By James Essex
Brownstown Speedway will induct three men tonight into the track’s hall of fame. One of those is Columbus racing legend Gene Petro.
Petro was a three-time track champion (1963 to 1965) at Brownstown during an illustrious career. He captured more than 15 career features at Brownstown, with his most memorable coming in 1970, when he won a special 250-lap event at the track by an incredible seven laps. His last feature win at Brownstown was in 1974.
Petro passed away in 2001 at the age of 66. He will join his brother Russ and nephew Randy in the Brownstown Speedway Hall of Fame.
Another driver being inducted will be former Freetown resident Gene Sutton. He was one of the top drivers at Brownstown in the 1960s, winning a dozen feature events from 1965 to 1969. He was the 1967 late models track champion at Brownstown. He passed away earlier this year at the age of 83.
Former car owner Earl Sims of Indianapolis will be honored, too. Sims, now 85, owned late models for many years with drivers such as Carl Collins, Paul Crockett, Doug Ault, Daryl Herbert and Jeff Wilson wheeling his machines.
Brownstown Speedway will host the 13th annual Hall of Fame race tonight for the MARS Late Models. Also on the docket are the Indiana Pro late models, super stocks and pure stocks. For more info, visit brownstownspeedway.com
Several winners at Twin Cities
Marty O’Neal of Spencer continues to be one of the top crate late models racers in southern Indiana. The veteran driver came home with the feature win Aug. 12 at Twin Cities Raceway Park in Vernon. Shelby Miles of Bloomington chased O’Neal across the finish line to place second, with Brad Erwin of Crothersville, Trent Low of North Vernon and Jim Couch of Hamilton, Ohio, completing the top five.
Randy Petro of Columbus continued his dominance in the super stocks division at Twin Cities. Jamey Wilson of Seymour was second to Petro, with Kenny Niflis of Bedford taking third. Danny Hupp of Scipio was fourth, and Craig Markel of Columbus finished fifth.
Jacoby Hines of Nineveh won the modifieds feature at Twin Cities, taking the win over Jeremy Owens of North Vernon, Jerry Adams of Elizabethtown, Travis Johnson of Aurora and Mike Douglas of Vevay.
Troy Clark of North Vernon captured two pure stocks feature events during the evening. Clark won the regularly-scheduled feature race over Mark Hines of Scipio, Keaton Streeval of Edinburgh, Tim Clark of North Vernon and Dalton Roark. He also won the rained-out make-up feature from July 22.
Donnie Modesty of Seymour remained the hottest hornets driver in the area, capturing the Twin Cities hornets feature event, besting Gregg O’Neill II of Mooresville, Trent Adams of Elizabethtown, Daniel Hobbs of Bloomington and Cody Perry of North Vernon.
Twin Cities will host a regular show tonight for crate late models, modifieds, super stocks, pure stocks and hornets. For more information, visit twincitiestrack.com.
Swanson wins Memorial at Salem
Kody Swanson won the 58th Annual Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorial Race on Aug. 12 at Salem Speedway. Swanson also won the event last year. Swanson was trailed to the finish line by Chris Windom, Bobby Santos, Aaron Pierce and Davey Hamilton Jr. Completing the top ten were Jerry Coons Jr., Justin Grant, Davey Hamilton, Shane Butler and Joss Moffatt of Columbus.
Schatz wins for Stewart at Knoxville
Donny Schatz won his 10th Knoxville Sprint Car Nationals on Aug. 12 at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa. Schatz earned over $150,000 for the win in the Tony Stewart Racing No. 15 entry. With the win in the 57th annual running of the event, he now closes to within two of all-time Knoxville Nationals winner Steve Kinser of Bloomington, who has 12 victories.
NASCAR driver Kyle Larson finished in second, with Kerry Madsen finishing in third. Completing the top five were Shane Stewart and Brad Sweet. Last year’s winner, Jason Johnson, was 11th .
McCreadie wins big at Florence
Tim McCreadie overtook race leader Scott Bloomquist with three laps to go to win the 35th Annual Sunoco Race Fuels North South 100 on Aug. 12 at Florence Speedway in Union, Kentucky.
McCreadie earned $50,000 for the win his first in the event. Last year’s winner, Bobby Pierce, finished second, with Bloomquist taking third. Completing the top five were Jimmy Owens and Darrell Lanigan. A total of 69 cars were on hand for the three-day event.
Cockrum wins at Paragon
Shane Cockrum won the sprint cars feature on Aug. 12 at Paragon Speedway. Jordan Kinser was second, with Aric Gentry, Pat Giddens and Chris Phillips completing the top five. Other winners were Owen Cosman (hornets), Aaron Sloan (bombers) and Steve Hollars (super stocks).
Wright wins first career main at Liberty
T.J. Wright of North Vernon won his first career hornets feature on Aug. 11 at the Route 44 Speedway in Liberty. Troy Clark also of North Vernon won the super stocks feature.
Lawrenceburg hosts special tonight
Lawrenceburg Speedway will host the Dick Gaines Memorial race tonight for the sprint cars. Also racing will be modifieds, pure stocks and hornets. Aug. 26, Lawrenceburg will host the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series in their first Hoosier State appearance of 2017. For more info, visit lawrenceburgspeedway.com.
This week in racing history
From 50 years ago in 1967, Dick Gaines won the supermodified feature at Bloomington Speedway over Bob Kinser, Butch Wilkerson of Columbus, Orville Yeadon of Columbus and Rex Mitchell.
At Brownstown Speedway in 1967, Jim Reichenba won the late model feature race. Russ Petro of Columbus was the fastest qualifier and heat races were won by Russ Smiley, Reichenba and Jim Haley.
From 40 years ago in 1977, Bobby Black of Taylorsville and Randy Kinser crossed the finish line in a dead heat in the sprint car feature at Paragon Speedway. Track officials determined the race a tie and paid both drivers first-place money. Bob Kinser was third, with Larry Miller and Bernie Graybeal completing the top five drivers.
Also from 1977 at Twin Cities, Phil Fultz of Clifford won the hobby stock feature event. Bruce Steinert was second, with Randy Gilland of North Vernon taking third. Dee Kramer and Ron Hoover of Nashville rounded out the top five.
At Brownstown in 1977, Bob Fleetwood won the late model feature over Gerald Dixon, Dennis Bingham, John Davis and Ray Godsey.
From 1987, Kevin Huntley won the sprint car feature at Bloomington. Larry Bland finished second, and Rodney Ritter Jr. was third. Art Wendt and Pete Abel of Columbus completed the top five. Steve Hostetler won the street stock feature.
At Twin Cities 30 years ago this weekend, Darrell Smallwood of Columbus won the late model feature race over Doug Ault, Mike Gibbs, Tony Godsey and Jim Beeman.
There were two street stock features held at Twin Cities the same night, with Troy Burton of Columbus winning the regularly scheduled main event and Mark Barber of North Vernon scoring the win in the rainout makeup feature.
Billy Moyer captured the Jackson 100 at Brownstown on this weekend in 1987. Steve Barnett finished second, with Bob Pierce, John Gill and Paul Shafer completing the top five.
James Essex writes a motorsports notebook for The Republic. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.