Oklahomans Take Top Two Spots At Chili Bowl
TULSA, Oklahoma - For the first time in two decades, the Golden Driller is staying in the Sooner State.
Norman native Christopher Bell took the checkered flag last night in the 31st Chili Bowl A-Main final.
It's been 22 years since an Oklahoma native won the Chili Bowl, but that streak ended Saturday night.
"It's just unbelievable. I watched a lot of Chili Bowl film last week. I watched the 1994 Chili Bowl where Hillenburg won it," Christopher Bell said.
Norman's Christopher Bell started in second and midway through, he got past Justin Grant to take a lead he would not give up.
"I started bawling inside my helmet whenever I took the checkered flag and saw everyone standing up in the crowd. It was just a really special moment for me," Bell said.
And the state of Oklahoma wasn't done. Owasso's Daryn Pittman finished second, making it a 1-2 Okie finish.
"Proud to run second, and honestly if I couldn't win, I'm as happy for him to get the win as I would be for myself," Pittman said.
Bell was proud to bring a Driller back to the state.
"It's cool to be able to finally, finally bring a Driller back to Oklahoma," Bell said.
Despite not living in Oklahoma anymore, Pittman's roots are in Oklahoma.
"I'm proud to be from Oklahoma. I haven't lived here in 15 years, but I'll always consider myself an Okie, and Owasso is my hometown," Pittman said.
So, after a couple of close calls, Bell, and Oklahoma, finally have a Golden Driller.
"Most of the time, whenever I leave here Saturday night, I'm saying I'm never coming back and I hate this place, but I can't wait to come back next year now," Bell said.
After the race, Bell was reminded that next year, he'll have a champion's provision into the A-Main final. He kinda laughed and said he doesn't plan to use that, he plans to race his way in once again.