Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals

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Kyle Larson covets Chili Bowl over Daytona 500, but still wants to win ‘Great American Race’


Kyle Larson was “heartbroken” when he lost the 2017 Daytona 500.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver declared that Thursday morning on Twitter, clarifying comments he made Wednesday night on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “SiriusXM Speedway.”

Larson, who is competing in the 32nd annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals this week in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said the Chili Bowl meant more to him than the Daytona 500.

“The Chili Bowl is, gosh, like I said it’s up there with the top races I want to win,” Larson said. “Everybody knows I love dirt track racing. For me, the Chili Bowl is bigger than the Daytona 500. I know some fans, that might bum them out or think I have some bad attitude when it comes to NASCAR racing, but I love it. There’s some special dirt races I want to win and Chili Bowl is one of them.”

Larson said this a day after winning the Chili Bowl’s A main on Tuesday night. He’ll race in the 55-lap main event Saturday. He is also fresh off winning three midget races during a tour of New Zealand to start the year.

On Thursday, Larson responded to a fan on Twitter to make sure everyone knows winning the Feb. 18 Daytona 500 would be a big deal for the fifth-year driver.

Larson took the white flag of the Daytona 500 while in the lead. He ran out of gas in Turn 2 and finished 12th.

Larson’s expression of love for a dirt racing event over the “Great American Race” comes after comments he made last month about what he considered his ultimate career goal. Appearing on the official World of Outlaws podcast, the 25-year-old driver said competing full-time in World of Outlaws is his aim.

“NASCAR is where I wanted to make it, but I would have been perfectly fine if I didn’t make it either,” Larson said. “I’d probably be on the Outlaw (sprint car) tour probably right now, racing and loving life … I would say racing on the World of Outlaws tour full-time is my main goal; NASCAR’s just the step to get there.”

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Several NASCAR drivers still hope to make Chili Bowl title race tonight, fans fight ice storm

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The final rounds of the 31st annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals takes place today and this evening in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The main event will be the A-Main, scheduled to take the green flag at 11:30 p.m. ET/10:30 p.m. CT.

Of several NASCAR drivers who hope to still advance to the 24-driver main event, only one – Christopher Bell – is locked in.

Other NASCAR drivers still hoping to race their way into the A-Main via several other qualifying events are Ricky Stenhouse Jr., J.J. Yeley, Justin Allgaier, Kyle Larson and K&N Pro Series driver Chase Briscoe.

Also, if he fails to transfer into the A-Main via qualifying races, two-time defending champion Rico Abreu may still have a chance to go for three Chili Bowl titles in a row if he is given a defending champion’s provisional.

Including Bell, 12 drivers are locked into the A-Main. Justin Grant, who won Friday’s main round, will sit on the pole. Others also qualified for the big race are Tyler Courtney, Jake Swanson, Larry Wight, Ronnie Gardner, Zach Daum, Tanner Berryhill, Danny Stratton, Daryn Pittman, C.J. Leary and Colby Copeland.

The other 12 spots in the championship race will be determined through the finishes of the other undercard qualifying races Saturday.

Although the race is held indoors in the Tulsa Expo Raceway, spectators could have a difficult time getting there due to an Ice Storm Warning issued by the National Weather Service across northeast Oklahoma, which remains in effect until Sunday morning.




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