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Chili Bowl Ready To Roll

| , RacinToday.com Tuesday, January 9 2018

A top prize of $6,363.63 awaits the winner of the 10th annual Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions (VIROC) Tuesday, part of opening night events at the 32nd annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire.

The Chili Bowl Nationals run from Tuesday through Saturday at Tulsa Expo Raceway, located inside the River Spirit Expo Center in Oklahoma. Entry List with sponsor information can be found at http://www.chilibowl.com/entries/manual.aspx.

Comprised of drivers who have won the Chili Bowl Nationals, owner champions picks, reigning National Midget Driver of the Year or past VIROC winners, 18 drivers have made the cut for the 20-lap showdown.

Over the course of nine VIROC dashes, five drivers have topped the 20-lapper. Sammy Swindell has earned the most VIROC wins with four (2009, 2011, 2012, and 2015). In 2017, NASCAR Cup Series star Kyle Larson picked up his second triumph. Both will be on-track for Tuesday’s event.

Making the VIROC a bit of a brotherly rivalry, Rusty and Keith Kunz each will be well-represented with some of the event’s top talent. Rusty Kunz earned his Golden Drillers as an owner in 2014, 1996, and 1994 and has tapped Thomas Meseraull, who made his first VIROC appearance in 2017 with a fifth-place finish.

Keith Kunz will be represented by four KKM drivers. Including the aforementioned Larson, his roster includes 2016 Chili Bowl winner Rico Abreu as well as reigning champion and rising NASCAR talent Christopher Bell. With both drivers punching their ticket via wins, the choice for Kunz as a six-time owner champion is Indiana’s Spencer Bayston, who will be making his first VIROC appearance.

Winning the VIROC in 2010, Brad Loyet will make his ninth appearance. Arizona’s Jerry Coons Jr. will represent Wilke-Pak Motorsports. To-date, Coons has been in five VIROC events with a best finish of fifth in 2013. With a pair of Golden Drillers in his collection, Cory Kruseman is in the mix along with Tracey Hines, who won in 2005 for Wilke-Pak.

Landing behind the wheel of the Kevin Swindell Motorsports No. 39, New Zealand’s Michal Pickens will make his first VIROC appearance.

Winner of the event in 2006, Late Model ace Tim McCreadie of snowbound Watertown, N.Y., again will drive for Andy Bondio, with Andy’s owner champion status landing Danny Stratton for his third VIROC.

Using his 2016 VIROC win as his ticket into the show, Tanner Thorson also earned a seat by winning the 2017 National Midget Driver of the Year honor. Driving for Dooling-Hayward Motorsports, the team will have its second car in action with Joe Dooling’s choice of Brad Sweet. Dooling was co-owner during Bryan Clauson’s 2014 Chili Bowl Nationals run.

Washington native Kasey Kahne, another NASCAR Cup regular, has landed a spot with Zarounian Motorsports. Meanwhile, the driver known as “The Demon” will make his eighth VIROC appearance. Winner of the event in 2006, Damion Gardner’s best finish in the VIROC came in 2014 as runner-up to Larson.

Rounding out the list is Chad Boat. The son of 1997 Chili Bowl Nationals champion and former Indy car regular Billy Boat, the John Lawson name remains synonymous with the Boat family and will be cashed in for Chad’s admission to the race.

The VIROC lineup will be set by draw following Tuesday’s Warren CAT Qualifying Night Heat Races. The VIROC will be run just prior to the evening’s B-Features. The complete list of drivers is as follows with car number, driver and hometown:

01 Kyle Larson (Elk Grove, Calif.)
1 Sammy Swindell (Germantown, Tenn.) 
1R Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, Calif.) 
05 Brad Loyet (Sunset Hills, Mo.) 
5 Jerry Coons Jr. (Tucson, Ariz.) 
21K Cory Kruseman (Ventura, Calif.)
24 Tracy Hines (Wilkinson, Ind.)
39 Michael Pickens (Auckland, New Zealand)
47 Danny Stratton (Riverside, Calif.)
47X Tim McCreadie (Watertown, N.Y.)
63 Tanner Thorson (Minden, Nev.)
63D Brad Sweet (Grass Valley, Calif.)
67Z Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, Wash.)
71G Damion Gardner (Concord, Calif.)
71W Christopher Bell (Norman, Okla.)
84X Chad Boat (Phoenix, Ariz.)
97 Rico Abreu (Rutherford, Calif.)
97K Spencer Bayston (Lebanon, Ind.)

