Decade Later, Kevin Swindell Back in Tulsa Victory Lane with Logan Seavey
Jan 14, 2023
The Chili Bowl Midget Nationals is dirt racing’s version of the WWE Royal Rumble.
In the Rumble, 30 professional wrestlers periodically enter the ring over the course of an hour, with eliminations taking place as a result of one participant sending another over the top rope.
In the Chili Bowl, instead of 30 participants, there's more than 350, and eliminations occur when competitors fail to finish brief sprint races within the highest percentage of the field.
The first main elimination race, typically lettered 'N' or 'O' starts at 10:30 in the morning, Eastern Time, and races continue in reverse alphabetical order throughout the day.
You get the picture.
How far a driver has to come back through the "Chili Bowl Alphabet Soup" has been determined throughout the week during a series of qualifying preliminary nights. The top two finishers from each night’s main event automatically earn a berth in Saturday night’s main event.
Those 10 drivers have also been entered into the "pole shuffle" -- a series of four four-car races that will determine both the pole-sitter and the starting lineup for the $10,000-to-win main event.
The entire process features an eclectic collection of superstar drivers from every major North American motorsport discipline including USAC, the World of Outlaws, NASCAR and IndyCar. There are even a handful of amateurs who will have rented a cheap Midget for a couple grand just to say they were a part of one of the most prestigious motorsport events in the world.
All told, Saturday at the Tulsa Expo Center Raceway in Oklahoma is one of the most exciting and star-studded events in motorsports. The racing is close, and the Golden Driller trophy has become one of the most sought-after prizes in any racing category.
Five things you need to know before tuning-into the action on Saturday can be found below.
Much has been said and written about the absence of Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson this week, and most of it, started by yours truly for breaking the news over the summer and then following up on Sunday.
Listen, it’s newsworthy.
Having won five of the past six until Tanner Thorson broke through in 2022, they had become the faces of the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals over the past decade with numerous races being decided head-to-head between them.
With that said, Bell and Larson arguably became stars in large part due to their exploits in the Tulsa Expo Center and without them in the field, today is absolutely an opportunity to establish new stars. Bell and Larson will be back, and probably sooner rather than later, and they will be greeted by a new crop of winners who emerged in their absence.
In some ways, while this race is better when they participate, this is going to make the field even deeper upon their return.
Maybe Rico Abreu breaks back through and establishes himself as a three-time winner. Perhaps Justin Grant is finally going to win the big one. Logan Seavey and Kevin Swindell would be as compelling a story as any other a decade after the No. 39 and its owner last won together as a driver. Canon McIntosh is one break away.
Hank freakin’ Davis is going to start on the pole of the final pole shuffle!
It’s a wide-open field as opposed to what’s seemed like the Bell versus Larson show for just over half a decade, and while that’s compelling programming, Saturday is a chance for new legends to be told.
Some of the biggest names in the race, many of them expected contenders, are going to have to set their alarms way earlier than intended.
Buddy Kofoid crashed from the lead on Lap 5 of the Tuesday qualifier and that means the two-time and reigning USAC National Midget Champion will begin his pursuit of a first golden driller from 13th in a D-feature needing to get inside the top-5 in 15 laps.
Should he be successful, he will need to race from the back of his C-Feature just to get inside the top-five in 15 laps to get to the B that takes the top-7 into the main event. You get why this is going to be must-see television?
"My first year, I started pole in the B and the last two years, I locked in," Kofoid said. "I haven't had to run much soup yet, but I think we have a car capable of doing it. Things have to go your way here and hopefully not the way they went for me."
Kofoid is not going to be alone either in terms of expected contenders loading up on soup. Michael Pickens will start on the pole of E1, a race also containing Alex Bowman in seventh, after the Cup Series driver crashed out of a feature that he looked capable of winning.
To wit, it’s the best car and best drive Bowman has had here, and it’s results in going souping anyway.
"Everyone is going to be super aggressive in these races," Bowman said. "I’m just mad that I have to get up that early."
That’s roughly a 3:30 in the afternoon check-in.
IndyCar and NASCAR driver Santino Ferrucci was in position to advance into the Friday prelim before making a mistake in the cushion and will be forced to start his day from the G1 alongside Saturday soup winner Karsyn Elledge, World of Outlaws contender Jacob Allen and four-time main event winner Sammy Swindell.
There is so much soup to be had on Saturday that’s worth spending all day in front of a TV for.
It’s the races before the race.
