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BRADEN CHIARAMONTE MAKES A BIG IMPRESSION IN HIS FIRST-EVER CHILI BOWL MIDGET NATIONALS

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(El Cajon, CA, January 17, 2022) One of open-wheel racing's brightest young stars, Braden Chiaramonte, continued to shine in his first-ever appearance at the prestigious Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. As per usual, the young driver created an incredibly positive impression this time against some of the biggest stars in racing over his two nights of action.

While it was the 37th annual running of the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, it was only Chiaramonte's seventh time racing a midget. In addition, the 15-year-old phenom was teaming with car owner Pete Davis to drive his Hot Head Engine Heaters/Esslinger Engineering/RTL Traffic/AM Ortega/Spike Chassis/Esslinger midget #00B for the first time. To say the least, he was excited about the opportunity but had a realistic look at it.

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The Pete Davis #00B Braden Chiaramonte drove at the 2023 Chili Bowl. Cody Quarles Photo.

"I really didn't have much," Chiaramonte responded when asked about his expectations going into the multi-night event. "Really just wanted to make it to a C or a B main (on Saturday). I wanted to make the A (main) but I knew that would be pretty tough in my first year. Yeah, I was pretty happy. I was kind of hoping to make to make a B main but for my first Chili BowI think it was pretty good. We made it to the C."

"It was pretty crazy walking into the building with that many cars," the young driver continued. "The first practice we went out it was pretty crazy. You think you can use a lot of throttle but you really can't. The track has a lot of grip for sure and the midget really want to wheelie. You have to be really easy on the throttle. I have watched a lot of videos of the track And it is a lot different when you were in the car than what you see in those videos."

After the practice, which was comprised of two four-lap sessions on the track, Chiaramonte had to wait until Friday for his race night. The youthful driver did not waste the opportunity sightseeing or partying away from the track. Instead, he watched nearly every lap of each race from Monday through Thursday. He studied the more experienced drivers and he studied the track so he would be ready for his first race on Friday.

"Yeah, when I first got there, I thought you had to be really aggressive," the California racer responded when asked if watching helped. "The more you watch, you know you have to be patient but also aggressive. It is not like the Shoot-Out. If you pass one car, you're going to be sitting pretty good in points. In the shootout, you have to be passing a couple cars to be sitting pretty good."

The viewing efforts paid big dividends and to say that Chiaramonte and the Davis meshed well from the start would be an understatement. The duo debuted on Friday in the third 10-lap heat race. Chiaramonte scored a hard-earned wire-to-wire win over a veteran field of drivers.

"It was tough, but Pete gave me a great car," Chiaramonte told the worldwide audience watching on Flo Racing after the race when asked how he held off the field. "Big thanks to him for letting me come race my first Chili Bowl. All the guys, Grant, Shane, Cody, my dad, and my mom. I want to thank everybody for helping me out. Just keep this going and see what happens. Hopefully, start good in our qualifier, try to move forward, and just get as many points as I can and go from there."

As the night continued, the competition for the 15-year-old racer who has World of Outlaws aspirations got tougher and tougher. That was evident in his 10-lap qualifier when he started and finished in fifth place. The points he accumulated In his heat race and his qualifier sent him to the B main event. Those points also earned him a pole position start. The race was 15 laps and featured 16 cars. There was literally no room for error as only the top four would transfer onto the night's A main event. Chiaramonte settled into second on the start and stayed there for the duration. The leader and Chiaramonte simply walked away from the field to earn their tickets to the main event.

For the Friday night main, Chiaramonte started in the 19th spot. The 30-lapper featured racing and an abundance of crashing. The Chili Bowl and crashing seem to go hand in hand as drivers advance forward on the small track in the world-famous SageNet Center. The main lived up to the reputation with crash after crash taking place. Where Chiaramonte started the race made him susceptible to the tangles as it was going to happen in front of him. However, the young driver kept his cool and stayed out of the destruction for the duration.

In the race, Chiaramonte started to advance forward just past the halfway point. He seesawed between 19th and 17th and was 18th with seven laps to go. After the last yellow flag slowed the race on lap 35, he powered the gorgeous black racecar forward to finish 14th.

"It is pretty hard on the Small track," Chiaramonte said regarding the crashes on the tight track. "You try and look way ahead. You are just trying to miss everything that you can because that is more positions that you will get. If you are going backwards (by being involved in incidents), you are going to be way behind in points."

Saturday saw Chiaramonte roll on the track for the first of two C main events. For a rookie at the Chili Bowl that is extremely impressive. Consider that there are 23 qualifying races on Saturday. The lowest point drivers started in a pair of O main events. Chiaramonte's Performance on Friday that saw him score 115 points was good enough to put him in one of the one of the top four qualifiers of those 23 races. It also matched him with a field of drivers who were superstars.

Starting 14th in the 15-lap C main. Chiaramonte ran as high as 12th and ended up finishing 11th. It was another impressive showing for a 15-year-old rookie in a field of 20 cars of that was made up of seasoned drivers mostly seasoned veterans from around the country.

