Chili Bowl Diary Night 5: Kevin Swindell makes history

Credit: Chili Bowl Nationals
Chili Bowl Diary: Night 5. Today was the day that the whole week had led to. We ran four nights of qualifying races to get to this one day. Today we ran more races than any other. We ran double K’s to double B’s and then the A. That is a lot of racing. That is a lot of dreams, hope, and wishes - and they all came down to 55 laps.

The day started with outstanding but incident-filled racing from the KK’s to the BB’s. Several advanced for a couple of levels, but in the end no one could really come out of the alphabet soup. The furthest back anyone advanced from was the B. And those that did launched less-than-successful battles, finishing at least one lap down to the field.

The winner made history again this year. For the fourth year in a row Kevin Swindell won the Chili Bowl Nationals. But this year, unlike years past, there was a challenger besides his father. This year Brad “The Big Cat” Sweet stalked the Swindells from green flag to checkers. Had the track not rubbered in so bad Sweet might have been the one to stop the Swindells.

”Once it laid down rubber it didn’t matter who was behind you,” said the young Swindell, “You had to kind of slide them short and hope that they would check up long enough for you to get going.”

Second place went to Kevin’s father Sammy Swindell, who, ironically, builds and prepares both his and Kevin’s cars. Sammy started on the point but fell back to second early on when Kevin passed him on the high side out of Turn 2. Sammy tucked back in behind Kevin as the chaos began to occur back in the pack. “It didn’t make too much sense to run so hard to get the spot back. It doesn’t pay to lead any lap but the last one,” quipped the older Swindell. When asked about his relaxed candor he chuckled, “I'm always relaxed. You drive with passion not emotion.”

Third place went to Brad Sweet who came very close to being the common man’s hero at the Chili Bowl when he mounted a huge charge on Sammy and Kevin Swindell. With the changing track conditions, Sweet flat didn’t have enough room to maneuver. “I got by Sammy there for a minute but then he got back by me and after that there was just nowhere to go,” said Sweet.

The most promising challenge of the night came from Kyle “Yung Money” Larson. But it was nipped in the bud with a wheel from Kevin Swindell early in the race that sent Larson spinning up over the cushion. Larson was relegated to the back and left the race around Lap 40, having never advanced back from the rear of the field.

Hopes were high for many of the starting top 12 and with good rights. Names like Darland, Stewart, Haudenschild, Kruseman, Bacon, McCreadie in the top of the order. If the boy prodigy couldn’t make it happen, surely one of the surly old veterans could. In the end, only McCreadie and Darland would survive to make the top five. "Started p11 and finished p5 in the Chili Bowl! Not bad considering there were 275+ cars. We'll try it again next year!" said Darland. And when you consider the odds, he has a good point. To even make the A Main on Saturday, 24 spots out of 275 cars, is an incredible feat. It proves talent, skill, and team unity unlike any you will see in any other sport.

The men who started the A Main tonight were the very best of the very best this week. Not necessarily every week, but this week. There were champions left behind in wrecks and mechanical difficulties. There were proven winners that simply fell victim to circumstances beyond their control. But the racing talent that filled the Expo Center in Tulsa this week was enough to strike awe into even the most casual fan.

Unfortunately, the end result proved less than spectacular, with the surface rubbering in and creating a maypole effect with everyone riding around the bottom, the last half was a follow the leader affair.

There were grumbles from competitors about the surface, about the winner, about the format, but that is racing. Sometimes losing is a bitter pill to swallow when you have already proven yourself on another playground; especially when you are the king of the jungle gym on that playground. But the Chili Bowl is the Swindell family playground and for another year the Golden Driller is going back to Germantown, Tennessee as proof of that.

In the end, the Chili Bowl is more than racing. It’s an event and this event is a tradition. It is a gathering of like-minded people who all enjoy the same thing. Yes it's about the racing, but it's more about the camaraderie and the joining of spirits. And I am honored and pleased to have shared my week with all of you.