Previously, a series of match races decided the starting lineup for the top-10 before the pole shuffle was transformed into a series of four-car races that eliminates two cars from each race to establish the top-10.
The order was determined by a blind draw from winners first and then runner-ups from their respective feature nights over the course of the week. This is the order:
7. Emerson Axsom
8. Mitchel Moles
9. Justin Grant
10. Spencer Bayston
6. Rico Abreu
7. Shane Golobic
5. Cannon McIntosh
6. Tanner Thorson
1. Hank Davis
2. Logan Seavey
Each shuffle is four laps.
Pole Shuffle one places the bottom two finishers to the fifth row for the main event. The top two finishers move on to race Abreu and Golobic for four more laps. The bottom two finishers from that shuffle are placed on the fourth row. The top two finishers go on to face McIntosh and Thorson. The bottom two finishers make up the third row and the top two finishers face Davis and Seavey to decide the firs two rows for the main event.
Last year, Thorson started the first shuffle from seventh and went on to finish second to Bell in the final shuffle and they went on to decide the race amongst themselves so track position proved to be important.
"Track position is always important," Thorson said. "I've done it from the back and I've done it from the front row. The front row is a lot easier. The years I've had to come from deeper back, I used my stuff up trying to get to the front that I didn't have enough left at the end when we had some late yellows.
"So, starting up front, you can save for the end. Last year, I was grateful to start up front with Bell and kind of track him and maintain without using my stuff up."
By virtue of drawing pole for the final shuffle, Davis can start no worse in the main event than fourth, and will have the easiest path to a front row starting spot as anyone. Given the unlikely path the get to this point, he’s on a figurative cloud nine.
"It’s huge and when I roll out there for that last deal, it’s going to be the three best guys chasing me," Davis said. "I just need to hit my marks. I know I’m starting no worse than fourth so nothing to lose and I can just let it hang."
Starting on the front row with Davis is Friday winner Logan Seavey, who actually won the pole shootout in 2018.
"The worst I can start is fourth," Seavey said. "But at the same time, it’s 55 laps and there’s time for the track to come to you and get your car driving good. I’m of the mindset that the guy that wins on Saturday will win regardless but I do think drawing a 2 is a slight advantage."
Grant will be looking to replicate what Thorson did last year.
"It makes your life easier when you draw a better spot, but like Logan said, it’s a long race," Grant said. "If you have a car that can make all the right moves, anywhere in the first five rows is plenty room enough to get the job done."
Kaylee Bryson made history last year by winning her B Feature and becoming the first woman to ever make the main event in the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals and she is in a solid position to repeat her performance on Saturday night. Bryson begins from eighth-place in B2 needing just to finish inside the top-7 to make the feature.
But she's not alone.
By virtue of finishing third on the Tuesday Night Prelim, Jade Avedisian will start from the pole and will need to finish inside the top-seven to become the second female to make the feature. Taylor Reimer starts B1 from 13th.
It's been a trailblazing season for women in Midget competition. Bryson began the year by qualifying for the feature, while Reimer and Avedisian became the first two women to win national touring races. Avedisian won twice in Xtreme Outlaw competition.
"I just plan to drive a hard but smart race," Avedisian said. "It's a long race. 20 laps and a lot can happen. Starting on pole makes the path forward a lot easier. I just have to be smart and not put myself in a bad situation so I can get locked in. I feel really confident with the car Chad (Boat) has given me. It's up to me to do the rest."
