Toyota Set To Field Star-Studded Line-Up for Chili Bowl Nationals A pair of previous Chili Bowl winners and five USAC champions headline a powerful 14-car Toyota line-up for the 24th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals at the Tulsa Expo Raceway, January 12-16.
Leading the way are two recent Chili Bowl title holders in 2006 champion Tim McCreadie and 2005 winner Tracy Hines, each of who will be part of a power-house four-car entry from Wilke-Pak Racing. They will be joined by a pair of USAC Triple Crown winners, Jerry Coons, Jr. and Dave Darland. Coons became the first-ever Toyota-powered driver to win a USAC series championship when he won the Silver Crown title in 2008 and he won both the 2006 and 2007 USAC Midget Series titles. Darland joins Coons as one of just five Triple Crown winners and earned Toyota’s best-ever Chili Bowl finish with a second in the 2008 event.
“We finished second with Dave Darland two years ago and both third and fourth last year,” said Gary Reed Toyota Racing Development, vice president of special racing projects. “We feel we have our best Chili Bowl line-up to date this year and we are confident we can bring Toyota its first-ever Chili Bowl win in 2010.”
In total, seven teams will use Toyota power at this year’s event. In addition to Wilke-Pak, Keith Kunz Motorsports, Kenny Brown Racing, Team 6R-TK, Western Speed Racing, Cruz Pedregon Racing and Keith Anderson Racing will join the effort in Tulsa.
Western Speed, which won the 2008 Turkey Night Grand Prix with Toyota power, will field a one-car entry for Toyota NASCAR Nationwide Series star Jason Leffler. He has captured victories in almost every prestigious midget event with the exception of one – the Chili Bowl Nationals.
Team Six-R won Toyota’s first-ever Silver Crown race in 2008 and will field two cars for this year’s Chili Bowl with brothers Kody and Tanner Swanson. Both Swanson brothers are honor students at Fresno State University and each has earned a USAC Western Sprints title.
Keith Kunz Motorsports also will campaign a two-car entry in Tulsa featuring 19-year-old Cole Whitt, the 2008 USAC Midget Car champion. The team also will field a second entry with the driver still to be named.
Kenny Brown Racing has entered a three-car with 2005 USAC Midget Car Series and 2006 Sprint Car champion Josh Wise joining POWRi midget car series driver Austin Brown and World of Outlaws (WOO) pilot Randy Hannagan.
A pair of one-car teams round out the Toyota entries with Cruz Pedregon Racing fielding a car for sprint car and WOO driver Dusty Zumer, while 2008 POWRi champion Brett Anderson will race for Kenny Anderson.
This year’s Chili Bowl is expected to field more than 250 entries fighting for one of the 24 openings in Saturday night’s “A Main” feature event. Portions of the 24th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals will be broadcast on SPEED TV on tape-delayed basis.
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