TULSA, Okla. (Jan. 8, 2013) – Kevin Swindell attempts to stretch his winning streak to four in the 27th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire against an all-star field of 270 racing on the Quik Trip Center’s quarter-mile clay oval at Tulsa Expo Raceway. US Fleet Tracking is the Main Race sponsor each night, as competiton runs Tuesday though Saturday, Jan. 8-12.
Swindell became the first driver to win the Chili Bowl back-to-back in 2010 and 2011 and led all 55 laps to take his third Golden Driller trophy in 2012. Carrying on quite a family tradition, the 23-year-old from Germantown, Tenn. will be driving an updated version of the Esslinger-powered Spike that he commanded to victory last year.
The Chili Bowl has been a Swindell family affair the past four years. Father Sammy won in 2009, his fifth conquest at Chili Bowl, but first since 1998. Sammy finished second the past two years.
“For all the effort that everybody puts into it, some of the guys who have won the race and some who keep coming back and can’t win it, it’s pretty neat to win it,” Swindell said. “It’s probably one of the toughest races in the world to win.”
This year’s entry list includes three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and former short track superstar Tony Stewart, with two Chili Bowl victories to his credit, Sprint Cup names Kasey Kahne and J.J. Yeley, NASCAR Nationwide’s Justin Allgaier and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ Jason Leffler. All have extensive in short track and Midgets.
The best from the world of Sprints and Midgets will be in the Chili Bowl, too, with three-time USAC National Driving Champion Bryan Clauson, National Midget Driver of the Year Jerry Coons Jr., wins-at-everything-he-drives Kyle Larson, former two-time World of Outlaws champion Jason Meyers, POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget champion Andrew Felker, Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series star Brady Bacon, 2005 Chili Bowl winner Tracy Hines and 2012 USAC National Midget champion Darren Hagen among those entered.
Is there a secret sauce the Swindell’s possess that others don’t? “I don’t know if we do or don’t,” Kevin said. “You have to weasel your way through 60-some cars on the qualifying nights to have a chance. With the quality of cars, it’s almost impossible to win the race from deep in the field. You can try to make your own luck as much as possible, but it’s tough if you don’t start at the front.
“You have to take it one race at a time. With the way they break qualifying into four nights, the quality of cars you have to race dwindles to eight or 10 and you get what you can out of the heat races.”
Qualifying nights are Tuesday through Friday, with the top three in the feature transferring to Saturday’s A-Main, the week’s marquis event. Everybody else has to climb into the 24-car finale through a series of sub-main races that can go deep into the alphabet, depending upon the results of their qualifying nights. Swindell will be in Thursday’s Qualifying Night event.
“We’re thrilled to be the sponsor of the A-Main race each night at this year’s Chili Bowl, where there’s such a great reputation of intense battles and sportsmanship,” says Cindy Hunter, president and co-founder of US Fleet Tracking. “Our deep-seated Oklahoma roots, plus the popularity throughout America of high-level racing competition make the Chili Bowl a natural fit for US Fleet Tracking. We know that fans will watch these racing legends with great anticipation.”
Kevin Swindell has made Saturday’s A-Main in four of his seven previous Chili Bowls. Swindell has a versatile resume, finishing ninth at Texas in a Nationwide race. He was victorious in an ARCA stock car battle at Chicagoland Speedway last year and has won in various types and series of Sprint Cars.
“I’ve always been really comfortable in a Midget,” Swindell said. “It’s one of the cars that I’m truly best at and the way my style is suited, the race track at the Chili Bowl plays into what I like. We build great cars and I’ve been able to adapt to anything I’ve raced in pretty quickly, and that doesn’t hurt either. “I think it’s definitely possible to win again at the Chili Bowl.”
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 events. These include the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, 2012 Republican National Convention, Super Bowls XLI through XLVI, and the 2010 Winter Olympics. For more in-depth details, and to access a live demonstration of US Fleet Tracking’s system while in motion, visit https://www.usfleettracking.com.