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.
Only Three-Time Winner
By BILL WOODSIDE
TULSA, Okla. – Sammy Swindell capitalized on other’s misfortunes at Tulsa Expo Raceway, capturing the top prize in the 10th annual Chili Bowl Nationals Saturday.
Swindell earned $5,000 for the triumph in the Rusty Kunz-owned Stealth. The victory makes Swindell the only three-time winner of the prestigious event.
Swindell, who started sixth in the 22-car line-up, patiently stalked early leaders Billy Pauch and Billy Boat, and saw both fall by the wayside. Pauch led the first eight circuits on the quarter-mile oval before a flat right rear tire forced him to pit for fresh rubber.
Boat inherited the point and looked like he would be the man to beat, until a lap-44 restart killed his Gaerte engine and handed the lead to Swindell. Boat was avoiding a lapped car that had spun in front of him when disaster struck.
“The car was getting better and better,” said Swindell. “I don’t know what would have happened if Billy had not stopped. I was trying some different lines and he ran on top the whole race.”
Swindell was jubilant as he crossed the finish line, raising both fists in triumph as he passed under Monte Edwards’s checkered flag.
Following Swindell at the finish was P.J. Jones, who started eighth. Jones drove a Lawson-prepared Stealth-Gaerte entry. Jones had survived a torrid duel over the final five laps with 1994 Chili Bowl winner Dave Blaney.
Blaney, who drove Ralph Potter’s V-6 Stealth, started 21st and passed 18 cars before the race was finished. Blaney was awarded the Rich Vogler Hard Charger Award for his efforts.
Rounding out the top-five positions were Donnie Beechler and Jay Drake, who started fifth.
Finishing sixth through 10th were Steve Knepper, Kevin Doty, Jack Hewitt, Ron Shuman and Richard Griffin.
Feature (50 laps):
- Sammy Swindell;
- P.J. Jones;
- Dave Blaney;
- Donnie Beechler;
- Jay Drake;
- Steve Knepper;
- Kevin Doty;
- Jack Hewitt;
- Ron Shuman;
- Richard Griffin;
- Danny Lasoski;
- Kevin Olson;
- Dave Strickland, Jr.;
- Randy Koch;
- Rick Hendrix;
- Brett Hearn;
- Doug Schenck;
- Billy Boat;
- Boyd Calvert;
- Brian Gerster;
- Kenny Irwin, Jr.;
- Billy Pauch.
Thursday Night Preliminary: Billy Pauch
Friday Night Preliminary: Donnie Beechler