Kahne to contend for Chili Bowl crown

NASCAR Rookie Sensation Kahne to Contend for O'Reilly Chili Bowl Crown TULSA, Okla. (November 10, 2004) - NASCAR Nextel Cup rookie sensation Kasey Kahne will shift his attention from the nation's Super Speedways to Tulsa Expo Raceway's ...

NASCAR Rookie Sensation Kahne to Contend for O'Reilly Chili Bowl Crown

TULSA, Okla. (November 10, 2004) - NASCAR Nextel Cup rookie sensation Kasey Kahne will shift his attention from the nation's Super Speedways to Tulsa Expo Raceway's quarter-mile dirt oval for the 19th Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Nationals on January 5-8, 2005.

Kasey Kahne signs autographs.
Photo by Frank's Race Photos.
Kahne won't be out of place at all however, as he cut his racing teeth in the open wheel ranks, frequently gracing victory lane whether it be in Sprint Car, Midget or Silver Crown competition. Among his Midget racing credits is the 2000 USAC National Midget championship.

After a partial slate of NASCAR Busch series action in 2002, Kahne wrapped up the 2003 season on a strong note by capturing his first Busch series win and was named the successor to Bill Elliott in Ray Evernham's Dodge Dealers/UAW No. 9 Dodge.

The 24-year-old Washington native has stepped onto the national stage in impressive form, capturing four pole positions and racing to a dozen top-five finishes thus far in 2004. Kahne is currently ranked 13th in Nextel Cup points, tops amongst the 2004 rookie crop.

Kahne will be making his fifth career O'Reilly Chili Bowl appearance, this time aboard his own Mopar/Valvoline No. 9 Midget. Kahne, who has qualified for the Chili Bowl main event in each of his last three attempts, was an early casualty in the 2004 finale. His top Chili Bowl finish thus far came in 2002 when he took the checkered flag in sixth.

Kahne will take on a stellar field of approximately 200 entries at the 19th Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Nationals, including NASCAR Nextel Cup rival and 2002 Chili Bowl champion Tony Stewart. Other top entries among the loaded field will include Sprint Car standouts Steve Kinser and Danny Lasoski, DIRT Modified ace Brett Hearn, and Late Model shoes Rick Eckert and Bart Hartman among others.

Past winners of the coveted Golden Driller winner's hardware include Cory Kruseman (2004 and 2000), Sammy Swindell (1989, '92, '96 and '98), Dan Boorse (2003 and 1999), Stewart (2002), Jay Drake (2001), Billy Boat (1997), Donnie Beechler (1995), Andy Hillenburg (1994), Dave Blaney (1993), Lealand McSpadden (1991), Johnny Heydenreich (1990), Scott Hatton (1988) and Rich Vogler (1987).

Only a limited number of tickets remain for the Wednesday and Thursday night qualifiers. Pit vouchers are available for the Friday, January 7, qualifier and the Saturday, January 8, O'Reilly Chili Bowl finale.

Tickets and pit vouchers are available by calling the O'Reilly Chili Bowl ticket office at 918-838-3777.

Additional information regarding the O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals is available at www.chilibowl.com.

-lw-

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Series Midget
Drivers Bill Elliott , Tony Stewart , Billy Boat , Donnie Beechler , Andy Hillenburg , Danny Lasoski , Kasey Kahne , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Cory Kruseman , Jay Drake , Brett Hearn