Every January inside the SageNet Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, hundreds of competitors and thousands of fans converge to witness one of the greatest races in all of grassroots racing.
The Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire, which begin Monday, Jan. 9 and run through Saturday, Jan. 14, is the largest midget racing event in the world. Annually drawing hundreds of entrants from across the United States and multiple countries, the event brings together countless drivers from a variety of racing backgrounds.
Typically, among those drivers are several NASCAR drivers, and the 37th running of the legendary event is no different. There are 18 drivers entered who have competed in at least one of NASCAR’s three national divisions.
They include a pair of drivers who qualified for the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs last season, Chase Briscoe and Alex Bowman.
— Chase Briscoe (@ChaseBriscoe_14) December 17, 2022
For Briscoe, the 2023 Chili Bowl marks his ninth attempt to secure the Golden Driller trophy that goes to the winner of the championship A-Main on Jan. 14. He made his initial Chili Bowl appearance in 2015 and has returned annually since.
The driver of the No. 14 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing has qualified for the Saturday finale once. He raced his way into the finale in 2017, starting and finishing 22nd in a race that was won by current Joe Gibbs Racing competitor Christopher Bell. Since then he’s narrowly missed qualifying for the finale multiple times, falling just short in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
His most recent Chili Bowl attempt came last year, when he finished sixth in a C-Main during the Saturday finale.
Bowman returns to the Chili Bowl for his seventh attempt at the Super Bowl of midget racing. He made his Chili Bowl debut in 2010, but thus far he has failed to qualify for the Saturday A-Main.
The driver of the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet fell a few positions short of advancing to the main event last year when he finished 11th in his B-Main on championship Saturday. It was his best Chili Bowl performance to date.
— Alex Bowman (@Alex_Bowman) January 4, 2023
In addition to competing as a driver in the Chili Bowl, Bowman will double as a team owner. Bowman will field entries for himself as well as veteran dirt trackers C.J. Leary and Jake Swanson.
Briscoe will kick off his Chili Bowl pursuits on Monday, Jan. 9, when he takes part in Cummins Qualifying Night. Bowman will race Tuesday, Jan. 10 during Warren CAT Qualifying Night.
Below is a look at some of the competitors taking part in the Chili Bowl who have made starts in the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series or NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series or have other connections to NASCAR.
- J.J. Yeley – A familiar face both in the NASCAR garage and at the Chili Bowl, Yeley is a veteran dirt-track competitor. He is also a veteran of more than 350 NASCAR Cup Series starts and has competed at the Chili Bowl countless times. He came close to winning the championship A-Main in 2007, when he finished second to three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. His Chili Bowl program begins Thursday.
- Josh Bilicki – Making his Chili Bowl debut in 2023, Bilicki has become a familiar face in NASCAR the last few seasons. In 2022 alone, Bilicki competed in 24 events across the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. His Chili Bowl program begins Tuesday.
- Carson Hocevar – A rising star in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for Niece Motorsports, Hocevar is making his second trip to the SageNet Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He made his Chili Bowl debut one year ago but struggled and saw his championship Saturday end during an I-Main. He’ll look to improve upon that result when he begins his Chili Bowl program Wednesday.
- Kaden Honeycutt – A competitor on dirt and asphalt, Honeycutt recently began making a name for himself in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In nine starts last season, he scored a career-best ninth in the season finale at Phoenix Raceway driving the No. 30 Toyota for On Point Motorsports. He’s also been a regular competitor with the CARS Late Model Stock Tour, where he is a three-time race winner. His first Chili Bowl attempt begins Wednesday.
- Sammy Swindell – Best known for his efforts as a sprint-car competitor, Swindell once dabbled in NASCAR. He competed in the 1991 Daytona 500 and ran the full NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule in 1995, earning a best finish of fourth at Bristol Motor Speedway that year. He’s a legendary name at the Chili Bowl having won the event a record five times. His 2023 program begins Wednesday.
- Tanner Thorson – The defending Chili Bowl Nationals champion briefly dabbled in the world of NASCAR. Thorson, who held off Christopher Bell to win the 2022 Chili Bowl, made 11 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts in 2018 with a best finish of 13th at Iowa Speedway. He’ll look to begin his Chili Bowl defense on Thursday night.
- Rico Abreu – One of the most popular competitors every year inside the SageNet Center is Abreu, who is a two-time Chili Bowl champion. The California native and veteran sprint-car competitor tried his hand at NASCAR in 2016, when he ran the full NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule and finished a career-best third at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway. He also raced in the ARCA Menards Series East in 2015, earning one victory and finishing fifth in the series standings. He begins his pursuit of a third Golden Driller trophy Wednesday.
