Just one week into the new decade, the nation's premier motorsports spectacle is already upon us as the 24th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals brings the City of Tulsa to life like no other time of the year.
Closing in on a quarter-century of unforgettable racing action atop the QuikTrip Center's ¼-mile Tulsa Expo Raceway clay oval at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds, the 24th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals kicks off Tuesday night, January 12, before finally culminating with Saturday night's (January 16) 50-lap championship main event.
The entry list for the prestigious event is currently at 266, with a worldwide field representing 28 different states, a pair of Canadian provinces, Australia and New Zealand.
Among this week's additions to the entry list is 2008 Chili Bowl champion Damion Gardner, bringing the number of past event winners looking for more Chili Bowl glory to eight.
While Tuesday's Warren CAT Qualifying Night kicks off the four preliminary Chili Bowl nights, the Vacuworx Race of Champions makes for an action-packed Tuesday card.
Those eight past Chili Bowl winners, including five-time Chili Bowl king Sammy Swindell, two-time winner Cory Kruseman and one-time winners Damion Gardner, Tim McCreadie, Tracy Hines, Jay Drake, Jon Heydenreich and Scott Hatton will square off in the Vacuworx Race of Champions 20-lapper that also includes NASCAR stars Kasey Kahne and Jason Leffler, National Midget Driver of the Year Bryan Clauson, USAC Midget champion Brad Kuhn, Gary Taylor, Brad Loyet, Garrett Hansen and Cole Whitt.
The first quarter of the field will also battle it out in Tuesday's Warren CAT Qualifier, with the balance of the field racing through Wednesday's River Spirit Casino Qualifier, Thursday's Bully Dog Qualifier and Friday's E3 Spark Plugs Qualifier.
The top three finishers in each Qualifying night feature lock into Saturday night's 50-lap Chili Bowl championship feature, with the others to battle it out through Saturday's Rockstar Energy Drink slate of feature events.
Several of next week's Chili Bowl competitors got an early look at the Tulsa Expo Raceway in last weekend's Tulsa Shootout, with Kevin Bayer, Donnie Ray Crawford and Kyle Larson among the event winners. Bayer's win came in the inaugural ASCS ECOTech Chevy Midget main event, Crawford added another Golden Driller in the Micro Sprint Car ranks and California's Larson topped a winged kart class. Crawford was added to the ChiIi Bowl entry list this week aboard the Hard Eight Racing No. 8x.
Also added to the entry list this week is Penngrove, California's Alissa Geving. Already a two-time track champion in the Sprint Car ranks at Petaluma Speedway, the 18-year-old runs the total of lady competitors at the Chili Bowl to five with others including Shannon McQueen, Michelle Decker, Randi Pankratz and Julee Jamison.
Geving is also part of a Chili Bowl rookie crop that currently stands at 51.
While racing action officially goes green on Tuesday, activities have already picked up at the QuikTrip Center. While the track is being groomed for five nights of action, trailers will be parked in the building on Sunday with a practice session to follow on Monday.
Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals Quick Facts:
What: 24th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals
Where: Tulsa Expo Raceway – ¼-mile clay oval inside the QuikTrip Center at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds
January 12-16, 2010
Tuesday – Warren CAT Qualifying Night plus Vacuworx Chili Bowl Race of Champions
Wednesday – River Spirit Casino Qualifying Night
Thursday – Bully Dog Qualifying Night
Friday – E3 Spark Plugs Qualifying Night
Saturday – Rockstar Energy Drink Championship Feature Events
Past Winners: Sammy Swindell (2009, 1998, 1996, 1992 and 1989), Damion Gardner (2008), Tony Stewart (2007 and 2002), Tim McCreadie (2006), Tracy Hines (2005), Cory Kruseman (2004 and 2000), Dan Boorse (2003 and 1999), 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 24th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals were depleted by the end of May. A limited number of reserved seats for Tuesday night's Warren CAT Qualifying Event and the Second Annual Vacuworx International 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 24th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals will be broadcast on SPEED TV on a tape-delayed basis.
Chili Bowl on the Net: All official news pertaining to the 24th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, including official entry lists, race results and recaps, is available first at www.chilibowl.com. Also, all five nights of the Chili Bowl Nationals will be broadcast live (audio) on www.racinboys.com.
Additional information regarding the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals is available at http://www.chilibowl.com/ or by calling 918-838-3777.