TULSA, Okla. – The No. 1 pill drawn by Logan Seavey ahead of Saturday evening’s Pizza Express Pole Shuffle ultimately led him to secure the pole position for the 33rd annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.
Only having to compete in the final round of the 10-driver, nine-round sequence of two-lap shootouts, Seavey defeated No. 2 seed and fellow Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports teammate Christopher Bell to garner the top starting spot for Saturday night’s 55-lap finale.
Seavey will seek his first Chili Bowl victory later tonight and was enthusiastic after climbing from his No. 67 Mobil 1 Bullet/Toyota.
“This is a great confidence booster, to go out and beat him (Bell) head to head,” said Seavey. “This isn’t the race, though, and I know he’ll be running harder than that when it comes time to get down to business here in a little while. It’s going to be tough to beat him and Kyle (Larson); I still think they’re the ones to beat for the 55 laps. They’ll be pushing hard and I know they both want to win this race as much as I do.
“I’m excited and I feel like we definitely have a shot that’s just as good as anyone, if not better.”
Bell will join Seavey on the front row, defeating Larson in the semifinal round before losing to Seavey in the final. Larson completed a triumvirate of KKM entries by locking down the third spot on the grid.
Tanner Thorson advanced the furthest of anyone during the pole shuffle, going from the seventh seed to fourth starting spot, with Justin Grant completing the top five.
Fifth-seeded Rico Abreu clipped the berm entering turn one against Thorson on his first lap at speed, shooting up the track and tipping onto his side. Abreu was OK and his car suffered only minor damage.
Abreu will start sixth as a result, ahead of Brady Bacon, Zach Daum, Shane Golobic and David Gravel.