Nightly Sponsors

Tuesday, Jan. 9 _ Warren CAT Qualifying Night plus 10th annual VIROC
Wednesday, Jan. 10 _ Hard Rock Casino Qualifying Night
Thursday, Jan. 11 _ John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night
Friday, Jan. 12 _ Vacuworx Global Qualifying Night
Saturday, Jan. 13 _ Lucas Oil Championship Feature Events

Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals Champions

Year _ Driver (Owner)

2017 _ Christopher Bell (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian)
2016 _ Rico Abreu (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian)
2015 _ Rico Abreu (Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian)
2014 _ Bryan Clauson (Joe Dooling/Rusty Kunz/Curb Records)
2013 _Kevin Swindell (Swindell Motorsports/Curb Records)
2012 _Kevin Swindell (Swindell Motorsports/Curb Records)
2011 _Kevin Swindell (Swindell Motorsports/Curb Records)
2010 _Kevin Swindell (Swindell Motorsports/Curb Records)
2009 _Sammy Swindell (Swindell Motorsports/Curb Records)
2008 _Damion Gardner (Jason Leffler)
2007 _Tony Stewart (Tony Stewart Motorsports)
2006 _Tim McCreadie (Steve Smith)
2005 _Tracy Hines (Wilke-Pak)
2004 _ Cory Kruseman (Andy Bondio)
2003 _Dan Boorse (Dan Boorse)
2002 _Tony Stewart (Keith Kunz)
2001 _ Jay Drake (Keith Kunz)
2000 _ Cory Kruseman (Andy Bondio)
1999 _ Dan Boorse (Dan Boorse)
1998 _ Sammy Swindell (Pete Willoughby)
1997 _ Billy Boat (John Lawson)
1996 _ Sammy Swindell (Rusty Kunz /Jay McKinnie)
1995 _ Donnie Beechler (Zarounian Motorsports)
1994 _ Andy Hillenburg (Keith Kuntz /Rusty Kunz)
1993 _ Dave Blaney (Ralph Potter)
1992 _ Sammy Swindell (Dave Ellis)
1991 _ Lealand McSpadden (Andy Bondio)
1990 _ John Heydenreich (Tony Finley)
1989 _ Sammy Swindell (Jack Runyon)
1988 _ Scott Hatton (Jerry Hatton)
1987 _ Rich Vogler (Bob Lowe)

VIROC Champions _Kyle Larson (2017 and 2014), Tanner Thorson (2016), Sammy Swindell (2015, 2012, 2011, 2009), Kevin Swindell (2013), Brad Loyet (2010).

Trade Show _ A long-standing tradition at the Chili Bowl, the Trade Show will be open to the public each day free of charge. All variety of racing products, apparel and more is available with well over 100 vendors. The Trade Show covers approximately 20,000 square feet.

Past VIROC Finishes

VIROC IX: Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions 2017

71K Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, Calif.

97 Rico Abreu, Rutherford, Calif.

6K Dave Darland, Lincoln, Ind.

47X Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y.

1R Thomas Meseraull, San Jose, Calif.

71 Christopher Bell, Norman, Okla.

76M Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, Okla.

84X Chad Boat, Phoenix, Ariz.

21K Cory Kruseman, Ventura, Calif.

21 Daryn Pittman, Owasso, Okla.

67 Tanner Thorson, Minden, Nev.

5 Jerry Coons Jr., Tucson, Ariz.

47 Danny Stratton, Reading, Pa.

71G Damion Gardner, Concord, Calif.

24 Tracy Hines, Wilkinson, Ind.

1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, Tenn.

5 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, Mo.

1ST J.J. Yeley, Charlotte, N.C.

15 Donny Schatz, Fargo, N.D.

22H John Heydenreich, Bloomsburg, Pa.

VIROC VIII: Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions 2016

67 Tanner Thorson, Minden, Nev.

71K Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, Calif.

24 Tracy Hines, Wilkinson, Ind.

63 Bryan Clauson, Noblesville, Ind.

71 Christopher Bell, Norman, Okla.

15X Chad Boat, Phoenix, Ariz.

6K Dave Darland, Lincoln, Ind.

67Z Kasey Kahne, Enumclaw, Wash.

47 Danny Stratton, Riverside, Calif.

47X Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y.

5 Jerry Coons Jr., Tucson, Ariz.

97 Rico Abreu, Rutherford, Calif.

1ST J.J. Yeley, Phoenix, Ariz.

21K Cory Kruseman, Ventura, Calif.

4 Damion Gardner, Concord, N.C.

05 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, Mo.

22H John Heydenreich, Bloomsburg, Pa.

1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, Tenn.

39S Kevin Thomas, Jr., Cullman, Ala.

VIROC VII: Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions 2015

1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, Tenn.

63 Bryan Clauson, Noblesville, Ind.

21K Cory Kruseman, Ventura, Calif.

71 Christopher Bell, Norman, Okla.

71K Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, Calif.

39 Kevin Swindell, Germantown, Tenn.

97 Rico Abreu, Rutherford, Calif.

24 Tracy Hines, Wilkinson, Ind.

71L Damion Gardner, Concord, Calif.

