Chili Bowl Nationals entry update 2008-12-12

Chili Bowl Entry Count Climbs to 223; Three More Past Winners File Entries! TULSA, Okla. (December 12, 2008) -- The cast of competitors being assembled for the 23rd Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire just...

Chili Bowl Entry Count Climbs to 223; Three More Past Winners File Entries!

TULSA, Okla. (December 12, 2008) -- The cast of competitors being assembled for the 23rd Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire just keeps getting tougher with each passing day.

In just the past couple of days, names such as Gardner, Drake, Hatton, Cottle, Kaeding, Crawley, Altig, Pedregon and more have been added to the list of drivers entered for the event that takes place at the QuikTrip Center's Tulsa Expo Raceway on January 13-17, 2009.

And with the December 15 pre-entry deadline on the other side of the weekend, the official pre-entry count has climbed to 223 as of the close of business on Friday, December 12.

Past Chili Bowl winners Damion Gardner, Scott Hatton and Jay Drake are among the latest entries, running the total of past Chili Bowl champions entered to seven as they join four-time winner Sammy Swindell, two-time winner Cory Kruseman and single-time winners Tim McCreadie and Tracy Hines.

Defending champion Gardner will join forces with Daryl Saucier in his bid to become the first back-to-back winner in Chili Bowl history. Gardner will be teamed with Kokomo shoe Shane Cottle, a third-place finisher in last year's Chili Bowl.

Coming off his 18th consecutive year among the top ten in Badger Midget points, Hatton returns to the Chili Bowl after a two-year hiatus.

Drake shakes off a two-year retirement to fill the sixth and final seat of the Keith Kunz Motorsports stable of entries.

Other drivers with past Chili Bowl championship main event starts to enter over the past two days include Johnny Rodriguez, Bud Kaeding, Brandon Waelti and Bubba Altig.

Other notables include Cruz Pedregon, who captured his second career NHRA Funny Car championship in 2008, and Tim Crawley, the three-time ASCS National champion that tallied 19 overall feature wins on the year.

Stephanie Chappell also makes a return to Chili Bowl competition, bumping the number of female racers to eight thus far.

The number of rookie contenders has expanded to 43.

The 23rd Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire kicks off Tuesday night, January 13, with the first of four qualifying nights. Tuesday's card will also include the Chili Bowl Race of Champions, featuring past event winners and other top Chili Bowl contenders squaring off in a special feature race.

The top three finishers from the Qualifying Night features will automatically lock into the Saturday night, January 17, Chili Bowl championship feature, with the balance of Saturday's championship feature events lined up according to Qualifying Night finishes.

Originally a two-day event that attracted 52 entries in 1987, the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire has evolved into a five-night extravaganza of indoor, dirt track midget racing, and ranks among the world's most prestigious auto racing events with the 2008 edition of the event attracting a record number of 274 competitors.

A limited number of reserved seats remain for Tuesday night's Qualifying event and Race of Champions for just $26 apiece. Tickets may be obtained by calling the ticket office at 918-838-3777.

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 -- 0x00bc-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

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.

-credit: cbn/lw

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Series Midget
Drivers Cruz Pedregon , Bud Kaeding , Sammy Swindell , Cory Kruseman , Jay Drake , Johnny Rodriguez , Shane Cottle , Brandon Waelti , Damion Gardner , Tim McCreadie , Scott Hatton , Tim Crawley