B-Features: Top 7 advance to the A-Feature
Lineup B Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 84-Jade Avedisian; 2. 89-Chris Windom; 3. 71M-Brent Crews; 4. 26R-Zeb Wise; 5. 29-Tim Buckwalter; 6. 88J-Jonathan Beason; 7. 5-Chase Briscoe; 8. 5T-Kevin Thomas Jr; 9. 28-Ace McCarthy; 10. 21S-Karter Sarff; 11. 26-Chance Crum; 12. 67-Ryan Timms; 13. 25K-Taylor Reimer; 14. 19-Brian Carber; 15. 87W-Ryan Bernal
Lineup B Feature 2 (20 Laps): 1. 40M-Chase McDermand; 2. 21H-Brady Bacon; 3. 7U-Kyle Jones; 4. 32T-Trey Marcham; 5. 52-Blake Hahn; 6. 47X-Jason McDougal; 7. 98-Tanner Carrick; 8. 71-Kaylee Bryson; 9. 5G-Gavan Boschele; 10. 51R-Ricky Thornton Jr; 11. 87-Jace Park; 12. 86-Chase Johnson; 13. 39T-Tim McCreadie; 14. 67X-Kyle Spence; 15. 7X-Thomas Meseraull
C-Features: Top 5 advance to the corresponding B-Feature
Lineup C Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 47-Zach Daum; 2. 25-Jacob Denney; 3. 55A-Jake Swanson; 4. 01-Bryant Wiedeman; 5. 51B-Joe B Miller; 6. 5LK-Jordan Kinser; 7. 40S-Steven Snyder Jr; 8. 54-Matt Westfall; 9. 14M-Michael Faccinto; 10. 82-Landon Crawley; 11. 27B-Jake Bubak; 12. 81-Tanner Holmes; 13. 4P-Kody Swanson; 14. 00B-Braden Chiaramonte; 15. 2D-Matt Sherrell
Lineup C Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 11B-Clinton Boyles; 2. 71K-Dominic Gorden; 3. 21J-Kameron Key; 4. 50-Daniel Adler; 5. 08G-Trey Gropp; 6. 21-Daryn Pittman; 7. 4C-Cody Jessop; 8. 19A-Daison Pursley; 9. 73B-Tyler Edwards; 10. 57-Daniel Whitley; 11. 11A-Andrew Felker; 12. 2G-JJ Yeley; 13. 1Z-Justin Zimmerman; 14. 03-Ayrton Gennetten; 15. 80S-Kaden Honeycutt
D-Features: Top 5 advance to the corresponding C-Feature
Lineup D Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 71E-Mariah Ede; 2. 41X-Howard Moore; 3. 67K-Cade Lewis; 4. 3G-Kyle Cummins; 5. 00-Anton Hernandez; 6. 5V-AJ Bender; 7. 8-Alex Sewell; 8. 19Z-Hayden Reinbold; 9. 95-Chris Andrews; 10. 47W-Dylan Westbrook; 11. 71G-Damion Gardner; 12. 97K-Tom Harris; 13. 4B-Chelby Hinton; 14. 57A-Shane Cottle; 15. 40-Max Adams
Lineup D Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 19B-Alex Bright; 2. 51J-RJ Johnson; 3. 23P-Preston Lattomus; 4. 2H-Nick Hoffman; 5. 45X-Roger Crockett; 6. 68W-Matt Mitchell; 7. 77W-Joe Wirth; 8. 7W-Brendon Wiseley; 9. 0H-Cap Henry; 10. 2X-Landon Brooks; 11. 97-Brenham Crouch; 12. 7MF-Chance Morton; 13. 71W-Michael Kofoid; 14. 69P-Joey Paxson; 15. 68-Ronnie Gardner
E-Features: Top 5 advance to the corresponding D-Feature
Lineup E Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 4X-Michael Pickens; 2. 22-Sean McClelland; 3. 25M-Jake Andreotti; 4. 23K-Kyle Simon; 5. 32W-Casey Shuman; 6. 55X-Alex Bowman; 7. 7T-TJ Smith; 8. 1I-Ashton Torgerson; 9. 45H-Briggs Danner; 10. 15D-Andrew Deal; 11. 19K-Riley Kreisel; 12. 31K-Danny Stratton; 13. 2W-Tony Bruce Jr; 14. 7G-Gavin Miller; 15. 91X-Danny Wood
Lineup E Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 17B-Austin Barnhill; 2. 57R-Daniel Robinson; 3. 57W-Devon Borden; 4. 85-Jerry Coons Jr; 5. 07W-Corey Day; 6. 19M-Ethan Mitchell; 7. 3N-Jake Neuman; 8. 3P-Darin Naida; 9. 32-Gary Taylor; 10. 17-Travis Berryhill; 11. 17L-Cody Trammell; 12. 44X-Wesley Smith; 13. P1-Paul White; 14. 4-Taylor Ferns; 15. 22X-Steven Shebester
F-Features: Top 5 advance to the corresponding E-Feature
