Ohsweken Speedway owner Glenn Styres of Ontario’s Six Nations Reserve started from the pole in last night’s "E" Main at the 2010 Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at the Tulsa Expo Centre in Oklahoma but finished eighth and failed to advance to the final, which was won by Kevin Swindell of Germantown, Tenn.
Kevin Swindell, son of last year’s winner Sammy Swindell, took control about halfway through the 24th 50-lap final to be held at the indoor dirt speedway and held off Cole Whitt of Alpine, Calif., who finished second, and his father, Sammy, also of Germantown, who came from last place in the 24-car field to finish third.
The Chili Bowl is an annual wintertime gathering of the clan in Tulsa and attracts several hundred of the best short-track speedway racers on the continent (as well as Australia and New Zealand) including Indy car racers (P.J. Jones), NASCAR stars (Kasey Kahne), NHRA drag racers (Tony Schumacher) and sprint, midget and modified stars (Corey Kruseman, J.J. Yeley, Tim McCready).
Racing starts early in the week and uses a somewhat complex format to determine the final 24-car field.
Some cars are locked into the final – the first three finishers in the "A" Main races run on the previous 4 nights of racing – but everybody else (no matter who you are) has to fight and claw their way in.
Styres, for instance, was on pole for the "E" Main. If he’d finished in the top four, he’d have advanced to the "D" Main. If he’d finished in the top six in that race, he’d have moved on to the "C" Main, eventually making it to the "A" Main.
As mentioned, he finished back in the field in his race and was eliminated.
Having said that, the Chili Bowl is the toughest of the tough short-track races. There is pride on the line, and money – but mostly pride. It’s dog-eat-dog and you’d better be ready to fight for every square inch of track you cover. For instance, nobody’s ever won back-to-back Chili Bowls.
Previous winners have included Tony Stewart, Tracy Hines, the late Rich Vogler and Sammy Swindell – who’s won the prestigious event five times.
Speed TV will carry a Chili Bowl Special in February. Check listings. Meantime, if you can’t wait, some of the Tusla TV station websites have footage. Click here for a peek,