Kevin Swindell Nabs 4th Straight Chili Bowl Championship
TULSA, Okla. (Jan. 17, 2013) - As the 27th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma crowned its 2013 champion, Kevin Swindell’s victory represents nine championships for the family whose last name now stands synonymous with Chili Bowl supremacy. Swindell’s fourth trip to the top spot on the podium proliferates a family dynasty at this marquis Sprint and Midget car competition, with his fourth Golden Driller trophy. With the victory, he and father Sammy continue their dominance, but the victory was anything but assured until the late goings, with some clutch car control integral for the victory.
Drawing the number two poll Friday night for the winner’s redraw, Kevin positioned his US Fleet Tracking No.39 alongside Sammy’s Spike No. 1 for an all-Swindell front row.
Each night, top finishers in the US Fleet Tracking-sponsored Main Race produced those advancing to the next round, from which qualifiers emerged for Saturday night’s Main race for all the marbles: the Chili Bowl Championship. Kevin Swindell’s fourth victory Saturday pulls him within one of his father Sammy’s five championships.
Following a complete restart, Kevin surrendered the runner up spot to Kyle Larson just prior to the caution involving a half dozen drivers including Tony Stewart, Billy Wease, Bryan Clauson, Jac Haudenschild, Jerry Coons, Jr., and Jonathan Beason.
Single file past the cone, the caution again blinked as Brady Bacon’s night ended upside down on the front straight. The elder Swindell paced the field to the restart with Larson keeping within three car lengths as the pair worked the inside berm before Sammy began building his advantage.
Working the cushion around the Tulsa Expo Raceway, the John Christner Trucking No. 39 worked back into contention for the runner up spot. Running inches apart, Swindell and Larson traded the runner up spot several times with Larson holding the advantage every time the pair crossed the line.
Slowing on Lap 10 for the spun No. 71k of Jason Meyers, the restart yielded a three way battle for the race lead as Larson led for the first time on Lap 13, swapping slide jobs at either end of the Tulsa Expo Raceway first with Sammy, then with Kevin as the trio went three wide with Larson holding the point as Kevin Swindell took over second. For the next five laps, the pair brought the sold out crowd to a crescendo; screaming wildly over the sound of the cars with the pair putting on a display of haymaker style sliding that culminated when Larson spun to a stop exiting turn four on Lap 18.
“That was fun” said Kevin of the battle. “We’ve been friends a long time and we’ve raced a lot and battled it out but I don’t think we’ve ever…..really dueled like that. We both have a lot of respect for each other so I think it showed that we were at least clearing each other. ”
With the lead in hand, Kevin Swindell ran down slower traffic on Lap 30 as Kyle Larson’s night ended with his second caution. Larson received a standing ovation for his earlier performance as he exited the track.
Sammy Swindell would find all roads blocked as the field caught up, and the groove narrowed. Racing again to the back of the field, Kevin then needed a line to open up; allowing Sammy to move in as the white flag was displayed. Trying to make the middle groove work, Kevin’s ever-present US Fleet Tracking No. 39 would fly to the front end after contact sent the field scrambling, leaving the outcome up in the air for a time, and lending to the week’s suspense.
Asked about the nearly catastrophic turn of events, Kevin replied, “I tried to just get in line behind Jason [Meyers] and I think he had just kind of given up and he went in there real slow. I couldn’t even get slowed up that much, so I hopped over his right rear. All I thought was, well, there he goes.”
With both Swindell’s able to keep rolling, the restart saw Kevin Swindell capped a perfect week his perfect week of racing results, having won every race he entered with Sammy Swindell earning runner up honors for a third straight year.
Questioned about his son’s now fourth consecutive title, Sammy quipped with a smile, “Yeah but I’m the one putting the cars together.” Continuing, the five time champion called the accomplishment remarkable considering it’s been both cars up front for five consecutive years now.
In all 268 competitors from 32 states including Canada, Australia, and Finland competed in the 2013 Chili Bowl.
US Fleet Tracking Co-founder and President Cindy Hunter, taking in the action on Chili Bowl’s final day of competition, clearly is impressed by the enormity of the Event: “US Fleet Tracking was present the entire week of activities at this year’s Chili Bowl, and our guys told me what a major spectacle it was. When I got here though, I was blown away! The immense passion of all the attendees at this event is so impressive!”
Said Hunter: "The energy, not only on the track but everywhere you go here…the Expo, pit area, grandstands… is incredible. We’re really glad we added the 2013 Chili Bowl to the list of elite sporting events US Fleet Tracking is involved with.”
US Fleet Tracking, located in Oklahoma City, is the leader in live vehicle and asset tracking, providing groundbreaking sub-ten-second live tracking. In addition to expertise in tracking commercial vehicles, the company has provided tracking services to high-profile, large-scale public venues. These include the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, 2012 Republican National Convention, Super Bowls XLI through XLVI, and the 2010 Winter Olympics, 2012 Republican National Convention, Super Bowls XLI through XLVI, and the 2012 Summer Olympic games. For a more in-depth look at the company, and to access a live demonstration of US Fleet Tracking’s system in motion, visit http://www.usfleettracking.com.