Countdown to Chili Bowl has begun, record field of 335 ready to go

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Most bowls of chili are sprinkled with perhaps cheese, onions, tomatoes, maybe even sour cream and jalapeno peppers.

But not racing’s version of the Chili Bowl. It’s hot, steamy and features a heaping amount of dirt, a recipe that seems to get more popular each year.

The countdown to the 30th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals has begun. The unique indoor race takes place Jan. 12-16 at the River Spirit Expo Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The first four nights (Jan. 12-15) are qualifying heat races to pare the field for the Championship Feature Events on Saturday, Jan. 16.

The entry field currently stands at a massive record 335 entries, but the number of drivers could potentially still go even higher.

FULL ENTRY LIST

Among notables from the racing world that will be in attendance are five-time Chili Bowl winner Sammy Swindell, defending champion Rico Abreu, 2014 champ Bryan Clauson, IndyCar driver Sarah Fisher and 2015 National Midget Driver of the Year Tanner Thorson.

There will also be several drivers from the NASCAR world including Kyle Larson, J.J. Yeley, Justin Allgaier, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Alex Bowman, Kasey Kahne and Christopher Bell.

Two-time Chili Bowl winner and three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart is also expected to be in attendance, but is not expected to compete.

Here’s a list of the past champions that took the biggest bite out of the Chili Bowl over the years:

  • 2015 – Rico Abreu
  • 2014 – Bryan Clauson
  • 2013 – Kevin Swindell
  • 2012 – Kevin Swindell
  • 2011 – Kevin Swindell
  • 2010 – Kevin Swindell
  • 2009 – Sammy Swindell
  • 2008 – Damion Gardner
  • 2007 – Tony Stewart
  • 2006 – Tim McCreadie
  • 2005 – Tracy Hines
  • 2004 – Cory Kruseman
  • 2003 – Dan Boorse
  • 2002 – Tony Stewart
  • 2001 – Jay Drake
  • 2000 – Cory Kruseman
  • 1999 – Dan Boorse
  • 1998 – Sammy Swindell
  • 1997 – Billy Boat
  • 1996 – Sammy Swindell
  • 1995 – Donnie Beechler
  • 1994 – Andy Hillenburg
  • 1993 – Dave Blaney
  • 1992 – Sammy Swindell
  • 1991 – Lealand McSpadden
  • 1990 – John Heydenreich
  • 1989 – Sammy Swindell
  • 1988 – Scott Hatton
  • 1987 – Rich Vogler

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