Logan Seavey wins wire-to-wire in Friday Chili Bowl preliminary

Logan Seavey wins wire-to-wire in Friday Chili Bowl preliminary
(From left) Chase McDermand, Logan Seavey, Justin Grant

TULSA, Okla. – Friday night proved the charm for Logano Seavey, who started from the pole and won the final of five Chili Bowl Nationals preliminary races wire-to-wire.

No other driver had anything for Seavey, not even runner-up Justin Grant, who had won five of the last six Friday prelims.
Both Seavey and Grant Locked into Saturday night’s A Feature at Tulsa Expo Raceway with their 1-2 finish on Hard Rock Casino Qualifying Night.

Chase McDermand charged from the 15th starting position to finish third, followed by Zeb Wise and Jason McDougal.
Grant survived an early scare. He was running third behind Seavey and Ace McCarthy when he collided with Ethan Mitchell, who was challenging Grant from fourth.

Mitchell’s car flipped end-over-end and lodged against the catch fence. After repairs to the fence, a shock change on Grant’s car during the open red and a restart with 22 laps left, Grant overtook McCarthy but couldn’t catch Seavey—even with three more opportunities at restarts after late cautions.

“Under that open red, my crew chief from the Silver Crown side told me to watch for the rubber,” said Seavey, who is driving for four-time Chili Bowl winner Kevin Swindell. “As soon as they got to the lappers, Ethan Mitchell moved down and I could see his car kind of grip up, and I knew and within a few laps I'd have to get down.

“I could still make a lot of speed on the top, so I could get around a few guys and then get back down and kind of get back up and get one more and then get back to the rubber. I was just trying to put as many cars as I could in between me and Justin there, and man, this thing was just so good on the top. Even in the rubber it could turn really good, and I was kind of just cruising after that.”

Seavey credited Swindell, who claimed the Golden Driller trophy a record four straight times, with fielding the winning car.
“There's no one else I'd rather be racing with in this building than with Kevin,” Seavey said. “I just believe in him, and we just mesh really well. I hadn't won a midget race in over a year. I texted him back halfway in the year, thinking maybe he found somebody else and I wasn't looking too good.

“But he stuck with me, and I stuck with him. He built a brand new car. To come out here and win on night one, it's unbelievable. It's like I said, just so thankful for these guys that put this car under me. I feel like this is one of the best cars I've ever had to win it.”

Seavey and Grant are among 10 drivers who will participate in Saturday’s pole shuffle, scheduled for 6 p.m. before the running of the C-Mains. The pole shuffle determines the starting position of the top 10 drivers in Saturday’s title race.
The other 14 positions in the A Feature will be filled from the two B-Mains, with seven drivers advancing from each race.
Seavey’s only other preliminary night victory came on Monday in 2019. He was fifth on Tuesday in 2015 and fourth and sixth on Thursdays in 2020 and 2021.

If Seavey was out front for the duration, McDermand clearly was the foremost hard charger of the evening. As the bottom of the track began to retain significant rubber, McDermand took advantage.

“I think I was the first one to find the rubber, which really made me nervous for the end of the feature,” said McDermand, who drives for Mounce-Stout Motorsports. “I was the only one running down there, using up my tires.

“They told me under the open red (for the fence repair), ‘Tire management,’ and I was trying my best, but I didn’t want to see any cautions early to let the crews tell people to go down there. 

“I didn't know really where I was when that first yellow came out, but I knew I was getting close to Grant, so I figured I had to be pretty close to the front...Those last few cautions were pretty nerve-wracking. 

“Just really proud of our entire Mounce-Stout crew. There's a lot of people that are back there working for this small team, and it feels really, really good to put it on the podium.”

After the final restart with four laps left, Grant followed Seavey on the bottom.

“It was pretty much a pavement race at the end (with the track conditions),” Grant said. “It just happens now and then. Nothing to be mad about. We’re locked into the Chili Bowl.

“We’ve got a really good race car and we’re hoping to win on Saturday night. We had a good car in the heat race and then a really good car in the qualifier, but we might have tweaked it a little too much for the final.”  

McCarthy, Jace Park, Brian Carber, Clinton Boyles and Bryant Wiedeman finished sixth through 10th, respectively, on Friday night.

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