Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell snub the 2023 Chili Bowl as they have been advocating for bigger purses

A list of all the drivers invited to compete in the 15th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Invitational Race of Champions has been confirmed, with drivers from all forms of motorsports invited to join in the annual exhibition of talent.

The 37th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals will begin on Monday night, January 9 at the SageNet Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the motorsports world is keeping an eye on the Oklahoma indoor dirt track to see who will return home with the famous Golden drills .

“This is a neat part of the Chili Bowl, where we can showcase champions and drivers across the sport in a race that some, otherwise, would not have the chance to go head-to-head. It’s become something that teams and fans look forward to,” said Event Director Matt Ward.

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The leading midget racing event in the industry will host multiple NASCAR and dirt racing champions who are among the more than 350 entries.

Two NASCAR drivers who dominated the Chili Bowl Nationals in 2022, unfortunately, will not be running this year.

2021 cup series champion Kyle Larson who won the event two times (2020 and 2021) and the 2017,2018,2019 race winner Christopher Bell of JGR. Both drivers reportedly turned down the opportunity to compete in the event according to Fox NASCAR reporter Bob Pockrass.

“Neither Larson nor Bell are running the Chili Bowl. They have been advocating for bigger purses for midget/sprint-car events and the Chili Bowl pays $10K to the winner (plus $150 per lap led in the main event),” Pockrass tweeted in reply to fans quarry on the driver’s absence.

Chili Bowl Nationals debuted in 1987. Since that time, the race has become the most prestigious race in Midget racing and one of the biggest motorsports events of the year.

Christopher told me in July: “Hopefully the event will continue to grow and if the purse grows, the sky is the limit for that race.” … I then asked if purse grows, would he/Larson be back & he said: “Absolutely, there’s no reason we wouldn’t be back there if that’s the case.” Pockrass added.

2023 O’Reilly Auto Parts Invitational Race Of Champions Roster:

• Tanner Thorson – 2022 Chili Bowl Champion

• Justin Grant – 2022 Race of Champions Winner / USAC Sprint Car Champion

• Tanner Carrick – 2022 Prelim Night Winner

• Rico Abreu – 2022 Prelim Night Winner / 2015-2016 Chili Bowl Champion

• Buddy Kofoid – 2022 USAC Midget Champion

• Chad Boat – 2018 Race of Champions Winner

• Blake Hahn – 2022 Lucas Oil ASCS Champion

• Brenham Crouch – 2022 POWRi Midget Champion

• Zach Daum – 2022 Xtreme Outlaw Midget Champion

• Spencer Bayston – 2018 Saturday Podium Finish

• Cannon McIntosh – 2020 Saturday Podium Finish

• Kody Swanson – 2022 USAC Silver Crown Champion

Logan Seavey – Invite, Owner Champion – Kevin Swindell

• Sammy Swindell – The GOAT In This Building

• Tim McCreadie – 2006 Chili Bowl Champion, 2022 Lucas Oil Late Model Champion

• Damion Gardner – 2008 Chili Bowl Champion

• Michael Pickens – International Champion, Invited by the Chili Bowl

• Chase Briscoe – Invited by the Chili Bowl

• Alex Bowman – Invited by the Chili Bowl

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