Brownstown Speedway to host Ira Bastin Memorial Race today

The late Ira Batsin will be honored on Saturday at Brownstown Speedway with the Second Annual Ira Bastin Memorial Race. The event sanctioned by the Northern Allstars Late Model Dirt Series will pay $5,000 to win. Also competing will be super stocks, pure stocks and crown vics.

Submitted photo

With an improving weather forecast for today, officials of Brownstown Speedway and the Northern Allstars Late Model Dirt Series have announced that all systems are a go for the Second Annual Ira Bastin Memorial Race.

The race will honor one of the legendary drivers in Brownstown Speedway history, Ira Bastin. Bastin was a three-time track champion at Brownstown and won 40 feature races, which ranks him sixth all-time in late model wins at the Jackson County Fairgrounds track. He passed away in January of 2023 at the age of 82. He will posthumously be inducted into the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame at Florence Speedway in August.

Northern Allstars Late Model Dirt Series drivers will be running for bonus monies, including fast time awards, hard charger, dash for cash, heat race winners and crate engine bonuses as well.

Gates will open at 3 p.m. Driver registration will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Also competing will be super stocks, pure stocks and crown vics. For further information, you can visit the track’s website at, and for race day info, the track phone is 812-358-5332.

Leary takes Brownstown sprints

The Midwest Thunder 410 Non-wing Sprint Car series rolled into the Brownstown Speedway on March 30 to kick off its 2024 racing season. There were 34 non-wing sprint cars on hand for this “Spring Meltdown” event, and they were joined by 31 MMSA Mini Sprints and 30 Hornets.

The Midwest Thunder 25-lap feature saw Kyle Cummins jump to the early lead, but a flat tire on lap five caused Cummins to have to restart in 20th spot after a trip to the hot pit for a new tire. Robert Ballou took over the lead, with C.J. Leary in tow. Leary passed Ballou and held the lead until five to go, when Ballou passed Leary back, only to have the yellow flag fly before the lap was complete, putting Leary back to the front for the restart. Cummins had worked his way back to seventh at this point.

On the restart Leary, Ballou, Carson Garrett and Cody Trammell all tried to lead the race coming off Turn 2. Ballou reclaimed the lead, but his night would soon end when he exited the race with three laps to go. Leary held off a hard charging Cummins over the last two laps to get the win by a half a car length at the finish. Cody Trammell, Brandon Mattox and Jadon Rogers (from his 17th starting spot) rounded out the top five. Jake Scott, Carson Garrett, Aj Hopkins, Colton Cottle and Wesley Smith completed the top 10.

In MMSA Mini Sprint action, Jordan Shipley jumped to the lead in the 20-lap feature and led flag-to-flag for his first-ever MMSA win. Elijah Knoke, Brandon Justus, Brian Strane and Eli Wilhelmus trailed Shipley at the finish.

Michael Brewer of North Vernon is no stranger to Victory Lane in the Hornet division, and he found his way there again, winning the first hornet race of the year. Shannon Walp, Jeremy Ogle, Brian Pollitt and Jeremy Shemwell rounded out the top five.

Midwest Thunder Sprint Car Feature Finish: C.J. Leary, Kyle Cummins, Cody Trammell, Brandon Mattox, Jadon Rogers, Jake Scott, Carson Garrett, A.J. Hopkins, Colton Cottle, Wesley Smith, Harley Burns, Trey Osborne, Brandon Spencer, Travis Berryhill, Sam Scott, Mitch Wissmiller, Kyle Shipley, Robert Ballou, Ricky Lewis, Aric Gentry, Andrew Prather.

MMSA Mini-Sprint Feature Finish: Jordan Shipley, Elijah Knoke, Brandon Justus, Brian Strane, Eli Wilhelmus, Brandon Coffey, Cody Knieriem, Steve Justis, Eric Webber, Jeremy Schnepper, Cole Wright, Jake Roell, Sam Alloway, Jerry Meadows, Patrick Jackson, Garry Spencer, James Meny, Collin Jackson, Logan Harris, Parker Baumeyer, Johnson Ginder.

Hornet Feature Finish: Michael Brewer, Shannon Walp, Jeremy Ogle, Brian Pollitt, Jeremy Shemwell, Skylar Ashley, James Simmons, Marshall Claycamp, Gabe Gross, Preston Righthouse, Canyon Nichols, Cory Hayes, Davey Waggoner, Robert White IV, Terry Henderson Jr., Trent Sutton, Mick Lumley, Jason Lee, Caleb Arthur, Timothy Arthur, Phillip Fields.

This week in racing history

From 50 years ago in 1974 at Brownstown, the season opener late model feature went to Dick DeBolt over Russ Petro, Kenny Simpson, Don Hobbs and Ray Godsey.

From 40 years ago in 1984 at Brownstown, Pete Willoughby won the first-ever United Midwestern Promoters (UMP) late model feature over Paul Crockett, Mike Jewell, Wayne Coakley and Dick Potts. Rick Hines won the modified street stock feature race over Bobby Johnson, Mike Bechelli, Bill Norton and Karl Roethemeier.

Also from 40 years ago at Twin Cities, Steve Boley won the late model feature over Bud Seymour, Robert Brison, Chuck Gilpin and John Mitchell. Daryl Herbert won the modified street stock feature over Buddy Franks, Ted Pfeiffer, Larry Gingery and Scott McKeand.

From 30 years ago in 1994 at Brownstown, John Gill won the season opening late model feature over Kevin Weaver, Steve Barnett, Jim Curry and Don O’Neal. Darren Davis won the street stock main event over Gregg Lyle, Greg Kendall, Jeff Wilson and Delbert Ross. Danny Dean won the modified feature over Scott Smith, Albert Webb, Butch Shay and Dale Dubois. Murl Robinson took the bomber feature over Bruce Turner, Larry Pratt, Brian Slinkard and Darren Trabue.

From 20 years ago in 2004, John Gill won the Indiana Icebreaker at Brownstown over Mark Barber, Brad Neat, Mike Jewell and Brad Barrow. Steven Godsey won the bomber feature over Matt Cummings, Robert Walters, Clint DeMoss and Rusty Smiley. David Brewer won the super stock feature over Mike Fields, Tim Clark, Randy Moore and Jay Deckard.

Upcoming local racing schedule

Today: Brownstown Speedway — Second Annual Ira Bastin Memorial: Northern Allstars Late Model Dirt Series ($5,000 to win), plus super stocks, pure stocks and crown vics. For more information, visit

Today: Lawrenceburg Speedway — season opener: sprints, modifieds, pure stocks and hornets. For more information, visit

Friday: Bloomington Speedway — season opener: Maverick Winged Sprints plus crown vics and hornets. For more information, visit

April 13: Lawrenceburg Speedway — USAC National Sprint Cars, plus modifieds and pure stocks.

April 13: Brownstown Speedway — Indiana Pro Late Models, plus super stocks, pure stocks, hornets and crown vics.

April 13: Paragon Speedway — Super Late Models.

James Essex writes a motorsports notebook for The Republic. Send comments to [email protected]