2017 Chili Bowl sets entry record, features top drivers

The 31st annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals set a record for most entries with 358 and counting for the “Mecca of Midgets”, which breaks the 2016 mark of 349 entries.

Among the entries are two-time defending Chili Bowl champion and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Rico Abreu, along with Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Justin Allgaier, and J.J. Yeley.

Along with a record number of entries, there will be a record number of causes supported throughout the event. In the 31st annual event, happening January 10-14, 2017, will add new colors as a specific cause will be featured every night.

In the 31st annual event, happening January 10-14, 2017, will add new colors as a specific cause will be featured every night.

It all starts with flagman Terry Mattox, who will utilize a different color cone each night on the front stretch along with a matching checkered flag.

“We started doing a couple different colors last year, and this year we’re trying to bring a color and a cause to each night. I would ask that our fans take some time to donate to a charity of their choosing and wear the color of the night to show the racing communities support,” said Mattox of the colors for each night.”

The opening night of the event on Tuesday will feature a blue color scheme for Autism Awareness, Thursday will feature red in honor of Chili Bowl co-founder Lanny Edwards, and Friday will be the traditional Turn the Bowl Pink night.

It’s currently slated for Wednesday to be a traditional orange cone but there are hints that another cause will be announced shortly.

“We have another color that we’re going to announce as we get close to the event and we hope everyone will get behind these causes and give from the heart,” added Mattox.

The 31st annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire takes place inside the River Spirit Expo Center.

Along with Abreu, Tony Stewart, Bryan Clauson, and Dave Blaney are among the notable names to win the event.