The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY)

Seavey has an appetite for drama at Chili Bowl

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TULSA, Okla. – Logan Seavey admitted he had lost a bit of confidence in himself.

Entering the 37th edition of the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals, Seavey hadn’t won a midget race in more than a year.

He went so far as to ask Kevin Swindell, his midget car team owner and crew chief each year at the Chili Bowl, if he was going to have him back to compete in the 2023 edition of the race.

“We kind of leave this race every year and we just kind of look at each other and nod, like, ‘OK, we’ll do it again next year,’” Seavey said. “This year, I was like, ‘Hey, what are your Chili Bowl plans? I know you’re building a car.’ He said, ‘Yeah, I’m building a car.’ I said, ‘Well, whose driving it?’

“He said, ‘Well, you are if you want to.’ That’s all that was said.”

Fast forward to Saturday night inside the Sagenet Center in Tulsa, and Seavey suddenly has all the confidence in the world following a convincing drive to victory in the Chili Bowl.

“As soon as we got in this car, instantly I had a lot of people see it visually, we had a lot of speed and I was comfortabl­e right away and able to drive really hard,” said Seavey, 25, from Sutter, California. “That’s what it takes to win this race. You have to be comfortabl­e enough to run 100 percent for 55 laps. That’s what it takes to win. “My confidence turned around pretty quickly.” Winning the Chili Bowl is no easy task. That has been proven time and time again by those who have won and, perhaps more importantl­y, those who have not.

In the 37-year history of the Chili Bowl, 23 drivers have visited Victory Lane. Seavey became the 23rd different driver to win a race that dirt racing legends like Doug Wolfgang, Steve Kinser and Dave Darland and modern stars like Chris Windom, Justin Grant and Buddy Kofoid have failed to win.

Seavey led the opening 20 laps of the race, but just as he was about to catch slower traffic, second-place Cannon Mcintosh rocketed past him to take the lead.

That could have been the end of a magical run at the Chili Bowl for Seavey, but he remained focused on his mission. Ten laps later, Seavey dove back under Mcintosh to regain the lead.

Despite near constant pressure from Mcintosh and defending Chili Bowl winner Tanner Thorson, Seavey survived to claim his first Golden Driller trophy. His name now can now be mentioned in the same breath as Sammy Swindell, Tony Stewart, Christophe­r Bell, Kyle Larson and more as a Chili Bowl champion.

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