Monday, January 9, 2017

2017 #Useless Chili Bowl Preview

"Let's have some fun with some dirty midgets!

It's time for some chili, as prepared by nearly 375 midget drivers! DIRT Nation will be living on "Tulsa Time" for a week, and loving every minute of it ! The annual Chili Bowl starts this week and we couldn't be more thrilled about that at TDN.

There are many great media outlets to follow along with. And for those of you who are Chili Bowl fanatics, the folks that live, breathe, and eat everything that is Chili Bowl related throughout the whole year, the ones that can name every driver at the Knepper 55 or Tulsa Shootout and know what each driver likes for breakfast, you will all find this page somewhat old ground so to speak.

This race has grown almost exponentially in recent years. It is a fan favorite, and attracts drivers from different disciplines. It may be the most popular event on dirt, and probably is.


The Car:

It's a four cylinder, open wheeled midget. Some guy named Kunz makes a lot of them, you'll see his picture all week from time to time, and be prepared to see a lot of this image if you're following along on social media:

The Format:

So basically what happens is they divide the total number of entries into qualifying nights. Here's how it goes in a nutshell.

On Tuesday-Friday Qualifying Nights

  • No time trials.  Drivers draw at 2 PM on their qualifying night for their heats
  • Passing points are used. Don't look to try to play the "my driver finished 2nd in the heat, should put him in the feature" after the heats. It's all passing points, and by the way, there's still another round of races to go
  • The top 40 in passing points move on to four qualifying features. Drivers who weren't in the top 40, go to some C,D and maybe even E Mains and we play alphabet soup to get into the back of the qualifying races. 
  • By the time all is said and done, the field will be compressed to a final 24 cars for the feature. Only the podium finishers on a qualifying night feature actually transfer to the Chili Bowl final on Saturday. 
On Saturday: 

The final night of competition will commence with the largest pot of alphabet soup in racing history! The action starts with multiple "O" mains at midday and winds up with the final 50 lap Chili Bowl final sometime between 10-11 PM on Saturday night.  12 Drivers who have already clinched positions with qualifying night performances will participate in a dash round where they kind of play King of the Hill to determine who starts on the pole. 

Qualifying Night Guide:

So who's driving? We'll everybody and anybody basically. Donny Schatz is here, so is Jonathan Davenport as well as World Racing Group's very own Ross Wece who will aim for a rookie of the year trophy!  In the interest of fans who like to follow a little bit of everyone, here's a breakdown of some pretty well known names and what night's they'll be driving!


(0B)- Ross Wece-The guy makes great videos for World of Outlaws and WRG
(0G)- Glenn Styres -Ever heard of Osheweken Speedway? He own's it! And btw OG does not necessarily mean "original gangster"
(5)- Brad Loyet - This guy does fairly well here.
(5D)- Zach Daum- Our own Daylon Barr picked him, he must be pretty good
(14W) Matt Westfall- The guy that can literally drive anything and everything
(17) Joey Saldana- It's not his first go round here
(23) Jimmy Light- Knoxville's own "DMain Demon"
(71) Kyle Larson- You didn't think he wouldn't be here did you?
(77) Alex Bright- Opened some eyes last year for sure
(99W) Larry Wight- Super DIRTCar Series big block modified star knows what he's doing in these


(1) Sammy Swindell- Needs no introduction, and he's pretty much Sammy as you love him, even in a Midget. A multi time champion here.
(4P) Paul McMahan- Pauls to the stalls could be a factor
(5E) David Gravel- Connecticut Yankee in the Outlaw Court grew up on 1/4 midgets
(5W) Chris Windom- Remember this name if you're not a huge open wheel fan and watch him all week!
(15) Donny Schatz-  "Damn You Donny" looks to make an impression every time he straps in. Might be a long shot to make the "A" but you never know.
(97) Rico Abreu- Have you ever had any of his wine? It doesn't dissolve the glass, that's for sure! Fruited Cabernets are a treasure.....and this just in, he's good!


(1) Sheldon Haudenschild-  ASCoC contender and rising star has some experience here
(5) Jerry Coons Jr.- Keep an eye on this guy!
(7a) Justin Allagier- Doesn't this guy drive something else?
(24) Tracy Hines- You'll see him again on Saturday most likely
(35R) Kody Swanson- Former USAC Silver Crown champion may be in the mix
(41) Jason Johnson- The ragin cajun will look to spice up somebody's chili this week!
(49) Jonathan Davenport- Superman takes to the midgets! He'll have a blast!
(71) Christopher Bell- He's not here for a party...
(71X) Shane Cottle- Always keep an eye on the throttle!
(76M) Brady Bacon- The Baconator should be in the mix on Saturday, though this lineup is really stout on this particular qualifying night.

Friday:  Of course it is actually Friday the 13th. Just sayin...

(1ST)  J.J Yeley- Great number....just ...yeah.
(17BC) Ricky Stenhouse Jr.- Will be a threat...great story this year too.
(17KT) Ryan Secrest- Takes time off of television duties to race in Chili Bowl! Yep, a golden driller means that much!
(21) Daryn Pittman- Will he have white wheels on the Midget?
(22) Corey Kruseman-  You non open wheeled folks better keep an eye on this guy
(47X) Tim McCreadie- Carries the torch for all those who tune in, that love it when a Late Model/Modified pilot upstages the open wheeled talent? A favorite to win always!
(67) Tanner Thorson- Defending USAC National Midget Champion should have your attention!
(71G) Damion Garnder- Is this former champion due for another one?
(73X) Jac Haudenschild- Haud makes it entertaining no matter where he is or what he's driving!
(84X) Chad Boat- There's just something about a boat


Official Wesbsite: including stories, stats, winner's list and updates on race night Right Here

Official Twitter: @cbnationals   Be sure to look for the #uselesschilibowl hashtag all week long for interesting and funny stuff too!!!

Watch on Pay Per View:  You can take in all nights of racing action for $25 a night or $99 for the week at Pay Per View Info Right Here

Saturday's final can be found LIVE on MAVTV Network!

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Q. Do they actually win a 5 gallon drum of chili?
A. No, they actually win a trophy fashioned after the figure at the top of this page, sans the cigarette and shirt. And a nice check, but it's not for as much money as you might think.

Q. What does the "flip count" refer to?
A. Glad you asked. The flip count actually refers to the number of times drivers give each other "the bird" either on the track or in the pits.  And sometimes refers to the number of cars that have turned over during the course of the racing action.

Q. If my favorite driver starts in the "G" main on Sat, they still have a chance at winning? Right?
A. Anything and everything is possible! Never stop believing that!

Q. What makes the event so special?
A. It's once a year, provides great racing, and attracts drivers from all over the world, and from different types of cars, all racing indoors with chili to eat. What more could you ask for?

Q. Will there be a Bryan Clauson tribute?
A. You can bet your (bleep) on it!

Q. Will there be fights?
A. Just go look up You Tube, Shane Cottle vs Brad Kuhn and you tell us!

Our Predictions: Who's bringing home the Golden Driller? 

Tyler "The Professor" Beichner: Sammy Swindell
Gary "Skiz" Heeman: Tanner Thorson
Brian "Dobie" Compton: Tanner Thorson
Josh "Baconbits" Bayko: Rico Abreu
Caitie McFastlane: Rico Abreu
Daylon Barr: Zach Daum
Trever "The Real Deal" Steele: Christopher Bell
Aaron "TDNBet" Clay: Kyle Larson
Kyle Symons: Kyle Larson
Pat "The Natural" Miller: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Frank "Frop" Iudiciani: Corey Turner
Rachel "Still Working on Nickname" Wynkoop: Christopher Bell

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