Story By: DAN KAPUSCINSKI / JASON SIMMONS RACING – TULSA, OK – Fulton (NY) race driver Tyler Thompson, Oswego Speedway’s International Classic Supermodified champion at just 18-years old, is on a roll.
On Tuesday evening, Thompson took on the prestigious Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, OK for the first time, driving a Seymour Racing prepared Midget, and promptly won his qualifying heat race on his way to qualifying for the evening’s A-Main.
A total of 77 entries were on hand in Tulsa on Tuesday, looking for a qualifying spot in this Saturday’s 55-lap Chili Bowl Championship.
Thompson started sixth and won his heat race with a thrilling last lap pass, before starting sixth and finishing sixth in the evening’s A-Qualifier. Those passes and positions were enough to lock Thompson into the 12th starting position for the 30-lap A-Main on Tuesday.
Only two drivers would advance from the 24 car A-Main to Saturday’s Chili Bowl Championship with NASCAR superstar Kyle Larson earning the win over Chili Bowl veteran, Jonathan Beason.
Starting from the sixth row, a broken throttle cable unfortunately knocked Thompson out of the A-Main with a 22nd place finish.
Thompson will now compete in one of two E-main qualifiers on Saturday afternoon, with five drivers advancing from that race to the D-Main. The goal for all Chili Bowl drivers is to climb the ladder, to the night’s A-Main.
Thompson’s E-Main positioning for Saturday ranks him roughly 110th overall of the near record 355 entries on hand for the entire week of racing in Tulsa, a fantastic feat for a driver that has never driven a Midget until Monday morning.
“I again can’t thank Seymour Racing, Indy Performance Composites and our partners enough for this incredible opportunity,” said Thompson, who was recently awarded the John Blewett III Young Guns Award at the annual EMPA Convention. “Our goal was to come out here, be competitive, and have some fun. To grab a checkered flag and qualify for the night’s A-Main, with this competition, is more than we could have imagined. We will come back on Saturday and do our best in the E-Main and hopefully advance to the D-Main. This has just been an incredible experience.”
In a matter of months, the versatile Thompson has won Oswego Speedway’s International Classic and Lucas Oil Raceway Park’s Fall Brawl in a pavement Supermodified, qualified for the lucrative Outlaw 200 and World Finals in a DIRTcar Big Block Modified, battled for wins in an Indoor Auto Racing Championship TQ Midget and now, qualified for an A-Main at the Chili Bowl Nationals in a dirt Midget.
“We just enjoy racing,” said Thompson. “We have a fantastic crew and group of supporters that are able to help make this happen. The more experience you get in different types of cars, the better.”