IndyCar Backs 10 Chili Bowl Drivers

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Dave Darland during Chili Bowl practice day. (Hein Brothers Photo)

TULSA, Okla. — IndyCar is sponsoring 10 drivers during this week’s Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals.

Team IndyCar consists of 10 drivers competing in the 31st annual indoor midget race that attracts hundreds of racers ranging from weekly short-track regulars and legends to IndyCar and NASCAR drivers. The weeklong competition takes place on the quarter-mile clay oval constructed inside River Spirit Expo Center.

“Our heritage closely connects IndyCar with iconic events like the Chili Bowl Nationals and the list of greats who have competed in short-track open-wheel cars for decades,” said C.J. O’Donnell, chief marketing officer of IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “We’re proud to announce the Team IndyCar contingency award program and our list of entrants competing in Tulsa this week. This effort recognizes some greats of the sport along with some promising young talent that we hope to someday see in an Indy car. We join midget racing followers across the country in following their progress at the Chili Bowl.”

The Team IndyCar program includes a sponsorship for each car plus contingency prizes that include a $5,000 bonus should a Team IndyCar driver win Saturday’s championship feature race. Other bonuses include $1,000 to any team driver who finishes second or third in the championship feature, $500 to any team driver qualifying for the championship feature and an additional $500 for the best finisher among Team IndyCar.

Among those driving for Team IndyCar is legendary short-track star Dave Darland, who has won more than 100 USAC events and was named Tuesday as an inductee to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.

“It’s great to be part of this program and great that IndyCar and the sprint car/midget connection is still there,” Darland said. “The Indianapolis 500 is what almost all of us grew up dreaming about. The Chili Bowl is our Indianapolis 500 and Mardi Gras put together. It would be a lot of fun to win it with all the great drivers here, certainly would be meaningful. My team is fairly new but they’ve given me a great piece and I think we have a great opportunity this year.”

The remaining drivers on the Team IndyCar Chili Bowl squad are Chad Boat, Jerry Coons Jr., Tuesday night winner Tyler Courtney, David Gravel, Davey Hamilton Jr., Kyle O’Gara, Davey Ray, Donny Schatz and Tyler Seavey.