Two weeks out, Chili Bowl entry list is north of 300

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There isn’t too much racing in the traditional racing offseason, but one event that always draws interest – and huge entry numbers – is the annual Chili Bowl in Tulsa, Okla.

The indoor event, the 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire, currently has 316 entries with 303 drivers already confirmed.

Teams move in starting Sunday, January 11, with racing up until the main event on Saturday night, January 17, 2015.

“If we want to keep this thing fun, and keep all the trailers in the Expo Center, we need some of these teams to pit together in order to give everyone enough room to work,” event co-founder Emmett Hahn said of the parking for the 2015 Chili Bowl, via the Chili Bowl website.

Here’s the entry list as it stands now.

Some of the notable names NASCAR or dirt-track fans might know include: Kenny Wallace (No. 05W (R)), Sammy Swindell (1), JJ Yeley (1ST), Tanner Berryhill (7T), Chad Boat (15X), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (17), Ryan Ellis (17KT (R)), Duke Nalon III (17N (R)), Dave Darland (17RW), Daryn Pittman (21), Cory Kruseman (21K), Joey Saldana (21S), Kyle O’Gara (27RW), Kevin Swindell (39), Bryan Clauson (63), Kyle Larson (71K), Damion Gardner (71L), and Rico Abreu (97).

Bryan Clauson won last year, to end a run of four wins in a row by Kevin Swindell.

An IndyCar iRacing Challenge at Talladega? Drivers have discussed it

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If Dale Earnhardt Jr. is interested in an IndyCar iRacing event on an oval, he might like the latest idea being kicked around by NTT Series drivers.

“I personally would want to run at Talladega, but I don’t think that’s an option,” Arrow McLaren SP driver rookie Oliver Askew told NBCSports.com in a Friday interview about his simulation work for the second round of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge. “IndyCar drivers have a group chat with iRacing, and someone had the idea of running at Talladega, and I thought it was brilliant.”

It actually would be a throwback of sorts as a USAC-sanctioned race with Indy cars at Talladega nearly happened 40 years ago.

The IndyCar iRacing Challenge will be running its second consecutive road course Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park (2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN or streaming here).

Of the four remaining races in the six-race series, there’s a chance that three of them could be ovals: A Drivers’ Choice track April 11; a “Random Draw” April 18 and a non-IndyCar “Dream” track May 2 (the April 25 race will be at Circuit of the Americas).

ENTRY LIST: Who will be racing at Barber

SPOTTER GUIDE: All 29 of this weekend’s paint schemes

IndyCar drivers are voting on next week’s track, and the options include high-speed ovals such as Texas Motor Speedway and Michigan Speedway.

A multicar crash at Talladega last October. (Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Talladega apparently isn’t on the list for next week, but surely it could be considered for a future race if it meant having Earnhardt in the field. The 15-time NASCAR Most Popular Driver is a six-time winner at Talladega, and the NASCAR on NBC analyst’s family is synonymous with the 2.66-mile oval where his late seven-time champion father won a record 10 times.

“I hope he can make that happen,” Askew said of racing against Earnhardt. “I hope IndyCar can grant his wish on that.”

The addition of Earnhardt would fit well with an IndyCar iRacing Challenge that already features champions from NASCAR (Jimmie Johnson) and Supercars (Scott McLaughlin).

Will Power would like to see more of that.

“I think that would be great if we can get big-name drivers from other series,” Power said. “Getting a couple guys from Europe would be cool.”