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


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.


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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Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media

ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.