Stewart makes return to racing in Minnesota

For the first time since March 7, Tony Stewart returned to the seat of his familiar No. 14 winged sprint car and joined a loaded field of nearly 60 entries for Jackson Motorplex’s Great Lakes Shootout on May 15 in Jackson, Minnesota. Although the May 16 finale was eventually cancelled due to wet weather, the three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion made the most of this Friday night start at the state-of-the-art facility, ultimately qualifying for the 25-lap, $5,000-to-win showstopper.

Forced to do things the hard way, Stewart, driver of the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing/Rush Truck Centers/Advance Auto Parts/Mobil 1/Ford Performance/Curb Records/Sage Fruit/FloRacing/Carquest/TechNet Professional Automotive Service/Hunt Brothers Pizza/Absolute Automation & Security/Digital Ally/No. 14 sprint car, earned his way onto the A-main grid by finishing third during the first of two consolation B-mains. From there, Stewart advanced from 23rd to finish 17th at the end of 25 circuits.

“It feels good to be back in a sprint car,” said Stewart, a 10-time sprint car winner in 2019. “The last thing you want to do at one of these races and leave yourself in a hole because it’s tough to get back out. Lucky for me, I have a team that never stops working to improve. We were able to recover out of the B-main and turn some solid laps in the feature.”

Although a sound recovery, Stewart’s Jackson Motorplex finish snapped a six-race top-10 streak that has been accumulating since action in the Sunshine State in February. To date, Stewart owns five top-five finishes and six top-10 finishes in seven starts.

Eldora reschedules Dream for 2021

Officials at Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, have announced the 26th running of the Dirt Late Model Dream, one of the legendary half-mile dirt oval’s marquee events, has been rescheduled to early June 2021.

With restrictions on mass gatherings issued by federal and state authorities remaining in effect, the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic continues to have Eldora’s 67th season of racing on hold and additional events scheduled for June are also in jeopardy.

All advance tickets, pit passes, campsites and suite admissions for the 26th Dirt Late Model Dream will be honored for the rescheduled date in early June 2021. Race fans should retain all tickets, credentials, passes and receipts they have received to date.

Meanwhile, Speedway officials continue to work with local and state agencies on determining a safe return to racing for all constituents. Crafted with guidance from local and state officials, Eldora is developing a plan for a ‘non-spectator’ event to take place on the weekend of June 4-6. The proposal, currently in review, consists of Dirt Late Model teams working in a controlled and closed setting for an invitational event streamed exclusively online at FloRacing.com.

USAC’S Indiana

schedule begins June 14

Indiana’s USAC schedule will resume with a busy stretch of seven events in an eight-night span beginning June 14, starting with the return of USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship racing and leading into the 16th annual edition of Indiana Midget Week featuring the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship.

Tickets are now on sale at www.usactickets.com for the upcoming USAC National events in the state of Indiana, the June 14 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car stop at Tri-State Speedway and the June 16-21 Indiana Midget Week featuring the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midgets.

All USAC events held during June in Indiana will follow state guidelines, limiting seating capacity to 50 percent at all venues. These tickets are expected to sell fast and will only be available online at www.usactickets.com while they last.

Once you go to www.usactickets.com, a screen will pop up asking you to choose which event you would like to attend. You can fill in your name and how many tickets you’d like to purchase. You also will be provided the option to upgrade to a pit pass. You will have the option to purchase tickets for the full week of Indiana Midget Week events.

On the screen, there will also be a space to reserve children’s tickets. All children’s ticket prices will be based on each track’s policies. Children’s tickets will count toward the capacity level, and they can keep track of all the numbers to stay within the 50 percent capacity guideline.

There’s also an option to order an Indiana Midget Week shirt that you can pick up at one of the Indiana Midget Week events you are attending, plus an option on the bottom of the page to donate to the Indiana Midget Week point fund.

From thereon, you can fill out the COVID-19 waiver, then read and agree to the terms and type in your name. Read and agree to the terms of the pit waiver if you have purchased a pit pass upgrade.

The Sunday night, June 14 date will take the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship to Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt for the 44th visit by the series to the southwestern Indiana quarter-mile dirt track.

Two nights later, on June 16, the popular Indiana Midget Week tour commences with six consecutive nights of USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget racing. First up is the 3/8-mile of Paragon Speedway, located just a little less than an hour southwest of Indianapolis, which will make its debut on the Indiana Midget Week schedule by hosting its first USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget race since 1985 and its first USAC-sanctioned race of any kind since 1998.

Following the opener at Paragon on June 17, the series travels northbound to the quarter-mile Gas City I-69 Speedway, whose origins with the IMW series date to the inaugural year in 2005.

Next on June 18, the 5/16-mile Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville is back on the IMW docket for the 11th straight year. The quarter-mile red clay of Bloomington Speedway provides the surface as IMW enters the weekend on June 19. The three-eighths of a mile Lawrenceburg Speedway, which hosted the very first IMW event in 2005, serves as the penultimate race of the mini-series on June 20. The 2020 IMW finale at Kokomo Speedway comes to the quarter mile venue on June 21, which first hosted USAC Midget racing in USAC’s inaugural season of 1956.

All the Indiana Midget Week events will also feature local sprint car racing as part of the racing festivities.

USAC’S June 2020 national schedule in Indiana:

June 14: Tri-State Speedway, Haubstadt, Sprints

June 16: Paragon Speedway, Paragon, Midgets

June 17: Gas City I-69 Speedway, Gas City, Midgets

June 18: Lincoln Park Speedway, Putnamville, Midgets

June 19: Bloomington Speedway, Bloomington, Midgets

June 20: Lawrenceburg Speedway, Lawrenceburg, Midgets

June 21: Kokomo Speedway, Kokomo, Midgets

This week in racing history

From 50 years ago in 1970 at Brownstown, Paul Crockett won the feature race over Jim Curry, Ira Bastin, Jack Owens and Pete Willoughby.

Also from 1970 at Haubstadt, Gene Henson won the sprint car feature race over Rex Mitchell, Gene Coombs, Cliff Cockrum and Johnny Krebbs.

From 40 years ago in 1980 at Haubstadt, Cockrum won the feature over John Kemp, Larry Goad, Chuck Amati and Bernie Graybeal.

From 1980 at Twin Cities, Bob Fleetwood won the late model feature over Ray Godsey, Pete Willoughby, Vern LeFevers and Russ Petro.

From 30 years ago in 1990 at Brownstown, Ray Godsey won the late model feature over Jim Curry, Paul Shafer, Bob Pierce and Steve Barnett. There was a second late model feature ran with Jim Ruddick taking the win over Tom Helfrich, Earl Plessinger, Ernie Barrow and Mike Jewell. Earl Plessinger came back to win the street stock feature over Scott McKeand, Tom Seadler, Mark Barber and Scott Patman. Randy Petro took the bomber feature over Kevin Sebastian, Brad Schlehuser and Jeff Helton.

Also from 1990 at Haubstadt, Kevin Briscoe won the sprint car feature over Joey Nash and Chuck Amati.