- Max McLaughlin – The son of six-time NASCAR Xfinity Series race winner Mike McLaughlin, Max McLaughlin is making his maiden voyage to the Chili Bowl this year. The younger McLaughlin has been focusing on racing modifieds recently, both on dirt and asphalt. He competed in three NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races last year and made his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut in 2018. He begins his Chili Bowl program Wednesday.
- Karsyn Elledge – A member of the Earnhardt family is racing at the Chili Bowl. Elledge, who is making her return to racing after a few years away, is the niece of NASCAR Hall of Famer and two-time Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. She’s competed at the Chili Bowl twice and will look to improve upon her E-Main appearance in 2020. She begins her Chili Bowl program Wednesday.
- Buddy Kofoid – One of the favorites to win the Chili Bowl, Kofoid has plenty of experience on his side. He is the two-time and defending USAC National Midget Series champion and has been a contender in the Chili Bowl finale the last few years. Kofoid made his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut in 2022 driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports at Bristol Motor Speedway and Knoxville Raceway. He begins his Chili Bowl program Tuesday.
- Santino Ferrucci – Ferrucci has raced a variety of race cars all over the world. Set to compete in the IndyCar Series this season for the legendary A.J. Foyt, Ferrucci has made a handful of NASCAR Xfinity Series starts over the last two years. This marks his fourth Chili Bowl attempt. He’ll begin his program Friday.
- Tim McCreadie – Now one of the top dirt late model competitors in the United States, McCreadie dabbled in NASCAR during the 2000s. He made six NASCAR Xfinity Series starts for Richard Childress Racing in 2007, earning a best finish of 12th at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. These days he makes his living racing dirt late models and has captured the last two Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series titles. He is also the 2006 Chili Bowl winner. He begins his 2023 program Tuesday.
- Parker Price-Miller – Sprint car fans know Price-Miller, but fans of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series may also recognize the name. Price-Miller made his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut in 2021 when he drove a Truck fielded by Jordan Anderson at Knoxville Raceway. He begins his Chili Bowl program Wednesday.
- Shane Golobic – A regular on the California sprint car circuit, Golobic is also a regular inside the SageNet Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, every January. Golobic made his NASCAR Cup Series debut in 2021, piloting the No. 78 entry owned by B.J. McLeod on dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway. He begins his Chili Bowl program Monday.
- Dillon Welch – A familiar face during NASCAR Cup Series broadcasts on NBC, Welch loves to race in his spare time. He’s a regular at the Chili Bowl and has qualified for the championship A-Main on two occasions. He scored a 23rd-place finish during the 2018 finale and last year earned a 22nd-place finish in the championship A-Main. He begins his 2023 program Thursday.
- Tanner Berryhill – A native Oklahoman, Berryhill has been racing at the Chili Bowl since 2010. A veteran of 43 NASCAR Xfinity Series races and two NASCAR Cup Series events, Berryhill has never made the Chili Bowl finale. His best effort came in 2016, when he finished seventh in a C-Main on championship Saturday. He begins his Chili Bowl program Wednesday.
- Logan Seavey – A contender at midget racing events across the United States, Seavey briefly dabbled in stock-car racing. He scored an ARCA Menards Series win in 2018 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds and competed in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway that same year, finishing eighth. The 2018 USAC National Midget Series champion started on the pole at the Chili Bowl in 2019 and has a best finish of fourth in 2020. He begins his 2023 program Friday.
- Todd Kluever – A native of Wisconsin, Kluever was a member of Jack Roush’s developmental program in the mid-2000s. He made 51 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts, earning one pole and a best finish of seventh during his time with Roush’s team. More recently he began dabbling in midget racing and made his Chili Bowl debut last year. He begins his 2023 Chili Bowl program Friday.
- Adam Andretti – The famous Andretti family will have a presence inside the SageNet Center during the 2023 Chili Bowl. The younger brother of the late John Andretti and nephew of 1967 Daytona 500 winner Mario Andretti, Adam Andretti is scheduled to make his Chili Bowl debut. Typically a competitor in the Trans Am Series, Adam Andretti has also dabbled in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, where he has a best finish of third. He begins his Chili Bowl program Tuesday.
- Chris Windom – Widely considered one of the best USAC competitors of his generation, Windom is one of a select few to win championships in each national USAC division – the USAC Silver Crown Series, USAC National Sprint Car Series and USAC National Midget Series. He made his NASCAR Cup Series debut in 2021 on dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway and has made a handful of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts. He begins his Chili Bowl journey Monday.
- Nick Hoffman – Arguably one of the best dirt modified drivers ever, Hoffman has won almost everything there is to win in a modified in the Midwest. A multi-time touring series champion, Hoffman has made four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts. His best result came in his most recent event in 2018, when he finished 10th at Eldora Speedway. His Chili Bowl journey begins Monday.