Kyle Larson Defends Chili Bowl Title At Tulsa Expo

Sunday, January 17th 2021, 6:28 pm

TULSA, Okla. -

Everyone was gunning for defending Chili Bowl champion Kyle Larson, but no one could catch him.

Larson led every lap of the 35th annual race Saturday at the Tulsa Expo.

The Chili Bowl has had multiple consecutive champions in recent years. First, it was Kevin Swindell who won four in a row. Then, it was Rico Abreu who followed up with two Chili Bowl wins of his own.

Abreu was followed by Norman native Christopher Bell, who won three titles.

Now, it’s Larson who has secured back-to-back Chili Bowl titles.

"That race was not easy by any means,” Larson said. “It was a lot tougher than last year’s race. I felt like I had pressure on me the whole time."

Larson took the lead in the opening lap and never looked back, despite polesitter Justin Grant fighting to jump ahead. 

"He’s an artist and he is good at his craft,” Grant said. “We are all trying to hone our craft here and be as good as we can at it. Right now, he is at the top of the pile."

In turn three with just three laps to go, Bell’s car drifted up the track and clipped the cushion, sending Bell flying. 

Bell walked away with no injuries, but at that point, the race was over and Larson got the checkered flag.

“I seen (sic) a white car flipping and I knew he (Bell) was running pretty hard behind me and then I came back around here and seen (sic) it was Bell upside down,” Larson said. “That made me relax some.”