Reviewing Wednesday night’s action at the Chili Bowl

Published On January 14, 2016 » 2137 Views» By Chris Jones » Blogs, IMS

This week, IMS Staff Photographer Chris Jones is providing updates from the 30th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl presented by General Tire in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Here are his observations and photos from Wednesday’s action.

The star of Wednesday’s racing activities was defending champion Rico Abreu. Rico won his heat race, won his qualifying race and led the final 13 laps of the 25-lap feature to earn a starting spot in Saturday’s feature race.  The other automatic qualifiers on Wednesday were Tyler Thomas and Thomas Meseraull.


Rico Abreu



Tyler Thomas



Thomas Meseraull

Of note to IMS fans, Kyle O’Gara, brother-in-law and teammate to Sarah Fisher, finished sixth in this heat race which meant he had to work his way through elimination races to make the feature. He finished sixth in the C-Main, which was not good enough to transfer forward. He will return on Saturday when he will have a chance to work his way through a number of elimination races to reach the Feature race.


Kyle O’Gara



O’Gara will race again Saturday.

Former Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 entrant J.J. Yeley was fourth in his heat, won his C-Main race to earn a spot in the B-Main. He got caught up in an accident and his night ended with a 15th-place finish in the B-Main.


J.J. Yeley

A surprise “driver” on Wednesday was Indy 500 veteran and NASCAR star Tony Stewart. No, he was not a late entrant, he was helping the track with track preparation and got behind the wheel of a tractor to help improve the racing surface.


Tony Stewart — on a tractor

As expected, the racing action was fast and furious all night long with 81 entrants gunning for the three automatic qualifying spots. There were several accidents but all the drivers walked away. Through two nights of racing, 20 cars have flipped. Chad Frewaldt had the most spectacular accident on Wednesday.


Chad Frewaldt’s high-flying crash

Critter Malone somehow kept his car from going upside down when he got forced into the inside berm between turns 3 and 4.


Critter Malone

The track is an oval, and similar to all other oval races, the track has four left turns. Given the power that the engines deliver to the rear wheels, often the drivers have to turn their front wheels to the right to turn left as demonstrated here by Chase Stockton in the Tony Elliott Foundation car.


Chase Stockton, in the Tony Elliott Foundation car

Drivers to look for on Thursday include Sarah Fisher and Brickyard 400 veterans Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Justin Allgaier. On Friday, Bryan Clauson and Kasey Kahne are entered.


About The Author

Chris Jones

I am a staff photographer for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Verizon IndyCar Series. I have been attending the Indy 500 since 1972. Since 2003, I have been a member of the IMS photo staff, and in 2004, I was fortunate enough to become a member of the photo “travel team” for the IndyCar series. In 1998, I moved to the Town of Speedway where I currently reside about 2 blocks from the IMS Main Gate. My Blog will be all about the wonderful Town of Speedway. I will discuss the town’s history, current town activities, and more importantly, those things that make Speedway a wonderful place to call home. As you can probably guess, photos, both current and historic, will be included in my Blog posts.