NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — Tyler Courtney will drive a midget fielded by Clauson-Marshall Racing during the Jan. 10-14 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals at Tulsa Expo Raceway inside the River Spirit Expo Center.
Courtney will be making his sixth Chili Bowl appearance after winning rookie-of-the-year honors in the event while racing for Bryan Clauson Racing in 2011.
“To say I’m excited is an understatement,” Courtney said. “When Tim (Clauson) and Richard (Marshall) approached me with their plan for this year’s Chili Bowl, there was no way I could say no. To even be considered to be on their ‘super team’ that Bryan had talked about bringing down there is an honor.”
Affectionately tagged “Sunshine” by Bryan Clauson in 2010, Courtney is no stranger to the Clauson family and Clauson-Marshall Racing. It’s a relationship that began when Courtney showed up at the then Bryan Clauson Racing shop looking for any opportunity to go racing.
“Tyler came to us basically with nothing but a desire and a will to drive race cars,” team co-owner Tim Clauson recalled. “We explained that he would need to work for an opportunity and if willing to put in the work, we would give him a shot at the end of the year in one of our midgets.”
Courtney has since gone on to establish himself as a top contender in winged and non-winged sprint cars as well as midgets. He won his first USAC national sprint car race earlier this year.
“Sunshine becomes a part of about every conversation I have with young drivers about how to earn an opportunity,” Tim Clauson explained. “When we decided that we wanted to honor Bryan’s wishes by ‘bringing a badass team to the Chili Bowl’, there was no doubt that one of the seats would be filled by ‘Sunshine,’ who has represented not only himself but Bryan and our family so well over the years.”
Courtney is appreciative of another opportunity.
“As most everyone knows, Bryan was a huge influence in not only my racing career, but my life,” Courtney noted. “I truly believe that without the help of Bryan and his whole family, I’m not who I am today and that quite literally without Bryan, I am not ‘Sunshine.’”
Team co-owner Richard Marshall is pleased to have Courtney pilot one of the team’s Chili Bowl cars.
“This race team is a labor of love by all involved. Tim and I want our drivers to share Bryan’s values on and off the track; a die-hard work ethic, team-driven results and a long-term view of the sport,” Marshall says. “Sunshine clearly embodies all of these. Jennifer and I are honored to have Sunshine in a CMR seat.”
Courtney goes on to say that, “Getting to be a part of Clauson-Marshall Racing that is going to embody everything that Bryan did and wanted to do for our sport of racing is simply awesome, that’s the only way to describe it.”
“What I have always loved about working with anything that involves the Clauson family is that it’s always done like a family and as a family, while still maintaining the professional aspect as well,” Courtney continues. “In the short amount of time I’ve been around Richard and Jennifer (Marshall), they have made me feel right at home and I can’t thank them enough as well for letting me be a part of this new journey in their life.”
World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz will also drive for Clauson-Marshall Racing during the Chili Bowl.