History is a big part of racing, and the history of short track racing runs deep. At certain points during the year, Speed51 will use our new “Throwback Thursday” segment to look back on some of the biggest stories from years past. During each edition of Throwback Thursday, we will revisit stories previously published on Speed51.
Today, we will begin by taking a look back on the 2016 Chili Bowl Nationals. It only seems fitting that in our first segment of “Throwback Thursday” we are talking about “Tulsa Time.”
On this date, January 16, Rico Abreu won his second straight Golden Driller trophy in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In 2015 the sell-out crowd at the River Spirit Expo Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma chanted “Rico! Rico! Rico!” as loud as they possibly could after Rico Abreu won the Chili Bowl Nationals. One year later, the sell-out crowd at the River Spirit Expo Center was doing the exact same thing after Abreu took the checkered flag to win the 30th Annual Chili Bowl Nationals.
Speed51’s full story on Rico’s second straight Chili Bowl victory can be read here: https://speed51.com/abreu-
It was also on this date in 2010 that Kevin Swindell won the first of his four straight Chili Bowl Nationals.
The 20-year-old from Germantown, Tennessee led the final 26 laps to become the youngest winner in Chili Bowl Nationals history, adding a sixth Golden Driller from the prestigious Midget racing event to the Swindell family collection that already included hardware from his father’s unmatched five wins.
Speed51’s full story on Swindell’s first Chili Bowl victory can be read here: http://www.speed51archives.
Swindell’s win in 2010 and Abreu’s win in 2016 were the only two times the race was run on January 16.
Other Notable Events on this Date
The late Kenny Irwin Jr. won a USAC Midget race over John Andretti at the Toronto Skydome in 1993.
David Rogers won the Red-Eye 100 at New Smyrna Speedway in 1988.
Marshall Teague won the first NSCAR Modified race of the 1949 season on the sand at Daytona Beach.
-Story by: Elgin Traylor, Speed51 Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51 / Dave Biro III