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Bayston Earns Second in Friday’s Chili Bowl Qualifying; Directly Into Saturday’s Main


Toyota Racing Chili bowlTULSA, Okla. (Jan. 12, 2017) – Spencer Bayston charged from sixth to second in Friday’s Vacuworx Global A Main to transfer directly to Saturday’s A Main feature in the 32nd annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals at the Tulsa Expo Raceway. With the second-place finish, Bayston becomes the fourth Toyota-powered car to advance to the main event feature.

It was a remarkable comeback for Bayston, who had to come from behind in his heat race. After starting from the pole, early contact dropped him to the back of the field before he recovered to place second. The finish narrowly placed him in the qualifiers where he turned in one of the most impressive runs of the night, going from eighth to second in just 10 laps and securing the sixth starting position in the A Main.

Early on, it looked like Chad Boat would finish as the top Toyota on the night. Starting from the pole, Boat took the early lead and held the point position for the first three laps before being passed by Damian Gardner. He remained in the second position until the midway point of the race when he fell back in the field on a lap 14 restart.

While Boat was falling back, Bayston used the restart to move up to fourth and then eventually moved up to third by passing Kasey Kahne on lap 17. The Lebanon, Indiana native used the high side of the race track to close in on second-place Damian Gardner on lap 20 and one lap later would move past to take the position. That’s where he would finish, locking in his spot in Saturday’s feature.

“We’re in the show, but I left a lot on the table in those last five laps,” said Bayston, the 2017 USAC National Midget champion. “I can’t say enough about everybody with Keith Kunz Motorsports. This Toyota Racing IWK 97 really came on in the last half of the race. It just took me a little too long to realize what my car was capable of, but I think we have a car capable of winning tomorrow.”

Boat, who won Tuesday’s Race of Champions, would eventually recover to place sixth. Dave Darland placed tenth and Tucker Klaasmeyer placed 21st after getting caught up in a mid-race incident.

Blake Hahn reached Friday’s B Main, while Jack Hawley was eliminated in the C Main.

Friday night’s feature wraps up four nights of qualifying with Christopher Bell, Rico Abreu and Kyle Larson joining Bayston in transfering directly into Saturday night’s A Main feature race, with six more beginning Saturday in the B.

Overall, 18 of the 28 drivers using Toyota power advanced to the A Main on their qualifying night.

Saturday night’s Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals will be televised live on MAVTV beginning at 8:30 p.m. (ET) with the C Mains and continuing through the A Main.

#97K Spencer Bayston
A Main – 2nd
#84X Chad Boat
A Main – 6th
#71K Tucker Klaasmeyer
A Main – 21st
#25 Dave Darland
A Main –  10th
#52 Blake Hahn
B Main – 5th
#5H Jack Hawley
C Main – 10th
Toyota Powered Drivers Saturday Starting Positions 
Car #
Christopher Bell
Norman, OK
A Main
Rico Abreu
Rutherford, CA
A Main
Kyle Larson
Elk Grove, CA
A Main
Spencer Bayston
Lebanon, IN
A Main
Tracy Hines
Wilkinson, IN
B Main
Logan Seavey
Sutter, CA
B Main
Ryan Robinson
Foresthill, CA
B Main
Chad Boat
Phoenix, AZ
B Main
J.J. Yeley
Charlotte, NC
B Main
Dave Darland
Lincoln, IN
B Main
Zach Daum
Pocahontas, IL
C Main
David Gravel
Watertown, CT
C Main
Justin Allgaier
Riverton, IL
C Main
Kyle Jones
Kennedale, TX
C Main
Brady Bacon
Broken Arrow, OK
C Main
Holly Shelton
Gold River, CA
C Main
Chase Stockton
Fort Branch, IN
C Main
Tucker Klaasmeyer
Paola, KS
D Main
Michael Faccinto
Hanford, CA
E Main
Blake Hahn
Sapulpa, OK
E Main
Paul McMahon
Nashville, TN
F Main
Landon Simon
Brownsburg, IN
G Main
Dylan Westbrook
Scotland, Ont., Canada
H Main
Presley Truedson
Kennedy, MN
I Main
Frankie Guerini
San Rafael, CA
I Main
Jack Hawley
Menifee, CA
J Main
Mark Chisholm
Cheyenne, WY
K Main
Tanner Berryhill
Bixby, OK