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.
Swindell Adds His Name To List Of Golden Driller Winners
By BRYAN GAPINSKI
TULSA, Okla. — Kevin Swindell added another Golden Driller Trophy to the Swindell family trophy case Saturday night, winning the 24th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.
The 50-lap feature capped off five nights of racing featuring 265 drivers in 92 racing events at the QuikTrip Center’s Tulsa Expo Raceway.
After fading at the start from the front row, the 20-year-old driver rebounded to lead the second half of the event. The victory was his third major career midget victory, having previously captured the 2007 Night Before the 500 and Knoxville Midget Nationals last year.
“I wish I would of have been too tight at the beginning, but I was way too free and that really worried me and I kinda felt that I wasn’t gonna be good enough at the end,” Swindell explained.
Polesitter Darren Hagen took the lead at the start, followed by Cory Kruseman,while Swindell faded outside the top five.
On lap five, defending winner Sammy Swindell, who started last after using the defending race winner’s provisional, had advanced seven positions to 18th.
Kruseman took the lead from Hagen on lap nine and began lapping slower cars three laps later. S. Swindell, who was up to 16th, tangled with Brent Beauchamp five laps later and restarted from the tail of the field.
Cole Whitt charged past Jerry Coons, Jr. and Hagen in a five-lap sequence to take second behind Kruseman. The event changed dramatically starting on lap 21 when a seven-car accident saw Brad Loyet flip. On the restart, K. Swindell restarted in fourth, but quickly moved to second before Hagen spun on the next lap.
One lap after the restart, K. Swindell passed Kruseman for the lead. Brad Mosen spun on lap 28 with S. Swindell up to 10th. Cole Whitt regained second from Kruseman and began challenging K. Swindell for the lead.
S. Swindell used two caution flags between laps 36-40 to move into the top five. A caution flag with two laps remaining bunched up the field. On the restart, K. Swindell held off Whitt, while his father passed Jerry Coons, Jr. for third.
Commenting on his father’s late charge, K. Swindell said, “With 10 to go under the caution I could see he was sixth. Then on the last caution I saw him in third. I thought,‘Oh, no, he might get me at the end.’”
K. Swindell drove the Swindell Racing-owned Esslinger-Spike No. 39 and finished two car lengths ahead of Whitt and S. Swindell.
“I was trying everything I could and I couldn’t really keep up with Kevin,” Whitt explained. “We were close. If Kevin made a few mistakes, I could kinda get close to him, but he made only a few.”
Coons and Chris Windom rounded out the top five.
A five-time winner of the event, S. Swindell was proud of his son’s effort.
“This year he [Kevin] had a race that didn’t tear up anything. This year I tore up a lot,” he explained. “But we salvaged a first and a third, so we’ll have to come back next year and try to make it a one-two [finish] like it probably could have been last year.”
- Kevin Swindell;
- Cole Whitt;
- Sammy Swindell;
- Jerry Coons, Jr.;
- Chris Windom;
- Shane Cottle;
- Mike Hess;
- Cory Kruseman;
- Brad Sweet;
- Kyle Larson;
- Michael Pickens;
- Brad Kuhn;
- Brent Beauchamp;
- Tony Roney;
- Daniel Adler;
- Darren Hagen;
- Bobby East;
- Kasey Kahne;
- Brad Loyet;
- Brad Mosen;
- Thomas Meseraull;
- Shane Golobic;
- Zach Daum;
- Danny Stratton;
- Chad Boat.
Tuesday Night Preliminary: Zach Daum
Wednesday Night Preliminary: Kevin Swindell
Thursday Night Preliminary: Darren Hagen
Friday Night Preliminary: Cory Kruseman