Most serious racers want to start their season at the Chili Bowl.
The 28th annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire Jan. 14-18 at the Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Center comes at a time when drivers mostly don’t have other obligations. And, it gives them an opportunity to race against drivers from other series. You get top NASCAR drivers, top sprint car drivers, dirt late model racers, and even an occasional drag racer all running against each other for what amounts to bragging rights.
NASCAR’s Kasey Kahne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kyle Larson are among the prominent drivers entered to race, with entries still be added.
A handful of Greenfield-area and central Indiana drivers are also headed for the Chili Bowl, including:
Hines, a New Castle native, is a journeyman race driver competing regularly in the USAC midgets, sprint cars and Silver Crown cars. He came up through USAC and eventually found his way to NASCAR. He ran pretty well in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. However, like many drivers, he fell victim to the lack of sponsorship money. He returned to USAC and has more or less made peace with the fact that returning to NASCAR is not in the cards. The exception to this is the NASCAR truck race at Eldora. He ran it last year and plans to run it again this year.
In 2013 Hines finished second in pavement midget points and fourth in dirt midget points. He finished third in dirt midget owner points. To that he added a sixth in USAC Sprint Car points and a third in USAC Silver Crown points.
Hines first ran the Chili Bowl in 1996. He won the championship in 2005; and he has won his preliminary night three or four times.
This year Hines will be in Bob Parker’s Spike/Toyota with sponsorship from Toyota, Parker Machinery and Carolina Nut.
In 2014 Hines will again compete in all three USAC National divisions.