1 p.m. Tuesday update: Weather has postponed Tuesday night’s scheduled three-quarter midget car races at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds. The races have been rescheduled for Wednesday night, with Stewart planning to participate, according to Fair Board race director Troy Foist.


Champion racecar driver Tony Stewart will make his presence known when competing in his hometown Wednesday night in a three-quarter midget car at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds.

Stewart will be racing the Peyton’s Angels Indiana Chapter of The Cure Starts Now car, on loan from friend and driver Jason Setser.

Having the three-time NASCAR champion in a car created to promote finding a cure for brain cancer is a huge boost for the chapter and supporters in the medical community trying to find a cure, said Lynn Whittington, founder of the Peyton’s Angels chapter, which sponsors Setser’s car.

She founded the chapter in memory of her son, Peyton Whittington, who died June 4, 2013, at age 5 from a brain cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), an inoperable tentacle-like tumor that encased his brain stem. Since then, the chapter has raised millions for research to find a cure, funded through an annual Carnival for the Cure at Ceraland.

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The entire Whittington family is planning on being at the race at the fairgrounds, she said.

While it’s unclear how many logos will adorn Stewart’s car, at least one in particular will be visible to fans, regular driver Setser said.

“I told Tony that ‘The Cure Starts Now’ logo stays on,” Setser said. “That’s why we built the car. We wanted to raise some money, and we wanted to have some fun.”

Setser, who will not be racing during the three-quarter midget race, will instead be on Stewart’s pit crew and promises that Stewart will have a good car to work with on the race track.

“We won at Kokomo Speedway on Saturday,” Setser said, marking a third win for Setser’s team this season.

Setser, 43, who started racing at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds track at age 7, said he’s looking forward to watching Stewart, 46, race the car from the pits, even though he is the usual driver.

“It’s a good car,” he said.

Fans will be able to see Stewart taking some hot laps in the car at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, with the heat races starting at 7:30 p.m., said Pam Boas, Stewart’s mother and director of the Tony Stewart Foundation.


Boas predicted Wednesday night’s races will be fun as Stewart will be racing against some individuals who he competed with decades ago.

Stewart last raced locally in a Midget car during the 2013 Bartholomew County 4-H Fair.

“He’s much more content,” Boas said of her son’s change from the ovals of NASCAR back to dirt racing. “Sprint cars — that’s his heart. It’s what makes him content.”

If you go

What: Midwest TQ Association Three-Quarter Midget race

When: Warmups at 6 p.m., with racing starting about 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds, 750 W. 200 S, Columbus.

Admission: $10 for adults, $5 for kids, $5 for parking, $15 for a pit pass

Tony Stewart Foundation blood drive



8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Market lamb weigh-in — Livestock Barn

10 a.m. 4-H Barrow Show and Showmanship — Pavilion

2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Community Day at the Midway — Children and adults with physical or mental disabilities can ride free, midway is closed to the public

5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Lil’ Hands on the Farm; 4-H Community Building, Family Arts and Commercial Buildings open

5 p.m. Community Day at the Midway — Canned Goods Night (1 free ticket for each can of food or $23 wristbands)

6:30 p.m. Horse and Pony 4-H Fun Show and 4-H Costume Class

7 p.m. Frog Jumping Contest — Farm Bureau Building, registration at 6:30 p.m.

7 p.m. Chordlighters Barbershop Quartet — David Boll Theatre



8 a.m. 4-H Tractor Contest registration begins

9 a.m. 4-H Cat and Caged Critter shows — Pavilion

9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Grand Champion pictures — Community Building, David Boll Theatre

9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Open Class Flowers due — Family Arts Building

10 a.m. to noon Adventure Day Carnival — David Boll Theatre

Noon to 1 p.m. Lil’ Hands on the Farm; 4-H Community Building, Family Arts and Commercial Buildings open

Noon to 10 p.m. Midway opens for Kids Day — $15 wristbands all day and night (no age limit)

1 p.m. Lil’ Wrangler Sheep Show, 4-H Sheep Show — Pavilion

2 p.m. Pedal Tractor Pull — East of Farm Bureau Building, registration begins at 1 p.m. with $2 entry

2 p.m. Synergy Athletics All-Stars — David Boll Theatre

2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Amazing Race Scavenger Hunt — Fair Fit Booth in Lil’ Hands on the Farm building

5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Extension Homemakers Puppy Pillion Session — Family Arts Building

5 p.m. Feel the beat with Drum Circle from Mill Race Center — David Boll Theatre

6:30 p.m. Horse and Pony rain date or open arena riding

7 p.m. Area teen bands — David Boll Theatre

7 p.m. Midwest Three-Quarter Racing League — Grandstand

7 to 7:45 p.m. Southern Indiana Pipes and Drums — Farm Bureau Building

8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Easterling Magic Show — Farm Bureau Building

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.