Chili Bowl update 2006-12-19

Billy Boat Joins Chili Bowl Field as Count Climbs to 269! TULSA, Okla. (December 18, 2006) Former event winner Billy Boat of Phoenix, AZ, is among the latest batch of entries for the upcoming 21st Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals,...

Billy Boat Joins Chili Bowl Field as Count Climbs to 269!

TULSA, Okla. (December 18, 2006) Former event winner Billy Boat of Phoenix, AZ, is among the latest batch of entries for the upcoming 21st Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, with the current entry count swelling to a record total of 269 just three weeks prior to the five-night Midget racing spectacular on January 9-13, 2007, at the Tulsa Expo Raceway.

The current entry count of 269 exceeds the event record of 260 competitors, set in the January 2006 edition of the O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in which New York's Tim McCreadie added his name to the prestigious list of event winners.

Boat returns to Chili Bowl competition for the first time since 2000, when he made his seventh Chili Bowl appearance. Boat has started five Chili Bowl championship feature events, scoring a third place finish in 1995 before capturing the coveted Golden Driller trophy with a triumph two years later.

Boat moved on to Indy Racing League competition after his Chili Bowl victory and was a mainstay with the series over the next five years. Boat has spent the past couple of seasons focusing on his son's racing career. His son, Chad Boat, will be in action at the Chili Bowl as well.

Boat returns to the Chili Bowl aboard Toyota-powered No. 71p Spike chassis from the Cruz Pedregon Racing stable, bringing the count of past Chili Bowl champions entered in January's event to seven. Other past winners that will shoot for another Golden Driller include Sammy Swindell, Cory Kruseman, Dan Boorse, Tony Stewart, Tracy Hines and defending champion Tim McCreadie.

Boat will be teamed with Bixby, OK, Sprint Car shoe Shane Stewart, who takes the wheel of Pedregon's No. 17s mount. After earning Rookie of the Year honors with the World of Outlaws in 2005, Stewart claimed a top-ten ranking with the National Sprint Tour in 2006.

The 21st Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Nationals kicks off on Tuesday night, January 9, with the first-ever Pre-Qualifying Event, which was added to accommodate the ever bulging car count.

The top 15 finishers from Tuesday's Pre-Qualifier will advance to the Qualifying Night events, in which the entries will be split into thirds of approximately 65-70 competitors per night on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

The top four finishers from the Qualifying Night features will automatically lock into the Saturday night, January 13, 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 O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals has evolved into a five-night extravaganza of indoor, dirt track midget racing, and ranks among the world's most prestigious auto racing events.

Reserved seating for all four nights of the event was depleted by June 30. General admission tickets for Tuesday night's Pre-Qualifier will be available at the gate, with pit passes also available for all five night of racing.

-credit: lw

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Series Midget
Drivers Tony Stewart , Billy Boat , Cruz Pedregon , Tracy Hines , Cory Kruseman , Shane Stewart , Tim McCreadie , Chad Boat