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.
Proves Previous Win No Fluke
By DON HUBBARD
TULSA, Okla. – Two-time World of Outlaws sprint car champion Sammy Swindell became the first repeat winner in the six-year history of the Keebler-Original Chili Bowl Midget Nationals Saturday night at Tulsa Expo Raceway.
A standing-room-only crowd saw the Bartlett, Tenn., resident claim the $4,000 top prize, plus $1,000 in cash, which was added to the winner’s prize by “Strawberry King” J.W. Hunt.
Driving Larry Howard’s Ellis chassis with Fontana power under the hood, Swindell lined up fourth. Thursday night prelim winner Kevin Doty took the lead from the pole with Friday night prelim victor Ken Schrader and Swindell in hot pursuit. Swindell and Schrader made contact on the backstretch of the first lap. The contact sent Schrader spinning and he was forced to restart at the rear of the field.
On the restart, Doty again took the point with defending champion Lealand McSpadden, Swindell and Page Jones giving chase. Using the cushion, Swindell passed McSpadden for second on lap two. Three laps later he blasted around Doty and never looked back.
The race ran non-stop for 42 laps before Chili Bowl rookie Greg Vernetti spun. Swindell continued his charge on the restart, but on the white flag lap fifth-running Ron Shuman tangled with Doty and Shane Carson. Shuman restarted at the tail while Doty and Carson watched the rest of the race from the pits.
On the restart, McSpadden tried a last ditch effort to catch Swindell but fell four car lengths at the checkered flag in Andy Bondio’s Barnes Engineering entry. Andy Hillenburg crossed the stripe third in Keith and Rusty Kunz’s Challenger while Jones, the only midget regular in the top five, brought Howard’s second entry home fourth. World of Outlaws regular Danny Lasoski completed the top five in Tony Findley’s mount.
Shuman earned $500 for a flag-to-flag victory in Fram Dash. Swindell was second with Brent Kaeding third.
Don Beechler went wire-to-wire in winning the first 20-lap B main while Carson also led the entire distance in the second B feature.
Pete Frazier flipped on the white-flag lap while running fifth in the second B main. Dean Billings, running in a qualified spot, was also involved in the incident and both were finished for the evening.
Darrell Calhoun flipped on lap three, but still came from the rear of the field to win the first D feature while Robert Hanley topped the second D main, which saw both Darrell Crocker and Jim Parsons flip. It was Parsons’ second flip of the weekend.
Terry Holderfield slipped under Andy Pierce on the second lap and went on to top the first C feature, which saw Tom Teators tumble on the first lap. In the second C feature, Tom Eatwell passed Jackie Burke on the 10th lap and stretched his lead to a straightaway at the checkered flag.
No one was hurt in any of the flips.
Feature (50 laps):
- Sammy Swindell;
- Lealand McSpadden;
- Andy Hillenburg;
- Page Jones;
- Danny Lasoski;
- Dan Boorse;
- Ken Schrader;
- Mike Streicher;
- Dave Strickland, Jr.;
- Randy Roberts;
- Stevie Reeves;
- Johnny Parsons, Jr.;
- Jerry Stone;
- Aaron Berryhill;
- Don Beechler;
- Gene Gennetten;
- Ron Shuman;
- Gary Howard;
- Greg Vernetti;
- Kevin Doty;
- Shane Carson;
- Pat Lysell.
Thursday Night Preliminary: Kevin Doty
Friday Night Preliminary: Ken Schrader