Logan Seavey doubled up on drillers Saturday (Jan. 13) night at the Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Okla.
The victory capped a near-perfect week for Seavey, who started out Monday night winning the O’Reilly Auto Parts Invitational Race of Champions.
Seavey bookended the work week with another victory, this time winning Friday’s preliminary. Seavey had to work to win this one, as he faced a fierce battle with Ryan Timms to secure the victory.
Saturday’s alphabet soup started with two O-mains, working all the way up to the A-Main. As the day went on, the story turned from what drivers had sustained soup runs, to the pace of which the day was unfolding. The Chili Bowl schedule looked well ahead of its planned itinerary.
In the late afternoon, another new item came up on the schedule. This year’s qualifying pole shuffle took on a new format, throwing a well-received curveball for drivers and fans.
In past years, the top 10 qualifiers took turns racing one another head-to-head in groups of four. This year, only two drivers turned laps on track at the same time.
Whoever had the best lap time of the two would move on to face the driver next up in the running order. This survive-and-advance model would set the lineup.
Hank Davis electrified the crowd during his run. After drawing 10th of the 10 drivers, Davis unseated the next five drivers until Kofoid bested him at fifth. Kofoid then improved his starting position all the way to the pole, pushing past Seavey for the only thing the No. 39 did not win this week.
Opening ceremonies commenced, followed by the C-main. The most dramatic moment of the day occurred at the end of the first B-main race.
With laps winding down, Thomas Meseraull found himself in sixth, just ahead of the last transfer position to make it into the A-main. On the final corner of the final lap, Cannon McIntosh pulled an impossible slide job, moving Meseraull out of the way and flipping over into the cushion.
An understandably angry Meseraull then had accusations of using physical force against an official. Crowds gathered in the garage between the pits for Meseraull and McIntosh, who stationed right across from one another, of course.
Meseraull rode atop his damaged car like a king in a chariot before officials led him out of the gates.
After cooling down and explaining himself, officials reversed their ruling and allowed Meseraull to reenter the building.
“I got cannonball’d by Cannon McIntosh on the last lap,” Meseraull said. “He’d rather crash into you than race you clean, but that’s OK. We all have our methods.”
With everything calming and anticipation building, every eye turned to the main event.
Though Kofoid got away at the initial start, a flip further back by Michael Pickens reset the starting grid.
Seavey bested Kofoid on the second attempt, but Kofoid kept pace and repassed Seavey just a few laps later, right before a caution flew. The Kofoid car had an issue with the transponder, and race control placed Seavey back into the lead with Kofoid in second.
On the next restart, Seavey and Kofoid stayed close in the picture while drivers ran around the top of the track. Once the bottom lane rubbered in, though, Seavey took off.
A pair of late cautions bunched the field once more, but Seavey held serve in the lead, doing just enough to keep Kofoid at bay.
“Sucks to rubber that early,” Seavey said. “We all have to put ourselves in positions to be up front if that were to come.
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