Chili Bowl Time in Tulsa!
TULSA, Okla. (January 5, 2011) -- For a solid week each January, the entire racing world finds itself living on Tulsa time. Race fans and teams from throughout the nation and beyond flock to the birthplace of Route 66 by the thousands, with those unable to make the journey following along as closely as possible in any manner possible.
It's the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals. And, there's simply no comparison.
This year marks the Silver Anniversary of the unique Midget racing event that attracts the best of the best from virtually every form of auto racing, from the NASCAR ranks to Sprint Cars, Late Models, Midgets and more to the QuikTrip Center's Tulsa Expo Raceway, a 1/4-mile clay oval that occupies the lower level of the QT Center each January.
The 25th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals currently has an entry list that numbers 264 with competitors representing 29 different states as well as New Zealand and Australia. The inaugural edition in 1987 drew 52, the century mark was eclipsed for the first time in 1994, the count climbed over 200 in 2003 and topped out at 281 (for now) in 2009.
That influx of race teams and fans transform the City of Tulsa each January. And, early signs of that transformation are already apparent. By this time next week, motel parking lots will be full, rental car parking lots will be empty and restaurants throughout the city will be bustling with Chili Bowl-crazed race fans.
The whole Chili Bowl experience begins for the teams on Sunday, when every inch of space in the QuikTrip Center is maximized with the parking procedure that gets every one of the 260-ish entries in the building for the week.
Monday features a practice session for all from approximately 9:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m., a chance for teams to fine tune the ultimate race-winning setup.
The first official green flag of the week flies on Tuesday night, the first of four qualifying nights that will ultimately set the grid for Saturday's Rockstar Energy Drink slate of Lucas Oil Chili Bowl championship feature events.
Tuesday's Warren Cat Qualifier also includes the Third Annual Vacuworx International Race of Champions. VIROC III includes a total of 16 past Chili Bowl champions (drivers and car owners) and standouts in a special feature race, an attractive add-on to a Tuesday qualifier that has proven to be perhaps the best night of action of the week in recent years.
Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals Quick Facts:
What: 25th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals
Where: Tulsa Expo Raceway -- 1/4-mile clay oval inside the QuikTrip Center at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds
January 11-15, 2011
Tuesday -- Warren CAT Qualifying Night plus Vacuworx Int'l Chili Bowl Race of Champions
Wednesday -- River Spirit Casino Qualifying Night
Thursday -- Qualifying Night
Friday -- Vacuworx International Qualifying Night
Saturday -- Lucas Oil Championship Feature Events
Past Winners: Kevin Swindell (2010), Sammy Swindell (2009, 1998, 1996, 1992 and 1989), Damion Gardner (2008), Tony Stewart (2007 and 2002), Tim McCreadie (2006), Tracy Hines (2005), Cory Kruseman (2004 and 2000), Dan Boorse (2003 and 1999), 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).
Trade Show: Always a popular attraction at the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals is the Trade Show, which is open to the public each day (Tuesday 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.
Tickets: A limited number of reserved seats for Tuesday night's Warren CAT Qualifying Event and the Third Annual Vacuworx International Chili Bowl Race of Champions are available for $43 per person and may be obtained by calling 918-838-3777 or at the gate if still available. Pit passes for all five nights are available at the gate as well.
Chili Bowl on TV: Portions of the 25th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals will be broadcast on SPEED TV on a tape-delayed basis. JChili Bowl on the Net: All official news pertaining to the 25th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, including official entry lists, race results and recaps, is available first at www.chilibowl.com. Also, all five nights of the Chili Bowl Nationals will be broadcast live (audio) on www.racinboys.com.
Additional information regarding the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals is available at www.chilibowl.com/ or by calling 918-838-3777.