2024 Tulsa Shootout

10 Notable Storylines From The 2024 Tulsa Shootout

10 Notable Storylines From The 2024 Tulsa Shootout

A look at 10 notable storylines following the conclusion of the 2024 Tulsa Shootout.

Jan 2, 2024 by FloRacing Staff

Fans were left with plenty to talk about following Sunday’s finale of the 39th annual Tulsa Shootout on FloRacing. Before the Chili Bowl Nationals take center stage next week inside the SageNet Center, we wanted to look back at what most are talking about after “The Mecca of Micros.”


Arguably the most iconic family in American Motorsports, the Earnhardt’s added a Golden Driller to their legacy last night as 13-year-old Wyatt Miller dominated the Restricted A-Main from start-to-finish driving for CB Industries. The grandson of Dale Earnhardt Sr., nephew of Dale Earnhardt Jr., and son of Kelley Earnhardt-Miller & L.W. Miller, Wyatt ran a flawless race and still found time midway through to produce a classic Earnhardt interview on FloRacing.


It was January 11, 2023 when the world watched that harrowing moment as Ashton Torgerson was ejected from his midget while battling for a Chili Bowl preliminary win. After living to tell the tale, Torgerson spent his final day of the year back at the scene of that scary moment and he capped off the ultimate comeback in doing so. Leading all 30 laps and holding off Daison Pursley at the end, Torgerson scored an emotional win as he topped the A-Class division to earn his first Golden Driller.


VIDEO: Ashton Torgerson discusses Chili Bowl crash and recovery. 


Jake Hagopian took his final lap around the Tulsa Expo Raceway on Sunday night, marking the culmination of a hall of fame career. The Clovis, CA native concluded his driving career as a three-time Tulsa Shootout champion and spent his last race pursuing what he wanted most - an elusive Winged Outlaw Golden Driller. Although he fell short with a second-place finish, the D1 Chassis boss will most certainly be back as an owner / crew chief in the future as he continues to chase more Shootout success in other fulfilling roles.


After last year -- when he ran second to Hagopian in A-Class -- the racing community realized that Ricky Thornton Jr. was serious about this micro sprint stuff. He came back to the Tulsa Shootout last week, following one of the greatest Dirt Late Model seasons of all-time, and showcased again to the world that he’s one of the most talented drivers in the world. Going from sixth-to-first, RTJ brought fans to their feet as he rocketed to the lead in Stock Non-Wing after going slider-for-slider with Kris Carroll and Frank Flud. It looked as if he was bound for Golden Driller glory, but a blown motor deterred his dreams and sent the No. 20RT to the infield in heartbreaking fashion.


It’s kind of silly to think of a 19-year-old kid as one of the greats in Tulsa Shootout history, but how can you argue against what Emerson Axsom is doing? Again, he’s 19-years-old and he now owns four Golden Drillers -- three of them from the premier Winged Outlaw division, making him the winningest driver in the toughest class of the event. Going back-to-back with Ten-J Chassis, the Franklin, IN native pounced on Cody Key in lapped traffic and never gave the field a chance for the rest of the 55-lapper.


VIDEO: Highlights from the Winged Outlaw feature at the Tulsa Shootout. 


The record for most open-wheel titles in Tulsa Shootout history was expanded on Sunday when Blake Hahn topped an Outlaw Non-Wing barnburner, collecting his ninth-career Golden Driller. Driving for the Yantis family, the Sapulpa, OK native battled Pennsylvanian Tommy Kunsman for his first Outlaw Non-Wing title since 2011. It was a special one for the grandson of Tulsa Shootout founder, Emmett Hahn, because this was the first Golden Driller won with Blake’s daughter Lennix able to be in victory lane. 


Frank Flud’s Stock Non-Wing win added another Golden Driller to what is already one of the most legendary careers in all of micro sprint racing history. Becoming the third different leader after going toe-to-toe with Ricky Thornton Jr. and Kris Carroll, the Pryor, OK native held on to earn his fifth Tulsa Shootout title, fourth in micro sprints, and third in the Stock Non-Wing division. He joins icons like Donnie Ray Crawford, Brady Bacon, Kevin Bayer, and Jerrod Wilson as the only four-time micro champs in Tulsa.


VIDEO: Frank Flud reacts after claiming his fifth Golden Driller. 


Year-in and year-out, the little guys deliver some of the most memorable moments from the Tulsa Shootout. Between the on-track product, the always-unpredictable interviews, and the pure emotion from little kids doing what they love, it’s a recipe for fun every time. This year, Braxton Flatt took the Golden Driller back to Illinois after the CB Industries driver fiercely battled local favorite J.J. Beason, son of Tulsa Shootout and Chili Bowl legend, Jonathan Beason. It came down to the very end and Flatt showed the world what the Golden Driller meant to him in victory lane.


Nobody raced more and nobody passed more yesterday than Daison Pursley did. The Keith Kunz Motorsports pilot contested eight races on the day and qualified for three main events for the third time in his young career. His impressive +38 positions gained is second all-time in a Tulsa Shootout finale, behind only Riley Adair’s +52 run in 2009. Pursley’s performance started with an 18th-to-4th charge in Stock Non-Wing, then went 24th-to-7th in Outlaw Non-Wing, and ended his night with career-best 9th-to-2nd bid in A-Class as he nearly won his first-career Golden Driller.


There were 500+ drivers among 1,700 entries at the Tulsa Shootout last week, yet only one man achieved  the rare feat of qualifying for all four Stock/Outlaw A-Mains. That was Kingsburg, CA native KJ Snow, who became the 17th driver in event history to pull quadruple duty during the Championship A-Mains. After a blown motor in Stock Non-Wing, Snow drove from 23rd-to-12th in Outlaw Non-Wing then finished 10th in A-Class after falling to 24th, and finally finished it all with a 16th-to-6th run in Winged Outlaw.