Bloomington set to wave green flag

Bloomington Speedway will kick off its 2015 racing season Friday night with the USAC/MSCS Sprints, Modifieds and the new RaceSaver Sprints.

Chase Stockon of Elizabethtown sits atop the USAC National Sprint Car Standings after a sixth-place finish at Lawrenceburg Speedway on April 4. Stockon looks to extend his points lead as the series races twice in the Hoosier State next weekend with appearances at Bloomington on Friday and at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt on April 18.

Bloomington Speedway has been hosting racing since 1923. The season-opener Friday will showcase several improvements and changes the track made in the offseason.

Track representative Kris Kirchner has said that one of the big changes is the removal of the buried tire barriers around the inside quarter-mile track.

“We have gotten a lot of replies from drivers and car owners after they had heard about what we did,” he said. “They are glad to finally see those go. The tires had caused a lot of problems with drivers tearing up their equipment when they would hit them or run over them.”

Besides an addition of 30 tri-axle loads of fresh red clay at the end of last season, Kirchner also noted there have been some improvements made with the lighting and sound system.

But one thing that brings excitement to Kirchner and track operator Bruce Leer is the addition of the RaceSaver Sprint Cars on a regular basis.

“It’s a new class that will introduce a new sprint-car series to the area,” Leer said. “They will be winged RaceSaver sprint cars. They have a smaller engine than the traditional 410-non-wing cars and are much more economical to run than the expensive 410-cubic-inch models. A lot less cost is involved.”

Kirchner and Leer are hoping this new sprint-car class will rejuvenate winged sprint-car racing in Indiana.

“With the cost-containment we are trying to emphasize the racer more than the race car, while maintain the close, wheel-top-wheel competition that our race track provides,” he said.

Bloomington Speedway’s track champions in 2014 included Brady Short of Bedford in the Sprint Cars, Chad Combs of Bloomington in the Modifieds, Aaron Fields from Taylorsville in the Super Stocks, and Luke Bland of Bloomington in the Hornet Division.

Dave Darland from Lincoln is the all-time winningest driver in USAC Sprint Car history. Darland’s first win of the season came back in February at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida. The 48-year-old Darland comes into next weekends’ events with 54 career wins, which tops a list of some of the greatest names in open-wheel racing history.

Darland leads Tom Bigelow (52 wins). Jack Hewitt and Tracy Hines (each with 46), Larry Dickson (45), Pancho Carter (42), Gary Bettenhausen (40), Sheldon Kinser (37), and Rich Vogler and Jon Stanbrough (each with 35) all are among the top 10 feature winners in USAC Sprint Car racing history.

Current USAC National Sprint Car points standings: 1. Chase Stockon 352; 2. Robert Ballou 341; 3. Dave Darland 328; 4. Brady Bacon 305; 5. Kevin Thomas Jr. 305.

Local Racing Results

Brownstown Speedway, April 4

Indiana Pro Late Model feature: 1. Marty O’Neal; 2. Hudson O’Neal; 3. Brad Cummings; 4. Devin Gilpin; 5. Brad Barrow.

Modified feature: 1. Devin Gilpin; 2. Jared Bailey; 3. Derek Losh; 4. Chad Combs; 5. Joe Godsey.

Super Stock feature: 1. Tyler Cain; 2. Danny Hupp; 3. Kevin Jones; 4. Josh Turner; 5. Jim Pfeiffer.

Pure Stock feature: 1. Dusten Carr; 2. Quintin Strope; 3. Zachary Stalker; 4. Ronnie Pardue; 5. Jim Ruddick.

Hornet feature: 1. Greg Garrison; 2. Jon Ortman; 3. Brian Mitchell; 4. Brian Moore; 5. Tracey Nicholson.

Twin Cities Raceway Park, April 4

Late Model feature: 1. Chad Stapleton; 2. Tory Collins; 3. Tom Collini; 4. Mike Bechelli; 5. Allen Waltermire.

Modified feature: 1. Billy Haager; 2. Bryson Clark; 3. Mike Bechelli; 4. Sam Wray; 5. Bub Roberts.

Super Stock feature: 1. Jason Hehman; 2. Jeremy Helton; 3. Colton Sullivan; 4. Jeff Helton; 5. Jay Huber.

Pure Stock feature: 1. Troy Clark; 2. Mark Bruce; 3. Justin Walters; 4. Mark Hines; 5. Willie Sallee.

Hornet feature: 1. Todd Cain; 2. Cody Perry; 3. Darrell Sylvester; 4. Trent Adams; 5. Chris Hinchman.

Lawrenceburg Speedway, April 4

USAC Sprint Car feature: 1. Logan Jarrett; 2. C.J. Leary; 3. Robert Ballou; 4. Kevin Thomas Jr.; 5. Dave Darland.

Modified feature: 1. Josh Rice; 2. Kyle Herbert; 3. Shon Flanary; 4. John Rhoades; 5. David Spille.

Hornet feature: 1. Justin Dalton; 2. Andrew Roark; 3. Blake Gibson; 4. David Daugherty; 5. Kevin Stamper.

Upcoming schedule

Brownstown Speedway, 812-358-5332

Tonight: Super Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks and Hornets.

Twin Cities Raceway Park, 812-346-7223

Tonight: Crate Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks and Hornets.

Lawrenceburg Speedway, 812-539-4700

Tonight: Sprints, Modifieds, Pure Stocks and Hornets.

Bloomington Speedway, 812-824-7400

Friday: USAC/MSCS Sprints, Modifieds, RaceSaver Sprints.