It seems like an impossible task but year after year The Chili Bowl always seems to find a way to ingrain itself in our memory banks. The 30th Anniversary or “Anniversay” as their t-shirt proclaimed lived up to expectations and delivered several memories.
No one who was at the 2016 edition will ever forget champion Rico Abreu’s celebratory donuts or a red flag for a fan falling from the stands. Christopher Bell would sooner forget the race as he was taken out by a lapped car trying to exit the track following 10 flat out laps in a duel with Bryan Clauson. The desperation to make the Saturday A Main was never more evident than when Dillon Welch rode the wall into a transfer spot during a late race restart in the first B Main. Fans who witnessed the first ever Pole Shuffle saw dogged determination from Zach Daum as he beat the odds to win the opening 4 rounds before falling to World of Outlaws star; Joey Saldana. The preliminary features offered their usual excitement as Tyler Thomas and 19th-starting Parker Price-Miller dueled with Thomas Meseraull who used a desperate run around the rim on the last corner to nip Price-Miller at the line for the final lock in spot on Wednesday night.
It is impossible to capture each unforgettable moment of The Chili Bowl but The Driver’s Project photographer Jeffrey Turford was able capture some of the moments that make the annual January pilgrimage to Tulsa worth it year after year.
The Drivers Project is a media collective devoted to North American open-wheel racing.