TULSA, Okla. – Entries for the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals inside the Tulsa Expo Center on Jan. 10-15 have hit 380, a new record for the annual midget racing extravaganza.
The previous record for entries at the Chili Bowl was 372, which was set during the 2017 edition of the event.
In addition to hitting a new record for entries, Chili Bowl officials have also announced the driver rosters for the five qualifying nights that will help set the field for Jan. 15 finale.
Action begins on Jan. 10 with Cummins Qualifying Night. Cannon McIntosh, who has won the last two Monday qualifying night features at the Chili Bowl, headlines the group of drivers looking to punch their tickets into the main event.
Other notable entries on Monday include World of Outlaws star David Gravel, USAC Triple Crown champion Jerry Coons Jr., 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott, Stewart-Haas Racing NASCAR driver Chase Briscoe, JR Motorsports late model competitor Carson Kvapil and Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR competitor Alex Bowman.
The opening night of the Chili Bowl will also feature the Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions, a special invitation-only race featuring champions from the Chili Bowl and other forms of racing. NASCAR star Christopher Bell is the defending winner.
The likely favorite to win the Chili Bowl for the third-straight season, 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson, hits the track on Tuesday aboard his own Kyle Larson Racing entry during Warren CAT Qualifying Night.
Other drivers hitting the track Tuesday include All Star Circuit of Champions titlist Tyler Courtney, 2006 Chili Bowl winner and reigning Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion Tim McCreadie, reigning USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series champion Buddy Kofoid, Gateway Dirt Nationals victor Jonathan Beason and USAC star Thomas Meseraull.
Rico Abreu, a two-time Chili Bowl winner, tops the entry list for Wednesday’s Hard Rock Qualifying Night. Abreu has won the Wednesday night qualifying feature six of the last seven years.
Those looking to dethrone him include five-time Chili Bowl winner Sammy Swindell, USAC regular Kevin Thomas Jr., Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series champion Blake Hahn, 2008 Chili Bowl winner Damion Gardner and impressive rookie competitor Ryan Timms.
Three-time Chili Bowl champion Christopher Bell tops the list of entries for Thursday’s John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night. The NASCAR regular, who is returning to Keith Kunz Motorsports, will be attempting to win his eighth qualifying night feature in the last nine years.
Drivers hoping to stop him include a bevy of USAC stars like Tanner Thorson, Logan Seavey, C.J. Leary and Shane Cottle, as well as rising World of Outlaws rookie Spencer Bayston and Chili Bowl rookie Brent Crews.
Justin Grant will look to continue his run of strong performances during Friday’s Driven2SaveLives Qualifying Night. He’s won four of the last five Friday night Chili Bowl qualifying features.
Joining Grant in the Friday night preliminary event are retired NASCAR star and new World of Outlaws regular Kasey Kahne, 2013 World of Outlaws champion Daryn Pittman, NASCAR Cup Series regular Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 2008 Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman and IndyCar veteran Conor Daly.
The top-two finishers in each qualifying night feature automatically advance to Saturday night main event on the quarter-mile temporary dirt oval. All other competitors will be forced to fight their way into the main event via the dreaded alphabet soup features that run all day Saturday leading into the finale.