For the third consecutive year, the Golden Driller awarded to the winner of the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals went to a driver carrying the iRacing logo on his dirt midget. This time, however, it was Kyle Larson, who finally took his first victory in the prestigious event over Christopher Bell in a reverse of last year’s 1-2 finish for the iRacing-backed drivers.
343 entries showed up at Tulsa Expo Raceway for this year’s six-day event, including three iRacing-sponsored cars for Bell, Larson, and Karsyn Elledge. Only 24 could advance to the prestigious A-main, with both Bell and Larson punching their tickets with qualifying night victories earlier in the week. They then both participated in the #DoItForGrady Pole Shuffle, earning the second and third starting spots.
But the polesitter never led a lap, as Bell jumped out to an early lead and held the point for the first 38 laps. The Oklahoma native was looking for his fourth consecutive Golden Driller, a feat that would’ve equaled only four-time Chili Bowl winner and current iRacing team owner Kevin Swindell. However, as multiple mid-race cautions bunched up the field, Larson was able to make his move and hang onto the top spot for long enough to lock it in before another yellow flag waved.
This year’s Chili Bowl was significant for other reasons as well, as iRacing’s scan of the track was used mid-week to help the track build crew reshape the course. Click here to read the full Autoweek story on how the track was changed overnight to match iRacing’s reference points.
Images via Brendon Bauman/Chili Bowl Nationals