Chili Bowl Junior Roars On

Friday, January 16th 2009, 3:18 pm
By: News On 6

By Margaret Stokes & Chris Howell

TULSA, OK -- The finals for the second annual Chili Bowl Junior tournament took place Friday Morning at the Mustang Arena at Expo Square.

"This is pretty big. People are here from all over the country. From the west coast, east coast north and south. This is as competitive as big scale racing is. A lot of guys have been doing it for ten to twenty years. This is their passion, "said Scotty Earnst a race and the announcer.

The racers even set up a pit stop for their radio-controlled miniature cars.

"They bring everything here just all different performance parts," said Earnst.

"When the track changes you have to make adjustments. Every time they water the track everything changes," said racer David Prather from Houston.

"They're one hundred percent scaled down real racecars. You can change the shocks. You can change the oil in the shocks to change the damping effect. You can change the wheels, the tires, the wing angle for the sprint cars and it really changes the performance and the handling of the cars. There are rules for each division. The nitro powered or gas powered as some people call them has specific rules when it comes to the size of the wings the type of fuel they use. The electric ones have certain rules for the batteries and the motors that they use," said Earnst.

The competition is so intense, for racers the days seem to run together.

"I guess today's Friday I don't know our days run together," said Prather.

For those involved in this hobby, winning is the only goal.

"The prize besides the nice trophy is pretty much bragging rights to say that you were the best at the chili bowl junior," said Earnst.

Each racer seems to have a different reason for hitting the track.

"Just the fun of it I've always been a race fan. Never had the budget or the skills to do full race cars, and I saw this for the first time fell in love with it. You get the same thrill, same excitement, same adrenalin rush without the pain the breaking of the pocket book and you just get the same exhilaration when you win," said Earnst.

David Prather said he races for, "Something to do."

And for Jeff Harper of Coweta, it was a chance discovery, "just a few trips in the hobby shop and the guys talking about racing. And the first time I visited the racetrack I was hooked."