5 Jerry Coons Jr., Tucson, Ariz.

47X Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y.

6K Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Olive Branch, Miss.

5 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, Mo.

1ST J.J. Yeley, Charlotte, N.C.

15X Chad Boat, Phoenix, Ariz.

22 John Heydenreich, Bloomsburg, Pa.

VIROC VI: Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions 2014

71K Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, Calif.

47 Damion Gardner, Concord, Calif.

97 Christopher Bell, Norman, Okla.

5 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, Mo.

24 Tracy Hines, Wilkinson, Ind.

5 Jerry Coons Jr., Tucson, Ariz.

21K Cory Kruseman, Ventura, Calif.

71 Kasey Kahne, Enumclaw, Wash.

63 Bryan Clauson, Noblesville, Ind.

1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, Tenn.

39 Kevin Swindell, Germantown, Tenn.

1ST J.J. Yeley, Charlotte, N.C.

15X Chad Boat, Phoenix, Ariz.

47X Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y.

4AU Mathew Smith, Brandy Hill, New South Wales

VIROC V: Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions 2013

39 Kevin Swindell, Germantown, Tenn.

1ST J.J. Yeley, Charlotte, N.C.

1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, Tenn.

15X Chad Boat, Phoenix, Ariz.

63 Jerry Coons Jr, Tucson, Ariz.

47X Tim McCreadie Watertown, N.Y.

71 Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, Calif.

24 Tracy Hines, Wilkinson, Ind.

21K Cory Kruseman, Ventura, Calif.

05 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, Mo.

67X Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, Calif.

47 Damion Gardner, Concord, Calif.

56P Jason Leffler, Long Beach, Calif.

5 Cole Whitt, Alpine, Calif.

14 Tony Stewart, Columbus, Ind.

VIROC IV: Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions 2012

1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, Tenn.

39 Kevin Swindell, Germantown, Tenn.

24 Tracy Hines, Greenfield, Ind.

05G Damion Gardner, Concord, Calif.

67Z Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, Ind.

39C Bryan Clauson, Noblesville, Ind.

14 Tony Stewart, Columbus, Ind.

05 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills Mo.

67 Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, Calif.

Brad Mosen, Auckland, New Zealand

5 Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, Okla.

71 Jason Leffler, Long Beach, Calif.

21K Cory Kruseman, Ventura, Calif.

DNS – 39i Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Olive Branch, Miss.

VIROC III: Vacuworx Invitational of Champions 2011

1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, Tenn.

4X Dave Darland, Lincoln, Ind.

91X Jason Leffler, Long Beach, Calif.

1J J.J. Yeley, Phoenix, Ariz.

Bryan Clauson, Noblesville, Ind.

24 Tracy Hines, Wilkinson, Ind.

05 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, Mo.

39M Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y.

21K Cory Kruseman, Ventura, Calif.

71 Cole Whitt, Alpine, Calif.

05G Damion Gardner, Concord, Calif.

39 Kevin Swindell, Germantown, Tenn.

15M Jay Drake, Val Verde, Calif.

35 Johnny Heydenreich, Indianapolis, Ind.

47X Garrett Hansen, Manhattan Beach, Calif.

15H Scott Hatton, Roscoe, Ill.

VIROC II: Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions 2010

05 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, Mo.

17B Brad Kuhn, Avon, Ind.

71K Jay Drake, Val Verde, Calif.

71 Cole Whitt, Alpine, Calif.

47 Garrett Hansen, Manhattan Beach, Calif.

15H Scott Hatton, Roscoe, Ill.

91X Kasey Kahne, Enumclaw, Wash.

21K Cory Kruseman, Ventura, Calif.

57B Johnny Heydenreich, Indianapolis, Ind.

1AU Gary Taylor, Snohomish, Wash.

44D Damion Gardner, Concord, Calif.

39B Bryan Clauson, Noblesville, Ind.

11W Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y.

40 Jason Leffler, Long Beach, Calif.

1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, Tenn.

11 Tracy Hines, New Castle, Ind.

VIROC I: Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions 2009

1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, Tenn.

5 Dave Darland, Lincoln, Ind.

11W Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y.

67 Jay Drake, Val Verde, Calif.

1J J.J. Yeley, Phoenix, Ariz.

Kasey Kahne, Enumclaw, Wash.

7C Tony Elliott, Warsaw, Ind.

15H Scott Hatton, Roscoe, Ill.

38 Jason Leffler, Long Beach, Calif.

21 Tracy Hines, Newcastle, Ind.

2S Damion Gardner, Concord, Calif.

25 Steve Buckwalter, Royersford, Pa.

57B Johnny Heydenreich, Indianapolis, Ind.

47 Cory Kruseman, Ventura, Calif.

 

| , RacinToday.com Tuesday, January 9 2018
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