Over 200 entries so far for the 29th Annual Chili Bowl

206 cars, 194 drivers and the list will just get longer.

Kevin Swindell
Kevin Swindell, Lucas Oil 25th Chili Bowl winner
Sammy Swindell
Bryan Clauson
Kevin Swindell celebrates winning the Lucas Oil 25th Chili Bowl
Sammy Swindell celebrates his victory
Sammy Swindell celebrates his victory
Kevin Swindell celebrates winning the Lucas Oil 25th Chili Bowl
Daryn Pittman and Kevin Swindell
Sammy Swindell
Sammy Swindell having fun
Bryan Clauson

The Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals, the indoor midget race held each January inside the massive Quik Trip Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a month away and already the number of entries has topped 200.

This little event, barely known until relatively recently outside a hardcore group of enthusiasts, is becoming like your favorite intimate restaurant that has just been discovered and you find you can't get a table anymore. Just five years ago you could book a hotel room a week or two before the event -- already this year, rooms are scarce, tickets scarcer.

You want a seat? Forget it. Long gone. You'll have to bring a lawn chair and watch on one of the big-screen TVs inside the building, which at one time was the world's largest under one continuous roof. There is, at least, plenty of standing room, given the fact that there's over 446,000 square feet. But unless you have a seat, you can't see the track.

Five days, non-stop action

The event is five days, with the final feature Saturday night, January 17. The previous races are to whittle down the field into one of the 24 starting spots -- this is one race that if you just make the feature, you've accomplished something. There are no provisionals; no matter who you are, if you don't race your way in, you don't make the show.

The way the event is run by promoters Emmett Hahn and Lanny Edwards is something beyond military precision. It has to be, given the number of entries, and the number of flips (39 last year) on the little almost-quarter-mile track, assembled using dirt stored off-site for the rest of the year. And yes, it does get smokey in there, despite lots of air-moving apparatus.

So who is there? Everybody and nobody. Last year a constantly-texting Danica Patrick showed up, cheering on boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., who didn't make the feature; this year he's trying again. Tony Stewart will be there -- it's his favorite race of the year -- and he has won it twice, but he won't race this year due to a recent surgery on the leg he broke in the sprint car crash in 2013. Kyle Larson is usually racing, and is always very, very fast, but hasn't yet filed an entry. But unless you are a diehard dirt-track fan, you probably haven't heard of many of the sport's superstars. UPDATE: Kyle Larson has filed an entry. The total so far: 285.

The royal family of the Chili Bowl -- so named because an early sponsor was a chili company -- are the Swindells, father Sammy and son Kevin. Between them, they have won nine of the 29 races, five wins for Sammy, four for Kevin. But from 2010 to 2013, Kevin won four in a row, a stunning achievement given the fact that until Kevin did it in 2010 and 2011, no one has managed to even win two in a row. Kevin came close to making it five in a row last year, but sometime-IndyCar racer Bryan Clauson spoiled his party. Sammy last won in 2009, so the Swindells did make it five straight, and they are always strong there: Sammy has figured out something regarding the suspension that remains his secret.

This year, MAV TV, the cable channel owned by sponsor and oil magnate Forrest Lucas, will show the final race live, thus guaranteeing two things: The highest rating MAV has ever had for a show, and a mad dash by fans who don't have the channel to locate a friend who does.

Below is a list of the entries so far -- and there will be more -- and a list of past winners. The Chili Bowl should be on the bucket list of every true race fan.

Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire entry list so far:

Car number, driver, hometown (R is rookie)

