Hot Stuff: Bertrand Motorsports Team Revels In Chili Bowl Nationals Triumph 

Kevin Swindell (second from left), Logan Seavey (center) and Tim Bertrand (right) celebrate victory (Photo: Courtesy Bertrand Motorsports)

For fans of Northeast Midget racing, the name Bertrand Motorsports has become well-known as a dominator in that realm of motorsports. 

Early Sunday morning in Tulsa, Oklahoma the rest of the country found out just how good Bertrand Motorsports is. 

In recent years the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals event indoors at the SageNet Center in Tulsa has become the biggest event on the calendar for Dirt Midget racing in the United States. 

Last February Kevin Swindell reached out to Bertrand Motorsports owner Tim Bertrand to inquire about putting together a joint effort to run the 2023 Chili Bowl Nationals. Early Sunday morning the fruits of that effort played out with Bertrand and Swindell celebrating victory in the event with driver Logan Seavey.

“The feeling of winning that race – probably outside of my daughter winning her first Quarter Midget race this past year – ranks up there as the top all-time victory for Bertrand Motorsports,” Tim Bertrand told RaceDayCT. “… It’s absolutely surreal.” 

The journey to Chili Bowl Nationals victory lane for Bertrand and Swindell began eight years ago when Bertrand Motorsports began assisting legendary driver and five-time Chili Bowl nationals winner Sammy Swindell with motor support at the Chili Bowl. 

This year the cooperation between Bertrand Motorsports continued with othe rganization assisting Sammy Swindell with motors and Bertrand’s brother Todd driving an entry for Sammy Swindell at the event. 

But it was last February when Kevin Swindell – Sammy’s son and a four-time Chili Bowl Nationals winner – reached out to Tim Bertrand about working together on an effort separate from his father’s team. 

“He said ‘I’d like to put my own car together for the Chili Bowl next year, would you ever consider owning a dirt car?’” Tim Bertrand said. “I said to my wife – we had just sold one of our NEMA cars – ‘Would you mind if I took the money and put it into a car for the Chili Bowl, a dirt car?’ We both decided that sounded like a fun adventure for us.” 

Seavey, who has had success across the realm of USAC Sprint and Midget racing, was chosen to pilot the entry for the team. 

“He’s known as an incredibly versatile driver from Silver Crown’s to Dirt cars to Sprint cars, Midgets on dirt,” Tim Bertrand said. “Kind of the guy that can just hop into anything. … Kevin said ‘This is my pick to run the car for the Chili Bowl’ and it was a no brainer for us. First of all, he’s small and light and with no weight rules at the Chili Bowl that’s a big advantage.” 

The Chili Bowl Nationals comprises five nights of qualifying events leading up to Saturday’s marathon of alphabet soup qualifying all day before the main event. This year’s event featured 370 entries looking for one of 24 spots in the main event final. 

Seavey won Friday’s A-Main qualifier to lock in his starting spot for the Saturday main event. 

“We started on the pole and won that race Friday night and that was like a dream come true for me standing in the infield, standing on stage, winning at the Chili Bowl on Friday night was amazing,” Tim Bertrand said. “I would have been totally satisfied with that result, having a good showing on Saturday for the week. But we knew had a really good piece.” 

Seavey won the Pole Shuffle event Saturday among the 10 drivers locked into the main event before that day to earn the top starting spot in the main event. When the main event finally went off in the wee hours of Sunday morning it was Seavey dominating most of the event. The victory wasn’t without some late drama for the team, but Seavey was able to hold off the charges of 2022 winner Tanner Thorson. 

“We’re coming off turn four for the checkered flag and a caution comes out,” Tim Bertrand said. “I said ‘Yup, here we go, this is where we lose.’ … But then with the green-white-checkered [finish], [Seavey] just did a fantastic job protecting the groove and we ended up pulling away about a car length or so to beat Thorson.

“The crowd goes wild, there’s confetti all over the place, there’s people climbing on the race car, there’s 100 people out there, there’s media, there’s tears, there’s smiles, there’s high-fives, there’s hugs, you name it. That is just a surreal experience to be inside of that building and win that race in that building.” 

For much more from Tim Bertrand listen to the latest edition of Unmuffled


  1. Stuart A Fearn says

    100% racing family there. Great people and dedicated to quality in racing, life, and business.

  2. I enjoyed the Chili Bowl. I have been thinking about subscribing to FloSports but decided not to when I learned that commercials could not be skipped and there is no fast forward button I was told. I watched it and DVR’ed the finals on MAVTV. I have learned to record the events after a live event on MAVTV as often they run over. The entire Chili Bowl finals was after the live hole in their schedule had ended. I followed the weekdays on U Tube. While not the greatest it was good enough given my somewhat interest in Midgets.

    It looked like the track got narrow preventing anyone from running the top in the A main shortly after the start so passing seemed difficult unless aided by slower traffic. It was still a great race and big win for Seavey. The U Tube ride along video for the race is cool.

