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17th annual Rumble in Fort Wayne

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 26-28, 2014 ● Memorial Coliseum Expo Center ● Fort Wayne, Ind.

SUNDAY STORY

BrandonKnuppcoloractionart12282014

 By RON WARE

Classic Motorsports         

 FORT WAYNE, Ind. – For Brandon Knupp, the tears of joy didn’t begin until after he climbed from his No. 78 midget in victory lane. In his 18th career start at the Rumble in Fort Wayne, the driver known as Primetime finally had lived up to his nickname.

 The former NASCAR Truck competitor erased more than a decade of frustration Sunday with a dominating victory in the 50-lap midget feature that capped the 17th annual indoor racing classic at the Memorial Coliseum Expo Center.

 “There was a pause before I got excited,” the 28-year-old from Sidney, Ohio, admitted. “All I could think the last five laps was, ‘Something is going to fall off, something is going to fall off.’

 “Normally, we always have something happen. Always wrong place, wrong time.”

 Not this time. Knupp, driving a 36-year-old chassis that’s been rebuilt “at least six times,” held off a mild challenge from rookie Ross Rankine, with Bryan Nuckles, Kyle Hamilton and Chris Neuenschwander completing the top five.

 Nuckles was no less surprised to learn he won the newly created points championship, edging Saturday night winner Justin Peck on a tie-breaker. Rookie Anthony Nocella, who won on Friday, finished two points back.

 All three contenders started deep in the 16-car field on a greasy track that essentially was one groove. Nuckles methodically moved up from 11th and clinched the title when David Gough, running third, dropped out in the waning laps. Peck finished seventh and Nocella ninth.

 Nuckles, who turns 34 on Jan. 3, drove a backup car usually reserved for much larger tracks after blowing an engine on Friday. He strung together finishes of second, seventh and third to take home the $1,000 bonus for his family-owned team, headed by his father, Jerry, a former USAC midget standout, and uncle John Nuckles.

 “I had no idea we won,” Nuckles said. “To be able to bring out that backup car and put it together in a half-hour and even make the feature that night was a miracle to me.

 “It wasn’t even in my mind (that he could win the title). They told me we were four or five points behind. Just being able to run the feature was good enough.”

Knupp was the fastest qualifier on both Friday and Saturday – his three career fast times are second only to Tony Stewart’s 10 – but was a modest ninth-quickest on Sunday. With the inversion, he ended up starting from the pole, and he responded with a heady drive that looked almost effortless.

Knupp literally has grown up racing at the Rumble, starting in karts the very first year. Before Sunday, his midget finishes included a second place in 2003 and thirds in 2002 and 2007.

The victory also was the first for his car owner, John Chambers, whose day job is driving a motorcoach for Chip Ganassi’s IndyCar team.

“I can’t tell you what it means to me and to all these guys that have been a part of this,” an emotional Knupp said. “Last year, we finally got it tuned in to where it would run consistently up front. And the stars aligned and we finally got it done.”

Erick Rudolph and Larry Joe Sroufe got a break in capturing the accompanying features for 600cc-powered outlaw modified midgets.

Rudolph, who won the non-winged feature on Saturday, added a victory in the winged midgets after a four-car pileup on the opening lap elevated him from sixth to second. He passed Saturday winner Ben Quinones two laps later and led the rest of the way, beating A.J. Lesiecki and Drew Dorsett.

“I thought we had the car to win, but fortunately for us, there was that four- or five-car pileup,” Rudolph said. “That’s how racing goes.”

Sroufe, long a dominant driver in the 600s, notched his first Fort Wayne victory since 2010, beating Mike Fedorcak and Rudolph. He clipped a marker tire and came to a halt early in the feature, but a caution flag enabled him to get his spot back.

“Been a few years,” admitted Sroufe, who builds his own cars. “I thought they were right on me, but we were getting good restarts and pulling away each lap.”