Lineup F Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 8R-Randi Pankratz; 2. 81G-Greyson Springer; 3. 31X-Jeff Champagne; 4. 75-Mario Clouser; 5. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr; 6. 1K-Brayton Lynch; 7. 21K-Dale Curran; 8. 8X-Broc Elliott; 9. 72X-Caden McCreary; 10. 56-Mitchell Davis; 11. 21B-Trey Burke; 12. 37F-Adyn Schmidt; 13. 28Q-Sean Quinn; 14. 11K-Joey Klemish; 15. 80A-Chris Schmelzle
Lineup F Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 2ND-Jeb Sessums; 2. 14J-Jody Rosenboom; 3. 16W-Garet Williamson; 4. 7M-Shane Cockrum; 5. 16C-David Camfield Jr; 6. 45S-Shon Deskins; 7. 1M-Mason Smith; 8. 18L-Logan Scherb; 9. 25B-Steve Buckwalter; 10. 01C-Carson Sousa; 11. 715-Robert Bell; 12. 11X-Donovan Peterson; 13. 91K-Kevin Bayer; 14. 20H-Noah Harris; 15. 56X-Mark Chisholm
G-Features: Top 5 advance to the corresponding F-Feature
Lineup G Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 118-Scott Evans; 2. 77X-Wayne Johnson; 3. 21E-Emilio Hoover; 4. 98B-Joe Boyles; 5. 08K-Karsyn Elledge; 6. 96-Cody Brewer; 7. 16-Santino Ferrucci; 8. 40U-Jace Sparks; 9. 1A-Jacob Allen; 10. 1-Sammy Swindell
Lineup G Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 23-Patrick Ryan; 2. 87F-Johnny Kent; 3. 86C-David Camfield Sr; 4. 22L-Lucas Scherb; 5. 06-Rylan Gray; 6. 23S-Steve Irwin; 7. 80D-Josh Hawkins; 8. 8D-Colby Deming; 9. 22T-Don Droud Jr; 10. 31H-Carson Hocevar
H-Features: Top 6 advance to the corresponding G-Feature
Lineup H Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 22B-Troy Betts; 2. 24T-Glenn James Bratti; 3. 28K-Kory Schudy; 4. 4A-Kyle Steffens; 5. 1G-Justin Peck; 6. 37X-Blake Edwards; 7. 8W-Troy Rutherford; 8. 76-Michael Smith; 9. 7-Frankie Guerrini; 10. 7J-Shawn Jackson
Lineup H Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 14X-KJ Snow; 2. 41W-Brad Wyatt; 3. 5F-Danny Frye III; 4. 51X-Joe Walker; 5. 2B-Tanner Berryhill; 6. 44-Colton Hardy; 7. 14-Cody Hays; 8. 9-Xavier Doney; 9. 10X-Trevor Serbus; 10. 7S-Parker Price Miller
I-Features: Top 6 advance to the corresponding H-Feature
Lineup I Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 4G-Drake Edwards; 2. 11G-Avery Goodman; 3. 9B-Brian Schwabauer; 4. 55D-Nick Drake; 5. 9P-Kevin Cook; 6. 15F-Kinzer Edwards; 7. 56M-Mike Veatch; 8. 3V-Jim Vanzant; 9. 91-Jeff Stasa; 10. 98C-Chad Boespflug
Lineup I Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 00G-Braedon Enos; 2. 12-Corbin Gurley; 3. 47K-Kevin Brewer; 4. 17C-Devin Camfield; 5. 11T-Tyler Baran; 6. 21L-Austin Langenstein; 7. 7P-AJ Hopkins; 8. 6-Bill Rose; 9. 17K-Garth Kasiner; 10. 71L-Charlie Louden
Kevin Studley J-Features: Top 6 advance to the corresponding I-Feature.
Lineup J Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 7B-Cody Beard; 2. 02-Matt Rossi; 3. 18N-Weston Gorham; 4. 53R-Sean Robbins; 5. 3W-Brandon Waelti; 6. 22G-John Murdie; 7. 60M-Earl McDoulett Jr; 8. 7K-Kolton Gariss; 9. 55V-CJ Leary; 10. M1-Colby Stubblefield
Lineup J Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 71H-Austin Ervine; 2. 17H-Harli White; 3. 17M-Jeremy Schnepper; 4. 3B-Zach Blurton; 5. 55C-Angelo Cornet; 6. 7C-Josh Bilicki; 7. 31-David Budres; 8. 36C-Ian Creager; 9. 58-Dillon Welch; 10. 57H-Steve Hix
K-Features: Top 6 advance to the corresponding J-Feature
Lineup K Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 28M-Gray Leadbetter; 2. 36-Kevin Reed; 3. 45K-Kyler Johnson; 4. 37T-Chet Gehrke; 5. 6A-Kalib Henry; 6. 251-Johnny Brown Jr; 7. 19J-Jack Berger; 8. B1-Aaron Sanders; 9. 4R-Ryan Bickett; 10. 25V-Billy VanInwegen Jr
