The 31st annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals will have a bit of a NASCAR flavor this week.
Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Rico Abreu are among the NASCAR drivers who will compete in the weeklong event, which concludes Saturday night. More than 370 drivers are entered in one of the nation’s premier midget car events.
The Chili Bowl Nationals, which begin today with practice, has racing Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Drivers are scheduled for particular nights and seek to earn advance to Saturday night’s 55-lap feature on the quarter-mile oval at the Tulsa Expo Raceway in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Abreu, who competes in the Camping World Truck Series, is the two-time defending champion of the event. He races Wednesday night.
Larson, who finished fifth in last year’s feature, is back to compete. He races Tuesday night.
Camping World Truck driver Christopher Bell, who finished 12th in last year’s feature, also returns and will race Thursday night. Xfinity driver Justin Allgaier also races Thursday.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who finished 16th in last year’s feature, races Friday night. Also racing Friday is J.J. Yeley.
For more information on the Chili Bowl, go to the event’s site. It features entry lists for each night, past performances, and more about the event.
If there’s anyone in the Xfinity Series William Byron should turn to for advice during his rookie season in the series, it’s Elliott Sadler.
A veteran of more than 800 NASCAR races across all three of its national series, Sadler has taken the lead in advising the 19-year-old driver this season. During his appearance on NASCAR America, Sadler praised the driver and the time he’s spent with him.
“That kid is special,” Sadler said. “I want to be that guy (that helps), because I had that guy. I had Jeff Green when I started, I had Dale Jarrett, people I could lean on all the time that could help the learning curve.”
Sadler leads the points standings with four races left in the regular season, but he is winless so far. Byron has earned three wins and is second in points behind Sadler.
“He’s a student of the game,” Sadler said. “I’ve been in meetings with young kids that come along, we’ve been in the meeting and kids are still playing on their phones. I’m in a meeting with William … and he’s still learning and taking notes. He’s got great questions. We’re usually sitting beside each other on the airplanes and we’re talking about things for that particular weekend. I can’t help him drive the car faster. But I can help him maybe with restarts and getting on pit road. Maybe things to think about on Friday to maybe make your car better for Saturday.”
Roush Fenway Racing and artist Sam Bass have worked together to create Ryan Reed‘s throwback paint scheme for the Sept. 2 Xfinity race at Darlington Raceway on NBCSN.
Reed’s No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford will resemble the No. 7 Zerex Ford driven by Alan Kulwicki in 1989.
Kulwicki was sponsored by Zerex from 1987-90, earning two of his five Cup wins in that time.
“My dad was huge fan of Alan and had a lot of respect for him, so it’s awesome to get to run this throwback scheme in Darlington,” Reed said in a press release. “My Dad ran his own race team and drove for himself throughout the 90s, just like Alan. Alan overcame a lot of challenges to become a champion and I can’t help but have a lot of respect for him.”
Bass, who lives with type 1 diabetes like Reed, worked with Kulwicki during his career and helped design Reed’s car. In a Facebook Live video, Bass said he took extra care to make the one in Reed’s No. 16 resemble Kulwicki’s No. 7.
Bass’ name will also be on the passenger-side nameplate on the roof of Reed’s car.
Reed’s car won’t be the only one at Darlington that will pay tribute to the 1992 Cup champion.