2022 Lucas Oil Tulsa Shootout

The Stars of Tomorrow, Today At The Lucas Oil Tulsa Shootout

The Stars of Tomorrow, Today At The Lucas Oil Tulsa Shootout

Often an overused cliché, this saying is 100% accurate when it comes to the Lucas Oil Tulsa Shootout.

Dec 20, 2021 by FloRacing Staff
Behind The Scenes: C-Bell's Micro Shop

Often an overused cliché, this saying is 100% accurate when it comes to the Lucas Oil Tulsa Shootout.

The older cousin – created one year earlier in 1986 – to the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, has been molding future superstars for decades. 

Off the top, every Chili Bowl champion over the past decade first sought out their Golden Driller dreams by competing in the Tulsa Shootout. To this day, only four drivers own the honor of topping both events.

So, keep in mind as you’re watching FloRacing next week that you could be watching the next legend of our sport. 

Ahead of the 37th annual “Mecca of Micros,” we look back on 10 of the most recent cases where drivers first flashed their brilliance at the Tulsa Shootout.

CHRISTOPHER BELL – Before winning three consecutive Chili Bowls (2017-19) and driving for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series, CBell first hit the map in 2011 as a 16-year-old kid wowing in the micro sprint ranks. He was 3rd in Outlaw Non-Wing that year and later won the 2018 Winged Outlaw title at the Tulsa Shootout.

KYLE LARSON – The back-to-back Chili Bowl champion, winner of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series title, and overall global racing sensation was anything but that back in 2009 when he landed on the front row of the Winged Outlaw A-Main next to Kevin Bayer. He came back a year later and won a rare “Silver Driller” at the 25th anniversary event in the Outlaw Kart division. 

KEVIN SWINDELL – Prior to his iconic four-straight Chili Bowl titles in 2011-14, KSwin first felt a Golden Driller in the early 2000’s in the Flat Kart ranks. The son of Sammy proceeded to rewrite several records along the way until SpeedLab became his next focus.

BRYAN CLAUSON – The 2014 Chili Bowl champion first earned a Golden Driller back in 2003 when he beat World of Outlaws veteran Shane Stewart for the Winged Outlaw title. BC later evolved into one of the greatest talents in the history of the United States Auto Club.

BRADY BACON  For more than a decade, Bacon was the youngest winner in Stock/Outlaw history at the Tulsa Shootout. He won the 2004 A-Class title at 13 years, 11 months and eventually added three more Golden Drillers among his 30 A-Main starts. You might’ve heard of him as a four-time USAC National Sprint Car champion.

TYLER COURTNEY  “Sunshine” spent most of his youth rising through the micro sprint ranks and started 10 Shootout A-Mains from 2012-17 before ascending the ladder with 2018 USAC National Sprint Car title, 2019 USAC National Midget title, and 2021 All Star Circuit of Champions title. He’ll be back for quadruple duty next week in pursuit of his first Golden Driller.

CORY ELIASON From 2014-17, the Visalia, Calif. native recorded six top-five finishes in eight Tulsa Shootout A-Mains. He was a consistent contender for the Golden Driller before eventually becoming a World of Outlaws winner and All Star Circuit of Champions regular with Rudeen Racing.

BLAKE HAHN The grandson of Chili Bowl and Tulsa Shootout founder, Emmett Hahn, Blake has been an Expo staple since his Jr. Sprints title in 2006. He later made history by sweeping Winged Outlaw and Outlaw Non-Wing in 2011. This year, he enters the building as the reigning ASCS National Tour champion for the first time in his career.

JASON MCDOUGAL You could point at two nights in J-Mac’s career as being arguably the most defining of his career. You all absolutely know of his 2021 Chili Bowl alphabet soup run which solidified his status, but before that was his three Golden Drillers in one night at the 2017 Tulsa Shootout which put him on the map.

GIO SCELZI – To this day, Gio is still the youngest winner in Stock/Outlaw history at the Tulsa Shootout, winning the 2015 A-Class title at 13 years, 1 month, 6 days. Nowadays, he’s a Knoxville 360 Nationals champion and World of Outlaws winner with KCP Racing.

Other names worth mentioning as Shootout heroes first include Emerson Axsom, Chris Windom, Rico Abreu, Michael Faccinto, Donnie Ray Crawford, Joe B. Miller, Andrew Felker, Tyler Thomas, Zeb Wise, Ayrton Gennetten, Jonathan Beason, and Shane Stewart, among others.

The 37th Lucas Oil Tulsa Shootout can be seen exclusively on FloRacing from Wednesday, December 29 to Saturday, January 1.