0 -Johnny Murdock -Kaufman, TX
0B (R) -Billy Melton -Longview, TX
0K -Don O'Keefe Jr -Pittsboro, IN
0T -Tyler Brehm -Pottstown, PA
00 (R) -Cole Custer -Kannapolis, NC
1 -Sammy Swindell -Germantown, TN
1B -Bobby Brewer -Cabot, AR
1OU -A.J. Burns -Norman, OK
1P -Terry Nichols -Delano, CA
1W (R) -Mike Wheeler -Central Point, OR
2 -Ryan Hall -Midlothian, TX
2$ -Stuart (Stu) Snyder -Waverly, NE
2A -TBD Driver
2B -Ryan Bernal -Hollister, CA
2H -Robert Harr -Arvada, CO
2HH (R) -Nathan Benson -Concordia, MO
2K (R) -Kyle Jones -Kennedale, TX
2ND -Jeb Sessums -Burleson, TX
2S -TBD Driver --
2X (R) -Charlie McDonald -Jefferson, TX
3 -Shane Cottle -Kokomo, IN
3A -Chris Andrews -Tulsa, OK
3C (R) -Raven Culp -Mesquite, TX
3F -TBD Driver
3M -Mike Fulper -Cumberland, OH
3N (R) -Jake Neuman -New Berlin, IL
3T -Tim Barber -Sonoma, CA
4 -Caleb Armstrong -New Castle, IN
4A -TBD Driver
4C (R) -Chadd Howell -Waurika, OK
4J -Tim Crawley -Benton, AR
4R -Ryan Greth -New Cumberland, PA
4X -Shawn Petersen -Irving, TX
5$ -Danny Smith -Sand Springs, OK
5B -Andee Beierle -Bismarck, ND
5C -Colten Cottle -Kansas, IL
5D -Zach Daum -Pocahontas, IL
5E -James Edens -Petaluma, CA
5F -Rik Forbes -Omaha, NE
5G -P.J. Gargiulo -Morton, PA
5X (R) -Justin Peck -Monrovia, IN
6 (R) -Tom Harris Oxfordshire, Eng.
6A -David Gough -Machesney Park, IL
7 -Shannon McQueen -Bakersfield, CA
7AB (R) -Amber Balcaen -Winnipeg, MB, Can.
7D -Michelle Decker -Guthrie, OK
7F (R) -Claud Estes III -Godley, TX
7J -Shawn Jackson -Bear, DE
7JR (R) -Anton Julian -New Plymouth, NZ
7K -Robby Parish -Knightstown, IN
7M -Kevin Ramey -Ft Worth, TX
7R (R) -Anton Julian -New Plymouth, NZ
7RS -Scott Crystal -Overland Park, KS
7S -Pat Schudy -Springfield, MO
7W -Kory Schudy -Springfield, MO
8 -Alex Sewell -Broken Arrow, OK
8L (R) -Austin Liggett -Tracy, CA
8R -Randi Pankratz -Bradley, CA
9$ -Kyle Clark -Sand Springs, OK
9D -Sean Dodenhoff -Reno, NV
9E (R) -Brody Roa -Buena Park, CA
9S -TBD Driver
10 -George White -Fort Worth, TX
10V -Richard VanderWeerd -Visalia, CA
11 -Justin Melton -Flower Mound, TX
11A -Andrew Felker -Carl Junction, MO
11B -Josh Baughman -Odessa, TX
11C -Chett Gehrke -Broken Arrow, OK
11F -Floyd Alvis -San Carlos, CA
12 -Chris Sheil -Aurora, CO
12A (R) -Austin Archdale -Brinfield, IL
12C -Chris Stockham -Cicero, NY
12S -Bryan Severs -Collison, IL
13JR (R) -Jock Thacker -Hineston, LA
13SR -John Ricketts -Hineston, LA
14D -David McIntosh -Broken Arrow, OK
14E -Eric Fenton -Tulsa, OK
14H -Harley Hollan -Tulsa, OK
14W -Matt Westfall -Ludlow Falls, OH
15 -Tim Siner -Dupo, IL
15B -Danny Burke -Houston, TX
15D -Andrew Deal -Dewey, OK
15W -Brandon Waelti -Sun Prairie, WI
16 -Brandon Matus -Wampum, PA
17 -Ricky Stenhouse Jr -Olive Branch, MS
17C -Casey Shuman -Rattlesnake Bend, AZ
17D -Dave Darland -Lincoln, IN
17E -Blake Edwards -Claremore, OK
17J -Chase Johnson -Penngrove, CA
17K -Alex Schutte -Rohnert Park, CA
17N (R) -Duke Nalon III -Pittsboro, IN
17S -Dominic Scelzi -Fresno, CA
17W -Cole Wood -Auburn, CA
18P -Payton Pierce -Bridgeport, TX
19 -Steven Drevicki -Reading, PA
19S -Patrick Stasa -Kingman, KS
19W -Matt Streeter -Galt, CA
20 -Tadd Holliman -Murray, NE
20S -Shon Deskins -Waddell, AZ
20W (R) -Chad Wilson -North Richland Hills, TX
20X -Jimmy Harris -Broken Arrow, OK
21 -Daryn Pittman -Owosso, OK
