2023 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals

Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Entry List Filled With Female Talent

Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Entry List Filled With Female Talent

12 women will be competing in this year's Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals, including big names like Kaylee Bryson, Taylor Reimer, Jade Avedisian and more.

Jan 5, 2023 by Rob Blount

Drivers from all across the world of motorsports will descend on Tulsa, Oklahoma for the 37th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals, which begin on Monday, January 8. The event known as the “Super Bowl of Midget Racing” already has more than 360 entries filed, and this year’s event features plenty of Girl Power.

Let’s take a look at some of the drivers who will be competing, and which night they’ll be qualifying.

Kayla Roell (Qualifying Night: Monday)

The Indiana native is one of many up-and-coming female drivers in the dirt racing world. At just 15 years old, Roell is already starting to make her mark. In 2021 she became the youngest woman to win a race at the Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Indiana. That same year she also became the first woman to win a SpeeD2 USAC Midwest Thunder Midgets feature at the US 24 Speedway. This year will be Roell’s second attempt at the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl. In 2022 her Chili Bowl came to an end in the K-Main where she finished 14th after transferring from the L-Main.

Randi Pankratz (Qualifying Night: Tuesday)

Race fans in California are probably familiar with this driver. The 52-years-young third-generation racer is the daughter of Wally Pankratz. Randi Pankratz has been racing ever since she was a kid, and has made eight attempts at the Chili Bowl from 2005 to 2016 skipping a few years throughout. This will be her first attempt since 2016. 

Taylor Kuehl (Qualifying Night: Tuesday)

Taylor Kuehl is an Arizona native and typically an open-wheel Modified driver. The 22-year-old began racing at five years old. Kuehl is staring down her second attempt at the Chili Bowl. Her 2022 Chili Bowl came to an end with a 14th-place finish in O-Main 1. She will be racing for Mark Burch Motorsports this year.

Gray Leadbetter (Qualifying Night: Tuesday)

The North Carolina driver has been racing just about everything there is to race since she got started in racing at five years old. Leadbetter went from Arenacross to go-karting, racing in UTVs, and also in Outlaw Karts at Millbridge Speedway. In 2019 she started racing the American Rallycross series before moving back to the oval track world in a Sprint Car. This will be Leadbetter’s second Chili Bowl attempt. In 2022 she transferred out of the P-Main, but her Chili Bowl came to an end with an eighth-place finish in the O-Main.

Kaylee Bryson (Qualifying Night: Tuesday)

In 2022 Kaylee Bryson stole the show and the headlines with her performance. Why? Well, because Bryson became the first woman to ever qualify for the 55-lap Saturday A-Main in the history of the Chili Bowl. Bryson won her heat race, finished second in her qualifier, and then finished sixth in her preliminary night feature. That put her starting 10th in the second B-Main, which saw her drive through the field to take the win and the transfer spot. Bryson went on to finish 18th in the A-Main. 

Mariah Ede (Qualifying Night: Tuesday)

The Fresno, California native will be one of Bryson’s teammates at Keith Kunz Motorsports once again this year. Ede made her first attempt the Chili Bowl in 2022. She finished second in the first G-Main to transfer into the F-Main where her Chili Bowl came to an end with a 14th-place finish. 

Jade Avedisian (Qualifying Night: Tuesday)

Hailing from Clovis, California, Jade Avedisian will be piloting a car for Chad Boat’s CB Industries team. In 2022 Avedisian turned heads when she won her first career National Midget race with the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series at Illinois’ Jacksonville Speedway. This will be Avedisian’s Chili Bowl debut.

Karsyn Elledge (Qualifying Night: Wednesday)

After a few years away from the driver’s seat at the Chili Bowl, Karsyn Elledge is making her return with Dalby Motorsports. Elledge has made two Chili Bowl attempts in 2019 and 2020. The niece of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and granddaughter of Dale Earnhardt Sr. won her heat race in 2019, then went on to win the H-Main before her Chili Bowl came to an end that year in the G-Main.

Taylor Reimer (Qualifying Night: Wednesday)

The Tulsa, Oklahoma native will join Bryson and Ede behind the wheel of a Keith Kunz Motorsports car in her third Chili Bowl attempt. Reimer made history when she became the first woman driver to ever win a National Midget race when she was deemed the victor of the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series race at North Carolina’s Millbridge Speedway after the original winner was disqualified. Reimer’s 2022 Chili Bowl ended with an 11th-place run in the first D-Main.

Ashton Thompson (Qualifying Night: Wednesday)

Salem, Indiana's Ashton Thompson will be making her Chili Bowl debut behind the wheel of a car owned by AJ Felker. Thompson has been racing since she was six years old. The 37th Chili Bowl will be just the second Midget race of Thompson's career. Her first midget race came at the Junior Knepper 55 last month. She finished fourth in her heat race and eighth in the B-Main that night. Thompson is also the first female to ever win a pole position at the historic Salem Speedway. 

Taylor Ferns (Qualifying Night: Thursday)

This 27-year-old driver made history in 2022 by becoming the highest finishing woman in a USAC Silver Crown race when she scored a podium finish in the famed Carb Night Classic at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. Ferns then backed that up with another podium finish on the high-banks of the Winchester Speedway in July last year. Ferns has made four Chili Bowl attempts throughout her career dating back to 2012. In 2022 she finished 15th in the G-Main.

Michelle Decker (Qualifying Night: Friday)

Michelle Decker’s hometown is Guthrie, Oklahoma, a little more than an hour a half to the west of Tulsa. For those unfamiliar with Decker, she has wins in USAC Western States Midget Series and POWRi Lucas Oil West Midget Series competition. She has attempted the Chili Bowl every year since 2005 and is still looking for her first A-Main appearance.

Harli White (Qualifying Night: Friday)

Prior to Kaylee Bryson’s 2022 Chili Bowl performance, Harli White held the honors of highest finishing woman at the Chili Bowl. White is best known for her 10th-place run in her 2016 preliminary feature. She then went on to finish 19th in her B-Main that year, which was the high-water mark for women at the Chili Bowl for six years. This year’s Chili Bowl will be her ninth Chili Bowl attempt.

This year’s Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals will once again be streamed live on FloRacing. For the first time ever, the C-Mains, B-Mains, and A-Main on Saturday will be streamed live on MAVTV on FloRacing.

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