INDOOR: Defending Chili Bowl Champion Rico Abreu Highlights Latest Update to Entry List

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TULSA, Okla. – official event release — Kent Bergman photo —

The talent keeps pouring in for the 30th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire, happening Jan. 12-16, 2016 at the River Spirit Expo Center, as the latest count puts the number of entries at 280 with confirmed drivers currently at 258.

Compared to the entry list from nearly one year ago, press on Dec. 20, 2014 showed 285 entries with 271 confirmed drivers, putting this year’s confirmed driver count slightly behind, but still on pace for another Chili Bowl with 300 plus competitors.

Among the latest entries is the defending Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Champion, Rico Abreu, who will look to back up is 2015 success aboard a Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb Agajanian Toyota powered Bullet. One of five in the Kunz camp for this coming Chili Bowl, Abreu will be joined by fellow California native Kyle Larson as well as Nevada’s Tanner Thorson, who was recently named the 2015 National Midget Driver of the Year.

Looking to match the success of Hillenburg and put an Oklahoma native back in victory lane on Saturday night, Christopher Bell and Shane Stewart fill out the five car camp. Stewart’s ride is also due in part to Mike Larson. The last time Stewart saw action on the quarter-mile Tulsa Expo Raceway was 2008.

Currently holding the longest streak of consecutive feature starts, Jerry Coons Jr. returns in the Wilke-Pak No. 5. Coons’ 2015 feature start put the Arizona natives run to a dozen. In all, Coons has 16 feature starts with a pair of top-fives and six top-10s to his credit. He is currently second in all time feature starts to Sammy Swindell, who has made an astounding 22 main events.

With plans to make his 2016 run at the Chili Bowl win No. 6, Swindell is the only driver in the field that was present at the inaugural Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals. Next closest would be Kevin Olson who can account for 10 feature starts since 1988. Tim Siner and David Camfield each made their first trek to the Tulsa Expo Raceway in 1989.

Of the 211 drivers that can say they’ve made the cut in the Chili Bowl finale, 41 are currently entered with 52 others looking to do away with their rookie stripes. So far, drivers have entered from 204 municipalities, 32 states and five countries (United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom).

CREDIT: Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals

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