2006 Chili Bowl rookie list announced

2006 O'REILLY CHILI BOWL MIDGET NATIONALS ROOKIE CROP TULSA, Okla. (January 4, 2006) -- Time for a quick look at the list of Rookie contenders for the 20th Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, which fires off next Wednesday night,...


TULSA, Okla. (January 4, 2006) -- Time for a quick look at the list of Rookie contenders for the 20th Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, which fires off next Wednesday night, January 11, at the Tulsa Expo Raceway.

With the current entry count at 268, there are a total of 72 rookies vying for ROY honors.

The rookie contenders are:

#F1 French Grimes (Madison, VA) - A legend in his own right.

#2a Charles Davis, Jr. (Buckeye, AZ) - Accomplished West Coast wingless sprint shoe takes over a Chuckwagon-powered Burrito.

#2b Brady Short (Bedford, IN) - National Non-Wing Sprint Car Rookie of the Year.

#02R Brian Ramstack (West Bend, WI) - BMARA Rookie of the Year.

#3z Joe Zierolf (Houma, LA) - The only Cajun driver in the field.

#4az Chris Edwards (Buckeye, AZ)

#4m Scott Milan (Ft. Collins, CO) - Three consecutive years of top-ten point finishes with the ASCS Rocky Mountain Region.

#4p Will Pierce (Lee's Summit, MO)

#5b Bob Brewer (Salt Lake City, UT) - Will be the fastest driver from Utah at this year's Chili Bowl.

#5k Kevin Burgess (Stott's City, MO)

#5L Leighton Crouch (Lubbock, TX)

#5z Zach Daum (Pocahontas, IL)

#05x Ashley Swanson (Wildomar, CA) - On the Chili Bowl entry list, only the driver bio pages of Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne have attracted more views than that of the attractive Swanson, who pilots the only Honda-powered Midget in the field.

#F5 Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK) - The former ASCS National champ is a regular frontrunner every Saturday night at Knoxville Raceway; ready to conquer in his first Midget outing.

#7J Brad Graham (Springfield, MO)

#7nu Tim Nehmer (Sun Prairie, WI) - Nu-Bomb Family Racing, what's not to like?

#9b Ryan Beechler (Anna, TX) - Shares the same surname as past Chili Bowl champion Donnie Beechler.

#9h Russ Harper (Watkins, CO) - Rookie season of Midget racing netted second in RMMRA points.

#10b Brandon Knupp (Sidney, OH) - 19-year-old ARCA veteran makes long awaited return to open wheel racing roots.

#11az C.J. Sarna (Sedona, AZ)

#11d Doug DeWitt (Sunnyvale, CA)

#11h Garrett Hood (Concordia, KS)

#11J Jonathan Henry (Glendale, AZ)

#11m Mike Goodman (Tulsa, OK) - The former WoO Gumout traveler has frequently thumped Oklahoma's two-barrel ranks in recent years.

#11s Eric Schrock (Lake Ozark, MO) - A former Winged Outlaw Warriors champ.

#12 Trey Robb (Oklahoma City, OK) - Scored a Sprint Car feature win in August at Oklahoma City's State Fair Speedway at just 13 years of age; gearing up for a Rookie of the Year campaign with the ASCS National Tour.

#14az Danny Sheridan (Santa Maria, CA) - It's Showtime!

#17c Chris Windom (Canton, IL) - The 15-year-old scored a Sprint Car feature win at Paragon, IN.

#17k Kenny Adams (Normal, IL) - MARA Rookie of the Year and fourth in points.

#17x Audra Sasselli (Fresno, CA) - Second and third in California USAC Ford Focus asphalt and dirt points.

#17z Ryan Ratliff (Tulsa, OK) - The Micro racer hopes for a better outcome than '05 Murdock renter Joe Park.

#19s Jonathan Beason (Broken Arrow, OK)

#20f Steve Francis (Ashland, KY) - Missed out on the World of Outlaws Late Model series title by just one point in 2005.

#21m Andy Martin (Gordonville, PA) - ARDC Rookie of the Year; third in points.

#22x Dex Eaton (Owasso, OK) - The 16-year-old ranked among the ASCS Sooner Region's top ten.

#25 Nick Knepper (Belleville, IL) - Takes over the seat from his father Steve Knepper.

#27 Josh Richards (Shinnston, WV) - Was a top Rookie contender with the World of Outlaws Late Model series in '05, finishing seventh in points.

#27b Todd Kimmel (Avon, IN) - Scored a Micro title in Indiana.

#29L Leroy Holler (Independence, MO) - Powered by the lone Cadillac in the field.

#29w Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA) - Another youngster makes the jump from karts and micros.

#30 Chad Boat (Phoenix, AZ) - 13-year-old son of former Indy Car racer and Chili Bowl champion Billy Boat missed out on the Arizona Midget Racing Association championship by just two points in '05.

#31b Danny Burke (Houston, TX)

#31h Justin Henderson (Sioux Falls, SD) - The newly signed member of the World of Outlaws Sprint Series "Mean 15" ranked seventh in Knoxville Raceway 410-ci Sprint Car points.

