Chili Bowl Eve

Chili Bowl Eve! TULSA, Okla. (January 10, 2006) -- The time for the 20th Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at the Tulsa Expo Raceway has arrived, as approximately 270 entries from throughout the nation kick off the four-day racing ...

Chili Bowl Eve!

TULSA, Okla. (January 10, 2006) -- The time for the 20th Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at the Tulsa Expo Raceway has arrived, as approximately 270 entries from throughout the nation kick off the four-day racing extravaganza Wednesday night.

Reigning NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart, 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser and Danny Lasoski headline a star-studded field of entries for Wednesday night's Creek Nation Qualifier, with other top contenders including Belleville Midget Nationals winner Jerry Coons, Jr., Davey Ray, Mike Hess, Aaron Fike, Danny Stratton, Johnny Rodriguez, Bud Kaeding, ARDC kingpin Ray Bull and USAC Western States Midget champion Jerome Rodela.

Wednesday's hot laps get under way at 5:00 p.m., with heat race action slated to go green at 6:15 p.m. Approximately 90 of the 270 entries will compete in Wednesday night's qualifying action, which includes a full slate of Heat Races, Last Chance Races, Qualifying Races, Twin "B" Mains and "A" Feature.

The remaining two-thirds of the field will compete in Thursday night's Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores Qualifier and Friday's Warren CAT Qualifier, setting the alignment for Saturday's Feature events.

Press Conference & Practice Notes: A large contingent of media turned out for the 20th Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals press conference at the Tulsa Expo Raceway on Tuesday with drivers on hand including four-time winner Sammy Swindell, Tim McCreadie, Bart Hartman, Trey Robb and Dustin Morgan.

During the press conference, Hahn welcomed the media to the "All Star event of auto racing". "We have the best of the best of the best here at the Chili Bowl," Hahn commented. "From NASCAR's best in Tony Stewart, to a four-time winner in Sammy Swindell, to some of the best Late Model drivers, the best Sprint Car drivers and the best Midget drivers. There's so much talent at this event, each of Saturday night's "B" Features will have more talent than any other "A" Feature you'll see anywhere all year long."

Hahn also introduced a change to the Qualifying Nights format, in which Last Chance Races and Qualifying Races will be contested after the Heat Races. The top 40 in passing points each night will advance directly to four Qualifying Races, with the top six inverted in each Qualifying Race. The balance of the field goes to four Last Chance races, with the top two from each Last Chance race advancing to the respective Qualifying Race. Combined passing points from the Heats and the Qualifying Races will determine the lineups for each night's Twin "B" Mains and "A" Feature, with the top 16 in combined points directly to the "A" Main.

It was also announced that more than $10,000 has been added to the overall purse structure.

Soon after the press conference, Morgan destroyed his No. 93 Stealth entry in a wild flip in his first set of hot laps. Oklahoma USAC Ford Focus Midget coordinator Tom Sewell then returned to his shop to help the Morgan team prepare a new car for his Thursday night qualifying effort.

Each team had two opportunities for hot lap sessions, which ran from 2:00 p.m. to nearly 8:00 p.m., although some teams opted to sit out the practice session. There were no other major incidents.

More O'Reilly Chili Bowl information:

What: 20th Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals

Where: Tulsa Expo Raceway -- 0x00bc-mile clay oval inside the Tulsa Exposition Center at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds

When: January 11-14, 2006. Wednesday - Creek Nation Casino Qualifying Night; Thursday -- Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores Qualifying Night; Friday -- Warren CAT Qualifying Night; Saturday -- Features. Hot laps on each qualifying night begin at 5:00 p.m., with racing action going green at 6:15 p.m. Saturday hot laps begin at noon, with Twin "K" Features kicking off the march through the alphabet to Saturday night's 24-car Championship "A" Feature event.

Past Winners: Sammy Swindell (1998, 1996, 1992 and 1989), Cory Kruseman (2004 and 2000), Dan Boorse (2003 and 1999), Tracy Hines (2005), Tony Stewart (2002), Jay Drake (2001), Billy Boat (1997), Donnie Beechler (1995), Andy Hillenburg (1994), Dave Blaney (1993), Lealand McSpadden (1991), Jon Heydenreich (1990), Scott Hatton (1988), Rich Vogler (1987).

New Award: A new award will be up for grabs this year, as Advantage Trucks & Salvage, Inc., of Lancaster, NY, is offering a $1,000 prize to the Best Appearing car.

Current Entries: 269 entries from 31 different states, surpassing the 2005 Chili Bowl record of 249 competitors.

Past winners entered include Tony Stewart, Sammy Swindell, Cory Kruseman, Dan Boorse, Jay Drake, Scott Hatton and defending race champion Tracy Hines.

Other top drivers already entered include Kasey Kahne, 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser, Danny Lasoski, Dave Darland, J.J. Yeley, All-Star champion Chad Kemenah, ASCS champion Gary Wright, USAC/CRA champion Damion Gardner, ARDC Midget champion Ray Bull, USAC and Sprint Bandits TNT champion Levi Jones, USAC Midget champion Josh Wise, Kevin Swindell, Jason Leffler and Late Model aces Tim McCreadie, Bart Hartman, Rick Eckert and Jeep VanWormer.

Entries represent numerous racing disciplines, including NASCAR, winged and non-wing Sprint Cars, Midgets, Late Models and NHRA drag racing among others.

At least 31 different series or track champions are entered, with a Rookie class numbering 72 entries.

Trade Show: Always a popular attraction at the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals is the Trade Show, which is open to the public each day (Wednesday through Saturday) free of charge. All variety of racing products, apparel and more is available with well over 100 different vendors. The Trade Show covers approximately 20,000 square feet.Preferred Parking: A limited number of Preferred Parking spaces are still available for all four nights of the O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals by calling the ticket office at 918-838-3777.

Buffet: The cafeteria at the east end of the Tulsa Expo Center will offer an all-you-can-eat buffet each day (Wednesday through Saturday) from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m. for just $10 per person.Tickets: Tickets for the 20th Anniversary of the O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals were depleted in mid-October. Pit passes for each night of racing action are available.

O'Reilly Chili Bowl on the Net: All four nights of racing action will be webcast live at www.racinboys.com/. Complete information, including entry lists, updates and official results is available at www.chilibowl.com/.

Additional information regarding the O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals is available at www.chilibowl.com/ or by calling 918-838-3777.

-lw-

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Series Midget
Drivers Tony Stewart , Jason Leffler , Billy Boat , Donnie Beechler , Andy Hillenburg , Rick Eckert , Danny Lasoski , Kasey Kahne , Steve Kinser , Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tracy Hines , Bud Kaeding , Sammy Swindell , Aaron Fike , Cory Kruseman , Jay Drake , Levi Jones , Josh Wise , Davey Ray , Ray Bull , Dave Blaney , Damion Gardner , Dustin Morgan , Tim McCreadie , Scott Hatton , Danny Stratton , Chad Kemenah