Thomas To Drive For Swindell At Chili Bowl

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Kevin Thomas Jr. won Sunday's Kokomo Klassic sprint car race at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway. (Stan Kalwasinski photo)
Kevin Thomas Jr. won Sunday's Kokomo Klassic sprint car race at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway. (Stan Kalwasinski photo)
Kevin Thomas Jr. will drive for Kevin Swindell in the Chili Bowl. (Stan Kalwasinski photo)

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. – Kevin Swindell’s involvement in the 30th annual Chili Bowl Nationals Presented by General Tire will be in a different capacity in 2016.

Swindell, who has won the premier midget event four times, has teamed up with Bernie Stuebgen of Indy Race Parts to own a midget that will be piloted by Kevin Thomas Jr. on Jan. 12-16 at Tulsa Expo Raceway in Tulsa, Okla.

“I talked to K.T. prior if he was interested and he was on board so we started putting it together,” Swindell said. “It’s just like our (Swindell Motorsports) cars. The intent is to get it as close to our cars as we can. It’s the same chassis and same motor combination. It’s as close as we can get.”

The newly formed team is not the same No. 39 Swindell Motorsports midget that Swindell has driven to a top-two finish each of the last six years at the Chili Bowl.

“It takes money to go racing,” he said. “Right now we’re just looking at running the Chili Bowl. If the opportunity presented itself to run some midget week races it’s something we might look into. I’m trying to look toward my future. I don’t know how good my ability will be in a race car. If I can return and be good that’s great. If not, it’s something I’d like to stay involved in.”

Thomas Jr. finished third in the USAC National Midget Series championship standings in 2015.

“He’s been really good in the sprint cars the last couple of years and he just spent a whole year with Keith Kunz getting acclimated to a midget,” Swindell said. “I’m sure he will do a great job.”