Chili Bowl Victory is Right Around the Corner
Chili Bowl Race of Champions Field Nearly Set
The field for the Chili Bowl Race of Champions on Tuesday night, January 13, has been set.  Almost, that is.

The final pair of "at-large" starting berths for the Chili Bowl Race of Champions will be determined by the fans via an on-line voting procedure.

The Chili Bowl Race of Champions will be just one part of a stellar Tuesday night kickoff of the 23rd Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire, a five-night racing extravaganza that takes place at the QuikTrip Center's Tulsa Expo Raceway on January 13-17, 2009.
Damion Gardner enjoys victory lane at the Chili Bowl along with a few new friends.  (Chili Bowl Photo)
Tuesday night will also include a full field of qualifying action, including heat races, qualifying races, "C" Mains, "B" Mains and an "A" Main, with the top three finishers in the main event locked into Saturday night's 50-lap Chili Bowl championship main event.  It marks the first of four qualifying nights, with a full slate of championship feature events to follow on Saturday.

A limited number of tickets are available for the Tuesday night Chili Bowl Qualifier, including the Chili Bowl Race of Champions, for just $26 apiece.  Tickets may be obtained by calling the ticket office at 918-838-3777.

The Chili Bowl Race of Champions will include a field of approximately 14 to 16 of the best racers in the world, set to slug it out atop the ¼-mile Tulsa Expo Raceway clay oval for 20 laps with $2,500 going to the winner and a minimum of $300 to each starter.

Already committed to the Chili Bowl Race of Champions are seven past event winners including four-time Chili Bowl king Sammy Swindell, two-time winner Cory Kruseman,
Tracy Hines, Tim McCreadie, Scott Hatton, Jay Drake and defending Chili Bowl champion Damion Gardner.  Hatton returns to the Chili Bowl after a two-year absence while Drake shrugs off retirement to compete in the Chili Bowl Race of Champions as well as his 12th Chili Bowl.

Also invited to compete in the Chili Bowl Race of Champions are past USAC Triple Crown champions Dave Darland and J.J. Yeley, NASCAR Sprint Cup star Kasey Kahne and NASCAR Nationwide star Jason Leffler.

At least another pair of past event winners may throw their hat into the ring as well.

The final two starting berths in the Chili Bowl Race of Champions will be "at-large" positions.  These positions will be determined by the race fans via online voting at www.chilibowl.com, with details available soon.  The only drivers among those eligible for the "at-large" berths will be those that have filed official entries by the December 15 pre-entry deadline.

The fan involvement doesn't stop there, as some lucky fans in the stands on Tuesday night will determine the starting lineup of the Chili Bowl Race of Champions by selecting some randomly marked Lucas Oil Products, in effect drawing for the starting position of the driver they've been paired with.

With the 23rd Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire little more than a month away, 204 entries have already flooded the event office, putting last year's record mark of 274 competitors in the jeopardy zone.

Only pit passes remain for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, as those tickets were depleted in May.

Additional Lucas Oil Chili Bowl presented by General Tire Information:

What:  23rd Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire

Where: Tulsa Expo Raceway – ¼-mile clay oval inside the QuikTrip Center at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds

When: January 13-17, 2009

Tuesday – Qualifying Night plus Chili Bowl Race of Champions

Wednesday - Creek Nation Casino Qualifying Night

Thursday – Warren CAT Qualifying Night

Friday – Bass Pro Shops Qualifying Night

Saturday – Championship Feature Events

Past Winners: Damion Gardner (2008), Tony Stewart (2007 and 2002), Sammy Swindell (1998, 1996, 1992 and 1989), Cory Kruseman (2004 and 2000), Dan Boorse (2003 and 1999), Tim McCreadie (2006), Tracy Hines (2005), Jay Drake (2001), Billy Boat (1997), Donnie Beechler (1995), Andy Hillenburg (1994), Dave Blaney (1993), Lealand McSpadden (1991), Jon Heydenreich (1990), Scott Hatton (1988), Rich Vogler (1987).

Trade Show: Always a popular attraction at the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals is the Trade Show, which is open to the public each day (Tuesday through Saturday) free of charge.  All variety of racing products, apparel and more is available with well over 100 different vendors.  The Trade Show covers approximately 20,000 square feet.

Tickets:  Four-night tickets for Wednesday through Saturday of the 23rd Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire were depleted by the end of May.  A limited number of reserved seats for Tuesday night's Qualifying Event and Chili Bowl Race of Champions are available for $26 per person and may be obtained by calling 918-838-3777 or at the gate.  Pit passes for all five nights are available at the gate as well.

Chili Bowl on TV:  Portions of the 23rd Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire will be broadcast on SPEED TV on a one-week tape-delayed basis on Saturday night, January 24.  Additional details will be available soon.

Additional information regarding the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire is available at http://www.chilibowl.com/ or by calling 918-838-3777.