Tony Stewart can thank a couple of his fellow competitors if he ends up winning this year’s Three-Quarter Midget race at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fair.
Ronnie Combs and Jason Setser, the past two winners of the fair’s TQ Midget races, are teaming together to build a TQ Midget for the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion. Stewart is planning to race at this year’s fair for the first time since 2013.
“Tony came to us about building the car,” Setser said. “It’s the best Three-Quarter Midget there is.”
Setser built the car with a Lynch Chassis. Tim Lynch, who owns Lynch Motorsports, had built Setser’s car.
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Setser, who does metal fabrication work, said he has been working on the car all winter and is waiting on some parts to arrive. Combs, who lives in Greensburg and has raced Stewart’s cars, is putting in a Kawasaki motor and is putting all the parts together.
The 43-year-old Setser is two years younger than Stewart and graduated from Columbus East. He has been friends with Stewart, a North graduate, since they were kids.
Setser has not yet raced this year, but plans to run at Kokomo the week before the Bartholomew County event, which is set for July 11. He also plans to run against Stewart that night.
This year’s race is a Midwest TQ Association event and is sponsored by the Tony Stewart Foundation. Warmups begin at 6 p.m., followed by racing at 7 p.m. Drivers and their crews likely will begin working in the pit area between 4 and 5 p.m.
Earlier that day, there will be a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. at Southside Elementary. Anyone who donates blood will receive an autographed photo of Stewart.
Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Pit passes are $15. Parking is $5.
Fair board racing director Troy Foist said about 2,500 fans were in attendance when Stewart last raced at the fairgrounds in 2013. The past three years, the crowd has been estimated at about 1,000 to 1,500. The grandstands hold about 3,000.
Stewart’s schedule is a little more free this year since he retired from the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit at the end of the 2016 season. He still is doing a little dirt-track racing, though.
“Hopefully, it’s a good turnout and a good night of weather,” Foist said. “Hopefully, it will be a sellout that night.”
What: Midwest TQ Association Three-Quarter Midget race
When: July 11 (warmups at 6 p.m., racing at 7 p.m.)
Where: Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds
Admission: $10 for adults, $5 for kids, $5 for parking, $15 for a pit pass