Wednesday March 29th, 2023 3:07PM

Davis pulls off upset win in Chili Bowl Tuesday qualifier

By Bryan Hulbert
  Contact Editor

TULSA, Okla. - In a race of ups and down, Hank Davis proved the underdog still has a chance at the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals on Tuesday night.

Davis fended off Spencer Bayston for his first career preliminary victory on Warren CAT Qualifying night at Oklahoma’s Tulsa Expo Raceway.

“I couldn’t have even dreamed of this day,” said Davis. “I’m here, and I still can’t believe it, but Matt Seymour gave me an awesome racecar. I just can’t thank him and this team enough. I live 20 minutes from here, so my bed is not very far away, so I’m going to go home and cherish this for a long time.”

Taking his first green in a Chili Bowl preliminary A-Feature from the third starting spot, Davis and Michael Pickens began battling with Kameron Key in the mix early. Contact through a close slide job from Pickens, Davis hit the brakes to let Pickens go. Trying to keep Pickens from being able to turn under him, the pair made contact again in the fourth turn, with Pickens, unfortunately, going over.

“I feel really bad for getting into Pickens there,” Davis said. “I checked up earlier for him in the race, but I still want to apologize to him, Dave Mac, and all their guys. I’m not here to destroy racecars, and that was never my intention.”

Buddy Kofoid held the lead on the restart, and was well in command until disaster struck on lap 7. Not able to slow fast enough for a crash in the first turn, Kofoid shot a narrow gap between the car and the wall. Putting the right-side tires up the wall and rolling away, the gap was not enough to avoid a damaged front end.

That moved Davis to the lead, with Bayston in pursuit. Back to speed after a caution for Jake Bubak, Bayston slid to the lead off the second turn but could not fend off the slide at the opposite end of the track. Repeating the sequence through the next two laps, the battle brought Kyle Jones and Jade Avedisian into the mix. While Davis held the point, Bayston would fall to second on lap 20.

Finally getting the position back with six laps to go, Bayston found himself trailing Davis by a straightaway. Using small mistakes on the part of Davis to his advantage, Bayston closed on the leader as the white flag flew. Turning low into the final two turns, the momentum wasn’t there to complete the slide, with Davis getting the upset win by 0.290-seconds.

With the runner-up finish, Bayston joined Davis in being locked into Saturday night’s A-Main.

Avedisian finished in third, becoming the highest-finishing woman in preliminary night competition. Kyle Jones ended up in fourth, with Jonathan Beason in fifth.

Kaylee Bryson, Chance Crum, Tim McCreadie, Zach Daum, and Kameron Key rounded out the top 10.

Action continues in the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals on Wednesday with Smiley’s Racing Products Qualifying Night. For more information, visit

Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals
Tulsa Expo Raceway – Tulsa, OK
Warren CAT Qualifying Night – January 10, 2023

1. 29S-Hank Davis
2. 1S-Spencer Bayston
3. 84-Jade Avedisian
4. 7U-Kyle Jones
5. 88J-Jonathan Beason
6. 71-Kaylee Bryson
7. 26-Chance Crum
8. 39T-Tim McCreadie
9. 47-Zach Daum
10. 21J-Kameron Key
11. 5LK-Jordan Kinser
12. 19A-Daison Pursley
13. 27B-Jake Bubak
14. 1Z-Justin Zimmerman
15. 71E-Mariah Ede
16. 23P-Preston Lattomus
17. 5V-A.J. Bender
18. 7W-Brendon Wiseley-DNF
19. 71G-Damion Gardner-DNF
20. 71W-Michael Kofoid-DNF
21. 4X-Michael Pickens-DNF
22. 57W-Devon Borden-DNF
23. 55X-Alex Bowman-DNF
24. 3P-Darin Naida-DNF

  • Associated Categories: NASCAR News, Other Motorsports
  • Associated Tags: motorsports, Open Wheel, Auto Racing, Dirt Track, Midgets, Chili Bowl
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