Special Motorsports Event - Swindell Looking To Stretch Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Record
TULSA, Jan. 7, 2013: Kevin Swindell will be trying to stretch his remarkable winning streak to four in the 27th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire against an all-star field of 270 racing at the Quik Trip Center’s quarter-mile clay oval Tulsa Expo Raceway that runs from Tuesday (Jan. 8) through Saturday.
Swindell became the first driver to win the Chili Bowl back-to-back in 2010 and 2011 and led all 55 laps to take his third Golden Driller trophy home in 2012. The 23-year-old from Germantown, Tenn., will be driving the same Esslinger-powered Spike (with some updates) that he’s had in his three victories.“For all the effort that everybody puts into it, some of the guys who have won the race and some who keep coming back and can’t win it, it’s pretty neat to win it,” Swindell said. “It’s probably one of the toughest races in the world to win.”
This year’s entry list includes three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and former short track superstar Tony Stewart, who has two Chili Bowl victories and was 10th last year, Sprint Cup regulars Kasey Kahne and JJ Yeley, NASCAR Nationwide’s Justin Allgaier and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ Jason Leffler. They all have backgrounds in short track and Midgets.
The best from the world of Sprints and Midgets will be in the Chili Bowl, too, with three-time USAC National Driving Champion Bryan Clauson, National Midget Driver of the Year Jerry Coons Jr., wins-at-everything-he-drives Kyle Larson, former two-time World of Outlaws champion Jason Meyers, POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget champion Andrew Felker, Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series star Brady Bacon, 2005 Chili Bowl winner Tracy Hines and 2012 USAC National Midget champion Darren Hagen among those entered.
The Chili Bowl has been a Swindell family affair the past four years. Father Sammy won in 2009---his fifth in the prestigious event, but first since 1998--and finished second the past two years. Do they have something figured out that the competition doesn’t?
“I don’t know if we do or don’t,” Kevin said. “You have to weasel your way through 60-some cars on the qualifying nights to have a chance. With the quality of cars, it’s almost impossible to win the race from deep in the field. You can try to make your own luck as much as possible, but it’s tough if you don’t start at the front.
“You have to take it one race at a time. With the way they break qualifying into four nights, the quality of cars you have to race dwindles to eight or 10 and you get what you can out of the heat races.”