Column By: DOMINIC KONARESKI / NYSS – WEST HAVEN, CT – In 1987, the inaugural Chili Bowl took place where just 46 cars took on the dirt track.
Now, 36 years later, there is a car count nearing 400 Dirt Midgets, but there’s nothing small about the event.
The Chili Bowl is basically the Daytona 500 for dirt racing with the likes of Sammy Swindell, Dave Blaney and Tony Stewart winning the event, with the Bowl most recently won by Kyle Larson in 2021.
The event will start on Monday, January 10th for what will be a six-day event with 395 car entries that will eventually be down to just 24 cars come next Saturday night.
The 395-car entry list is an all-time high, going up from just 309 cars last year. The Chili Bowl Nationals first saw a 300+ car count in 2015, which was up from 281 in 2014.
Whoever wins the Nationals this year will join a unique list of some of the greatest dirt racers of the past several decades.