Bryan Hulbert - Tulsa, Oklahoma (January 3, 2013) It may not be an adaptation of Swan Lake, the performance of Beethoven’s Seventh, or the showing of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa but what happens at the Chili Bowl is without a doubt Art.
More than a form of Art, it is a happening. One that has transcended a generation with the Sons of Champions now themselves Champions in one of the racing’s greatest events. The graceful drift of Hoosier rubber against Tulsa clay seems so effortless in the hands of those who pilot these custom crafted machines of Steel, Carbon Fiber, and Plastic and for those who have achieved greatness in this world of Methanol driven dreams, there is one race that nearly stands on equal footing with Saturday’s Finale; the VIROC.
Celebrating its fifth year, the Vacuworx Invitation Race of Champions, as it is now called, brings these titans of the racing together for a one race showdown to decide who will have bragging rights for the next calendar year. Whether they are in by the grace of an Owner Champion or if they themselves have stood with the coveted Golden Driller hoisted above their head, it is the thrill of competing against those who are revered as the best that makes the VIROC a true test for anyone who has earned the title of Champion.
Featured on Tuesday’s Chili Bowl opener, the VIROC V will again bring the who’s who of the racing world together for a 25 lap test.
Submitted into this year’s VIROC, fifteen drivers will take to the Tulsa Expo Raceway during the January 8th opener:
1 - Sammy Swindell: The three time and reigning champion of the VIROC (2009, 2011, and 2012), the elder Swindell has five Golden Drillers to his credit along with the VIROC. Sammy will be driving the Swindell Motorsports No. 1
39 - Kevin Swindell: Where his Father has three VIROC titles, the second generation Swindell as three Golden Drillers in as many years to his credit. Kevin will be driving the Mike Curb/Swindell Motorsports No. 39.
24 - Tracy Hines: The 2005 Chili Bowl Champion enters this year’s event with new hopes for 2013. Piloting the Bob Parker backed No. 24, the Indiana native looks to better his 2012 finish of third.
21K - Cory Kruseman: The southern California non-wing ace has topped the Chili Bowl twice (2004 and 2000). Fielding his own Lucas Oil No. 21k, Kruseman’s best finish in the VIROC came in 2010 with an eighth place finish.
71 - Kyle Larson: At this point, there aren’t very many races in the world of dirt track racing that Kyle Larson hasn’t won. Fresh off a 4 for 4 run in New Zealand, the 2012 Turkey Night Grand Prix winner enters under the Keith Kunz/Curb Agajanian banner in the No. 71.
5 - Cole Whitt: A regular with the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Cole Whitt enters the VIROC aboard the Wilki Pak No. 5. Whitt’s best finish in the VIROC came in 2012 with a fourth place attempt.
1st - J.J. Yeley: The Arizona native is never short on excitement. Yeley has a pair of top five finishes in the VIROC with a fifth in 2009 and a fourth in 2011. The USAC Triple Crown winner will be behind the wheel of the McKinnie Motorsports No. 1st.
15x - Chad Boat: The son former Indy Car driver Billy Boat, the second generation Boat makes his rounds with the K&N Pro East Series but for the VIROC will be behind the wheel of the John Lawson owned No. 15x. The VIROC V marks Chad’s first attempt at the 25 lap event.
98 - Brad Sweet: Another VIROC Rookie in 2013, Brad Sweet will pilot the Gary Zarounian backed No. 98 in this year’s VIROC.
63 - Jerry Coons Jr.: Earning the National Midget Driver of the Year for 2012, Arizona’s Jerry Coons Jr. has secured his place in the VIROC for the first time. Coons will spend the Chili Bowl aboard the Dooling Machine No. 63.
47 - Damion Gardner: Known far and wide as “The Demon” the 2008 Chili Bowl Champion will pair with Andy Bondio for the 2013 Chili Bowl in the No. 47 machine.
47x - Tim McCreadie: A wild card at the Chili Bowl, the Late Model driver from Watertown, New York was the talk of the racing world when he upset the Chili Bowl field in 2006. Absent since 2011, McCreadie returns in the Andy Bondio backed No. 47x.
14 - Tony Stewart: A two time champion of the Chili Bowl (2007 and 2002), “Smoke” will again bring his Chevrolet Performance No. 14 to the Chili Bowl with hopes of not only breaking the Swindell stronghold but adding the VIROC to his resume.
56P - Jason Leffler: Returning in the Shane Hmiel owned No. 56P Long Beach, California’s Jason Leffler will look to improve on his third place performance in the VIROC in 2011.
o5 - Brad Loyet: The winner of the VIROC II, 3x POWRi Midget Champion Brad Loyet returns to the Chili Bowl with the Orange Army with hopes of improving upon his eighth place result in 2012.
For more information about the VIROC log onto http://www.theviroc.com.
For driver information including Hometown and sponsor rundown log onto http://www.chilibowl.com/entries/manual.aspx?c=1095
The 27th Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire will begin moving teams in on Sunday January 6, 2013.
Practice is scheduled for Monday January 7th with the first night of competition getting underway with Tuesday’s Warren CAT Qualifying night as well as the 5th 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 of the US Fleet Tracking Qualifying Night A-Features will transfer directly into the Saturday January 12th Feature event with the remainder of Saturday’s US Fleet Tracking Championship Feature lined up according to the Qualifying night finishes.
Tuesday night tickets are the only reserved seats still available which can be obtained by calling the Chili Bowl office at 918-838-3777. 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 @cbnationals.
Lucas Oil Chili Bowl presented by General Tire - Quick Facts:
What: 27th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl presented by General Tire
Where: Tulsa Expo Raceway – ¼-mile clay oval inside the QuikTrip Center at Tulsa's Expo Square
When: January 8-12, 2013
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 6pm. Grandstands open at 3pm
Saturday begins at Noon. Opening Ceremonies following qualifiers is at 6pm. Grandstands open at 9am
Past Winners: Kevin Swindell (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).
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 27th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl National presented by General Tire can be found at http://www.chilibowl.com. Live online audio of each night can be found at http://www.racinboys.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.
US Fleet Tracking is the title sponsor of all A-Features during the 2013 Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. US Fleet Tracking is a GPS tracking manufacturer providing Internet-based access to LIVE vehicle tracking and asset management. For more information log onto www.usft.com.
For more information on the Chili Bowl log onto www.chilibowl.com or call 918-838-3777.