Chili Bowl entries at record pace

Entries Flood Chili Bowl Offices at Record Pace TULSA, Okla. (November 25, 2004) -- As families and friends across this great land sit down for turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie and all assortment of fine treats, it can mean only one...

Entries Flood Chili Bowl Offices at Record Pace

TULSA, Okla. (November 25, 2004) -- As families and friends across this great land sit down for turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie and all assortment of fine treats, it can mean only one thing. The time for the O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals is drawing near.

Folks will have plenty to talk about over Thanksgiving dinner, as 131 entries have already been submitted for the 19th running of the Chili Bowl Nationals, to take place over four action-packed nights atop the quarter-mile clay oval inside the Tulsa Expo Center on January 5-8, 2005.

Only 76 entries had been submitted at this time last year. The 2004 edition of the Chili Bowl went on to have a record number of 206 contestants. More than 50 entries ahead of last year's pace, the 2005 Chili Bowl could easily attract 230 or more worthy entries.

Already among the early entries are former race winners including two-time champions Cory Kruseman and Dan Boorse, along with 2002 winner and '02 NASCAR king Tony Stewart, 2001 winner Jay Drake and 1988 winner Scott Hatton, who teams with defending race champion Kruseman aboard the second Andy Bondio entry.

Other early entries include NASCAR Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year Kasey Kahne, 19-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser, four-time and reigning Knoxville Nationals champion Danny Lasoski, and J.J. Yeley, who gained an astounding 69 spots by racing from an F Feature all the way to third in the 2004 Chili Bowl.

Also not to be overlooked are NASCAR Craftsman Truck racer Tracy Hines, World of Outlaws shoe Jason Meyers, Midget racing ace Davey Ray, USAC stalwarts Dave Darland and Tony Elliott, West Coast wingless warrior Damion Gardner and the "Professor" Jimmy Sills.

With the open wheel ranks well represented, Bart Hartman, Rick Eckert, Justin Allgaier and Jeep Van Wormer lead a contingent of dirt Late Model shoes into the Chili Bowl, with Brett Hearn and Tim McCreadie (who splits his time with Late Model efforts) leading the way for the DIRT Modifieds. Cruz Pedregon represents the NHRA straight-liners, while even the shock jock industry is represented by Bubba the Love Sponge.

Tyler Walker and Kraig Kinser head a strong rookie class that includes Kiwi Michael Pickens and Aussie Adam Clarke as well as former Indy Car racer Tom Bigelow. Kinser is teamed with his famous father and Jay Drake, while Walker joins forces with Jon Stanbrough and Elliott in the formidable Venture Racing camp.

All that talent already, and another 100 or so entries can be expected in the 40 days leading up to the Chili Bowl.

The surplus of talent hasn't gone unnoticed by race fans from across the country, as only a limited number of tickets remain for Wednesday and Thursday night's qualifying events. Only pit passes remain for Friday's qualifier and Saturday's Chili Bowl Nationals finale.

-lw-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Midget
Drivers Tony Stewart , Rick Eckert , Cruz Pedregon , Danny Lasoski , Steve Kinser , Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Tony Elliott , Cory Kruseman , Jay Drake , Tyler Walker , Jon Stanbrough , Davey Ray , Jason Meyers , Kraig Kinser , Michael Pickens , Jimmy Sills , Brett Hearn , Justin Allgaier , Damion Gardner , Tim McCreadie , Scott Hatton