Thursday night.”

Bell crossed the finish line in second, with Rico Abreu working back to third in the closing laps. Buddy Kofoid crossed fourth with Tanner Carrick fifth in his first A-Feature appearance. All of those drivers were piloting Keith Kunz Motorsports-prepared cars.

Kyle Larson in sixth was followed by C.J. Leary from 16th. Kevin Thomas, Jr. crossed eighth, followed by Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Thomas Meseraull to complete the top 10.

The 2022 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire drew in 381 drivers over the six nights of racing. The Jan. 15 run of events was slated, to begin with, double Q-Features, but drivers scratching put the first events at double P-Features. Including the four rounds of Pole Shuffle, there were 35 races total on Jan. 15. The World-Wide Technology Raceway Flip Count made it to 66 with drivers able to walk away. The biggest run through the Soup came from Sammy Swindell, who advanced through six rounds before damage to his car sidelined him in the first I-Feature.

The 37th Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire takes place Jan. 9-14, 2023, at the Tulsa Expo Raceway, located inside the SageNet Center in Tulsa. Ticket renews, and new orders begin March 2. More information on prices will be posted soon.

Bloomington 2022 schedule released

Bloomington Speedway has released its 2022 racing schedule with the season opener slated for April 15:

April 15: Season Opener: Sprints, Super Stocks, 305 RaceSaver and Hornets

April 22: Sprints, Modifieds, Super Stocks and Hornets

April 29: Larry Rice USAC Sprints: Sprints, 305 RaceSavers and Hornets

May 6: Sprints, Modifieds, Bombers, Hornets and MMSA

May 13: RODDY STRONG MEMORIAL: Sprints, Modifieds, Super Stocks and Hornets (If rained out, this race will move to July 8)

May 20: Indiana Late Model Series Returns: ILMS, Sprints, Bombers and Hornets

May 27: JOSH BURTON MEMORIAL: MSCS Sprints, MMSA, Modifieds, and Super Stocks (If rained out this race will move to Sept 2)

June 3: USAC INDIANA MIDGET WEEK: USAC Midgets and Sprints

June 10: Sprints, Modifieds, Super Stocks, 305 RaceSavers and MMSA

June 17: FIREWORKS: Sprints, Modifieds, 305 RaceSavers, Super Stocks and Hornets

July 8: Sprints, Modifieds, 305 RaceSavers, Super Stocks and Hornets

July 15: Sprints, Super Stocks, Bombers and Hornets

July 29: USAC INDIANA SPRINT WEEK-KINSER MEMORIAL: Sprints and 305 Racesavers

Aug. 12: Sprints, Modifieds, Bombers and Hornets

Aug. 19: Sprints, 305 Racesavers, Super Stocks and Hornets

Aug. 26: TBA

Sept. 2: MSCS Sprints, MMSA, Super Stocks and Modifieds

Sept. 9: Sprints, Modifieds, Super Stocks and Hornets

Collins passes away

Sue Collins of Vernon passed away on Jan. 4. She was 83.

Sue and her husband Ted, along with Kenny Woods and Tom Chilton, took over as promoters of Brownstown Speedway in 1967. At that time, the track faced an uncertain future, but the new team of promoters turned the fortunes of the track around racing late model stock cars weekly.

The first 250-lap feature featuring the largest purse in

track history was conducted in 1969, with Don Hobbs winning the race. The track also attracted future Brownstown racing legends with drivers such as Hobbs, Kenny Simpson and Ira Bastin moving from super-modified racing to stock cars full-time under the Collins’ watch. The Collins’ also promoted Bloomington Speedway and Salem Speedway for a short time.

The Collins’ left Brownstown in 1980 and then they owned and promoted their hometown Twin Cities Speedway starting in 1981. The track was just a few miles from their Vernon home. They were at Twin Cities until 1989.

After Ted Collins passed away in 1995 Sue and her sons then promoted Twin Cities from 2004 until 2006. Sue also promoted Lawrenceburg Speedway.

Sue was inducted into the Brownstown Speedway Hall-of-Fame in 2010. Her son Tory and grandson Tyler race late model dirtcars.

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