Quarter midgets also were part of the final day program, with Aaron Leffel taking both the Animal and Heavy Honda classes. Chase Burda, Jacob Denney, Seth Pugh and Zeb Wise each one once.

Among the notables in attendance was IndyCar driver-turned-owner Sarah Fisher, whose brother-in-law, Kyle O’Gara, competed in the midgets. Other weekend visitors included Indianapolis 500 veterans Davey Hamilton and Tom Bigelow as well as longtime broadcaster Jack Arute.

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17th annual Rumble in Fort Wayne

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 26-28, 2014 ● Memorial Coliseum Expo Center ● Fort Wayne, Ind.

SUNDAY RESULTS

MIDGETS (National/Regional/Focus/Kenyon Car)

             Qualifications – 1. Cooper Clouse, 14, Clouse, 7.943 seconds; 2. Derek Bischak, 31, Bischak, 8.007; 3. Chris Neuenschwander, 8, Neuenschwander, 8.075; 4. Mike Fedorcak, 19b, Belt, 8.105; 5. Justin Peck, 5x, Clay, 8.109; 6. David Gough, 6, Gough, 8.139; 7. Billy Wease, 99, Burrow, 8.160; 8. Ross Rankine, 9r, 8.197; 9. Brandon Knupp, 78, Chambers, 8.214; 10. Russ Gamester, 46, Gamester, 8.221; 11. Cory Setser, 24, Setser, 8.247; 12. Kyle Hamilton, 33, Hamilton, 8.253; 13. Rex Norris III, 63, Norris, 8.270; 14. Bryan Nuckles, 59x, Nuckles, 8.290; 15. Jim Anderson, 99a, Guess, 8.296; 16. Patrick Bruns, 22, Grskovic, 8.309; 17. Austin Nemire, 19, O’Connell, 8.326; 18. Anthony Nocella, 4, Seymour, 8.328; 19. Joey Burrow, 49, Burrow, 8.447; 20. Nick Hamilton, 1, Steele, 8.526; 21. Rich Corson, 15, Corson, 8.540; 22. Kyle O’Gara, 27, Lawson, 8.550; 23. Joe Liguori, 74, Williams, 8.574; 24. Anthony McCune, 45, 3-K, 8.575; 25. Jimmy McCune, 61, Kenyon, 8.583; 26. Matt Westfall, 9, Ryder, 8.605; 27. Alex Watson, 41, Sexton, 8.819; 28. Kevin Atkins, 36a, Atkins, 8.874; 29. Branson Dils, 15k, Chambers-Knupp, 8.895; 30. Shayne Riley, 57r, Riley, NT.

First heat (10 laps) – Norris, Knupp, Clouse, Peck, Corson, Nemire, J. McCune, Dils.

Second heat (10 laps) – Nuckles, Gamester, Gough, O’Gara, Bischak, Nocella, Riley.

Third heat (10 laps) – Anderson, Neuenschwander, Setser, Burrow, Watson, Wease, Liguori.

Fourth heat (10 laps) – K. Hamilton, Rankine, Fedorcak, N. Hamilton, Bruns, A. McCune, Atkins.

First semi-feature (12 laps) – Bischak, Wease, Nemire, Corson, J. McCune, Watson, Burrow, Liguori.

Second semi-feature (12 laps) – Peck, Nocella, Bruns, O’Gara, N. Hamilton, A. McCune.

Feature (50 laps) – 1. Brandon Knupp, 2. Ross Rankine, 3. Bryan Nuckles, 4. Kyle Hamilton, 5. Chris Neuenschwander, 6. Derek Bischak, 7. Justin Peck, 8. Rex Norris III, 9. Anthony Nocella, 10. Cooper Clouse, 11. Mike Fedorcak, 12. Cory Setser, 13. David Gough, 14. Billy Wease, 15. Jim Anderson, 16. Russ Gamester. Lap leaders: Knupp 1-50.

