Column By: JOHN DOUGLAS / RPW – TULSA, OK – Billy VanInwegen’s maiden voyage at the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals started off strong on his preliminary race night Wednesday evening.
Starting sixth in his heat race, VanInwegen drove to a solid third place finish after passing two cars in the first two laps. That strong finish locked him into a front row start in his qualifier later in the evening.
In the qualifier, he and familiar face Tim McCreadie started second and third respectively. Though McCreadie stuck to the front of the field, VanInwegen’s car lacked the overall speed to maintain the leaders’ pace and he came to the finish in seventh place.
This sent VanInwegen, the Port Jervis NY, Driver to the B-main where he would have to find his way into one of the four transfer positions available to the A-main event. His sixth starting position was quickly up for grabs as the green flag flew. VanInwegen’s competition scattered around looking for ways to gain the advantage but VanInwegen held fast in the fifth position.
Unfortunately for VanInwegen, the constant battling was not to work out, as he failed to qualify for the A-main remaining in fifth place to the race’s end.
VanInwegen will have to tackle the ‘alphabet-soup’ on Saturday to have a chance to make his first Chili Bowl A-main event.