TULSA, Okla. – Clinton Boyles will reunite with RAMS Racing and Rockwell Security for the 34th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals, Jan. 13-18 inside the River Spirit Expo Center.
Boyles will pilot the team’s No. 14s Stanton SR11-powered Spike Chassis midget for the crown jewel event, carrying sponsorship from the non-profit organization Veterans Community Project.
The car is the same one that Boyles raced during the recent Gateway Dirt Nationals under the RMS Racing umbrella, and after building some positive momentum in that event, Boyles is hoping to carry his mojo into the Chili Bowl.
Boyles raced his way from 10th in a G-main to the D-main with RAMS Racing last year before his remarkable Saturday run finally came to an end, and he believes he can improve on those numbers in his Tulsa return.
“This year, the Chili Bowl going to be a little bit different, just in the sense that we’ve got a nicer car to work with,” Boyles said. “The guys over at Envirofab and RMS Racing – who I ran for at The Dome (at America’s Center) – gave me a car to use, and I’m going to be using one of Rick (Young, team owner), Jeff (Taylor, Rockwell Security) and Justin’s engines in it. So we’ve got a really nice piece as far as that goes. Everyone is really behind me and we’re excited about our chances. We learned a lot at the Dome that we can really use to fill in our data.
“I’ve got high expectations going into this Chili Bowl and we fully expect to be in the A-main come Saturday. I don’t think that’s an unrealistic goal by any means,” Boyles added. “I’ve showed speed down there; last year we just put ourselves too far behind the 8-ball to start the week. That just comes down to me going out and doing a little better job of passing cars in the heat to set myself up better on our preliminary night. If we can do that, I think I can get it in the show when it comes to Saturday.”
Based in Kansas City, Mo., the Veterans Community Project is an initiative-fueled non-profit made up of a group of combat veterans, featuring a village of “tiny houses” meant to help homeless veterans get back on their feet.
The village is located at the corner of 89th Street and Troost Avenue in Kansas City and consists of 49 homes of 240-320 square feet.
Beyond just providing a place to live for the homeless veterans in the program, VCP officials also offer walk-in support services for veterans in need, as well as aid in finding employment and long-term housing solutions for their future as well.
“It’s obviously really cool to be able to promote a group like the Veterans Community Project, which does such good work for people around Kansas City and around the country,” noted Boyles. “Being that they are based out of Kansas City, and I grew up about 20 minutes from there, it means a little bit extra that we’re trying to help people in our own backyard. To be able to take a group like theirs down to the Chili Bowl and really raise awareness and promote what they’re doing to try and help out is very special.
“I think that dirt racing community is awesome and I really hope they’ll jump on board and try to support what the Veterans Community Project has going on.”
Team owner Young confirmed Wednesday that all of the Chili Bowl winnings from Boyles’ No. 14s car will be donated back to Veterans Community Project to aid in their continued mission of helping veterans in need.
For Boyles, who self-admits that he’s been much more of a sprint car racer than a midget racer until getting more midget opportunities in 2019, the Chili Bowl is a chance to put all he’s learned recently into practice.
“For me, I’m not really a big midget racer, or at least I haven’t been before this year. I think I probably have less than 25 midget races in my lifetime, and 50 percent of them roughly have been at the Chili Bowl,” said Boyles, who has made his preliminary night A-main in two of the last four years. “Usually I run the Chili Bowl and then I’m lucky to race one midget race during the year before we have to go back to the Chili Bowl again. So to get to run four or five midget races this year, and particularly to run right before the Chili Bowl there at Gateway, is huge just as far as that goes in getting laps with the same midget that I’ll be racing in Tulsa.
“All that, I hope, is going to add up to some success for us during the week and I can’t wait to get going.”
Sprint Car & Midget’s Chili Bowl coverage is presented by MyRacePass, the official timing and scoring app of the 2020 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals. Fans can download the MyRacePass app on their phones to follow all the action during the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals. For more information on MyRacePass, visit www.myracepass.com and use the hashtag #GetTheApp on Twitter!