Saturday May 25th, 2024 4:29AM

Bayston unstoppable for Chili Bowl Thursday victory

By Bryan Hulbert

TULSA, Okla. - Spencer Bayton’s Chili Bowl Nationals race week started with a flip in practice on Sunday. On Thursday, he landed in victory lane on Victory Fuel Qualifying Night at Oklahoma’s Tulsa Expo Raceway.

The win locks Bayston into Saturday night’s A-Feature race.

“It feels really, really good,” said Bayston. “The Race of Champions win last year was special, but it’s not a prelim night. A prelim night, like I said there’s three steps to the process, sometimes more, and to be able to string together three good performances with the good Sage Fruit race car is not easy to do and we were able to do that tonight. It’s a lot of weight off our shoulders, so we’ll kick back and relax tomorrow and be ready for Saturday.”

Thursday night’s feature went green with Bayston taking off from the pole. Bayston quickly moved away, with Ricky Thornton, Jr. holding down second place. Fending off a challenge by Tanner Thorson on the fifth lap, Thornton held the spot until lap 17, as the leaders began moving through traffic.

Thorson moved to second on lap 18, and was closing on the leader when a flip by NASCAR Cup Series regular and former Chili Bowl winner Kyle Larson on the frontstretch slowed the action on lap 24.

That set up a seven lap dash that saw Bayton gap the field by 1.149-seconds to score the win. Thorson finished in second, locking himself into Saturday night’s main event.

Chase Johnson crossed the line in third, with C.J. Leary in fourth, and Brady Bacon in fifth.

Tim Buckwalter, Thornton, Jr., Karter Sarff, Ryan Bernal ninth, and Parker Jones completed the top ten.

Action in the 38th annual Chili Bowl Nationals resumes on Friday with Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Qualifying Night. For more information, visit

Chili Bowl Nationals
Tulsa Expo Raceway – Tulsa, OK
Victory Fuel Qualifying Night – January 11, 2024

1. 1S-Spencer Bayston*
2. 88-Tanner Thorson*
3. 31B-Chase Johnson
4. 55V-C.J. Leary
5. 21H-Brady Bacon
6. 29-Tim Buckwalter
7. 19R-Ricky Thornton, Jr.
8. 5CB-Karter Sarff
9. 87W-Ryan Bernal
10. 3J-Parker Jones
11. 02-Ashton Torgerson
12. 54-Matt Westfall
13. 2D-Matt Sherrell
14. 9U-Kyle Spence
15. 5G-Gavan Boschele
16. 14T-Caden Sarale
17. 14F-Jeffrey Newell
18. 10J-Lane Goodman
19. 19M-Ethan Mitchell
20. 7C-Landon Crawley
21. 15D-Andrew Deal
22. 73C-Eddie Tafoya, Jr.
23. 46-Kenney Johnson
24. 98K-Kyle Larson-DNF

*Top 2 advance to Saturday’s A-Feature

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