A surprise bonus for the team at the Chili Bowl was the addition of popular driver Thomas "T-Mez" Meseraull from San Jose, California. While he was competing with another team at the event, Davis brought him in to coach Chiaramonte and to set up the car as well. It was a tremendous boost for the teen in the prestigious race.

"Pete wanted somebody good to be coaching me and wrenching," the personable Chiaramonte stated. "Pete has known T-Mez for a while so he just called him. T-Mez said he would do it. It was a lot of help. Me or my dad to not know a lot about midget stuff. It was good going into the weekend knowing we have somebody there knowing the setup. "

In five starts over two nights, Chiaramonte's poise, confidence, and driving talent shined bright. He advanced forward from his starting position in three of the races. Only once did he finish in a worse position than he started. That was a one-spot drop with that second-place finish in the Friday B main. In one other race, the Friday qualifier, he finished where he started. All told, of the 365 drivers that raced, he placed 87th overall. A very impressive performance by a rookie driver.

As the full 2023 season is just around the corner, Chiaramonte and his team are making plans for a busy year. If you are interested in becoming a marketing partner with one of the most talented and personable young drivers in the sport, please feel free to call or e-mail Daniel Chiaramonte mailto:dchiaramonte@rtltraffic.com or (619) 988 7563.

Chiaramonte would like to thank the following marketing partners for making his racing possible. RTL Traffic Control and Equipment Rentals, AM Ortega, Impact Racing, and AIM Sports Data.

Braden Chiaramonte 2023 Results

January 13 Tulsa SageNet Center Chili Bowl Midget Nationals 14th A Main

January 14 Tulsa SageNet Center Chili Bowl Midget Nationals 12th C Main

Braden Chiaramonte 2022 Results

January 1 Tulsa Shootout Stock Non Wings 9th A Main

March 5 Imperial Valley Raceway POWRi Southwest Lightning Sprints 2nd A Main

March 6 Imperial Valley Raceway POWRi Southwest Lightning Sprints 8th A Main

March 25 Bakersfield Speedway California Lightning Sprints 6th A Main

April 16 Bakersfield Speedway USAC Western States Midgets 9th A Main

April 23 Imperial Valley Raceway POWRi Southwest Lightning Sprints 1st A Main

April 30 Barona Speedway POWRi Southwest Lightning Sprints 2nd A Main

May 12 US 24 Raceway All In Transportation A Wingless Clash 13th A Main

May 13 US 24 Raceway All In Transportation A Wingless Clash 16th A Main

May 14 US 24 Raceway All In Transportation A Wingless Clash 5th L.C.Q.

May 21 Ventura Raceway USAC Western State Midgets 7th A Main

June 2 US 24 Raceway Performance Electronics Big Dance 12th A Main

June 3 US 24 Raceway Performance Electronics Big Dance 14th A Main

June 4 US 24 Raceway Performance Electronics Big Dance 8th Qualifier

June 11 Lemoore Jet Bowl Non-Wing Outlaw Micro 4th A Main

June 18 Merced Speedway USAC Western Midgets 10th A Main

July 15 Jefferson County Speedway USAC National Midgets 18th A Main

July 16 Jefferson County Speedway USAC National Midgets 16th A Main

August 4 Indianapolis Motor Speedway USAC National Midgets 5th D Main

August 26 Silver Dollar Speedway Winged 360 Sprint Cars 18th A Main

August 27 Placerville Speedway Winged 360 Sprint Cars 12th B Main

September 17 Perris Auto Speedway POWRi Southwest Lightning Sprint 1st A Main

September 23 Lil Texas Motor Speedway C. Bell's Micro Mania 8th C Main

September 24 Lil Texas Motor Speedway C. Bell's Micro Mania 22nd B Main

September 30 Silver Dollar Speedway Winged 360 Fall Nationals 7th D Main

October 1 Silver Dollar Speedway Winged 360 Fall Nationals 8th A Main

October 13 Lemoore Speedway Non-Wing Outlaw Cal Cup 7th B Main

October 13 Lemoore Speedway Winged Outlaw Cal Cup 14th A Main

October 14 Lemoore Speedway Non-Wing Outlaw Cal Cup 16th A Main

October 14 Lemoore Speedway Winged Outlaw Cal Cup 16th B Main

October 15 Lemoore Speedway Non-Wing Outlaw Cal Cup 9th A Main

October 15 Lemoore Speedway Winged Outlaw Cal Cup 7th B Main

October 21 Port City Raceway Keith Kunz Motorsports Giveback 8th A Main

October 22 Port City Raceway Keith Kunz Motorsports Giveback 15th A Main

November 11 Adobe Mountain Speedway Non-Wing Outlaw Tribute to Billy Shuman 2nd A Main

November 12 Adobe Mountain Speedway Non-Wing Outlaw Tribute to Billy Shuman 17th A Main

December 31 Tulsa Shootout Stock Non-Wing 7th B Main

December 31 Tulsa Shootout Outlaw Non-Wing 14th LCQ

December 31 Tulsa Shootout Outlaw-Winged 5th B Main

This release was produced by Scott Daloisio. You can contact him online at mailto:sdaloisiosports@gmail.com or by calling (909) 226-7768.