Lineup K Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 6D-Isaac Chapple; 2. 8M-Kade Morton; 3. 12X-Steven Snawder; 4. 51Z-Zach Boden; 5. 73T-Tony Gomes; 6. 51-Curtis Jones; 7. 68B-Jason Martin; 8. 116-Claud Estes III; 9. 35L-Cody Ledger; 10. 60-Landon Britt
L-Features: Top 6 advance to the corresponding K-Feature
Lineup L Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 11H-Jori Hughes; 2. 55K-Todd Kluever; 3. 51C-Logan Calderwood; 4. 2E-Whit Gastineau; 5. 14U-Cole Schroeder; 6. 80-Jarrod Jennings; 7. 74-Drew Rader; 8. 8L-Colin Deming; 9. 4M-Brody Fuson; 10. 0G-Glenn Styres
Lineup L Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 14R-Brody Petrie; 2. 19U-Pierce Urbanosky; 3. 45J-Jerry Brey; 4. 71T-Keith Rauch; 5. 35-Tyler Robbins; 6. 34C-Cameron Willhite; 7. 10C-Dalton Camfield; 8. 7F-Roy Entze II; 9. 5K-Ben Worth; 10. 19N-Nathan Byrd
M-Features: Top 6 advance to the corresponding L-Feature
Lineup M Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 75X-Alex Vande Voort; 2. 1W-Bryon Walters; 3. 15G-Dennie Gieber; 4. 15M-Shane Morgan; 5. 77J-John Klabonde; 6. 7E-Joseph Wray IV; 7. 20-Tadd Holliman; 8. 15K-Gage Rucker; 9. 45-Kyle Hammer; 10. 99K-Robert Carson
Lineup M Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 31B-Kyle Beilman; 2. 21X-Justin Bates; 3. 4K-Kayla Roell; 4. 14T-Dylan Bloomfield; 5. 76X-Tom Savage; 6. 7TX-Anthony Pope; 7. 5B-Bobby Brewer; 8. 7R-Casey Burkham; 9. 15C-Carter Chevalier; 10. 23T-Tristan Lee
N-Features: Top 6 advance to the corresponding M-Feature
Lineup N Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 22P-Marcus Kennedy; 2. 22J-Taylor Kuehl; 3. 50T-Keoni Texeira; 4. 21D-Justin Dickerson; 5. 00H-John Heitzman; 6. 19X-Dylan Archer; 7. 73H-Hunter Schuerenberg; 8. 18K-Billy Rayburn; 9. 2MD-Conner Morrell; 10. 7JR-JD Black
Lineup N Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 68S-Corby Scherb; 2. 7D-Michelle Decker; 3. 80H-Joshua Hanna; 4. 139-Todd Bertrand; 5. 2Y-Dave Axton; 6. 6K-Jesse Denome; 7. 5J-Josh Hodge; 8. 36K-Kris Carroll; 9. 14E-Tom Dunkel; 10. 8AJ-AJ Johnson
O-Features: Top 6 advance to the corresponding N-Feature
Lineup O Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 11N-Nick Baran; 2. 1T-Tyler Shoemaker; 3. 27J-Frank Beck III; 4. 11C-Mike Woodruff; 5. 7Z-Ryan Powers; 6. 33B-Mike Bitner; 7. 17D-Wyatt Rotz; 8. 87C-Austin Garrett; 9. 93-Kyle Bellm; 10. 37-Ashton Thompson
Lineup O Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 46-Adam Andretti; 2. 98P-Ryan Padgett; 3. 3F-Tim Barber; 4. 8K-Jake Neal; 5. 68B-Jason Martin; 6. 84J-Jesse Shapel; 7. 68C-Ryder Laplante; 8. 66-Harry Elzo; 9. 17X-Jadon Rogers; 10. 10M-Kort Morgan
P-Features: Top 6 advance to the corresponding O-Feature
Lineup P Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 0-Johnny Murdock; 2. 83T-Herman Carrier; 3. 5H-Casey Hicks; 4. 57C-Adam Taylor; 5. 7L-Jarrad Warhurst; 6. 42K-Kevin Battefeld; 7. 84S-Shaun Shapel; 8. 73-Shawn Mahaffey; 9. 59-Richard Harvey; 10. Z8-Max McLaughlin; 11. 70-Cade Cowles
Lineup P Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 4F-Chad Frewaldt; 2. 42-Patrick Prescott; 3. 2C-JR Ewing; 4. 81C-Colten Cottle; 5. 44C-Blake Carrier; 6. 12H-Jared Hood; 7. 78M-Merle Scherb; 8. 130-Larry Bratti; 9. 00S-Jamie Speers; 10. 72W-Tye Wilke