TULSA, Okla. (Jan. 18, 2016) – The 30th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals Presented by General Tire was bittersweet for Harli White.
While she had a career-best result during the marquee midget event last weekend at Tulsa Expo Raceway, where a record 336 drivers competed, the way it ended left a sour taste in her mouth.
“It’s the best finish I’ve had, but it’s disappointing to end like that after you’ve waited all day to race,” she said.
White was involved in an opening lap incident during a B Main on Saturday. Several drivers checked up in front of White, who had started 13th in a race that transferred the top six to the main event, going into turn one. While White avoided contact with the cars in front of her, another driver ran into her from behind.
“Someone ran up behind me and ran over my right side,” she said. “It flattened the right rear tire. We went to the work area and we got it changed, but officials turned the lights out and wouldn’t let us go back out.”
White ended the event with a DNF.
It was an unfortunate end to a promising weekend, which also began on a sour note last Thursday during preliminary action.
“In my heat race it took me a couple of laps to get around the leader,” she said. “I finally got around him, but we had the car out of whack. We didn’t have it set up quite right. As soon as I passed him I drove it into the corner harder than normal. Whenever I did that the car just snapped loose and spun out. I went to the back and had to work my way back up to third.”
White rebounded from the rear of the field to post a third-place finish. She then rallied from last – 10th – to fourth in a qualifier, which earned her enough points to start the 25-lap main event on the inside of the sixth row.
“I ran it up to seventh or so, but on the first lap we all got tangled and I bent a right front shock,” she said. “I got out in the open, but as the race went on everyone got faster and my right front shock wasn’t allowing my car to get on the rear tire and have forward bite. I was a lot looser and wasn’t coming off the corner like I should. I was hanging on to salvage the best finish I could.”
White recorded a 10th-place result, which was her best career preliminary finish.
“We have a lot to be proud of and to build on,” she said. “Hopefully next year luck will fall on our side at the Chili Bowl.”
QUICK RESULTS –
Jan. 14 – Tulsa Expo Raceway in Tulsa, Okla. – Heat race: 3 (2); Qualifier: 4 (10); Feature: 10 (11).
Jan. 16 – Tulsa Expo Raceway in Tulsa, Okla. – B Main: DNF (13).
SEASON STATS –
2 races, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 1 top 10, 1 top 15, 1 top 20
UP NEXT –
MEDIA LINKS –
White will have new Chili Bowl t-shirts for sale in adult small to 3XL as well as Flexfit hats at her trailer throughout this week.
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – The Mower Shop
The Mower Shop, which was established in 1986 in Fort Smith, Ark., is a Grasshopper specialist and a leading supplier of lawnmower parts. For more information, visit http://www.The-Mower-Shop-Inc.com.
“The Olson’s are super nice people,” White said. “They have a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation each year and raise a lot of money for a great cause, including more than $120,000 in 2015. They are a perfect fit for Harli White Racing and we’re so happy to have them as part of the team.”
White would also like to thank Charlie’s Trucking and Forklift, Inc., C.R.A.S.H. Enterprises, Jerry Tucker Rhoustabout, LLC, The Body Works, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Lucas Oil Products, Inc., PXP Racewear, RaceChic, Shiners Hospitals for Children, RibCrib BBQ & Grill and Gale Reed for their continued support