#31T Randy Timms (Oklahoma City, OK) - The Modified racer tries on an open-wheeler.

#31x Joe Walker (Harrisonville, MO)

#33 Nick Bohanon (Jeffersonville, IN) - Second in USAC Regional points at Indy's Speedrome.

#33m Marc Arnold (Peru, IN) - Fifth in Kokomo points, has signed on to drive one of the Truckers Racing No. 10 Sprint Cars in '06.

#34J Jon LeJeune (Decorah, IA) - Perhaps the first Iowa-based Frenchman in Chili Bowl history.

#37b Zac Osborn (Muncie, IN) - Picked up an MSCS wingless Sprint win in June.

#37v Damon Lusk (Kennewick, WA) - Has three career ARCA Re/Max Series stock car wins and is reportedly set to tackle the NASCAR Busch Series in '06.

#39 Kevin Swindell (Germantown, TN) - Enjoy him in the open wheel ranks while you can, the third-generation racer earned National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year honors in both 410's and 360's.

#41 Trey Hausmann (Grand Forks, ND) - A former competitor with the World Snowmobile Association. But, hailing from North Dakota, that should come as no surprise.

#44p Ryan Pace (Arroyo Grande, CA) - Has graduated from the Ford Focus Midget ranks to full-size Midgets and Sprint Cars; teamed with non-Rook Chili Bowlers Shane Cottle and Don Droud, Jr.

#45h Matt Sargent (San Jose, CA) - In the Bay Area ranks among the best shoes in Dwarf Cars; makes the jump to the Mighty Midgets.

#45s Stevie Sussex III (Tempe, AZ)

#49 Billy Pauch, Jr. (Frenchtown, NJ) - Son of the legendary BP setting out to make his own mark in the racing world.

#49JR Ron Bach (Ventura, CA)

#50J Jeff Griffin (St. Helena, CA)

#50x Tom Everhart (El Cajon, CA) - Joins his brother Tony for Chili Bowl festivities.

#51c Cole Nelson (Atwater, CA) - Has excelled in the Karting ranks.

#68 Jonathan Hendrick (Fortville, IN) - Reigned as King of the Kenyon Cars in USAC's Indy Speedrome action.

#69m Mike Marfia (Rio Rancho, NM) - Joins Robert to make it two Marfia's for the '06 Bowl.

#71 Darren Hagen (Riverside, CA) - Earned Rookie of the Year honors with both the USAC Sprint Car and Midget series in 2005.

#71c Chad Kemenah (Findlay, OH) - A Rookie contender with a legit chance at winning the whole thing, the four-time All-Star champion is defecting to the World of Outlaws Sprint Series in 2006.

#73F Foster Landon (Collinsville, OK) - The ASCS Sooner Region gasser gears up for his first Chili Bowl.

#74 Ernie Bartley III (El Cajon, CA) - Along with Stevie Sussex and Rex Norris, Bartley is the third "III" among the 250+ entries.

#77e Dave Ely (West Lawn, PA) - A former URC Sprint Car champ.

#79 Frank Pedregon (Fontana, CA) - With somewhat of a Midget racing background, this Drag Racer should fare better in the Chili Bowl than the likes of Gary Scelzi and Ron Capps.

#83 Kurt Blackaby (Bentonville, AR) - Along with fellow Rookie candidates Daum, Robb, Windom, Ratliff, Beason, Eaton, Kimmel, Whitt, Boat, Arnold, Swindell and Hendrick, tuned up for his first Chili Bowl in the recent Tulsa Shootout.

#85x Brent Beauchamp (Fairland, IN) - Third in USAC Kenyon Car points, the youngster impressed in Indiana's wingless sprint circles as well in '05.

#86x Daron Clayton (Sikeston, MO) - He qualifies on Friday night. Bring your goggles, he's capable of slinging mud (and more) to the upper reaches of the bleachers.

#98 Curtis Bailey (Bartlesville, OK) - What would the Chili Bowl be without an entry from Bartlesville?


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Series Midget
Drivers Tony Stewart , Frank Pedregon , Ron Capps , Gary Scelzi , Billy Boat , Donnie Beechler , Kevin Swindell , Kasey Kahne , Damon Lusk , Brad Graham , Joe Walker , Leighton Crouch , Billy Pauch , Shane Cottle , Steve Knepper , Darren Hagen , Kenny Adams , Brandon Knupp , Brady Short , Daron Clayton , Nick Bohanon , Jonathan Henry , Steve Francis , Cole Whitt , Bob Brewer , Zach Daum , Chad Boat , Josh Richards , Jonathan Beason , Chris Windom , Dex Eaton , Tom Everhart , Kurt Blackaby , Garrett Hood , Will Pierce , Jonathan Hendrick , Wayne Johnson , Danny Sheridan , Brent Beauchamp , Chad Kemenah , Stevie Sussex III , Danny Burke