2019 Chili Bowl Preview
2019 Chili Bowl Preview
A total of 37 Toyota-powered drivers will compete in the largest Midget racing event of the year for the six-night Chili Bowl Nationals. Toyota has secured wins in the past four consecutive Chili Bowls – Christopher Bell (2018 and 2017) and Rico Abreu (2016 and 2015) – and looks to make it five in a row this year. TRD (Toyota Racing Development)-powered Midget cars will represent drivers from 14 states as well as New Zealand with 11 drivers competing in their home state of Oklahoma.
Bell of the Bowl… Norman, Oklahoma-native Christopher Bell will battle for his third-consecutive Chili Bowl crown in this year’s event. Bell, who will again drive for Keith Kunz Motorsports in the 71W TRD-powered Midget, is looking to match Kevin Swindell as the only other driver to capture three-consecutive Golden Driller awards as the Chili Bowl champion. Following his appearance at Chili Bowl, Bell will begin his sophomore season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series driving for Joe Gibbs Racing in the No. 20 Supra when the legendary race car returns to the track next month at Daytona. During his inaugural season campaign, Bell set a record for rookie wins at seven and looks to once again contend for the championship in 2019.
KKM Giveback Takes to the Track… Last October, team owner Keith Kunz teamed with North Carolina’s Millbridge Speedway and TRD to host the first KKM (Keith Kunz Motorsports) Giveback Classic Outlaw Kart race. The winner of the event was awarded the ultimate racing experience – a ride in a TRD-powered KKM Midget at this year’s Chili Bowl. With more than 100 entries ranging in age from 10 to 50, drivers from all over the country battled on Halloween night for the coveted victory. When the checkered flag few, 19-year old Cottonwood, California-native Jesse Colwell was out front after a strong performance throughout the event. Colwell also competed for KKM at Turkey Night at California’s Ventura Speedway on Thanksgiving, finishing 12th in the main event.
Midget Champions Going for the Gold…en Driller… TRD-powered KKM Midgets claimed both the USAC and POWRi championships in 2018 by drivers Logan Seavey and Tucker Klaasmeyer, respectively. Both drivers will again be behind the wheel of their winning race cars at this year’s Chili Bowl. In last January’s event, Seavey made his second start in the race after overcoming open heart surgery in 2016 and finished 14th in the main event. The 2017 POWRi champion looks to better his Chili Bowl appearances this year after also making his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series start at Eldora Speedway in Ohio and winning an ARCA race at DuQuoin Fairgrounds in Illinois.
Family Affair… For 17-year old, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma-native Holley Hollan, her first Chili Bowl experience will not only be highlighted by competing for Keith Kunz Motorsports in a TRD-powered Midget, but she will also battle against her father Harley Hollan. While there have been plenty of examples of brothers or fathers and sons battling it out in Tulsa, this will be the first for a father-daughter combination. Hollan is kicking off a full season competing in both USAC and POWRi races for KKM with nearly 80 races on her 2019 schedule.
Star-Studded Line-Up… Toyota’s line-up includes three Chili Bowl champions and nine drivers that have previously won open-wheel national championships. The list includes KKM’s Rico Abreu, the 2015 and 2016 Chili Bowl champ; reigning national midget car champions Logan Seavey (USAC) and Tucker Klaasmeyer (POWRi); three-time POWRi champion Zach Daum; 2017 USAC champion Spencer Bayston; USAC Triple Crown champions J.J. Yeley (the 2005 Chili Bowl winner) and Jerry Coons Jr., as well two-time USAC Sprint Car champion Brady Bacon.