Feature (55 Laps): 1. 39-Kevin Swindell[2]; 2. 1-Sammy Swindell[1]; 3. 67X-Brad Sweet[5]; 4. 47X-Tim McCreadie[9]; 5. 3DD-Dave Darland[11]; 6. 63-Jerry Coons Jr[14]; 7. 11-Shane Golobic[16]; 8. 39B-Bryan Clauson[20]; 9. 38-Billy Wease[22]; 10. 21K-Cory Kruseman[8]; 11. 81-Markus Niemela[19]; 12. 71K-Jason Meyers[18]; 13. 8J-Jonathan Beason[15]; 14. 10-Brad Kuhn[23]; 15. 14-Tony Stewart[12]; 16. 71X-Jac Haudenschild[10]; 17. 05T-Gary Taylor[13]; 18. 47-Damion Gardner[6]; 19. 1ST-J.J. Yeley[21]; DNF 11A-Andrew Felker[24]; DNF 71-Kyle Larson[3]; DNF 99-Brady Bacon[7]; DNF 15X-Chad Boat[4]; DNF 51S-Mike Spencer[17]

B Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 05T-Gary Taylor[1]; 2. 8J-Jonathan Beason[6]; 3. 51S-Mike Spencer[9]; 4. 81-Markus Niemela[10]; 5. 1ST-J.J. Yeley[7]; 6. 10-Brad Kuhn[13]; 7. 21-Daryn Pittman[8]; 8. 3-Darren Hagen[5]; 9. 4-Jon Stanbrough[18]; 10. 37X-Gary (Bubba) Altig[19]; 11. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[16]; 12. 05K-Bud Kaeding[17]; 13. 21D-A.J. Hopkins[11]; DNF 7MR-Kevin Ramey[14]; DNF 7B-Austin Brown[12]; DNF 2H-Casey Shuman[2]; DNF 24-Tracy Hines[3]; DNF 57-Thomas Meseraull[20]; DNF 49-Trevor Kobylarz[4]; DNF 4E-Bobby East[15]Top 6 transfer

B Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 63-Jerry Coons Jr[1]; 2. 11-Shane Golobic[3]; 3. 71K-Jason Meyers[6]; 4. 39B-Bryan Clauson[7]; 5. 38-Billy Wease[2]; 6. 11A-Andrew Felker[13]; 7. 56A-Levi Jones[19]; 8. 5-Cole Whitt[5]; 9. 5D-Zach Daum[18]; 10. 67W-Christopher Bell[17]; 11. 9E-Alex Schutte[15]; 12. 05C-Shane Cottle[12]; 13. 93-Dustin Morgan[11]; 14. 19S-Richard VanderWeerd[16]; 15. 73-Ryan Bernal[14]; 16. 51J-R.J. Johnson[8]; 17. 7N-D.J. Netto[9]; DNF 7W-Chris Windom[4]; DNF 67-Rico Abreu[20]; DNF 31-Justin Allgaier[10]Top 6 transfer

C Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 4E-Bobby East[1]; 2. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[2]; 3. 05K-Bud Kaeding[3]; 4. 4-Jon Stanbrough[4]; 5. 37X-Gary (Bubba) Altig[12]; 6. 57-Thomas Meseraull[9]; 7. 7C-Caleb Armstrong[5]; 8. 39C-Dillon Welch[6]; 9. 11R-Troy Rutherford[7]; 10. 3T-Tim Barber[8]; 11. 35-Billy Pauch Jr[11]; 12. 91B-Kevin Bayer[16]; 13. 92J-Brenden Bright[14]; 14. 2S-Danny Stratton[19]; 15. 72-Tyler Edwards[13]; 16. 11BA-Brett Anderson[18]; 17. 8V-Jace VanderWeerd[17]; 18. 7A-Dalton Armstrong[10]; 19. 89K-Josh Lakatos[15]; 20. 7M-Seth Motsinger[20]Top 6 transfer

C Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 9E-Alex Schutte[2]; 2. 19S-Richard VanderWeerd[1]; 3. 67W-Christopher Bell[3]; 4. 5D-Zach Daum[4]; 5. 56A-Levi Jones[6]; 6. 67-Rico Abreu[9]; 7. 71S-Sheldon Haudenschild[5]; 8. 69-A.J. Fike[15]; 9. 77B-Alex Bright[11]; 10. 98-P.J. Jones[8]; 11. 19W-Matt Mitchell[18]; 12. 91K-Dereck King[16]; 13. 87F-Brian McClelland[12]; DNF 35S-Matt Sherrell[13]; DNF 015-David Prickett[19]; DNF 25M-Derrick Myers[10]; DNF 8L-Matt Ward[20]; DNF 15D-Andrew Deal[17]; DNF 91T-Tyler Thomas[14]; DNS 75H-Johnny HerreraTop 6 transfer

D Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 89K-Josh Lakatos[2]; 2. 91B-Kevin Bayer[4]; 3. 8V-Jace VanderWeerd[1]; 4. 11BA-Brett Anderson[7]; 5. 2S-Danny Stratton[13]; 6. 7M-Seth Motsinger[6]; 7. 14W-Matt Westfall[3]; 8. 25B-Steve Buckwalter[11]; 9. 24H-Bryan Sebetto[17]; 10. 5CC-Colten Cottle[16]; 11. 38N-Joey Moughan[15]; 12. 11C-Chett Gehrke[14]; 13. 12F-Nic Faas[18]; 14. 51W-Brandon Waelti[5]; 15. 29-Brandon Hahn[8]; DNF 0Z-Cameron Beard[10]; DNF 83-Kurt Blackaby[9]; DNF 20-Tadd Holliman[12]Top 6 transfer

D Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 69-A.J. Fike[1]; 2. 91K-Dereck King[3]; 3. 15D-Andrew Deal[13]; 4. 19W-Matt Mitchell[4]; 5. 015-David Prickett[7]; 6. 8L-Matt Ward[9]; 7. 57D-Daniel Robinson[2]; 8. 151-Jesse Frazier[15]; 9. 8-Alex Sewell[17]; 10. 68-Ronnie Gardner[6]; 11. 87-Tim Crawley[5]; 12. 81B-Ryan Beechler[8]; 13. 57A-Hannah Adair[16]; 14. 05-Brad Loyet[10]; 15. 7X-Critter Malone[18]; 16. 35D-Brett Felkins[14]; 17. 14JR-Matt Streeter[11]; DNF 45X-C.J. Johnson[12]Top 6 transfer

E Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 38N-Joey Moughan[2]; 2. 5CC-Colten Cottle[1]; 3. 24H-Bryan Sebetto[5]; 4. 12F-Nic Faas[6]; 5. 38K-Rick Hendrix[8]; 6. 8K-Blake Hahn[13]; 7. 2B-Tyler Reddick[15]; 8. 57X-Kaley Engstrom[3]; 9. 16-Robert Ballou[9]; 10. 7S-Hunter Schuerenberg[14]; 11. 56P-Jason Leffler[10]; 12. 57K-Kevin Studley[11]; 13. 191-Chase Barber[12]; 14. 5C-Chris Coker[4]; DNS 1W-Paul White; DNS 21N-Nick SpeidelTop 4 transfer

E Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 151-Jesse Frazier[8]; 2. 57A-Hannah Adair[1]; 3. 8-Alex Sewell[3]; 4. 7X-Critter Malone[5]; 5. 62S-Taylor Simas[4]; 6. 24L-C.J. Leary[13]; 7. 2A-Jason Howell[9]; 8. 5G-P.J. Gargiulo[6]; 9. 37-Cameron Hagin[10]; 10. 2R-Levi Roberts[12]; 11. 11W-Chase Stockton[15]; 12. 3F-Tanner Swanson[14]; 13. 27R-Kyle O'Gara[16]; 14. 86C-David Camfield Jr[7]; DNF 62-Dennis Howell[2]; DNS 73F-Tyler WalkerTop 4 transfer

F Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 8K-Blake Hahn[9]; 2. 7S-Hunter Schuerenberg[1]; 3. 2B-Tyler Reddick[2]; 4. 1W-Paul White[5]; 5. 06-Mario Clouser[16]; 6. 11J-Travis Berryhill[13]; 7. 24E-Cody Darrah[14]; 8. 21X-Kurt Mayhew[3]; 9. 7DA-Dakoda Armstrong[10]; 10. 70-Peter Palazzolo[6]; 11. 32A-Garrett Aitken[8]; 12. 84-Joey Fabozzi[12]; 13. 0-Glenn Styres[15]; 14. 56X-Mark Chisholm[7]; 15. 6-Aaron Pierce[11]; DNS 17R-Kyle SteffensTop 4 transfer

F Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 24L-C.J. Leary[1]; 2. 3F-Tanner Swanson[2]; 3. 11W-Chase Stockton[8]; 4. 27R-Kyle O'Gara[5]; 5. 35L-Cody Ledger[13]; 6. 83JR-Bruce Buckwalter Jr.[7]; 7. 17-Michael Koontz[4]; 8. 26X-John Golobic[16]; 9. 6A-David Gough[10]; 10. 5B-Tommy Brown[6]; 11. 7J-Shawn Jackson[3]; 12. 6R-Joe Ramaker[12]; 13. 12JR-Josh Pelkey[15]; 14. 77H-Michael Harders[11]; DNF 1T-Tony Roney[9]; DNF 44-Don Droud Jr[14]Top 4 transfer

G Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 11J-Travis Berryhill[1]; 2. 24E-Cody Darrah[8]; 3. 0-Glenn Styres[4]; 4. 06-Mario Clouser[10]; 5. 9P-Wes McIntyre[5]; 6. 15S-Tim Siner[15]; 7. 23-Jimmy Light[16]; 8. 35T-Tyler Robbins[13]; 9. 6B-Bill Balog[12]; 10. 55-Taylor Lynn Ferns[11]; 11. 11XS-Donovan Peterson[6]; 12. 5BL-Barry Lamb[3]; 13. 12S-Bryan Severs[7]; DNF 7D-Michelle Decker[2]; DNF 115-Conner Kassik[14]; DNS 1AZ-Steve Sussex JrTop 4 transfer

G Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 35L-Cody Ledger[2]; 2. 44-Don Droud Jr[9]; 3. 12JR-Josh Pelkey[1]; 4. 26X-John Golobic[10]; 5. 50-Daniel Adler[14]; 6. 77-Mike Boesel[8]; 7. 7CS-Pat Schudy[4]; 8. 17E-Blake Edwards[13]; 9. 32-Danny Jennings[12]; 10. 2D-Troy DeCaire[6]; 11. 23F-Josh Most[16]; 12. 9U-Doug McCune[3]; 13. 94K-Darren Kingston[11]; DNF 3B-Jayme Barnes[15]; DNS 89-Kasey Kahne; DNS 11T-Shon DeskinsTop 4 transfer

H Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 35T-Tyler Robbins[1]; 2. 115-Conner Kassik[2]; 3. 15S-Tim Siner[10]; 4. 23-Jimmy Light[14]; 5. 22X-Wayne Johnson[9]; 6. 28K-Justin Hendricks[7]; 7. 9D-Sean Dodenhoff[3]; 8. 94C-Brad Cox[4]; 9. 15-Danny Burke[12]; 10. 59-Billy Lawhead[15]; 11. 2AU-Alex Orr[6]; 12. 0X-Johnny Murdock[5]; DNF 22-Mike Goodman[16]; DNF 59E-Dex Eaton[8]; DNF 67K-Riley Emmel[13]; DNS 0K-Don O'Keefe JrTop 4 transfer

H Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 17E-Blake Edwards[3]; 2. 50-Daniel Adler[10]; 3. 3B-Jayme Barnes[5]; 4. 23F-Josh Most[8]; 5. 44S-Clint Schubert[1]; 6. 96-Brad Noffsinger[6]; 7. 98G-Gavin Galbraith[15]; 8. 37T-Harli White[16]; 9. 19-Patrick Stasa[2]; 10. 82H-Mike Hess[14]; DNF 4K-Kevin Thomas Jr[4]; DNF 49JR-Bobby Michnowicz[13]; DNF 31B-David Budres[7]; DNF 7JR-J.D. Black[9]; DNS 5R-Garrett Rider; DNS 71XX-Davey RayTop 4 transfer

I Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 67K-Riley Emmel[1]; 2. 23-Jimmy Light[3]; 3. 59-Billy Lawhead[4]; 4. 22-Mike Goodman[16]; 5. 33R-Joe Stornetta[14]; 6. 14C-Shane Cockrum[13]; 7. 75-Landon Simon[6]; 8. 27B-Johnny Scott[12]; DNF 7-Shannon McQueen[8]; DNF 22A-Andy Malpocker[11]; DNF 51X-Matt Lundy[15]; DNF 25P-Dylan Peterson[9]; DNF 12G-Chris Gurley[2]; DNF 17W-Cole Wood[7]; DNF 2DD-Josh Hawkins[5]; DNS 55B-Brian ShirleyTop 4 transfer

I Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 49JR-Bobby Michnowicz[3]; 2. 82H-Mike Hess[8]; 3. 98G-Gavin Galbraith[1]; 4. 37T-Harli White[5]; 5. 14E-Eric Fenton[4]; 6. 27-Ryan Smith[12]; 7. 72K-Kevin Olson[6]; 8. 14R-Jody Rosenboom[7]; 9. 40-Andy Huston[10]; 10. 98GB-Curtis Boyer[14]; 11. 31E-Evan Sewell[2]; 12. 57H-Davey Heskin[16]; 13. 11B-Andee Beierle[9]; 14. 27C-Kip Hughes[13]; 15. 91H-Mike Hudson[11]; 16. 87C-Coby Hughes[15]Top 4 transfer

J Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 14C-Shane Cockrum[4]; 2. 33R-Joe Stornetta[3]; 3. 51X-Matt Lundy[6]; 4. 22-Mike Goodman[14]; 5. 87R-Danny Smith[2]; 6. 7T-Trey Marcham[9]; 7. 4B-Chris Shirek[16]; 8. 94-Layne Himebaugh[15]; 9. W94-Waylon Weaver[11]; 10. 2X-Clint Woolbright[7]; 11. 5M-Ned Fry[5]; DNF 12J-Jay Mounce[10]; DNF 7RS-Scott Crystal[8]; DNF 20X-Jimmy Harris[1]; DNF 55S-Trey Starks[13]; DNS 63D-Nick KnepperTop 4 transfer

J Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 27C-Kip Hughes[2]; 2. 98GB-Curtis Boyer[3]; 3. 87C-Coby Hughes[4]; 4. 57H-Davey Heskin[15]; DNF 4X-Shawn Petersen[16]; DNF 1B-Bobby Brewer[11]; DNF 14S-Tom Casson[6]; DNF 14X-Scott Petersen[8]; DNF 1X-Bryan Debrick[7]; DNF 85J-Matt Johnson[9]; DNF 91-Jeff Stasa[1]; DNF 6C-Michael Heberling[10]; DNF 5$-Danny Smith[13]; DNF 7JS-Kyle Bellm[14]; DNS 4F-Chad Frewaldt; DNS 88-Dustin WelandTop 4 transfer

K Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 55S-Trey Starks[4]; 2. 22-Mike Goodman[3]; 3. 94-Layne Himebaugh[1]; 4. 4B-Chris Shirek[9]; 5. 10C-Dalton Camfield[8]; 6. 16C-Rich Camfield[11]; 7. 2P-Payton Pierce[14]; 8. 1R-Robby Larson[12]; 9. 33A-Stephen Arnold[6]; 10. 83B-Eldon Blackaby[7]; DNF 3G-Matt Harms[10]; DNS 12M-Kyle McCutcheon; DNS 93R-Jake Rosario; DNS 4C-Chuck McGillivaryTop 4 transfer

K Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 5$-Danny Smith[4]; 2. 7JS-Kyle Bellm[14]; 3. 57H-Davey Heskin[9]; 4. 4X-Shawn Petersen[10]; 5. 82-Eric Johnson[1]; 6. 29S-Tim Kent[8]; 7. 11H-Dustin Hapka[2]; 8. 11XC-Steve Newman[11]; DNF 22AZ-Rick Shuman[6]; DNF 5L-Mike Larrison[3]; DNF 73X-Greg Edenholm[5]; DNS 85-Jonathan Hendrick; DNS 9F-Jared Carpenter; DNS 43-Brent BeauchampTop 4 transfer
Chili Bowl Diary Night 5: Kevin Swindell makes history Chili Bowl Diary Night 5: Kevin Swindell makes history Reviewed by Unknown on Sunday, January 13, 2013 Rating: 5

1 comment

  1. I agree with you that was a very long day on saturday. Thanks for all the updates and stats for the week. Congrats to Kevin on the win and four in a row that is awesome,