21D (R) -Justin Dickerson -Pittsboro, IN
22D (R) -David Stephenson -Porter, OK
22E -Mike Goodman -Broken Arrow, OK
23 -Jimmy Light -West Springfield, PA
23A -Hannah Adair -Tulsa, OK
24 -Tracy Hines -Wilkinson, IN
24T (R) -Glenn Bratti -Springdale, AR
24X -Landon Simon -Tipp City, OH
25 -Jake Blackhurst -Hanna City, IL
25B -Steve Buckwalter -Royersford, PA
25D -Dylan Petersen -Sioux Falls, SD
25G (R) -Dustin Golobic -Fremont, CA
25J -Matt Juhl -Estherville, IA
26 -Shane Golobic -Fremont, CA
27 -Alex Bright -Collegeville, PA
27A (R) -Tommy McCarthy -Mountain View, CA
27B (R) -Scott Kinney -Citrus Heights, CA
27C -TBD Driver
27H (R) -Curt Michael -Ocean View, DE
27K -Kyle O'Gara -Beech Grove, IN
27KK (R) -Kyle Keeler -El Reno, OK
29S (R) -Christian Kinnison -Mansfield, TX
31 (R) -James Burke -Baytown, TX
32 (R) -Cale Thomas -Fairland, IN
32A -Garrett Aitken -Paris, IL
32D -Danny Jennings -Norman, OK
35 -Billy Wease -Noblesville, IN
32F -Michael Faccinto -Hanford, CA
35L -Cody Ledger -Omaha, NE
35M -Matt Sherrell -Owasso, OK
35T -Tyler Robbins -Collinsville, IL
38 -Justin Grant -Ione, CA
39 -Kevin Swindell -Bartlett, TN
39B (R) -Spencer Bayston -Lebanon, IN
P40 (R) -Aaron Dromgoole -North Richland Hills, TX
41 -Jason Johnson -Eunice, LA
43 (R) -Logan Arnold -Franklin, IN
44 -Don Droud Jr -Lincoln, NE
45 -C.J. Johnson -Quinter, KS
45X -Johnny Herrera -Albuquerque, NM
47 -Danny Stratton -Riverside, CA
47X -Tim McCreadie -Watertown, NY
50 -Daniel Adler -St. Louis, MO
51 -TBD Driver
51S (R) -Steven Shebester -Mustang, OK
52C -Isaac Chapple -Wilkinson, IN
53 (R) -Aaron Schuck -Joliet, IL
53H -Matt Harms -Lacon, IL
55D -Nick Drake -Mooresville, NC
57D -Daniel Robinson -Mt Vernon, IL
57K -Kevin Studley -Plainfield, IN
62 (R) -Jacob Davis -Strafford, MO
62T -Taylor Simas -Orland, CA
63 -Bryan Clauson -Noblesville, IN
63NZ -Michael Pickens -Auckland, NZ
67RW -TBD Driver
68 -Ronnie Gardner -Norco, CA
68M -Tyler Edwards -Salina, OK
68S (R) -Matt Land -Elk Grove, CA
68W -Jake Swanson -Anaheim, CA
69 -A.J. Fike -Galesburg, IL
69X (R) -Jeromy Hefler -Kennedale, TX
71L -Damion Gardner -Concord, CA
71T -Ricky Shelton -Huntington Beach, CA
71X -Tyler Courtney -Indianapolis, IN
73 -Jason McDougal -Broken Arrow, OK
73D -David Gravel -Watertown, CT
73T -Trey Marcham -Oklahoma City, OK
75 -Thomas Meseraull -San Jose, CA
75X -TBD Driver
76M (R) -Adam Pearson -Fairlee, VT
77 -John Klabunde -Ft. Calhoon, NE
77B (R) -Kenny Bowers -Olathe, KS
78 -Nick Wean -Phillipsburg, NJ
78J (R) -Tommy Kunsman -Bethlehem, PA
79J -Jacob Patton -Bethalto, IL
80 -Josh Hawkins -Whitehouse, TX
81 -Ryan Beechler -McKinney, TX
82 -Eric Johnson -Rockford, IL
82H -Mike Hess -Riverton, IL
85 -Matt Johnson -Edmond, OK
85H -Shane Hollingsworth -Lafayette, IN
87C -Coby Hughes -Collinsville, OK
87F -Brian McClelland -Tulsa, OK
88 (R) -Tyler Nelson -Olathe, KS
88B -Terry Babb -Decatur, IL
88J -Jace VanderWeerd -Visalia, CA
88W -Chad Wheeler -Muskogee, OK
89 (R) -Nick Bailey -Cabot, AR
91 -Jeff Stasa -Kingman, KS
91T -Tyler Thomas -Collinsville, OK
91W -Mickey Walker -Broken Arrow, OK
92 -Brenden Bright -Collegeville, PA
93 -Dustin Morgan -Tulsa, OK
95 -Jim Radney -New Cumberland, PA
96 -Cody Brewer -Choctaw, OK
98 (R) -Jarid Blondel -Orange, CA
98R -TBD Driver
930 (R) -Chase Allen -Midlothian, TX

