Chili Bowl qualifying nights unveiled

18th Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Nationals Qualifying Nights Unveiled! TULSA, Okla. (December 30, 2003) - Always much anticipated, the list of entrants by qualifying night for the 18th Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Nationals, set to take place...

18th Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Nationals Qualifying Nights Unveiled!

TULSA, Okla. (December 30, 2003) - Always much anticipated, the list of entrants by qualifying night for the 18th Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Nationals, set to take place January 7-10 at Tulsa Expo Raceway, has been released. The full list for all three qualifying nights is available at www.chilibowl.com.

With 215 entries representing 22 states from coast-to-coast, each qualifying night is overflowing with championship drivers from all forms of racing.

Two-time Chili Bowl winner and defending race champion Dan Boorse, along with 2001 Chili Bowl champion Jay Drake, headlines the list of Wednesday night qualifiers. World of Outlaws star Danny Lasoski and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series shoe Jason Leffler will be among the top challengers for the pair of former winners, while NHRA Drag Racing hotshoe Ron Capps takes to the track for his first official Chili Bowl as well on Wednesday night.

Other top shoes slated for Wednesday night qualifying action include Badger Midget champion Davey Ray, Oskaloosa's Ultimate Challenge winner Boston Reid, Sprint Car standout Gary Wright, Don Droud, Jr., A.J. Fike, Brian Gerster and Matt Westfall, who will seek to extend his streak of four consecutive Chili Bowl main event starts.

USAC triple crown champion J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, AZ, and NASCAR star Ken Schrader, returning to the Chili Bowl after a ten year hiatus, headline the list of entrants for the Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores Thursday Night Thunder at the Bowl qualifier. USAC open-wheel ace Tracy Hines, Midget standout Mike Hess and National Midget Driver of the Year Aaron Fike are among the top rivals for Thursday's qualifying victory.

Other top contenders slated for Thursday night include NWWC kingpin Bud Kaeding, Troy Rutherford, Critter Malone, "Professor" Jimmy Sills, Late Model racing star Bart Hartman and former Chili Bowl winners Donnie Beechler and Scott Hatton.

2002 NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart kicks off his pursuit of a second Chili Bowl crown in Friday night's qualifying action. Stewart will face plenty of tough competition, including perennial Chili Bowl contender Cory Kruseman, who topped the Chili Bowl in 2000. The always-fast Dave Darland will also be on Friday's card, as will Kasey Kahne, who is set to embark upon his rookie season on the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series in 2004.

Also among Friday's top guns are Belleville Nationals winner Josh Wise, Damion Gardner, Robby Flock, Jerry Coons, Jr., Shane Cottle, XTREME Dirt Car Series standout Rick Eckert, 1990 Chili Bowl winner Johnny Heydenreich and Kevin Doty, the only driver to compete in every edition of the Chili Bowl Nationals since the inaugural event in 1987.

The top four finishers from each qualifying night will be locked into Saturday night's O'Reilly Chili Bowl Nationals 50-lap main event, with the balance of Saturday night's feature lineups determined according to each driver's qualifying night results.

Each qualifying night consists of a full program of racing, including heat races, twin "C" Features, twin "B" Features and an "A" Feature.

A limited number of tickets remain for Wednesday and Thursday night's qualifying events, while only pit passes remain for Friday's qualifying and Saturday's finale. For tickets or more information regarding the 18th Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Nationals, call the ticket office at 918-838-3777.

Additional information regarding the Chili Bowl, including the complete list of entrants by qualifying night, is available at www.chilibowl.com.

-lw-

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