By Lucas Halbert
Photo: Brendon Bauman
Tulsa, Oklahoma (01/12/2021) – The bottom was the place to be on Tuesday night in the Tulsa Expo Center. The high side hung around for a little bit but decided to slip out fairly quickly. As soon as the top left, it was one groove all the way around.
Kyle Larson was the man in the lead when the bottom became the best line, and it stayed like that the rest of the feature as Larson fended off Thomas Meseraull to capture his 7th Prelim night win. The win ties Larson with Cory Kruesman for all-time preliminary night wins.
Before Larson took the checkered flag, it would be Thomas Meseraull leading the field to green. T-Mez went to the berm early on before facing pressure from Larson. With Larson closing in, Meseraull joined “Yung Money” on the high side.
The two traded sliders before the first caution came out for Jonathan Beason. Third-place running Tanner Carrick hit the orange cone on the restart bringing out the caution and sending him to the rear.
Racing resumed and the battle was on, this time with Shane Golobic in the mix. Larson and T-Mez traded sliders while Golobic stayed on the curb and was side by side with Larson at the line when a caution came out with 9 laps down.
After a trio of cautions, the field had a chance to spread itself out for the first time. With nine laps to go, it seemed that lap traffic would decide the race, just as Larson reached Aiden Purdue at the tail end of the field, he was bailed out by a caution for Shane Cottle and Mitchell Davis.
By now, the bottom groove was the fastest way around and where everyone was. Two laps to go, and the top three had reached the end of the field again. Entering turn one of the final lap, the slower car of Tanner Carrick went down and hit Shane Golobic in second, ending his chances of locking into the A-Main on Saturday night.
One more caution would come out, but it didn’t matter. Kyle Larson would go onto win his 7th Chili Bowl Prelim A-Main. Larson and Meseraull both lock into the A-Main on Saturday night.
The Hard Charger of the race was Chili Bowl rookie, Daison Pursley who gained 13 spots. Three other drivers who gained more than ten spots during the feature on Tuesday night, Chase Johnson and Nick Drake both gained 12, while micro sprint ace Frank Flud picked off 11 drivers to capture at top 10.
Feature Results (30 Laps):
- (01) Kyle Larson , 2. (7X) Thomas Meseraull , 3. (5D) Zach Daum , 4. (39B) Cole Bodine , 5. (68W) Danny Stratton , 6. (9JR) Derek Hagar , 7. (72) Chase Johnson , 8. (14E) Hank Davis , 9. (9P) Daison Pursley , 10. (19) Frank Flud , 11. (7U) Kyle Jones , 12. (55D) Nick Drake , 13. (08K) Michael Faccinto , 14. (8J) Jonathan Beason , 15. (20H) Noah Harris , 16. (21F) Anton Hernandez , 17. (56D) Mitchell Davis , 18. (98K) Tanner Carrick , 19. (57D) Aiden Purdue , 20. (45H) Shane Cottle , 21. (2MD) Carson Kvapil -DNF, 22. (17W) Shane Golobic -DNF, 23. (73X) Brody Fuson -DNF, 24. (51) Curtis Jones -DNF