Stewart returning to Chili Bowl in 2012

Tony Stewart Racing announced that its namesake, three-time and reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, will return to Tulsa, Okla., to compete in the 2012 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, which begin Jan. 10.

Stewart made his most recent appearance in the event in 2008, finishing eighth in the A-main finale. After taking a three-year hiatus from the biggest Midget race of the year, Stewart will return behind the wheel of the No. 14 Chevrolet/Chevrolet Performance Parts/Spike.

“Having taken a few years off from competing in the Chili Bowl, I’m really looking forward to returning to Tulsa and the event in 2012,” Stewart said in a release. “It’s one of the biggest Midget races of the year and it’s just a lot of fun to compete in the Chili Bowl.”

The 26th annual event inside the QuikTrip Center’s Tulsa Expo Raceway will see Stewart join a stout team, as he is joined by 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 2011 United States Auto Club (USAC) National Drivers champion Bryan Clauson and 2011 POWRi Rookie of the Year Jake Blackhurst.

Stewart has two Golden Drillers in his collection after scoring Chili Bowl victories in 2002 and 2007. The newly crowned, three-time NASCAR titlist will lead the four-car “Team of Champions” into the Chili Bowl behind the wheel of a special edition black, carbon-fiber entry that has been dubbed the “Back in Black” car. He’ll look to give Chevrolet its second Chili Bowl triumph.

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