A Big Race in a Small Town


Like many cities in America, Tulsa has its own history, which dates back to the early 1800s.

Former U.S. president Thomas Jefferson believed that the nation’s future depended on its westward expansion. An expansion which saw many native tribes removed from their ancestral lands and forced onto reservations across the country. During this westward expansion, the Lochapoka tribe (Turtle Clan) were driven from their native Alabama and established a new home at a site near present-day Cheyenne Avenue and 18th Street in Oklahoma. It is said that, under a large Oak tree, the Lochapoka rekindled their ceremonial fire and named their new settlement, “Tulsai,” meaning “old town” in their native language.

With the discovery of oil in the early 1900s, Tulsa changed from a small frontier town to a boomtown.

Fast forward a hundred and some odd years and Tulsa is now the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma and the 47th most populous city in the United States. Although with a population of just 403,505 people, Tulsa is still a relatively small city compared to major cities like Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City.

Comparatively small cities like Tulsa, function differently than some of the aforementioned cities. Take Phoenix for example, which for the most part has a thriving economy all year round, compared to Tulsa, known to experience economic downturn during the slow month of January, thus making events like the Chili Bowl (also held in January) that much more important.

According to Tulsaworld.com, Chili Bowl, a 5-day event held during the month of January, has an estimated $24.4 million-dollar economic impact on the local economy. More than 70,000 people will pass through the turnstiles during the 5-day event according to Chili Bowl co-founder Emmett Hahn.

As the main sponsor of the Landon Simon Racing Team, Mt Baker Vapor was all in for the 32nd Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals. Mt Baker Vapor co-founder James Thompson and three team members gassed up the ole Mt Baker Vapor Ford Excursion, filled it with starter kits, batteries, gear and countless bottles of Mt Baker Vapor blue label e-liquid and traveled over one thousand miles to not only support and watch #24 Landon Simon, but to spread the word about “Making the Switch.”

The general consensus regarding quitting smoking is that it is hard. This is true. Kicking the habit is very hard. One of the most difficult parts being, the nicotine withdrawal phase. Studies show that within two hours of not smoking, your heart rate and blood pressure will return to their near normal levels. At the same time though, the effects associated with nicotine withdraw will rear its ugly head and force many to revert back to their old ways.

Mt Baker Vapor has always believed that with the right information available, e-cigarettes can be a game changer in the fight to get people to kick their habit of smoking. And you know what, it has.

Half a century ago, more than two of every five adults were smokers, according to an article published by the Washington Post. But this number has since declined drastically according to CDC officials, who attribute, at least in part, this shift to the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, hookahs and other “non-cigarette tobacco products.”

Being the first major auto race of the year, Chili Bowl is a symbolic event attracting stars from all areas of American racing— NASCAR, Indy, drag, motorcycles and etc. It is also an important event because it is a time when people are changing their past lives and ushering new ways of living, which is what “making the switch” is all about.

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Andrew Figgs

Photography Major from Western Washington University . I joined MBV back in December 2014 and am happy to be working in an industry focused on helping others.

  • Celeste says:

    good luck landon

  • Kristin says:

    Good article:)

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