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DATE News (chronologically)
01/09/19
usac
SFH Racing Development to Kick Off Highly Anticipated Season at Annual Chili Bowl
Kyle O’Gara
Kyle O’Gara
Sarah Fisher Hartman (SFH) Racing Development is preparing to make their annual voyage to the mecca of midget racing competition for the 2019 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire with a solid lineup Jan. 14-19 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

SFH Racing Development will see the return of two veteran team members in Ryan Smith and Kyle O’Gara with a renewed focus on preparation and getting back to the fundamentals of racing, including having fun. Recent moves relieving the pressure have gotten good results, bringing high hopes for the team with primary sponsors Hartman Oil and Speedway Indoor Karting.

“We are excited to start our season once again at Chili Bowl,” SFH Racing Development Co-Owner Wink Hartman said. “The event brings the best of the best and our team has worked hard to make sure we are ready to compete at the highest level. We have been focusing on going back to why we all got into the racing business in the first place and we hope that the focus on having fun and getting back to the basics will translate to good results for the week.”

This is the seventh straight year SFH Racing Development will contest for a Golden Driller at one of the crown jewel races of midget racing. The 33rdAnnual Chili Bowl features over 352 entries, from five countries.

Smith, from Kunkletown, Pennsylvania will rejoin SFH Racing Development for the second year in a row and mark his sixth Chili Bowl appearance. He has a best finish of 13thplace in the first of two final B Mains in 2017. Smith will pilot the No. 67R sponsored by

Speedway Indoor Karting with associate sponsors Direct Supply and 1911 Grill.

“The best week of racing is right around the corner and to say that I’m excited is an understatement,” Smith said. “The entire SFH Racing Development team has worked really hard to find that little bit more we needed and it showed in Illinois with a ninth place run at the Knepper 55. I want to thank Andy and Sarah for giving me this opportunity. I can’t wait to be on Tulsa time in a few days to see what we can do against the best in the world!”

Smith ran both the BC39 and Junior Knepper 55 for the team this season, finishing ninth overall in Du Quoin in December. Smith spent the season competing in the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All-Star Circuit of Champions, where he had two wins, six Top-5 finishes and 18 Top-10 finishes.

For the seventh straight year, O’Gara, from Indianapolis, will wheel a SFH Racing Development midget in a quest for a Golden Driller. O’Gara will behind the wheel of the No. 67F sponsored by Hartman Oil with associate sponsors Speedway Customs and Direct Supply.

“Chili Bowl is a great place to gauge the strength of a team,” O’Gara said. “We’ve made some big changes over the past year and our team principals have put renewed energy into the team this season. I’m excited to be back in the Hartman Oil car. Wink has been such a big supporter of our program from the beginning and I can’t thank him enough for that. We all have high expectations for good results on track and can’t wait to get started.”

O’Gara goes into Chili Bowl fresh off two indoor races, the Junior Knepper 55 and The Rumble in Fort Wayne after a summer of a combination of dirt midget and pavement sprint car racing around the Midwest.

Associate sponsors for the team include: Direct Supply, Jimmy’s Egg, Speedway Customs, 1911 Grill, Whiteland Raceway Park and Business Art Designs.

Practice for the Chili Bowl begins Monday, Jan. 14 at the Tulsa Expos Raceway inside the River Spirit Expo Center. The marquee week-long midget event will feature five preliminary events for the first time before the finale on Jan. 19 with the top 24 drivers from the week competing for the coveted Golden Driller. Starting positions in the A Feature are determined by points received during qualifications.

Smith will qualify during the Hard Rock Casino night on Wednesday and O’Gara is scheduled to compete in the John Christner Trucking Qualifying night on Thursday.

For the fifth year, the Chili Bowl will be streamed online at www.racinboys.com. The pay-per-view broadcast will run from Monday through Saturday’s qualifiers. Final features will be televised live on the MAVTV American Real network. For a complete listing of channels and to request MAVTV, visit www.mavtv.com.

For more information and continuous updates from the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire, visit www.chilibowl.com.

Follow O’Gara at @kyleogara and Smith at @ryansmithracing on Twitter and Instagram through the week for individual updates.

SFH Racing Development was started by Sarah Fisher and her husband, Andy O’Gara, in partnership with Wink Hartman and Hartman Oil as a way to find young racing talent and groom them through multiple series on their way to a professional career in racing.

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