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.
Stuns ‘Em All In Chili Bowl
By MIKE KERCHNER
TULSA, Okla. — Tim McCreadie used the low groove around the Tulsa Expo Raceway to shock a sold-out crowd and more than 270 other competitors in Saturday night’s 20th annual Chili Bowl Nationals.
When the bottom of the track began to slick off and the competition went to the cushion, McCreadie, who races late models and modifieds for a living, remained committed to the bottom.
After racing nearly even with Jay Drake, who led from the pole, for several laps, McCreadie steadily began to pull away and posted the first victory in the midget-car classic for a late-model driver.
“Every blind squirrel finds a nut,” laughed McCreadie in trying to explain his victory.
Drake, who acknowledged he’d rather run the top of the track, started the race on the bottom because he felt the top was too wet, but as the bottom dried out, he found the going difficult along the rail.
“I started on the pole, and as long as nobody drives around me I have to stick to what is working, and I stayed down there as long as I could and it got to be a situation where there was a dark groove down low and then it got icy,” Drake said. “That’s not something I’m comfortable with. I can’t drive down there and hit it every single time. He [McCreadie] has a lot of experience with that kind of race track and I am more comfortable up there bouncing off the walls.”
In a thrilling race, which saw plenty of two and three-wide racing, but was slowed by 10 yellow flags, which seemed to come routinely as a heated multi-car battle for the lead was breaking out, Drake held off two-time Chili Bowl champion Cory Kruseman to finish second.
“We got beat by someone with more patience than us,” Kruseman said of McCreadie’s ability to make the low [slow] groove work.
B–main transfer Brad Kuhn was fourth, with Josh Wise coming from the C main to finish fifth.
Four-time Chili Bowl winner Sammy Swindell, who started 12th, was part of the battle for the lead, but suffered a flat tire after contact with Kruseman late in the race and had to pit for a replacement.
Feature (50 laps):
- Tim McCreadie;
- Jay Drake;
- Cory Kruseman;
- Brad Kuhn;
- Josh Wise;
- Jon Stanbrough;
- Tracy Hines;
- Shane Cottle;
- Jerry Coons, Jr.;
- Dave Darland;
- P.J. Jones;
- Steve Kinser;
- Kasey Kahne;
- Jason Leffler;
- Bud Kaeding;
- Garrett Hansen;
- Mike Goodman;
- Sammy Swindell;
- Johnny Rodriguez;
- Steve Buckwalter;
- Danny Lasoski;
- Don Droud, Jr.;
- Wayne Johnson;
- Justin Allgaier.
Wednesday Night Preliminary: Danny Lasoski
Thursday Night Preliminary: Jay Drake
Friday Night Preliminary: Cory Kruseman