January 24, 2021

NASCAR Influence Is Heavy At Chili Bowl Nationals

3 min read
TULSA, Okla. — The Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals annually features a healthy dose of...

TULSA, Okla. — The Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals annually features a healthy dose of NASCAR flavor on its entry list and this year’s 35th running of the Super Bowl of Midget Racing is no different.

As of Wednesday afternoon, nearly 20 drivers with current or former ties to one of NASCAR’s three national series — or the NASCAR-owned ARCA Menards Series — are entered for next week’s event at Tulsa Expo Raceway.

The list is led by 10 drivers with experience in the NASCAR Cup Series, most notably defending premier series champion Chase Elliott, who will drive a No. 9e midget co-entered by DiaEdge Racing and veteran owner Paul May.

Cup Series regulars Ryan Newman and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will drive for Clauson-Marshall Racing, the outfit co-owned by Tim Clauson and Richard Marshall, while returning Cup Series star Kyle Larson will pilot his own No. 01 entry in search of a second-straight Chili Bowl victory.

Christopher Bell will return to the Chad Boat-owned CB Industries stable in search of a fourth Golden Driller trophy. Bell won the Chili Bowl three consecutive years from 2017-’19.

Incoming Cup Series rookie-of-the-year contender Chase Briscoe will race his own No. 5 car, hoping to end a streak of two straight years where he’s narrowly missed making the field for the Saturday feature.

Other drivers with recent Cup Series experience on the entry list include J.J. Yeley, Garrett Smithley and Kasey Kahne, who retired from stock car competition in 2018 and has won the World of Outlaws sprint car title as a car owner in each of the last two years with driver Brad Sweet, who will also race in the Chili Bowl.

NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff contender Justin Allgaier, who finished second in points last year with JR Motorsports, will race for Team Ripper Racing under the guidance of crew chief Flea Ruzic.

Among the drivers with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series experience competing during the Chili Bowl is 2018 Truck Series champion Brett Moffitt, who will drive a second entry for Bundy Built Motorsports in the event.

World of Outlaws star David Gravel will wheel a midget for RMS Racing after running select Truck Series races last season, while two-time Chili Bowl winner Rico Abreu, defending USAC midget titlist Chris Windom, Tanner Thorson and Logan Seavey — all of whom raced in the Truck Series in recent years — are also scheduled to compete in Tulsa.

Reigning ARCA Menards Series West champion Jesse Love will drive an entry for Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports. Gio Scelzi ran the full ARCA West schedule with Bill McAnally Racing last year and will be a teammate to Bell at CB Industries next week.

Other drivers with NASCAR ties competing in this year’s Chili Bowl include Carson Kvapil, the son of 2003 Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil; Ryan Ellis, a veteran of 79 NASCAR national series starts since 2012; and broadcaster Dillon Welch, the son of FOX Sports Truck Series play-by-play voice Vince Welch.

NASCAR Cup Series regular Alex Bowman isn’t entered as a driver after competing in the past two Chili Bowls, but he’ll still field two cars in Tulsa for USAC aces C.J. Leary and Jake Swanson.

The 35th Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals will run Jan. 11-16 inside the River Spirit Expo Center.

The post NASCAR Influence Is Heavy At Chili Bowl Nationals appeared first on SPEED SPORT.

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