TULSA, Okla. (January 12, 2014) - The 28th Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire begins Tuesday, January 14 with drivers not only in competing for a spot in Saturday’s 55 lap finale, but also for the bragging rights of winning the Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions.
The sixth edition of the champion’s showdown, sixteen drivers are eligible based on having won the Chili Bowl as a driver, driving for an owner-champion, and having topped the latest calendar year’s National Midget Driver of the Year standings.
The Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions will take place on Tuesday, January 14 between the “B” Features and “A” Feature. The VIROC will be 20 laps in distance and will pay a cool $2,500 to the winner.
2014 VIROC Drivers:
1 - Sammy Swindell: A five time champion of the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals, the elder Swindell has topped the VIROC three times (2012, 2011, and 2009).
1st - J.J. Yeley - Piloting a car under the banner of 1996 co-owner champion, Jay McKinnie, the former USAC Triple Crown champion finished runner up in the 2013 VIROC.
05 - Brad Loyet - A former winner of the VIROC in 2010, three-time Lucas Oil POWRi Midget Champion, Brad Loyet is the only driver to win the VIROC besides a Swindell.
5 - Jerry Coons, Jr. - Competing in the 2013 VIROC as the National Midget Driver of the Year, Arizona’s Jerry Coons, Jr. will compete in his second VIROC in 2014, this time under the Wilke-Pak banner, who picked up a Golden Driller in 2005.
13au - Mathew Smith - The son of former owner champion, Steve Smith, the second generation driver aims to garner the 2006 owner champion his second Golden Driller.
15x - Chad Boat - Son of a Chili Bowl champion, Chad Boat again looks to match the accomplishment of his father, Billy Boat, in the John Lawson owned No. 15x.
21k - Cory Kruseman - Taking the Golden Driller in 2000 and 2004, California’s Cory Kruseman will look to better his finish in the VIROC from a 2010 showing of eighth.
24 - Tracy Hines - Topping the Chili Bowl in 2005, Hines’ best appearance in the VIROC came in 2012, crossing third to Sammy and Kevin Swindell.
39 - Kevin Swindell - The reigning four-time Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Champion picked up his first VIROC victory with a late race pass on J.J. Yeley in 2013 and will go for his fifth Golden Driller in as many years.
47 - Damion Gardner - “The Demon” returns in the Bondio No. 47 for his fifth VIROC. A champion of the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals in 2008, Gardner’s Golden Driller came with the backing of Jason Leffler.
47x - Tim McCreadie - The surprise winner of the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals, the accomplished Modified and Late Model driver parked in victory lane in 2006 to earn Steve Smith is first Golden Driller as a car owner. The only one earned by an Australian owner.
63 - Bryan Clauson - Winning 28 features in 2013, the reigning USAC National Champion joined forces with Dooling Machine and 1996 owner champion, Rusty Kunz for his attempt at the Golden Driller in 2014. Clauson is also fielding four mounts himself in this year’s Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.
68 - Jay Drake - Taking time in Ronnie Gardner’s No. 68, the 2001 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals champion will complete under the roof of the River Spirit Expo Center for one race before returning the controls to Gardner.
71 - Kasey Kahne - After the passing of Jason Leffler, it was the working of great people to bring the car he was building to the Chili Bowl. Piloted by Kasey Kahne, the Enumclaw, Wash. shoe will drive in memory, and honor, of the late Jason Leffler who earned a Golden Driller as a car owner in 2008.
71k Kyle Larson - Driving for three-time owner champion, Keith Kunz, the No. 71k will again be piloted by Kyle Larson. A contender for the win one year ago with Kevin and Sammy Swindell, Larson will also compete for his qualifying spot Tuesday night.
97 - Christopher Bell - Earning the National Midget Driver of the Year, Christopher Bell will compete in the VIROC for the first time in the Keith Kunz backed No. 97.
The 28th Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire begins with Practice on Monday, January 13 with the first night of competition getting underway with Tuesday’s Warren CAT Qualifying night as well as the sixth annual Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions.
Competition continues with Wednesday’s River Spirit Casino Qualifier, Thursday’s John Christner Trucking Qualifier, and Friday Vacuworx Global Qualifier with everything culminating on Saturday’s Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Championship.
The top three in each Qualifying Night A-Feature will transfer directly into the Saturday championship event with the remainder of Saturday’s features lined up according to the Qualifying night finishes.
General Admission seating is available along the back straight-a-way and can be accessed with the purchase of a Pit Pass. Additional information regarding the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl presented by General Tire can be found online at http://www.chilibowl.com. For more updates follow the Chili Bowl on Facebook and on Twitter.
