Chad Boat Shows Winning Pace
TULSA, Okla. — Pacing the full 25 laps of Friday’s U.S Fleet Tracking A-Feature, Chad Boat captured his first Chili Bowl prelim victory, setting himself up to repeat the success of his father Billy Boat, who earned the coveted Golden Driller in 1997.
“It’s really special,” said Boat of his win. “I’ve been coming here for seven years and only made the A once, so every other year has been a disappointment for sure.”
Slowing early for the spun No. 35d of Brett Felkins, the majority of the field made use of the hub with the caution displayed again on lap three for the No. 29 of Brandon Hahn.
At speed with 22 laps remaining, Boat began moving John Lawson’s mount up the track as the cushion began working in. Finding the high line first, the No. 3dd of Dave Darland began his run, taking third on lap nine and second on lap 10.
Unable to run down Boat as both drivers ran hard on the highline, the Phoenix driver advanced to an early 2.5-second advantage prior to a lap 15 caution involving Jon Stanbrough who slowed to a stop after slapping the wall entering turn one.
Going green briefly on the next restart, Brandon Hahn’s No. 29 ended up on its side; collecting third-place Levi Jones and nearly collecting second-place Dave Darland in the process.
Underway with 10 laps to complete, Boat and Darland worked the cushion, opening a sizable advantage as the mix for third saw Cory Kruseman move into the picture with a pass on Billy Wease who continued to challenge on the inside for third.
Coming to the white flag, Kruseman, who started eighth, drove the Lucas Oil No. 21k to the bottom, pinning Wease to the bottom groove in order to take the runner-up spot from Darland, who held off Wease to finish third.
Wease was fourth with Trevor Kobylarz taking fifth.
Jokingly, Darland commented on the last lap pass by saying, “It got be a good question there in the last lap whether I was even going to finish in the top three. Somebody was under me there for the third spot after Cory gave me that dirty slide job to get me into turn one. He might have learned that off of me.”
Asked if he was pleased with the night’s results, Kruseman’s reply was one of satisfaction, “I turned it over and ripped the battery out of it and we had every break we could possibly get. I got to pull in twice and work on it and go back out and still ran second.”