The 29th annual Chili Bowl Nationals will be held Jan. 13-17 at the River Spirit Expo Center at Tulsa’s Expo Square.
Leading up to the Chili Bowl, SPEED SPORT will publish some of the race reports that appeared on www.nationalspeedsportnews.com or in the pages of National Speed Sport News for the first 28 runnings of the event.
At Lucky Number Three Indoors
By DON HUBBARD
TULSA, Okla. – A crowd of more than 3,000 was on hand to see sprint-car star Sammy Swindell dominate the third annual Original Chili Bowl Midget Nationals on Expo Square’s indoor quarter-mile dirt track Saturday night.
Driving Jack Runyon’s Pontiac-powered Challenger, Swindell started second, took the lead on the opening lap and was never headed.
Before the 21-car field hit the starting line in the 35-lap feature, several cars tangled between turns three and four with Robby Flock’s machine eliminated with a punctured oil tank.
On the restart, Swindell again took off in the lead as Rick Taylor did a slow roll in turn two, resulting in a red flag. Duke DeRosa was also involved, and both restarted at the rear. Again Swindell took off on the green flag with Rich Vogler the chaser. Johnny Heydenreich fell into third with Kevin Olson fourth.
Meanwhile, Jack Hewitt, with one of the few cars working the outside groove, thrilled the fans with his drive from eighth to third at the half-way mark, keeping Vogler in sight until the 20th circuit when he blasted by the five-time USAC midget champion for second.
Vogler pressed harder to regain second, bouncing off the number one turn wall a few times, which cost him another position on the 33rd lap when Heydenreich got by. Vogler settle for fourth just ahead of Olson at the checkered flag.
Rounding out the top 10 finishers were Steve Enlow, Dave Strickland, Jr., Dean Ward, Mike Gregg and Danny Frye, Jr.
More than 80 cars were on hand, requiring nine qualifying heats. Steve Enlow, Duke DeRosa, Rick Taylor, Robby Flock, Dean Ward, Don Lehmann, Mike Gregg, Jackie Burke and Randy Koch each scored heat victories.
Bev Griffis, one of two young female drivers in the field, won the first C feature with Tom Siner taking the second.
Feature (35 laps):
- Sammy Swindell;
- Jack Hewitt;
- Johnny Heydenreich;
- Rich Vogler;
- Kevin Olson;
- Steve Enlow;
- Dave Strickland, Jr.;
- Dean Ward;
- Mike Gregg;
- Danny Frye, Jr.;
- Scott Hatton;
- Duke DeRosa;
- Don Lehmann;
- Dean Franklin;
- Jerry Russell;
- Randy Koch;
- Scott Frew;
- Rick Taylor;
- Richard Pole;
- Gene Gennetten;
- Robby Flock.
Friday Night Preliminary: Rich Vogler