TULSA, Okla. — The beginning of the new year is off to a strong start in Tulsa, with businesses already feeling an impact of millions of dollars.
It's all thanks to car races that take place every year.
The Lucas Oil Tulsa Shootout which kicked off Wednesday, leading into the Chili Bowl Nationals next week.
Thousands of people look forward to these races every year, including race tourists and local businesses like Tally's Good Food Cafe.
At the start of every year when the two races take place, the historic diner said their sales go up by 50 percent.
"Chili bowl is one of the busiest days of the year. We look forward to seeing it back again in Tulsa, year after year," said owner Tally Alame.
"You have teams coming in from 37 states. That's a lot of hotels, that's a lot of restaurants," said Bryan Hulbert, publicist for both races. "This event, according to the Tulsa sports commission, is anywhere between five to 10 million dollars in economic impact. The chili bowl is another 30 million in Tulsa economy."
Race officials signed a contract over the summer that'll keep the Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa for the next 15 years until 2034.
The shootout's last day is Saturday at River Spirit Expo with the Chili Bowl Nationals following on Monday, January 13.
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