Final overall standings: 1. Bryan Nuckles, 12 points (won tie-breaker for championship); 2. Justin Peck, 12; 3. Anthony Nocella, 14; 4. Derek Bischak, 23; 5. Brandon Knupp, 25; 6. Kyle Hamilton, 27; 7. David Gough, 29; 8. Jim Anderson, 30; 9. Billy Wease, 32.

WINGED OUTLAW MODIFIED MIDGETS (600cc)

            Qualifications – 1. Erick Rudolph, 22, Lafler, 8.070 seconds; 2. Brad Lamberson, 19, Dunigan, 8.135; 3. Cap Henry, 17, Henry, 8.145; 4. Ben Quinones, 20, APS, 8.268; 5. Bill Dunham, 84, T&E, 8.276; 6. Matt Farnham, 7f, Farnham-Mindeler, 8.321; 7. Tyler Fitzpatrick, 57, Fitzpatrick, 8.411; 8. Drew Dorsett, 11b, Sager, 8.412; 9. Ginny Quinones, 007, APS, 8.438; 10. Chase Ridenour, 11r, Ridenour, 8.442; 11. A.J. Lesiecki, 14, AJD, 8.529; 12. Howard McCormick, 26, Sager, 8.620; 13. Mark Zumbrun, 35z, Zumbrun, 8.672; 14. Rusty Strausbaugh, 29, Strausbaugh, 8.689.

           First heat (10 laps) – Henry, Rudolph, Fitzpatrick, Dunham, Lesiecki, Zumbrun, G. Quinones.

Second heat (10 laps) – Dorsett, Farnham, B. Quinones, Lamberson, McCormick, Strausbaugh, Ridenour.

Feature (30 laps) – 1. Erick Rudolph, 2. A.J. Lesiecki, 3. Drew Dorsett, 4. Daniel Robinson, 5. Howard McCormick, 6. Ginny Quinones, 7. Chase Ridenour, 8. Mark Zumbrun, 9. Rusty Strausbaugh, 10. Ben Quinones, 11. Matt Farnham, 12. Bill Dunham, 13. Cap Henry, 14. Brad Lamberson. Lap leaders: Farnham 1, B. Quinones 2, Rudolph 3-30.

NON-WINGED DIRT OUTLAW MODIFIED MIDGETS (600cc)

            Qualifications – 1. Jason Ormsby, 51, Ormsby, 8.183 seconds; 2. Erick Rudolph, 32, Lafler, 8.234; 3. Mike Fedorcak, 9, Fedorcak, 8.331; 4. Blane Culp, 34, Culp, 8.435; 5. Larry Joe Sroufe, 21, Sroufe, 8.453; 6. Matt Janisch, 14, Jones, 8.464; 7. Clay Sanders, 21c, Sanders, 8.537; 8. Russ Gamester, 49, GRP, 8.670; 9. Daniel Robinson, 57, Robinson, 8.758; 10. Phil Bozell, 83jr, Wolfersberger, 8.765; 11. Jonathon Lesiecki, 24, AJD, 8.775; 12. Kim Hughes, 6, Hughes, 8.827; 13. Richard Smith, 12, Smith, 8.883; 14. Shawn Grace, 77, Woods, 8.956; 15. Braiden Black, 69b, Black, 8.985; 16. Ryan Ball, 10r, Ball, 9.580; 17. Jeremy Howe, 48, Howe-Foster, 10.429.

           First heat (10 laps) – Sanders, Bozell, Culp, Ormsby, Smith, Ball.

Second heat (10 laps) – Gamester, Rudolph, Sroufe, Lesiecki, Grace, Howe.

Third heat (10 laps) – Janisch, Fedorcak, Hughes, Black, Robinson.

Feature (25 laps) – 1. Larry Joe Sroufe, 2. Mike Fedorcak, 3. Erick Rudolph, 4. Russ Gamester, 5. Clay Sanders, 6. Phil Bozell, 7. Daniel Robinson, 8. Richard Smith, 9. Jonathon Lesiecki, 10. Kim Hughes, 11. Shawn Grace, 12. Jeremy Howe, 13. Matt Janisch, 14. Jason Ormsby, 15. Blane Culp. Lap leaders: Sroufe 1-25.

