Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Westside

January 15, 2013

Swindell wins fourth Chili Bowl

Darland comes home fifth

When it comes to the Chili Bowl in Tulsa, Okla., the driver to beat in recent years has been Kevin Swindell.

The National Midget championships take place at an indoor dirt track with the trophy up for grabs appropriately dubbed, the “Golden Driller.”

Swindell made it four wins in a row, capturing the title again last weekend. He was followed to the checkers by family member Sammy, who also has a few “Golden Driller” trophies in his collection.

Third place went to Brad Sweet, followed by Tim McCreadie and local driver Dave Darland.

Darland started 11th in the field and drove to the fifth-place finish. Noblesville driver Bryan Clauson finished eighth and Pay Less Little 500 runner-up Billy Wease started 22nd and finished a respectable ninth, capturing the Hard Charger award in the process.

Tony Stewart finished 15th in the Saturday night feature.

In other racing news:

— The Daytona 500 is a little more than a month away and the Sprint Cup drivers just finished three days of testing in the new “Gen 6” car. There was a 12-car wreck on Friday during the only day in which the teams elected to attempt some drafting.

Reports circulating following the testing is that the days of “bump drafting” are over and that the “Gen 6” car is unstable when drafting or running in large packs.

I still suspect the drivers will be “bump drafting” at Daytona when Speedweeks start Feb. 17 and there will undoubtedly be the “Big One,” which will take a number of drivers out of contention for the win.

— Kyle Busch extended his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing through the 2017 season. Busch’s contract was set to expire at the end of the 2013 season, so his new contract removes one of the biggest names from the free agent market going into the ‘14 season.

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