Brownstown Speedway revving up for 2016 season

Brownstown Speedway promoter Jim Price has released the 2016 track schedule. There will be two early-season fan favorites that will again kick off the 2016 campaign.

The season-opener will feature the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series competing for a $12,000 grand prize in the 19th annual “Indiana Icebreaker” on March 19. Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Florida, took the top prize last year before a standing-room-only crowd.

The very next week, on March 26, the track will host the eighth running of the “No Way Out 40” for non-winged sprint cars. Reigning USAC National Sprint Car champion Robert Ballou of Rocklin, California took the victory a year ago.

Late Model highlights for 2016 include appearances by the Battle of the Bluegrass Ultimate Super Late Model Series, the UMP Summer Nationals and the 37th Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Jackson 100, which features a $20,000 top prize. The Indiana Late Model Series (ILMS) Pro Late Models will also compete regularly throughout the season.

Sprint-car fans will see the return of the USAC National Non-wing Sprint Cars and Tony Stewart’s All Star Circuit of Champions Winged 410 Sprint Cars. Winged 410 sprint cars last competed at the Speedway in 1999. The Lucas Oil ASCS National Winged 360 Sprint Cars and the Midwest Sprint Car Series (MSCS) non-wing sprints will take to the track in a sprint car doubleheader on June 4. Racesaver Sprints, UMRA King of TQ Midgets, and MMSA Mini sprints will also compete during 2016.

The track just recently honored its 2015 champions at the annual awards banquet Jan. 16 at the Pewter Hall in Brownstown. Track champions included Chad Stapleton of Edinburgh (Super Late Models), Marty O’Neal of Spencer (Indiana Late Model Series), Joe Godsey of Edinburgh (Modifieds), Tyler Cain of Seymour (Super Stocks), Chris Workman of Clarksville (Pure Stocks), and Brian Mitchell of Bedford (Hornets).

Brownstown Speedway has updated its history on three of its racing divisions. The track first opened in 1952, with Hope native James Quillen winning the very first race. It operated as a half-mile track before going to its current configuration as a quarter-mile oval in 1963.

All-time Late Model Feature wins: 1. Jim Curry 75; 2. (tie) John Gill and Don O’Neal 54; 4. Steve Barnett 50; 5. Paul Crockett 41; 6. (tie) Ira Bastin and Ray Godsey 38; 8. Mike Jewell 31; 9. Don Hobbs 26; 10. Kenny Simpson 25.

Columbus native Russ Petro is 11th on that list with 24 victories.

All-time Modified Feature wins: 1. Devin Gilpin 49; 2. Matt Boknecht 26; 3. Brent Londeree 17; 4. Scott Smith 13; 5. (tie) Petro, John DeMoss, Ryan Thomas 12; 8. (tie) Scott Patman, Earl Plessinger, Shelby Miles 11.

Gilpin and Londeree, like Petro, are from Columbus.

All-time Super Stock Feature wins: 1. Plessinger 41; 2. Tim Clark 39; 3. Mark Barber 35; 4. Petro 32; 5. Jeremy Hines 30; 6. Scott Patman 28; 7. Tyler Cain 24; 8. (tie) Joe Johnson, Mike Fields 21; 10. Boknecht 19.

Clark, Barber and Johnson all hail from North Vernon.

Lawrenceburg announces opening date

The Lawrenceburg Speedway in Lawrenceburg will open its 2016 racing season on Saturday, April 2 with the USAC National Sprint Cars highlighting the race schedule that night. Columbus’ Joss Moffatt is the defending track champion in the sprint car division.Bloomington Speedway set to go for 2016Bloomington Speedway, under the direction of new track manager Matt Hamilton, will begin its season Friday, April 8. On the race card that night will be 410 non-wing sprints, Racesaver sprints, super stocks, modifieds and hornets.

Gilpin ready for new season

Devin Gilpin of Columbus is on his way to Florida to kick off his 2016 racing season. Gilpin, a 3-time UMP National Modified Champion, is coming off of a year in which he won 44 races overall. Gilpin went to victory lane 35 times in a modified, had seven wins in a super late model and two more in a crate late model car.Gilpin will be racing the Don Fleetwood-owned modified at three Florida venues. He will start out at East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa, followed by events at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala and at North Florida Raceway in Lake City. He hopes to make his season debut in a late model at Brownstown’s Indiana Icebreaker on March 19.Stewart’s All-Star sprints ready to goThe Tony Stewart-owned All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars are set to begin their season Feb. 5 and 6 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida. The series will then move to Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida on February 10 and 11. Stewart bought the series from Guy Webb in January of 2015.The series currently has 51 race dates confirmed for 2016 in seven states.

Revving up

Brownstown Speedway March Race Schedule

March 19: 19th Annual Indiana Icebreaker featuring the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series ($12,000 to win and $1,000 to start), plus Indiana Late Model Series and Modifieds

March 26: Eighth Annual No Way Out 40 for Non-wing Sprint Cars, plus Modifieds and UMRA King of the TQ Midgets