From Bryan Hulbert
TULSA, Okla. (May 5, 2020) – Needing a second helping of the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire, but the whole “lockdown” has you stuck on the couch? Then make sure you’re tuned to FS1 on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, as iRacing presents the virtual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire live at 7:00 P.M. (ET).
“This is shaping up to be a pretty neat deal,” stated Chili Bowl co-founder, Emmett Hahn of the virtual Chili Bowl. “When they came out and scanned the track a few years ago, the Chili Bowl was one of the most requested tracks and now to see this deal go from live on Saturday night for real to live in iRacing on FS1; it’s bigger than I could have ever imagined.”
Keeping true to one of the Chili Bowl’s most enduring aspects, the virtual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire will boast a list of drivers from nearly every walk of life with talent from NASCAR, INDY, World of Outlaws, American Sprint Car Series, All-Stars, NHRA, USAC, POWRi, and beyond set to take on iRacing’s toughest Dirt Track.
Challenged by Christopher Bell on Twitter, the response was instant among those challenged to compete and the fans who cheer them on.
“One of the biggest challenges I saw going into this was making it relatable to the fans, and that’s something I feel like they’ve really done well with,” commented Emmett about the roster of drivers for Wednesday’s showdown on FS1. “Everyone at iRacing has been great about working with us, plus, working with Christopher [Bell] to make sure it’s as true as we can get with some of these drivers involved. There’s a lot of names on that list that I’ve watched race the Chili Bowl so this deal here should be a lot of fun to watch.”
Subject to change, the list of competitors includes:
Driver – Hometown, State (Racing Affiliation)
Anton Hernandez – Arlington, TX (USAC)
Blake Hahn – Sapulpa, OK (ASCS)**
Bobby Labonte – Corpus Christi, TX (NASCAR Xfinity)
Brady Bacon – Broken Arrow, OK (USAC)**
Buddy Kofoid – Penngrove, CA (NARC)**
Cannon McIntosh – Bixby, OK (POWRi)**
Chase Briscoe – Mitchell, IN (NASCAR Xfinity)**
Chase Cabre – Tampa, FL (NASCAR K&N)
Christopher Bell – Norman, OK (NASCAR)**
Clinton Boyles – Greenwood, MO (POWRi)
Cruz Pedregon – Torrance, CA (NHRA)
Daison Pursley – Locust Grove, OK (NOW600)
David Gravel – Watertown, CT (WOO)**
Dillon Welch – Carmel, IN (USAC/MRN)**
J.J. Yeley – Phoenix, AZ (NASCAR)**
Jake Neuman – New Berlin, IL (POWRi)**
Justin Allgaier – Spaulding, IL (NASCAR Xfinity)**
Justin Grant – Ione, CA (USAC)**
Kenny Wallace – St. Louis, MO (NASCAR)
Kevin Swindell – Germantown, TN (WOO)**
Kevin Thomas, Jr. – Cullman, AL (USAC)
Landon Cassill – Cedar Rapids, IA (NASCAR Xfinity)
Logan Seavey – Sutter, CA (USAC)**
Parker Klingerman – Stamford, CT (NASCAR/NBCSN)
Robert Dalby – Anaheim, CA (USAC)
Ron Capps – San Luis Obispo, CA (NHRA)
Santino Ferrucci – Woodbury, CT (INDY)
Scott Speed – Manteca, CA (RALLYCROSS)
Tony Gualda, Jr. – Modesto, CA (NARC)
Tony Kanaan – Salvador, Bahia, BRA (INDY)
Tyler Courtney – Indianapolis, IN (USAC)**
Will Power – Toowoomba, AUST. (INDY)
Zeb Wise – Angola, IN (ASCoC)
*Indicates Chili Bowl A-Feature Start.
Among the list of drivers slated for Wednesday’s virtual showdown, 15 have made the cut into Saturday’s 55-laps showdown for the coveted Golden Driller. Two on the list have gotten it done.
Topping the field in 2017 and going on to win the next two years following, Christopher Bell is only the second Oklahoman to win the “Mecca of Midgets”. Previous to, Broken Arrow’s Andy Hillenburg grabbed the win in 1994. The other driver on the list of winners is Kevin Swindell. The son of five-time Chili Bowl Champion, Sammy Swindell, 2010 saw the changing of the guard and the beginning of an unprecedented run to four consecutive victories atop Tulsa Expo Raceway clay; a feat nearly tied in 2020 by Bell who came up one spot shy to Kyle Larson.
Swindell and Bell each have seven A-Feature starts to their credit.
Among the remaining 13 A-Feature starters, none have as many as J.J. Yeley, nor have any come through Saturday’s fabled Alphabet like the former USAC Triple Crown Champion. Eight times an A-Feature starter, Yeley has made it to the podium twice in his career, including the 2004 run to the show positions after starting his night in the F-Feature.
Justin Allgaier, Justin Grant, and Tyler Courtney have each made the cut on four occasions with Blake Hahn, Brady Bacon, and Logan Seavey sitting at three starts each. Michael “Buddy” Kofoid, Cannon McIntosh, Chase Briscoe, David Gravel, Dillon Welch, and Jake Neuman each hold a single A-Feature green flag.
For information on listings and times in your viewing area, log onto https://www.foxsports.com or check with our local provider.
For continued updates on the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire, fans can follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with @CBNationals. All official press, updates, and results on the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire can be found online at http://www.chilibowl.com.