  3. The other and in my opinion bigger New England story was the success the Seymour family had!! They won on prelim night and it wasn’t even close with a young man with no midget experience and put their second car in with veteran Buckwalter. Everyone was saying it was an underdog story but that’s nonsense they have great equipment and those boys are smart when Bobby Santos is winning at I.R.P. Most of the time all the money the Bertrand family throws at it ends up on the trailer 10 laps in!! Congrats on a great Cilli Bowl Seymour’s especially Matt you guys actually deserve it!! And by the way Pete flo is the best out there the kids they had announce the Cilli bowl were horrendous and had little knowledge thank good for Clinton Boyles and some guest drivers they had to bring in to save the stream. I watched Mavs stream because I couldn’t stand listening to the amateur hour anymore. And I don’t like the fact they thought it was funny or entertaining when someone flipped or try to egg on fights. Obviously never spent money to field a race car! Sorry on the misspelling of your name last time Shawn.. Love your site!

  4. I find your comment about the announcers interesting and sad. I feel that many announcers talk way to much as a picture is worth a 1000 words so video does not need many words at all. MAVTV does a pretty good job. Ken Stout is a true professional with many years of experience. Yes I used to work with him and even shared rides back in our off road racing days. He still does them I do not.

    Announcers cannot be heard by the people the cameras are shooting. So them egging on fights is a joke. People are badly hurt by crashes and they even die. Midget and sprint car racing is very dangerous no doubt and fixing crashed race cars is expensive.

    The MAVTV video was not the best as the cameras did not match well and the flesh tones on the people on cameras were all close but not correct. Remember video is what I have done for a living for many years. The rates they pay are much lower than what the TV networks pay daily hires which is one of the things they call us and why the pictures are not the best. Money makes it all happen. The camera work and directing was decent and they caught most of the action. Shows can always use more cameras and EVS systems (slow motion recorders) for replays.

    Best thing about MAVTV and my DVR is I can watch it over and over . . . . . .

  5. Fast Eddie says

    The Seymours may be considered underdogs by the Okies, but that’s only ’cause they don’t know who they’re dealing with! Congrats to the whole team!

  6. I watched most of the week. I thought the prelims were much better than the Saturday show which went way too long and didnt seem to have as much passing in the A main. The prelims for the most part went off much better with the exception of a nasty incident during Wednesdays A main. For the first time in Chili bowl history two women made the A main. A Seymour car winning the A main was a highlight. Seeing Tim McCreadie go from last(24th) to 11th was great. Kriss Caroll did make an epic run through the alphabet soup going from N main and making it to the 7th spot in H main. He gained Richie Evans spots on the track in the record-breaking run. He was racing for around 3 hours straight separated by like 10 minutes between each race. He was a couple spots out of making the G. It was pretty special.

    There was a nasty accident on Wednesday night. Ashton Togerson was ejected from a flipping midget and taken to the hospital. He was released by Saturday and back at the Chili Bowl as a spectator. He has some follow up appointments, but it appears as though he may have escaped serious injury. It looked horrible. It was great seeing him at the track on Saturday. They had a sponsored flip count score board which was not seen the rest of the week and may well be retired. Probably shouldn’t be celebrating accidents.

    Around 365 cars ran the Chili bowl last week with drivers from all over. One of my favorite parts of the Chili bowl is the track walk for teams from each country/state. Love seeing the 2 to 3 guys come out with my State flag Massachusetts. This year’s Chili Bowl was missing a few of the big stars like Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson but the racing was still very good.

    Speaking of Kyle Larson, he was at the Wild West shootout for Dirt Super Late Models. He failed to secure a win over the 6 nights of racing but was always in contention. There were some epic races out there. Try to check out the highlights. The Saturday and Sunday races this past weekend were quite good. The Wild West Shootout was also broadcast on Flo.

  7. From NBC Sports:

    Three second-place finishes ensured fans recognized Larson’s ability in a dirt late model, a style of racing that is still relatively new to a driver who developed his craft in sprints and midgets. Over the past two years, he has amassed at five late model wins in three major series with two in the World of Outlaws Late Models, two in the Castrol Series and one in the XR Super Series.

    At Vado Speedway in the Wild West Shootout, Larson won heat races on the first and last night of competition to bookmark his solid run.

    But the most impressive race of the weekend may well have come in Night 4 when he was wrecked by a lapped car in his heat. The damage pushed him into the B-Main, where he finished second before coming through the field to finish fourth in the Feature.

  8. I would argue that Kyle Larson is the best race car driver of this generation. He won me over when he was suspended from Nascar and went out to the dirt tracks and won something like 40 percent of every race he entered.

    Tim McCreadie, a driver who has won a lot of big shows in Dirt modifieds, late models and Chili Bowl winner, ran second to him at a Port Royal Lucas Oil Late model series show basically said as much in his post-race interview.
    I am paraphrasing here on a two-year-old memory but the jist of it was. ‘We do this all year, he jumps into a late model and beats all of us in his second or third start and I can’t catch him. It’s unbelievable. He may be the most talented driver out there. I hope he goes back to Nascar soon.’

    Kyle Larson did go back to Nascar the following year and won the Cup title in his first-year driving for a new car owner.

    Kyle Larson on a dirt track may be the only driver I would go out of my way to go see in person. He is something special behind the wheel. Sprints Midgets or late model he runs pretty well in anything. Its a shame I live in the land of pavement tracks.

  9. Kyle and a couple others can jump in a vehicle on any track and be competitive. I suspect he usually gets good race vehicles too. When he was suspended from NASCAR and running a sprint cat he was a man on a mission. They are lucky if he does not get real serious about it again. I was disappointed he did not race the midgets.

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing