CONCORD, N.C. – The 36th annual Chili Bowl Nationals may be in the books but it’s the atmosphere and experience that drew in participation from three Hendrick Motorsports drivers.

Teammates Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman competed in the week-long event that culminated with Larson finishing sixth in the main event.

The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion, who locked himself into the feature based on winning his qualifier and finishing second in the A-Main on Tuesday night, started seventh and ran in the top seven for the entire 55-lap event. He climbed as high as fourth before taking the checkers in sixth.

“The style is way different, especially when you get in a midget, compared to really anything,” Larson said. “The style of racing is way more aggressive. It’s pretty wild.

“The more I can race, the better I’m becoming as an overall race car driver is why I do it.”

Bowman, who competed in his sixth Chili Bowl, uses the annual competition to help knock some rust off and hone his skills.

“Obviously, it’s vastly different than what we do (in NASCAR),” Bowman said. “It’s a big learning curve.

“I think diversifying yourself as a race car driver always helps, so anything you can do to learn new aspects of driving is really cool.” 

The Ally-sponsored driver kicked off Championship Saturday with a 10-lap shootout in the C-Main. His second-place result afforded him a spot in the B-Main, but his quest to advance stalled when he finished a few spots shy of transferring to the main event. 

Elliott, who made his second Chili Bowl appearance, raced in Saturday’s F-Main. He started 13th and worked his way up to 10th before his Kyle Larson Racing entry flipped and was not able to continue.

The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion was uninjured and walked away from the tumble.

“This stuff is not easy,” Elliott said. “It’s definitely a fun event, a fun environment, but really tough at the same time.  

“I like it. I’ve been a fan of it, and I really respect the craft of it.”

With the Chili Bowl Nationals in the rearview, the Hendrick Motorsports drivers will now set their sights on the start of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season with The Clash at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum on Sunday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. ET on FOX, followed by the season-opening DAYTONA 500 Sunday, Feb. 20 at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX.