Avedisian Is ‘Not There Yet,’ But Optimistic For Chili Bowl Debut

Jade Avedisian in victory lane at Jacksonville Speedway. (Jacy Norgaard photo)

Over the past seven years, Jade Avedisian has raced hundreds of new tracks.

Since she entered the national scene in 2015 and began traveling to dirt tracks around the country, her comfort zone has regularly been tested.

Next Tuesday, Avedisian will face a similar challenge as she takes on Tulsa’s Expo Raceway in Oklahoma to make her debut at the 37th annual Chili Bowl Nationals. Although she has previously raced at the temporary dirt track for the Lucas Oil Tulsa Shootout, this will be her first time appearing at the Chili Bowl — an event that has attracted 360 entrants this year.

Avedisian is scheduled to compete in the Jan. 10 preliminary night program.

While Avedisian is working to maintain realistic expectations for the esteemed event, she carries considerable optimism from her 2022 success — including the strength of two POWRi/Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series wins.

“That was a few months ago and I’m still at a loss for words,” Avedisian said.

The 16-year-old hasn’t been behind the wheel of a midget for very long. She made the jump from micro sprints and ran her first midget races to “get her feet wet” in 2021. Within the course of the last season, she has sent shockwaves through the pits with her unexpectedly dominant performances.

At Jacksonville (Ill.) Speedway on June 26, Avedisian became the second woman to win a national midget race, but what was more impressive was the fashion in which she did it in. The youngster led all 30 laps of the Xtreme Outlaw Midget feature, fending off attacks from Brenham Crouch, Jacob Denney and Cannon McIntosh.

Jade Avedisian. (Jeff Taylor Photo)

The ensuing confidence propelled her to make gains in her budding career, as she later became the series’ only repeat winner when she earned a second victory at I-44 Riverside (Okla.) Speedway on Oct. 14.

“To cross the checkered flag first, it was just unbelievable. I’d always dreamed about winning, let alone winning in a midget. To do that and lead all 30 laps was a very cool moment,” Avedisian said.

She now has her eye on a new prize — a spot in the A-main at the Chili Bowl.

Last year, rising star Kaylee Bryson became the first woman to qualify for the 55-lap Chili Bowl main event. With a full year of midget competition under her belt, Avedisian believes she can earn entry into the nationals with a similar force.

She elected to sit out the Tulsa Shootout this year in order to better prepare for her Chili Bowl debut and instead, Avedisian has been spending her week religiously watching footage of past Chili Bowl battles — chiefly between Kyle Larson and Buddy Kofoid.

Avedisian also attended last year’s Chili Bowl to observe and compile notes for her first run.

“It’s tight racing and at the end of the night, the curb is really big, so you have to keep an eye on that. And you know, when you have to sink the bottom, you really have to sink the bottom here,” Avedisian said, her inner racer bubbling its way to the surface.

Gaining a spot in Saturday’s finale is clearly her goal for her first Chili Bowl experience.

“I just want to try to lock it in this year,” Avedisian said. “I think everyone wants to be a winner, but I don’t feel like I’m there yet, so I’m going to just try and get it in the show Saturday night.”

Beyond her January plans, Avedisian is hoping to make appearances on both dirt and asphalt this season. Although she has yet to iron out all the details, she expresses her gratitude to sponsors CMT, Sheesh!, K1 RaceGear, Arai Helmets and Pristine Auction for “having her back.”

“Not exactly sure where I’m going to end up or what I’m going to be doing,” Avedisian admitted, adding that, for now, her full attention is on Tulsa turf and the impending Chili Bowl. “I’m just excited to get back in the building, and I’m ready to race again.”

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