Kasey Kahne, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, is taking on the 28th-annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals with the best of them according to an announcement made by Tony Stewart Racing and Beast Enterprises. Presented by General Tire, the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals will take place January 14-18 at the Tulsa (Oklahoma) Expo Center. Kahne will drive the No. 71 Jason Leffler Tribute/Chevrolet/Beast being entered by the late Jason Leffler and Julianna Patterson.
“Jason Leffler was a good buddy of mine and it’s neat that Bob East and Tony Stewart asked me to drive his tribute car in this year’s Chili Bowl,” Kahne said.
Racing enthusiasts will have the chance to win the car –without the engine – that Kahne will pilot in this year’s Chili Bowl by registering here at http://www.starnetdp.com/Charlie-ChiliBowll/intro.html with no purchase necessary.
The same car was driven by Tony Stewart in both 2012 and 2013 Chili Bowl. The winner of the new racecar will be chosen at random from a drawing following the Chili Bowl.
Kahne and Stewart teamed up for this year with one goal in mind – to raise money for the Charles Dean Leffler Discretionary Trust with a donation through the Tony Stewart Foundation to benefit the late racecar driver’s son.
“We came up in USAC together and we both drove the No. 9 Midget for Steve Lewis and Bob East during our careers,” Kahne said. “Jason was a great person and the support the racing community and fans have shown him and his son Charlie Dean is proof of the type of person he was. It means a lot to be able to sit behind the wheel of the No. 71 and show our support for Charlie. I’m really looking forward to this year’s event and the car giveaway and fundraising programs.”
“This program is a win-win for everyone,” Stewart said. “Not only will a lucky fan be able to win the car that both Kasey and I have driven in the Chili Bowl, but we’ll be able to honor our friend Jason and help support his son Charlie Dean in a very unique way. Jason was a great friend of mine and we both shared a love for open-wheel racing. I’m proud to have not only competed against Jason, but to have had the opportunity to call him a friend. While I can’t be in the racecar myself for this year’s Chili Bowl, I’m really looking forward to seeing Kasey drive the No. 71 and to work with both him and Bob East again.”
The website (http://www.starnetdp.com/Charlie-ChiliBowll/intro.html) for the fundraising and car giveaway is currently accepting entries and donations. The contest will close at 9 p.m. EST on January 19, 2014. Donations benefiting the Charles Dean Leffler Discretionary Trust will be accepted until January 31. From all of the eligible entries received, StarNet Digital will randomly pick a winner on January 21 and the winner will be announced pending notification.
More than 200 drivers and Kahne will attempt to qualify for one of the spots in the 50-lap A-Main finale January 18 during the annual Chili Bowl inside the Tulsa Expo Center at Tulsa Expo Raceway. Each driver participating will accumulate points toward the lineup at A-Main.
Stewart is one of five drivers that won the Chili Bowl more than one time, in 2002 and 2007, and one of only 17 different drivers to win the Chili Bowl since the inaugural event in 1987. Kahne has his eyes on the prize for his first Chili Bowl victory to take home the Golden Driller trophy.
To help raise awareness, fans are encouraged to use the hashtag #LEFturn71 when posting on Facebook or Twitter about the 2014 Chili Bowl.
For more information regarding the 2014 Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, visit www.chilibowl.com.