Lucas Oil Chili Bowl presented by General Tire - Quick Facts:
What: 28th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl presented by General Tire
Where: Tulsa Expo Raceway – quarter-mile clay oval inside the River Spirit Expo Center at Tulsa's Expo Square
When: January 14-18, 2014
Tuesday – Warren CAT Qualifying Night plus Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions
Wednesday – River Spirit Casino Qualifying Night
Thursday – John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night
Friday – Vacuworx Global Qualifying Night
Saturday – Lucas Oil Championship Feature Events
Races Tuesday-Friday begin at 6:00 P.M.. Grandstands open at 3:00 P.M. (CT)
Saturday begins at Noon. Opening Ceremonies following qualifiers is at 6:00 P.M. Grandstands open at 9:00 A.M.
Chili Bowl Champions: Kevin Swindell (2013, 2012, 2011, and 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), John Heydenreich (1990), Scott Hatton (1988), Rich Vogler (1987).
VIROC Champions: Kevin Swindell (2013), Sammy Swindell (2012, 2011, and 2009), Brad Loyet (2010)
Past “A” Feature Starters: Sammy Swindell 20, Jerry Coons, Jr. 14, Dave Darland 13, Tracy Hines 12, Cory Kruseman 12, Kevin Olson 10, Brad Kuhn 8, Shane Cottle 8, J.J. Yeley 7, Jon Stanbrough 6, Kasey Kahne 6, P.J Jones 6, Bobby East 5, Matt Westfall 5, Steve Buckwalter 5, Kevin Swindell 5,Damion Gardner 5, Casey Shuman 4, Bryan Clauson 4, Davey Ray 4, Tim McCreadie 4, Michael Pickens 4, Chris Windom 3, Brad Loyet 3, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. 3, Thomas Meseraull 3, Daryn Pittman 3, Shane Golobic 3, Danny Stratton 3, Kyle Larson 3, Jac Haudenschild 3, Mike Hess 3, Gary Taylor 2, Chad Boat 2, Don Droud, Jr. 2, Nick Knepper 2, Zach Daum 2, Jonathan Beason 2, Darren Hagen 2, Billy Wease 2, A.J. Fike 2, Brady Bacon 2, Tony Roney, Andrew Felker, Brandon Waelti, Daniel Adler, Shane Hollingsworth, Paul White, Kevin Thomas, Jr., David Gough, Caleb Armstrong, Richard Vander Weerd, Mike Goodman, Mike Spencer, Rico Abreu, Brent Beauchamp
Counties Represented: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United States
United State Count: Oklahoma 45, Indiana 43, California 37, Illinois 29, Texas 15, Missouri 13, Pennsylvania 12, Kansas 11, Arizona 9, Ohio 6, Nebraska 5, Arkansas 5, Colorado 4, Delaware 3, Iowa 3, North Carolina 3, South Dakota 3, Washington 3, Wisconsin 3, Wyoming 3, New York 2, North Dakota 2, Tennessee 2, Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico
Trade Show: A long standing tradition at the Chili Bowl, the Trade Show, which is open to the public each day (Tuesday through Saturday), is free of charge. All variety of racing products, apparel and more is available with well over 100 vendors. The Trade Show still has space available. Anyone looking to be a part of the Trade Show can contact the Chili Bowl office at 918-838-3777. The Trade Show covers approximately 20,000 square feet.
Chili Bowl Online: All official news regarding the 28th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl National presented by General Tire can be found at http://www.chilibowl.com. Updates throughout the Chili Bowl can be found via Facebook and Twitter at http://www.facebook.com/chilibowlnationals and http://www.twitter.com/cbnationals.
Event Coverage: For the first time, the Chili Bowl will be show online on http://www.racinboys.com. The online PPV experience will run from Tuesday through Saturday’s qualifiers. At time of opening ceremonies on Saturday, Racinboys PPV coverage will cease as final features will be shown live on MAVTV American Real for the first time. For a complete listing of channels, and to request MAVTV, log onto http://www.mavtv.com.
Lucas Oil Products is the title sponsor of the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. More information about the products available from Lucas Oil can be found at www.lucasoil.com. General Tire is the presenting sponsor of the Chili Bowl. A complete inventory of tires offered by General Tire can be found at www.generaltire.com.
Vacuworx Global is the title sponsor of the VIROC which brings past Chili Bowl Champions as well as champions from around the world together for a single 20 lap race to see who is the best of the best. For more information about Vacuworx log onto www.vacuworx.com. For more information on past champions of the VIROC, log onto www.theviroc.com.
For more information on the Chili Bowl log onto http://www.chilibowl.com or call 918-838-3777.