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Stewart Fields Super Team For Upcoming Chili Bowl

| , RacinToday.com Monday, December 26 2011

Tony Stewart is headed back to Tulsa. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Greg Ellman)

Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will return to Tulsa, Okla., to compete in the 2012 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals it was announced Monday.

Joining Stewart on his Tony Stewart Racing team at the annual event will be NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr., USAC champion Bryan Clauson and 2011 POWRi rookie of the year Jake Blackhurst.

The Chili Bowl, held at the QuikTrip Center in Tulsa, Okla., begins Jan. 10.

Stewart made his most recent appearance in the event in 2008, finishing eighth in the A-main finale. After taking a three-year hiatus from the biggest Midget race of the year, Stewart will return in January behind the wheel of the No. 14 Chevrolet/Chevrolet Performance Parts/Spike.

Stewart has two Golden Drillers in his collection after scoring Chili Bowl victories in 2002 and 2007. The newly crowned, three-time NASCAR titlist will lead the four-car “Team of Champions” into the 2012 Chili Bowl behind the wheel of a special edition black, carbon-fiber entry that has been dubbed the “Back in Black” car. He’ll look to give Chevrolet its second Chili Bowl triumph.

Clauson will pilot the No. 39c INDYCAR/Indy 500/Spike/Esslinger for co-entrants Corey Tucker

Rick Stenhouse Jr. to driver for Stewart at Chili Bowl. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Christa L Thomas)

Racing/Bryan Clauson, Inc. (BCI)/Curb-Agajanian Racing. The four-time USAC champion has made two A-main starts in the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. He scored his best finish in 2008, taking the checkered flag in fourth place. Clauson has also won a preliminary A-main in the Chili Bowl in the Tuesday-night 25-lap qualifier last January.

The 22-year-old open-wheel standout has a long list of credentials that includes 23 USAC National Midget Series victories, two USAC National Midget Series championship titles, two USAC Indiana Midget Week titles and two Belleville Midget Nationals triumphs. In addition to being a two-time USAC National Drivers champion, Clauson has also been named National Midget Driver of the Year three times in his young career. IZOD IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard recently announced that Clauson will compete in the 2012 Indianapolis 500 as part of his award for wining his second consecutive USAC National Drivers championship.

Recently crowned NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Stenhouse Jr., will compete for the Team of Champions for CTR/BCI/Curb-Agajanian Racing in the No. 39i Curb Records/Spike/Esslinger. Fresh off his championship run, Stenhouse Jr., will look to earn his first Golden Driller trophy. While his full-time efforts in the USAC National Midget Car Series ranks were short term, Stenhouse earned five victories and was named the series’ 2007 Rookie of the Year. He enters this year’s event with one A-main start to his credit and will look to put the Curb Records entry in the show again in 2012.

Blackhurst, the 2011 POWRi Rookie of the Year, will drive the No. 39b Kitchen Cooked/Spike/Esslinger entry for the CTR/BCI team. Blackhurst looks to make his first Chili Bowl start and will be vying for event Rookie of the Year honors, as well as a shot at the Golden Driller. The 16-year-old is no stranger to racing success as he won the 2010 USAC Ford Focus Midget Midwest Pavement Championship.

| , RacinToday.com Monday, December 26 2011
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