MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Even if you ask around, it’s likely you’ll be hard-pressed to find a driver more excited about racing in the 32nd annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals than Pennsylvania’s Austin Langenstein.
Langenstein, a Northern transplant who has made his name — and his home — in Concord, North Carolina for years, will make the trek out to Tulsa, Oklahoma next month to pilot a midget inside the famed Tulsa Expo Center for the first time.
He’ll be driving an entry out of the Tucker-Boat Motorsports stable as he, along with numerous others, chases Chili Bowl Rookie of the Year honors and a spot inside the coveted championship A-Main.
And for a driver who know how big the Chili Bowl is within the dirt track racing discipline, Langenstein knew if he was going to go to Tulsa and compete, that it had to be in equipment that was capable of making the show and going to victory lane.
“I don’t do anything halfway; if I’m going to do something, I’m gonna do it big and go for the best situation I can put myself in. It’s a great opportunity I’ve found with Tucker-Boat Motorsports and I’m just looking to make the best of it that I can.”
“Chad has always been a great supporter of HMS Motorsport, where I work, and I’ve gotten to know him over the past few years. We’ve talked about racing in the past and growing up in a racing family, I always knew who Billy Boat was and have always really respected Chad. I’m super excited to work with him and I know he’ll be able to help me get up to speed pretty quickly when we get going in a couple of weeks.”
Langenstein said the opportunity came about thanks to a conversation between himself, Boat and a colleague at leading auto racing safety company HMS Motorsport, where Langenstein works through the week.
“Back in September or October, the two of us and another of my HMS co-workers who’s a big sprint car and midget guy … we were building some belt and it kinda got thrown out there, ‘What would be the chances of having an opportunity for Austin to run Chili Bowl?’” Langenstein explained.
“Honestly, it was a joke at first, but a lot of stuff aligned after we got talking about it, things became a little more serious and now after signing the deal … man, I’m excited. It’s a dream come true; it really is.”
He said that the impact of being part of the crown jewel of midget racing still has him in a state of shock.
“It hasn’t even come close to setting in yet, that I’m actually going to be racing at the Chili Bowl, but I feel that I’m ready for it. I’ve been a racer my whole life; my family has been a racing family for a long time and I know I have the talent … I’ve just had to surround myself with a lot of great people.”
Continued on the next page…