Fans, Participants From Around The World Flock To Tulsa For 27th Annual Chili Bowl

Tuesday, January 8th 2013, 6:38 pm
By: News On 6

The 27th annual Chili Bowl is underway at the Tulsa fairgrounds.

More than 250 drivers are in town competing in one of the more popular races in the world.

The Chili Bowl is probably the most recognizable race in the world of midget car racing. It brings in fans and participants from all over the world.

"Nerves are starting to get in there but I'm definitely looking forward to it," said driver Alex Orr.

Orr is driving in his first Chili Bowl and it's probably safe to say he had one of the longest commutes, all the way from Sydney, Australia.

"Everybody's heard of the Chili Bowl down in Australia. It's a very prestigious event, I understand, and it's something I've wanted to do for a long time. I'm really excited to be here," Orr said.

1/7/2013 Related Story: NASCAR's Tony Stewart: Get To The Tulsa Chili Bowl Nationals

More than 250 drivers will race on the Chili Bowl's quarter-mile clay track. It gets loud and the mud flies, but fans travel from all over to watch.

"There's nowhere else, and I've been a lot of places, NASCAR, whatever, there's no place you're going to find this quality of racers," said Douglas Blanshan.

Douglas and his wife, Laurel, are from Minneapolis. They've been coming to the Chili Bowl for the past seven years.

"It's always been really pleasant coming down here. Hotels we stay at are great, it's just a really nice place," Laurel said.

Count Mark Bush as another honorary Tulsan. He's from Georgia and came here first as fan, then driver, and now owner.

"The Chili Bowl is just the maximum event for these kind of cars," Bush said.

Orr is one of Bush's drivers. The Chili Bowl marks his first time to the United States and he can't wait to hit that dirt track.

"I think it's amazing. This facility and event is like nothing I've ever seen before and I'm enjoying every minute of it," Orr said.

Racing takes place through Friday night beginning at 6 p.m. each night, and then Saturday at noon.

Wednesday at noon, the drivers will take part in a kick ball tournament to raise money to fight children's cancer.