Champions entered so far: Sammy Swindell (1989, 1992, 1996, 1998, 2009), Kevin Swindell (2013, 2012, 2011, 2010), Bryan Clauson (2014), Damion Gardner (2008), Tim McCreadie (2006), Tracy Hines (2005)

State count: Oklahoma 34, California 33, Texas 23, Indiana 21, Illinois 18, Pennsylvania 10, Missouri 7, Arizona 6, Kansas 6, Nebraska 6, Louisiana 3, Colorado 2, Delaware 2, New York 2, Ohio 2, South Dakota 2, Tennessee 2, Connecticut, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Wisconsin, 1.

Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals Champions:


Year - Driver (Owner)

2014 - Bryan Clauson (Joe Dooling/Dooling Marketing)
2013 - Kevin Swindell (Swindell Motorsports/Curb Records)
2012 - Kevin Swindell (Swindell Motorsports/Curb Records)
2011 - Kevin Swindell (Swindlell Motorsports/Curb Records)
2010 - Kevin Swindell (Swindell Motorsports/Curb Records)
2009 - Sammy Swindell (Swindell Motorsports/Curb Records)
2008 - Damion Gardner (Jason Leffler)
2007 - Tony Stewart (Tony Stewart Motorsports)
2006 - Tim McCreadie (Steve Smith)
2005 - Tracy Hines (Wilke - Pak)
2004 - Cory Kruseman (Andy Bondio)
2003 - Dan Boorse (Dan Boorse)
2002 - Tony Stewart (Keith Kunz)
2001 - Jay Drake (Keith Kunz)
2000 - Cory Kruseman (Andy Bondio)
1999 - Dan Boorse (Dan Boorse)
1998 - Sammy Swindell (Pete Willoughby)
1997 - Billy Boat (John Lawson)
1996 - Sammy Swindell (Rusty Kunz/Jay McKinnie)
1995 - Donnie Beechler (Zarounian Motorsports)
1994 - Andy Hillenburg (Keith Kuntz/Rusty Kunz)
1993 - Dave Blaney (Ralph Potter)
1992 - Sammy Swindell (Dave Ellis)
1991 - Lealand McSpadden (Andy Bondio)
1990 - John Heydenreich (Tony Finley)
1989 - Sammy Swindell (Jack Runyon)
1988 - Scott Hatton (Jerry Hatton)
1987 - Rich Vogler (Bob Lowe)



World of Outlaws star Joey Saldana to run indoor midgets at Du Quoin

Saldana gets by Clauson, Stenhouse for POWRi midget win