NASCAR

Final CMR Chili Bowl Driver Is Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Read more at speedsport.com

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will be back at the Chili Bowl with Clauson-Marshall Racing next month. (Brendon Bauman photo)

TULSA, Okla. – Clauson-Marshall Racing filled out its five-man roster for the 35th Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals Friday with the addition of NASCAR Cup Series regular Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Stenhouse, from Olive Branch, Miss., will return to the team for the fifth straight Chili Bowl.

He is one of two drivers – Tyler Courtney being the other – that has been a part of CMR’s “Dream Team” initiative at the Super Bowl of Midget Racing since the inception of the program in January of 2017.

The 33-year-old boasts six feature starts at the Chili Bowl, including three of the past five years. His career-best of ninth in the Saturday A main came in 2012.

That year, Stenhouse was piloting an Esslinger-powered Spike Chassis midget co-owned by Corey Tucker and Bryan Clauson, the late son of CMR co-owner Tim Clauson.

Stenhouse is coming off a year in NASCAR Cup Series action where he scored three top-five and four top-10 finishes behind the wheel of the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE.

He finished 24th in points and led 68 laps during the COVID-19 pandemic-altered season.

Despite primarily focusing on NASCAR competition over the last 11 years, Stenhouse has gradually returned to his dirt-track racing roots, running more midget races this season than he had since racing full time in the USAC National Midget Series back in 2007.

In seven USAC midget appearances between Indiana Midget Week and the season-ending West Coast swing, Stenhouse made five feature starts and earned two top-five finishes, all in CMR equipment.

He also earned a top-10 finish in POWRi competition with Tucker/Boat Motorsports and took two winged 360 sprint car victories in United Sprint Car Series action as well.

Among his dirt accolades, Stenhouse is a past winner with the All Star Circuit of Champions, the USAC Silver Crown Series, the USAC National Sprint Car Series, the ASCS National Tour, the USCS, the USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series, the USAC National Midget Series, the POWRi National Midget League, the USAC Western States Midget Series and the Badger Midget Auto Racing Ass’n.

He won the inaugural USAC midget Junior Knepper 55 at the Southern Illinois Center in DuQuoin, Ill., in December of 2015.

Stenhouse joins previously announced teammates Tyler Courtney, Cole Bodine, Ryan Newman and Chance Crum as a part of the CMR lineup for the Chili Bowl.

The 35th Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals is set for Jan. 11-16 in Tulsa, Okla., inside the River Spirit Expo Center.

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