TULSA, Okla. – Friday night’s Vacuworx Night program at the 31st annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals was memorable for a lot of reasons, but one off-track celebration topped them all.
Following the conclusion of the regular racing program, a special presentation was held on the frontstretch stage, honoring the life and legacy of the late Bryan Clauson as his father Tim, fiancé Lauren Stewart, family and crew members from the Clauson-Marshall Racing team gathered in honor of the 2014 Chili Bowl champion.
Tim Clauson took to the microphone to thank all of the fans in attendance and the racing family for the support shown since Bryan’s tragic passing last August at the Belleville Midget Nationals in Kansas.
“When we left (the Expo Center) last year, Bryan looked at me and said, ‘We need to come back here with a group of bad-ass race car drivers,’ and that’s what we’ve done. For Tyler and Justin … two kids that have worked so hard for opportunities … to be able to do with them, it’s just been a great week and an absolutely fabulous night tonight.”
“Thank you … to all the fans and people that have supported us over the fall and winter. Racing is a family and all of you have come together as a community … it truly means so much.”
The Clauson family was then presented with the micro sprint that Bryan drove to the Outlaw feature victory in the 2003 Tulsa Shootout, courtesy of the car’s new owner and driver, Scott and Noah Key.
“I don’t even know where to start,” Key wrote on social media early Saturday morning. “We’ve donated the (No.) 7BC Outlaw car to the Clauson family. I have never been more proud of Noah. I am at a loss for words from all this, and any of you that know me … well, that is rare.”
Key drove Clauson’s winged outlaw entry to an eighth-place finish in B-Feature 8 at the Tulsa Shootout two weeks ago.
Adding to the emotion of the night, CMR driver Justin Grant swept both the preliminary A-Feature and the #BCForever Pole Shuffle powered by Pizza Express, earning the pole starting position for the 55-lap championship A-Feature (8:30 p.m. ET, MAVTV).
Tyler Courtney kicked off the week as a winner for CMR, taking the No. 7BC entry to victory lane in Tuesday night’s preliminary feature.
— Payton Williams was released from a local hospital late Friday night after going for a nasty flip in the night’s third heat race.
The flip began after Williams and Chad Boat made contact entering turn three, with Williams pirouetting through the air and the left rear tire ripping free from the suspension of the car before the No. 22X came to rest.
Williams posted on his official Facebook page on Saturday to update his fans on his condition.
“I’m going to be alright,” he wrote. “Just a mild concussion, a broken nose and a few cuts. The car is destroyed but I’ll be okay here in a few days. Thanks so much to everyone for the thoughts and prayers.”
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