Rico Abreu Takes The Golden Driller In 29th Annual Tulsa Chili Bowl

Sunday, January 18th 2015, 8:18 am
By: News On 6

Rico Abreu raced to his first win at the 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals Saturday night at the River Spirit Expo Center in Tulsa.

The Californian beat out former winners Kevin and Sammy Swindell (second and fifth), Damion Gardner in third place and Tanner Thorson in fourth. Last year's winner Bryan Clauson finished in 10th place and Blake Hahn of Sapulpa took 11th.

"I just tried to stay as patient as I could. You know the race is a not a long race, but it is a long race," Abreu said.

"For a few laps I just kind of got after it just to see where we were at and I hung with him [Bryan Clauson] pretty good,"Abreu said about his pass for the lead.

"I don't know how hard he was racing, but when the time was right I pulled the trigger and gave him a slide job and was waiting for him to slide me back. We dragged raced each other into three and I came out with the lead."

Get complete Chili Bowl Nationals results

Second-place finisher Kevin Swindell was involved in a crash on Lap 13 then closed on the lead but could not take it from Abreu.

Organizers of the Chili Bowl Nationals say this year's competition brought in record-breaking numbers of racers and spectators.

They say between 30,000 and 40,000 people filled the space in and around the event at the fairgrounds. This year 40 cars more than ever before signed up for the race with a total of 326 drivers.

Oklahoma racing legend Emmett Hahn, Chili Bowl co-founder, said the event also brings around $14 million to the area's economy.

Next year's Chili Bowl is set for January 12-16. 

Learn more about Rico Abreu