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NASCAR's Tony Stewart: Get To The Tulsa Chili Bowl Nationals

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NASCAR's Tony Stewart says if you can make one race a year, make it the Chili Bowl. NASCAR's Tony Stewart says if you can make one race a year, make it the Chili Bowl.
Kevin Swindell is the man to beat - having won the race the past three years. Kevin Swindell is the man to beat - having won the race the past three years.
Kyle Larson came in third in 2012's Chili Bowl Nationals. Kyle Larson came in third in 2012's Chili Bowl Nationals.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

NASCAR racing champion Tony Stewart left no doubt about what he thought Tulsans should be doing this weekend. Stewart is in town for the 27th annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, and he spoke to the media Monday afternoon at Expo Square.

"It's the biggest dirt race of the year," Stewart said. "If you don't come here, I don't know what life you have. You obviously don't have a quality life if you don't come watch the Chili Bowl Nationals."

Stewart said race co-founder Emmett Hahn has trained him for the last 13 years to let the public know that Chili Bowl is the place to be. Stewart last won the Golden Driller trophy in 2007. On Monday, he joked that he and racer Kyle Larson were - like everyone else - racing for second place.

1/11/2012 Related Story: Stewart Splits Time Between Tulsa And Daytona

That is due to the man who took center seat at the news conference and claimed his third consecutive Chili Bowl victory in 2012: Kevin Swindell. Father Sammy Swindell has won the series five times.

Swindell said his string of victories proves that not everything about the dirt race is due to the famous "Chili Bowl luck."

"If somebody wants to turn you around or turn you over, it's not hard here," he said. "I think that's the luck part, is just not getting caught in somebody else's disaster, really.

"What I've been able to do the last three years is kind of prove there is some factor that you can take into your own hands and make it work."

Racers are currently running practice laps on the indoor dirt track at Expo Square. Racing action starts Thursday night.

In addition to the top runners Swindell, Stewart and Larson, several Oklahomans will be competing for the Chili Bowl title this year.

They include:

  • Danny Smith, Sand Springs
  • Michelle Decker, Guthrie
  • Trey Marcham, Oklahoma City
  • Alex Sewell, Broken Arrow
  • Jonathan Beason, Broken Arrow,
  • Blake Hahn, Sapulpa
  • Matt Ward, Glenpool
  • Chett Gehrke, Broken Arrow
  • Eric Fenton, Jenks
  • Blake Edwards, Claremore
  • Mike Goodman, Broken Arrow
  • Wayne Johnson, Oklahoma City
  • Kip Hughes, Enid
  • Justin Hendricks, Stillwater
  • Brandon Hahn, Tulsa
  • Tim Kent, Bristow
  • Evan Sewell, Tulsa
  • Danny Jennings, Norman
  • Tyler Robbins, Collinsville
  • Cameron Hagin, Broken Arrow
  • Hannah Adair, Tulsa
  • Billy Lawhead, Tulsa
  • Christopher Bell, Norman
  • Tyler Edwards, Salina
  • Matt Johnson, Edmond
  • Coby Hughes, Collinsville
  • Kevin Bayer, Tulsa
  • Harli White, Lindsay
  • Tyler Thomas, Collinsville
  • Jake Rosario, Guthrie
  • Dustin Morgan, Owasso
  • Waylon Weaver, Claremore
  • Layne Himebaugh, Collinsville
  • Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow
  • Jesse Frazier, Tulsa

1/15/2012 Related Story: Tulsa Chili Bowl Fans, Racers React To Donnie Ray Crawford's Death

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