22 SLM Drivers Guarantee Their Spot In Tucson
TUCSON, Arizona — After a long afternoon and evening of practices, qualifying, twin races and cautions, 22 drivers left Tucson Speedway Friday night knowing they’ll get the chance to become Chilly Willy 150 winners on Saturday.
Preston Peltier won the pole for the event slated for Saturday evening with a blazing fast time of 15.543 seconds around the Arizona short-track. After winning a preliminary race on Thursday evening, the Brighton, Colorado native’s confidence isn’t lacking.
“It’s pretty high,” Peltier said of his mindset after the pole-winning run. “We’ve got a good piece and we work really hard on these things, all the time.”
Newly-named part-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver and former NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion Chris Eggleston will start on the front row alongside Peltier after he wheeled his machine around Tucson Speedway in 15.645 seconds.
“This place is one of my favorite places to come to and race,” the Erie, Colorado native said. “We’re on a new tire here this weekend, which is throwing everybody a curveball. But I feel like we’ve got a pretty good handle on this thing. We can’t hold our heads too low. I know this thing will race really, really good. 150 laps tomorrow night and we’ll see what we can do.”
Christian McGhee was victorious in the first 50-lap qualifying main. The Ontario, California native led the majority of the event and was able tohold off hometown favorite Matt Levin for the win.
“It’s good to have a good tune up tonight,” he said on the frontstretch after the win. “I got this call about two weeks before. I was supposed to be done racing, because I had a back injury and money wasn’t there. So it’s just cool to be out here and I hope to put on a show tomorrow.”
Levin, Bryce Yackey, defending Chilly Willy champion Owen Riddle, Brett Yackey, Tayler Riddle, Rudy Vanderwal, Tom Berrow, Brandon Carlson and Paul Banghart finished inside the top 10 in the first qualifying main, guaranteeing them a spot in Saturday night’s event.
Jace Hansen held off a hard charge from Chris Atkinson in the late stages to win the second 50-lap qualifying event. The Denver, Colorado native
“We got a little work to do for the long run, but this thing is pretty good on the short run,” Hansen said after climbing out of his car. “The late cautions kind of helped us out. We just got this deal together about a week ago, too. We got a little work to do for the long run but well see what happens.”
Atkinson, Brandon Schilling, Noah Gragson, Ron Norman, John Newhouse, Curtis Lansing, Chuck Wares, Sean Bray and Steve Blankenship also notched top 10 finishes in the second qualifying main, earning them a spot in the Saturday evening showdown.
The Super Late Models will have a practice session Saturday morning beginning at 10:30 a.m. MT before the last chance race at 3 p.m. MT. That will consist of 50 laps with the top six finishers advancing to the main event.
The Chilly Willy 150 is scheduled to take place after the modified main event. The race will be 150 laps and be broadcasted on FansChoice.TV.