Tulsa, Okla. - The Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals return to the Tulsa Fairgrounds this week.
It’s the 32nd year for what has become one of the biggest racing events in the world.
Co-Founder Emmett Hahn told KRMG drivers come to Tulsa from all around the world to participate in the Chili Bowl.
The five-day dirt track event happens inside the River Spirit Expo, which Hahn said is a key element to the success of the event.
“There’s not another building in the world as big as this.” Hahn said.
He’s referring to the more than 350,000 square feet of column-free space. The whole building is 448,000 square feet. That kind of room allows for an un-obstructioned view of the track from all angles. It also provides the space race teams need to set up in the pits.
Hahn also said the Chili Bowl happens at the right time of the year to bring in the most drivers.
“We’re early January where there’s not a race going on except down in Australia and New Zealand.” Hahn noted.
Plus, Tulsa’s central location seems to help attract drivers from all over the globe.
It takes around 700 dump truck loads of clay to form the racing surface.
If you’re attending for the first time, take it from me, you’ll want ear plugs and a mask, as the fumes and dust can be a bit much.