TULSA, Okla. – The field that will comprise the 14th annual Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions has been set and is stacked with talent.
Taking place during Monday’s Cummins Qualifying Night, the field was scheduled for 15 drivers, but a change by the Chili Bowl will see an additional three added to the lineup.
“When we changed up the VIROC, and adjusted the qualification standards in 2020, we said then that we would adjust if we saw a need, and we are taking the opportunity to change up and add drivers that deserve to be in the Race of Champions,” explained Chili Bowl Director Matt Ward
“It’s something every year that we’ll do is look through the entry list once we get closer to the event and see if there is anyone that’s not already in that we feel deserves to be.”
Chili Bowl officials looked through the field and decided on three additional champions from the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, NASCAR Cup Series and the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals. Those are Tim McCreadie, Chase Elliott, and Sammy Swindell.
Sammy needed to be in. You don’t win this race once, much less five times by luck. He’s part of what made the Chili Bowl. That was the first one,” Ward explained. “Tim McCreadie winning the Lucas Oil Late Model Championship, plus being a Chili Bowl champion, needed to be in, and since the current NASCAR Cup Series champion is the defending Chili Bowl champion, we went to back 2020 since Chase Elliott is part of this year’s event.”
The complete list of drivers invited to compete in the VIROC include:
• Blake Hahn-ASCS National Tour Champion
• Brad Sweet-World of Outlaws Sprint Car Champion
• Brady Bacon-USAC Sprint Car Champion
• Bryant Wiedeman – POWRi National Midget Champion
• Buddy Kofoid-USAC National Midget Champion
• Cannon McIntosh-Monday Night Winner
• Chad Boat-VIROC 2018
• Chase Elliott-2020 NASCAR Champion
• Christopher Bell-Champion – 2017, 2018, & 2019
• Daryn Pittman-2017, Runner-up
• Justin Grant-Friday Night
• Kyle Larson-Champion – 2020 & 2021
• Rico Abreu-2020 VIROC, Runner-up
• Sammy Swindell-Five-Time Chili Bowl Champion
• Spencer Bayston-2018, third
• Tanner Thorson-2021, third
• Tim McCreadie-2021 Lucas Oil Late Model & Chili Bowl Champion
• Tyler Courtney-2021 All Star Circuit of Champions Champion
Drivers could earn invitations to the Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions in a number of ways:
• Drivers finishing in the top-three of Saturday night’s A-Feature during the previous five Chili Bowls will be eligible.
• Drivers finishing in the top-two of the past five VIROC events will be eligible.
• Preliminary night winners from the most recent Chili Bowl will be eligible.
• Series champions from the most recent calendar year in the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars, American Sprint Car Series National Tour, All-Star Circuit of Champions, USAC National Midgets, USAC National Sprint Cars, and POWRi National Midget League will be invited to compete.
• Champions of other tours and series may be added at the Chili Bowl’s discretion.
• No driver substitutions or alternates from a sanctioning body will be allowed.
The starting lineup for the VIROC will be set by group qualifying. Drivers will draw for their qualifying position, then qualify in groups of three to four. Drivers will get two warmup laps, then three green flap laps to set their time. The top-eight fastest will be inverted with the ninth fastest on back lined up straight up by their time.
The Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions feature will be 25 laps. Christopher Bell is the defending race champion.