Tanner Carrick Opens 2022 With Victory at Chili Bowl Midget Nationals
PETERSEN MEDIA: With the 2022 Chili Bowl Midget Nationals officially a thing of the past, Lincoln, CA’s Tanner Carrick can look back and smile on his most impressive Chili Bowl to date. After his first season essentially away from Midgets in 2021, Carrick was able to compete USAC’s West Coast swing and used that to propel himself to a win during Monday night’s Chili Bowl opener, and a fifth place finish in the Championship feature.
“What a Chili Bowl that was,” Tanner Carrick said. “It (Chili Bowl) has always been an event that has had my number despite how good I have felt. In 2021 I made a terrible mistake during my prelim and hit the cone on a restart while battling for a lock in spot and that cost my team dearly, so to come back and grab a win at such a storied event is really special. I have to thank Keith Kunz and his entire team for bringing a fleet of strong cars to Tulsa, OK, that was really special to be a part of.”
Kicking off what turned out to be a very strong week for the stored Keith Kunz Motorsports team on Monday night, Carrick would flex his muscles from the first time he hit the track for hot laps.
Moving into heat race competition, Carrick would put the CVC/K1 backed No. 98 machine up in the third row, needing to pick up passing points to set up the rest of his night.
On the tight confines of the Tulsa Expo Raceway, Carrick would carve his way through the field as he earned a very impressive second place finish at found himself near the top of the point standings as he moved into a qualifier.
Gridding the field from the fifth starting position in his qualifier, Carrick would again move forward just as he did in his heat race. Working his way forward, Carrick would continue to add to his point total as he would garner another second-place finish and find himself third in nightly points heading into the feature event.
Taking the green flag from the third position, Carrick would settle into third as he went to work on the ultra-slick racing surface as he kept pace with the lead duo of Mitchel Moles and Jerry Coons, Jr who raced hard in front of him.
As the track began to take a little rubber around the bottom of the speedway, Carrick would quickly find it as he worked into the second position and began to reel in Moles who had opened up his advantage.
Chasing after Moles, Carrick would capitalize on his miscue and take the race lead on the 21st lap.
Out in front, Carrick would not be denied despite Chili Bowl ace, Tyler Courtney pressuring for the top spot. In the end, Carrick was able to race his way to victory before a post-race incident saw him endure a break issue resulting in him getting on his side in the first set of turns.
No worse for wear, Carrick was quick to pop out of his KKM mount and celebrate with his family and team.
Playing spectator the rest of the week, Carrick would witness his KKM team winning the next three nights as he watched the way the track changed in preparations for Saturday night’s feature event.
Returning to racing action on Saturday for the shuffle to determine his feature event starting position, Carrick would end up finishing sixth.
Lining up in the third row for the 55-lap Chili Bowl feature event, Carrick would slip back to seventh initially as the field worked in a very fast and freshly groomed surface.
Finding himself in a quite a battle with Kyle Larson and KKM teammate, Michael Kofoid, Carrick would slowly work his way back forward as the racing groove widened out.
Amidst of a couple of long green flag runs, Carrick would work his way up to fifth in the race’s closing laps as he capped his Chili Bowl off with a fifth place finish.
“To run fifth out of 380 cars is pretty cool,” Tanner Carrick said. “I have always had fun racing with the Keith Kunz Motorsports team and this past week was another great time. I am thankful to my family and supporters for all the kind words I received all week long, as well as to this team for working so hard for six days.”
Tanner Carrick would like to thank CVC, Cemex, Interstate Oil, Conti, Harris and Sloan, Emerald, Timberworks Construction, Kaeding Performance, and Arai for their continued support.
BY THE NUMBERS: Starts: 2, Wins: 1, Top 5’s: 2, Top 10’s: 2
ON TAP: Tanner Carrick’s next event is TBD at this time.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay up to speed with Tanner Carrick by following him on Twitter @Carrick_Tanner or @CarrickMotorsp1, and by clicking over to www.tannercarrick.com.