ANIMAL QUARTER MIDGETS

Heat (8 laps) – Breanna O’Bryan, Zeb Wise, Aaron Leffel, Lexi Pohlman, Chase Burda, Jacob Denney, Emerson Axsom, Owen Foster, Evan Foster, Will Edwards.

Feature (15 laps) – Aaron Leffel, Brenna O’Bryan, Lexi Pohlman, Evan Foster, Chase Burda, Owen Foster, Jacob Denney, Zeb Wise, Emerson Axsom.

HEAVY 160 QUARTER MIDGETS

Heat (8 laps) – Zeb Wise, Will Edwards, Brianna O’Bryan, Richard Johnson, Jared Leffel.

Feature (15 laps) – Zeb Wise, Jared Leffel, Richard Johnson, Brianna O’Bryan.

LIGHT 160 QUARTER MIDGETS

Heat (8 laps) – Bobby Elliott, Chase Burda, Jacob Denney, Emerson Axsom.

Feature (15 laps) – Jacob Denney, Emerson Axsom, Chase Burda, Bobby Elliott.

HEAVY HONDA QUARTER MIDGETS

Heat (8 laps) – Aaron Leffel, Will Edwards, Lexi Pohlman, Carson O’Bryan, Justin White.

Feature (15 laps) – Aaron Leffel, Will Edwards, Lexi Pohlman, Carson O’Bryan, Justin White.

SENIOR HONDA QUARTER MIDGETS

             Heat (8 laps) – Chase Burda, J.D. Cowart, Bobby Elliott, Bryce Massingill, Kenny Douglas, Isaiah Pugh, Breanna Berry.

Feature (15 laps) – Chase Burda, Bobby Elliott, J.D. Cowart, Bryce Massingill, Kenny Douglas, Breanna Berry, Isaiah Pugh.

JUNIOR HONDA QUARTER MIDGETS

Heat (8 laps) – Seth Pugh, Aiden McCulley.

Feature (15 laps) – Seth Pugh, Aiden McCulley.

 

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17th annual Rumble in Fort Wayne

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 26-28, 2014 ● Memorial Coliseum Expo Center ● Fort Wayne, Ind.

SATURDAY STORY

Peck wins again at ‘Rumble,’ challenges Stewart to return

By RON WARE

Classic Motorsports

 

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – With his aw-shucks demeanor and ready smile, Justin Peck might be the last guy you’d expect to start trash-talking in victory lane.

But the precocious 16-year-old couldn’t help himself after winning Saturday night’s 50-lap midget feature in the 17th annual Rumble in Fort Wayne, suggesting that Tony Stewart might want to hurry back before someone – in this case, himself – breaks the NASCAR star’s record of nine victories here.

“Tony is a good guy,” Peck said later, almost apologetically. “I was just being a funny guy. If he does come back – or if he doesn’t – hopefully we can have a little bit of a challenge.”

Peck continued his remarkable run at the Memorial Coliseum Expo Center, darting inside Jim Anderson in the second turn on lap 32 to wrest the lead, then pulling away for his second victory in two years at the 1/6-mile concrete track. Billy Wease passed Anderson for second on the final lap, with Friday winner Anthony Nocella and David Gough rounding out the top five in the caution-filled race.

Peck and Nocella are tied for the newly created points championship going into Sunday afternoon’s finale of the three-day event.

In six starts over three years here, Peck has two victories, a second, a third, a fourth and an engine-related 16th. Only one other driver, Derek Bischak, has even qualified for each of those six features.

“It’s pretty cool,” the high school sophomore said, assessing his streak. “It really helps having such a good car. (Owner) Steve Clay gives me a good Beast every time. But a lot of people really help me.”

