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January 16, 2010

Another year of indoor plumbing and wild racing in the cold confines of winter bound Tulsa, Oklahoma for those of us who love this race. For the competitors, you have to be good n' lucky to make the main on Saturday night, but more than that, you have to persevere. For the fans, you have to be good n' lucky and persevere.

all the marbles.

There was a strong effort by Cole Whitt that looked like he could take this one home tonight, but the track didn’t have much left after 250 plus cars hammered it for 5 nights of racing, and his last slide job came up way short. Cole was on the gas hard and looked happy with his runner-up finish.

The five night marathon continued each day as the pits took visitors from early morning until the day was done. Where else can you find people moving around, cars being worked on, racing going on and a non-stop racing happening under one roof? There is nothing like it within our racing world, even if it is cold outside.

All in all it was a fun week with my son Kevin at my side. He took some pics as well for the web page. I found that the upper tier seats where some of the crowd hangs over us, is a far better place to take pics from. Where my seats are, you can’t see anything if they stand up. And up top, no problem, you see over the crowd. I was up there all night Thursday and those pics are the best of the lot. It’ll take days for me to go thru them and post the best.

Tuesday night was a little surprising when you read about it, but watching the top three pass each other numerous times, it was a great race. Michael Pickens finally took charge late in the race with some good moves, but gave it up to Zack Daum at last second when he went too wide around the last corner. Jon Stambrough had the worst luck of any favorites in this one when won a C main and he got up to third in the semi and was looking to go to the main. On the last restart he hit the cone! That ended his night and any dream of a Saturday A main spot.

I was off at a B-Ball game on Wednesday when Kevin Swindell won his opener. The bad luck award went to Danny Sheridan who got “split yellowed” and missed the main after he passed his way into a transfer spot, but a yellow came out with the checkered flag and the winner got his spot, but the rest of the field went back to the last completed lap?

Thursday Sammy Swindell took charge early and was running away with it until he got caught up in a skirmish and gave the lead to Darren Hagen who had out run the rest of the field to get second at the time. He rolled it on in just fine for his first Chili Bowl win.

Jerry Coons Jr and winner Cory Kruseman waged a pretty good battle before the checkers fell on Friday night. Behind them there were so many good things to watch as it was a racy night.

Saturday night began at noon (?) with one of twenty, yes 20, mains to be executed by 10:30 PM. Wow, and no I didn’t watch it all. The theme of the day was run some hot laps, a few features and rework the track. They did a pretty good job of getting it all done, but there were a lot of unhappy racers when they realized they were done for the night. Some, like Bobby Michnowich and Zack Daum, were literally booted out by another car for the night. With over 250 cars, they all couldn’t be real drivers now could they? No matter how good you are, it didn’t take much by an errant driver to make mush of your day. The list of all the “why me” guys was endless, but the racing went on entertainingly.

Ronnie Gardner won the first main in his first ever time in a midget as he did well. Ronnie was named the rookie of the year by the Knoxville Hall of Fame this past week. On we went as the many California drivers did well in this year’s race. In the many features that followed, winners were happy and non-transfers not, but in the overall scheme of things I think most were having fun.

Perhaps it can be summed up by the tired feeling most of us have after 5 nights of racing. Was it fun? Yes, but I need a rest now. More when I get home at the end of the week. Some called it the best one yet, but there have been so many good ones, I'll just say it was worth it, and let it go at that.

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