Chili Bowl 1988: Hatton, Frye Taste Chili Bowl Success

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FAMILIAR GROUND: Scott Hatton, shown here after a preliminary feature win in the 2003 edition of the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, rode a Friday night win all the way to his first Chili Bowl main event win at Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Raceway in 1988. (Tom Davey Photo)

The 25th annual Chili Bowl Nationals will be held Jan. 11-15 at the QuickTrip Center’s Tulsa Expo Raceway.

In celebration of the Silver Anniversary of this prestigious indoor midget race, www.nationalspeedsportnews.com will be publishing the race reports that appeared in the pages of National Speed Sport News for the first 24 runnings of the event.

Beginning with the inaugural event in 1987, race recaps will be posted on a daily basis from Dec. 18 through Jan. 10.

Young Hatton Takes Second Annual Indoor Event At Tulsa

By DON HUBBARD

FAMILIAR GROUND: Scott Hatton, shown here after a preliminary feature win in the 2003 edition of the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, rode a Friday night win all the way to his first Chili Bowl main event win at Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Raceway in 1988. (Tom Davey Photo)

TULSA, Okla. – Twenty-four-year-old Scott Hatton showed the veterans the way around the tight quarter-mile oval in Saturday night’s second annual Original Chili Bowl indoor midget championship at Expo Square on the Tulsa Fairgrounds.

PACES HIMSELF

Hatton, who started the 40-lap feature fourth by virtue of his fourth-place finish in Friday night’s prelim, paced himself on the inside groove behind Danny Frye, Jr., Mike Gregg, and Gene Gennetten for the first 15 laps.

On the 16th go-round, Hatton moved up a half a groove and started his charge, first blasting by Gennetten and, two laps later, both Frye and Gregg were now second and third as the youngster built up a sizeable lead while lapping traffic and went on to bring the Jerry Hatton, Pennzoil, Jerry’s Pit Stop sponsored mount home first, taking the $4,000 first place money.

Frye, who won Friday night’s feature, held on for second. Gennetten was third, Mike Gregg fourth and veteran Mel Kenyon fifth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Jerry Russell, Dave Strickland, Jr., Jon Backlund, Kevin Olson and Joe Gaerte.

Hatton also took home another $300 bonus in the Dash for Cash over Frye, Swindell, Shuman and Gregg.

The two 15-lap semis were won by Ron Shuman and Johnny Parsons, Jr. with second place finishers Rory Peachey and Ricky Johnson gaining the final two positions in the feature.

Heat winners were Gene Gennetten, Don Lehman, Joe Gaerte, Jerry Russell, Lealand McSpadden and Jon Backlund.

The summary:

Feature (40 laps):

  1. Scott Hatton;
  2. Danny Frye, Jr.;
  3. Gene Gennetten;
  4. Mike Gregg;
  5. Mel Kenyon;
  6. Jerry Russell;
  7. Dave Strickland, Jr.;
  8. Jon Backlund;
  9. Kevin Olson;
  10. Joe Gaerte;
  11. Ricky Johnson;
  12. Lealand McSpadden;
  13. Tom Eatwell;
  14. Sammy Swindell;
  15. Mike Brooks;
  16. Rory Peachey;
  17. Steve Knepper;
  18. Johnny Parsons;
  19. Don Lehman;
  20. Ron Shuman.

Friday Night Preliminary: Danny Frye, Jr.