Open-wheel racing takes center stage

Area open wheel racing fans finally get a chance to get to see some racing in the next two weeks.

Brownstown Speedway in Brownstown will host the “No Way Out 40” for non-wing sprint cars paying $7,500 to win. The event originally was scheduled for tonight, but has been moved to Sunday afternoon due to unfavorable weather conditions for today. Also on the race program will be open wheel modifieds and UMRA TQ Midgets.

Gates will open at noon Sunday with driver’s registration from noon to 3 p.m. and hot laps starting at 3:30 p.m.

The event was originally conducted at Twin Cities Raceway Park in Vernon until two years ago when it moved to Brownstown. Last year, 52 drivers entered the event with Bryan Clauson of Noblesville coming home the winner.

Previous winners of the event include Nic Faas (2009), Jesse Hockett (2010), Thomas Meseraull (2011), Dave Darland (2012) and Christopher Bell (2013).

The event is a tribute to the late Jesse Hockett, who won the event in 2010. Hockett was a hard-driving, talented driver who was making himself a name in open wheel racing. His bright future and life was cut short a little less than two months after winning the event at Twin Cities when he was tragically electrocuted in his race shop in Warsaw, Missouri.

Lawrenceburg Speedway will kick off its 2015 racing season with a special event April 4. On hand will be the USAC Sprint Cars, along with open wheel modifieds and hornets.

Lawrenceburg Speedway has long and storied history since it opened in 1950. Several Columbus natives have won sprint car track titles at the track known as “The ‘Burg.”

Butch Wilkerson captured back-to back titles in 1973 and 1974. Kerry Norris was the man three years in a row from 1979-81. Pete Abel won the track title in 1999, and a year later in 2000, another Columbus native, Jason Setser, was the champion.

Joss Moffatt was the top dog in 2007 and again in 2009. The most recent Bartholomew County racer to win the sprint car points at Lawrenceburg was Logan Hupp in 2012.

Old Timers Reunion set for today

The 17th annual Old Timers Reunion will be today at the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds.

There will be plenty of bench racing, memorabilia, racing videos, vintage and modern racecar displays and other activities. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

For more information, contact Greg Littleton at 812-378-2060.

Eldora founder passes away

Earl Baltes, the founder and former longtime promoter of Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, passed away on Monday. He was 93.

Baltes promoted some of the biggest races in sprint car and late model racing during his tenure at Eldora. After 50 years of ownership Baltes sold the track to Tony Stewart in 2004.

Local racing results

Twin Cities Raceway Park, Vernon

March 20

Crate Late Model Feature: 1. Devin Gilpin; 2. Joe Janowski; 3. Brad Cummings; 4. Adam Bowman; 5. Alan Magner.

Modified Feature: 1. Gilpin; 2. Steven Brooks; 3. David Mielke; 4. Bub Roberts; 5. Tony Anderson.

Super Stock Feature: 1. Jim Pfeiffer Sr.; 2. Tom Ault; 3. Colton Sullivan; 4. Shaun Sullivan; 5. John Magee.

Pure Stock Feature: 1. Troy Clark; 2. Ronnie Pardue; 3. Rick Zimmerman; 4. Steve Clark; 5. Clayton Howard.

Brownstown Speedway

March 21

Lucas Oil Late Models Indiana Icebreaker Feature: 1. Earl Pearson Jr.; 2. Scott Bloomquist; 3. Devin Moran; 4. Jimmy Owens; 5. Don O’Neal.

Indiana Late Model Series Feature: 1. Shelby Miles; 2. Gilpin; 3. Cummings; 4. Brad Barrow; 5. Steve Barnett.

Modified Feature: 1. Devin Gilpin; 2. Ryan Thomas; 3. Jamie Lomax; 4. Joe Godsey; 5. Derek Groomer.

Upcoming racing schedule

Brownstown Speedway (812-358-5332): Sunday, No Way Out 40 for Non Wing Sprints, plus UMP Modifieds and UMRA TQ Midgets.

Twin Cities Raceway Park (812-346-7223): April 4, Late Models, Modifieds, Super Socks, Pure Socks and Hornets.

Lawrenceburg Speedway (812-539-7400): April 4, USAC Sprint Cars, Modifieds and Hornets.