Dream A Little Dream: Jacob Perry Ready To Go Dirt Midget Racing In 2022 Chili Bowl

Jacob Perry (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

It’s a dream come true scenario that has all the makings of a Hollywood movie script.

When it comes to Dirt Midget racing in the United States the granddaddy of events is the annual Chili Bowl Nationals at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Jacob Perry had plans to head to the 2022 event – which runs January 10-15 – as a crew member for the Bethel based Kenney Johnson Motorsports team.

Now the 19-year old from Pawcatuck will go from turning wrenches to turning a steering wheel in the prestigious event.

Kenney Johnson Motorsports announced Friday that Perry will drive their 46X entry for the 36th running of the event in January.

“I was originally supposed to go out as a crew member for the team,” Perry said. “The driver they had originally signed ended up backing out of the deal. They needed a driver and they asked me if I was interested in running the Chili Bowl.”

Asked how he would have reacted if someone told him three months ago he’d be racing in the next Chili Bowl Perry said: “I probably would have laughed at them.”

“This is the Daytona 500 of Dirt Midget racing. That’s what Kyle Larson described it as and it’s true. It’s the biggest Dirt Midget event in the country and I’m extremely excited to have the opportunity. But it’s kind of surreal. I don’t think it’s really hit me yet.”

Larson, who earlier this week won his first NASCAR Cup Series championship for Hendrick Motorsports, has won the last two Chili Bowl events.

Perry finished second in the Modified Racing Series standings in 2021, with a pair of victories. He also has run part-time in a Dirt Sportsman Modified at Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. the last two years. His first laps in a Dirt Midget will likely come when the cars hit the track in Tulsa in January.

“I’ve always wanted to further my career and I’ve dreamt of running the Chili Bowl every since I heard of it,” Perry said. “I think it’s one of the coolest events. I really hope we can make some noise out there as the kid who has never even driven a Dirt Midget before.”

Perry is actively seeking sponsorship for the nationally televised event. Anyone interested in sponsoring him for the event can reach out to him through his Jacob Perry Racing Facebook page.


  1. Awesome- wish you and team the best of luck

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