Watch the drama from Tuesday night in the Chili Bowl Nationals
Ahead of Tuesday’s Chili Bowl Nationals, race director Matt Ward offered a simple message to the drivers. Paraphrasing, he essentially told the drivers that if they want to fight, they need to do it on the race track, driver vs driver.
Watch the Chili Bowl fight video and the on-track incident that caused it below.
He made it clear that if they fought on the ramp, “You’re out of here. We can’t control it.”
These are big teams. When fights take place on the ramp, it usually ends in a brawl with multiple crew members involved. Officials want none of that and they gave a clear warning.
Steven Snyder Jr vs Jeb Sessums
In the B-Main, drama broke loose. The race was the final chance for drivers to qualify for the night’s main event. Only the top four drivers advance out of the B-Main in into the finale.
More importantly, making the main event on a preliminary night means jumping forward by several letters in Saturday’s alphabet soup races.
Carson Sousa flipped and became hung on the safety fencing wire. The red flag was displayed. Drivers sat there for about 30 minutes as they waited for the safety crews to repair the fencing.
Jeb Sessums started the race in the 4th position. Steven Snyder Jr won the KKM classic and won the ride, making his first career Chili Bowl start.
On lap 16 of 20, Snyder Jr was going for it in an attempt to qualify for Tuesday’s main. He drove it in deep into turn three, pulled the slider and attempted to clear Sessums for the final transfer spot.
Not clear. With his right rear tire, Steven Snyder Jr hit Sessums in his left front. Sessums was pushed over the cushion and the car went into a violent barrel roll. The car landed on its side.
Sessums climbed from the car in a hurry. He took off his gloves and waited for the field to coast back around under caution.
Officials surrounded Sessums. They pointed toward his new ride, the safety cart. Sessums had other ideas.
When the field came back around, Sessums started walking down the banking. He put his middle finger in the area, directed right at Steven Snyder Jr.
Jeb Sessums comments
Moments after giving the bird, Sessums was handed a microphone.
“Oh, you know, just someone who has too much money. Just renting a ride, decided to wa-pow me,” Sessums told Flo Sports.
“It’s just part of the Chili Bowl, I guess. You got these young kids out here.”
Sessums added, “Little bit of frustration. I hate it for Dan & Patricia Harris, they gave me a great car. Just part of the Chili Bowl. We’ll come back Saturday and go through the alphabet soup.”
Second incident for Snyder, this time with Brayton Lynch
After the race went back green, Steven Snyder Jr remained in a battle for the transfer spot. He pulled the same move on Brayton Lynch.
Once again, not clear. Snyder Jr ran his right rear into the left front of Lynch. Lynch jumped the cushion, knocked the wall and went into a roll.
For the second time in the same race, Snyder was the aggressor, causing an accident.
Chili Bowl Fight
Chili Bowl Fight
Steven Snyder Jr was disqualified and given the black flag. It’s a rare situation for the bullring dirt racing event. The fans cheered in the stands.
Snyder Jr drove off the track and up the ramp. Angry people were waiting.
Four members of the Keith Kunz Motorsports crew began pushing Snyder Jr’s machine back to the team hauler. Meanwhille, a crew member from another team ran up to the driver’s window to have a word.
A word turned into two and more. It went on longer than the crew members wanted to. One of the KKM crew began shoving the man out of the way.
The man pushed back. Then, a KKM crew member threw a punch. The man was emmediatly taken to the ground.
“Knock it off,” a Chili Bowl official yelled.
“He took two cars out,” a separate crew member responded.
After the altercation, a member of the Dan and Patricia Harris owned team was ejected from the event.
Steven Snyder Jr comments
After the night, Steven Snyder Jr took to social media to issue an apology.
He stated, “I want to apologize for everything tonight, I made a big mistake and there’s no way around it, I learned a big lesson tonight. I can’t thank everyone enough for this opportunity.”