2022 Chili Bowl lineup features Kyle Larson, Conor Daly, Chase Elliott, Santino Ferrucci

2022 Chili Bowl lineup
Joe Orth / ChiliBowl.com

The 2022 Chili Bowl lineup boasts more than 360 entries including at least a dozen drivers with current or former attachments to IndyCar and NASCAR. In 2021, the car count was near 300 entries despite the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seven former champions and 80 rookies contribute to the lineup.

The last seven editions of this race have been won by drivers who currently or formerly drove in one of NASCAR’s top-three divisions, including the reigning 2021 Cup champion.

Rico Abreu, who ran full-time in Camping World Truck Series won the event in 2015/2016, Christopher Bell three consecutive races from 2017 through 2019, while Kyle Larson is the two-time defending champion of the event.

For Larson, last year’s Chili Bowl win kicked off an incredible season that produced 10 Cup victories, and All-Star win and the Cup championship, his first wins in the prestigious Knoxville Nationals and the Bryan Clauson Memorial 39, his second Kings Royal win and three Dirt Late Model wins as well as victories in the All Star Circuit of Champions, Pennsylvania and Ohio Speedweeks, IRA Sprint cars and USAC Midgets.

Larson will be challenged in 2022 by both Bell and Abreu. Last year Bell advanced to the A-Main and finished 14th. Abreu also advanced and finished 16th.

They will be joined by IndyCar drivers Conor Daly and Santino Ferruci.

Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, Chase Briscoe, Kasey Kahne and JJ Yeley are other notable drivers with NASCAR connections who will attempt to work their way up the ladder to compete in the A Main.

With such a full entry list of current NASCAR drivers, the event has chosen to move the Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions (VIROC) to Monday to create one additional day of racing on January 10 so that it does not interfere with at Daytona International Speedway.

“With NASCAR doing testing on Tuesday and Wednesday, that takes our reigning champion (Larson) out the VIROC, along with our VIROC winner, Christopher Bell, and several others, so we’ll just move it back to the opening night that way everyone can still race that is eligible, and the fans still get to see their favorite drivers,” said Chili Bowl co-founder, Emmett Hahn in a release.

The 2022 Chili Bowl lineup continues to grow. Xfinity driver Jesse Little was one of 20 drivers added to the roster as recently as Thursday, December 16.

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.