Taylor Hopeful Chili Bowl Outing Opens Doors During 2020 Season
Inside Line Promotions – TULSA, Okla. (Jan. 24, 2020) – The results for Zac Taylor during the 34th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire might not look impressive on paper, but for the young Wyoming driver the week inside the River Spirit Expo Center yielded a lot of important contacts that might shape his 2020 season.
“Our racing didn’t yield great results, but I got to make a lot of new friends and possible partnerships that could help 2020 be a great season,” he said.
With approximately 350 entries, the Chili Bowl field was split into five qualifying nights beginning on Monday, Jan. 13, before the event concluded last Saturday. Taylor’s preliminary night was Tuesday.
“The car was a rocket when it was on all four wheels,” said Taylor, who was driving for Todd Henry. “You have to have laps there to get comfortable running the bottom. I had a lot of guys who race for a living in my heat, so to finish fourth to them was nothing to hang my head over.”
The Chili Bowl format awards points for where a driver finishes and how many cars were passed. Taylor’s heat race performance put him in a qualifier, in which he charged from 10th to a seventh-place finish. That relegated him to the B Main, in which he raced to an 11th-place result.
“I was running second in the B Main and a guy slid me, got into me a little and I had to check up,” he said. “I thought he would stay up top and when I went into the next corner on the bottom he was there and that pretty much ended our night.”
Taylor was in an H Main on Saturday, but a mistake on the berm dropped him to a 13th-place finish.
“I just made too many mistakes on the berm,” he said. “I got greedy and it cost us. I normally run the bottom, but the berm at the Chili Bowl is nothing like we have raced on before. I needed to move up a little and not get the front wheel over the berm so I could carry speed through the corners and not have to brake so hard.”
Things are looking up for Taylor, who earned the 2019 Lucas Oil POWRi Warrior Sprint Series championship in his first year of driving a non-wing sprint car and who guided Henry’s midget to a fourth-place finish in the Lucas Oil POWRi Rocky Mountain Midget Racing Association standings.
“My dad and I were talking and I think we need to get to Indiana and race a midget more,” he said. “After talking to some people at the Chili Bowl, that opportunity may come about. We could take the sprint car along to get even more races in.”
QUICK RESULTS –
Jan. 14 – River Spirit Expo Center in Tulsa, Okla. – Heat race: 4 (2); Qualifier: 7 (10); B Main: 11 (5).
Jan. 18 – River Spirit Expo Center in Tulsa, Okla. – H Main: 13 (3).
UP NEXT –
March 26 at Creek County Speedway in Sapulpa, Okla., for the 7th annual Turnpike Challenge with the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League
Taylor Prepared and Confident Entering Chili Bowl Nationals
Inside Line Promotions – GREEN RIVER, Wyo. (Jan. 9, 2020) – Zac Taylor is heading into his fifth run at the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire held inside the River Spirit Expo Center in Tulsa, Okla., next week better prepared and more confident than ever.
Last year’s Chili Bowl outing was the first race back for Taylor following a long layoff after having fractured his collar bone during the summer months of 2018. Heading into the 2020 Chili Bowl Taylor is coming off some late 2019 testing in car owner Todd Henry’s midget.
“We ran some before Thanksgiving and a couple of weeks ago went to Vado Speedway Park (in Vado, N.M.) and did some testing,” he said. “The car handled great and the motor was hitting fantastic. I’m excited to get to the Chili Bowl. Last year we struggled and I feel that’s because I was a little rusty having not raced in a few months. In 2018, Todd and I put together my best Chili Bowl, making it into the A Main on our qualifying night and a C Main on Saturday. I think this year will be the best performance for our team yet.”
Taylor is heading to the Chili Bowl having earned the 2019 Lucas Oil POWRi Warrior Sprint Series championship in his first year of driving a non-wing sprint car. He also piloted Henry’s midget to a fourth-place finish in the Lucas Oil POWRi Rocky Mountain Midget Racing Association championship standings last year.
This year’s Chili Bowl begins on Monday with a practice session before Taylor’s preliminary night is Tuesday. The event concludes next Saturday.
“We have a team car that Buddy Tubbs drives and he is qualifying Friday and for me to go Tuesday just gives our team more time for maintenance,” he said. “There’s great racers every night of the Chili Bowl, but Tuesday I’ll be going against arguably the toughest racer in the world – Kyle Larson. Since putting together his own midget team, look what he has accomplished the past couple of months. I’m excited to see how we stack up.”
Taylor said his plans for the rest of 2020 are still being worked out.
“My dad and I learned a lot about non-wing sprint car racing,” he said. “Todd told me if another opportunity in a midget came about I should take it. We would like to expand our racing this year and maybe run the sprint and midget in Indiana and the Midwest area. We are always looking for new opportunities to go racing.”
Taylor Scores Fourth Win, Leads POWRi Warrior Sprint League Championship Standings
Inside Line Promotions – CALHAN, Colo. (Oct. 2, 2019) – Zac Taylor captured his fourth victory of the season last Saturday at El Paso County Raceway during a POWRi Lucas Oil Warrior Sprint League event. And if not for a broken cam spun, he may have had a shot at another win the same night in Todd Henry’s midget.
The victory kept Taylor atop the non-wing sprint car series championship standings with just a pair of races remaining.
“I had some great luck with the draw, getting the pole for the heat in both the sprint and midget and easily winning both,” he said. “In the sprint feature, we finally found something that made me totally comfortable. I’m adjusting better to the car. I just need more races. This is my first year racing a non-wing sprint car.
“They gave me the option to go to the tail for a chance at more money, but I wanted to play it safe as we are leading the points with just a couple races to go.”
In the midget, Taylor knew something was amiss after the heat race.
“As I was pulling off the track it sputtered and died,” he said. “It felt like we ran out of fuel, but that wasn’t it. Todd went through all the electronics and it was all good so he was going to change the fuel pump. When he pulled it off he saw the cam spud was stripped. It really sucks because the track was good from top to bottom and we could pass cars with ease.”
The week prior Taylor wrapped up a second-place finish in the POWRi Lucas Oil Rocky Mountain Midget Racing Association standings.
“Todd said he will keep an eye out for another midget race or two before we start getting ready for the Chili Bowl,” Taylor added.
His next race is Oct. 12 at I-76 Speedway in Fort Morgan, Colo., with the POWRi Lucas Oil Warrior Sprint League.
QUICK RESULTS –
Sept. 28 – El Paso County Raceway in Calhan, Colo. (midget) – Heat race: 1 (1); Feature: DNS (10).
Sept. 28 – El Paso County Raceway in Calhan, Colo. (sprint car) – Heat race: 1 (1); Feature: 1 (1).
SEASON STATS –
24 races, 4 wins, 15 top fives, 17 top 10s, 20 top 15s, 23 top 20s
UP NEXT –
Oct. 12 at I-76 Speedway in Fort Morgan, Colo., with the POWRi Lucas Oil Warrior Sprint League