Stewart, who has competed here on and off since 1999, is sitting out the Rumble for a second straight year after undergoing a fourth operation on the right leg he broke in 2013.

Anderson seemed headed toward a repeat of his 2010 victory here until his car developed a push just past the halfway point. When he couldn’t hold the bottom entering the second turn on lap 32, Peck shot underneath.

“I was trying all I could to whoa the thing down to get through the corner,” Anderson said. “The more I did that, I could feel him at the back bumper.”

“Honestly, we were a little better than him,” Peck said, “but the only way I got him, he got tight and then got loose (when he accelerated), and I got under him.”

Peck, driving the No. 5x Duracoat Beast-Autocraft Volkswagen, was unchallenged the rest of the way despite a succession of restarts.

Each driver’s (and car owner’s) three feature finishes will determine the overall title, with 1 point awarded for a win, 2 points for second, 3 for third and so on. Peck and Nocella each have a win and a fourth, giving them five points. Bryan Nuckles, with nine points, is the only other realistic contender for the $1,000 bonus, which will be split between the champion driver and car owner. In case of a tie, the higher finisher on Sunday will win the title.

Ben Quinones, youngest of three racing siblings, won the winged outlaw modified feature for his family’s first victory here in more than a decade of trying. Erick Rudolph captured the non-winged dirt modified midget feature, becoming the first driver to win in both of the 600cc classes. The non-winged division was added last year.

“Never been for lack of effort,” said Quinones, 22, who three years ago escaped injury in a wild crash in which he flew into the backstretch fencing. “This was all about patience and being consistent and keeping my nose clean. I knew the car was fast.”

The aptly-named Rudolph picked up a Christmas-time win here for the third straight year.

“We do a lot of homework at the shop,” he said of his Jim Lafler-owned team. “But a lot of the time we bring new equipment, and you’re not really sure what to expect.”

Korbyn Hayslett won twice in karts, with Zach Axlen, Patrick Clark, Brandon Dunn, Dustin Heath, Shawn Kluck and Philip Schneider picking up single victories.

Veteran John Ivy, who has competed in midgets, winged outlaw midgets and karts at the Rumble, received the inaugural David Lesiecki Award, presented in memory of the quarter midget race coordinator who died last March at age 47. The award, voted on by series officials, will be presented annually to the “driver who best exemplifies the spirit and dedication to racing that was (Lesiecki’s) trademark.”

“John is our all-time feature winner,” Rumble Series president Tony Barhorst said, “but this award is for his sportsmanship and willingness to help others. He very much deserves it.”

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17th annual Rumble in Fort Wayne

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 26-28, 2014 ● Memorial Coliseum Expo Center ● Fort Wayne, Ind.

SATURDAY RESULTS

MIDGETS (National/Regional/Focus/Kenyon Car)

             Qualifications – 1. Brandon Knupp, 78, Chambers, 7.904 seconds; 2. Derek Bischak, 31, Bischak, 7.911; 3. Cooper Clouse, 14, Clouse, 7.989; 4. Geoff Kaiser, 10, Moore, 8.041; 5. Joe Liguori, 8up, Williams, 8.054; 6. Ross Rankine, 9r, Rankine, 8.062; 7. Bobby Santos III, 1g, Gormly, 8.078; 8. Bryan Nuckles, 59x, Nuckles, 8.082; 9. Kyle Hamilton, 33, Hamilton, 8.128; 10. Jim Anderson, 99a, Guess, 8.146; 11. Patrick Bruns, 22, Grskovic, 8.168; 12. Justin Peck, 5x, Clay, 8.185; 13. Billy Wease, 99, Burrow, 8.191; 14. Chris Neuenschwander, 8, Neuenschwander, 8.199; 15. Russ Gamester, 46, Gamester, 8.210; 16. Anthony Nocella, 4, Seymour, 8.213; 17. David Gough, 6, Gough, 8.236; 18. Jimmy McCune, 61, Kenyon, 8.276; 19. Matt Westfall, 9, Ryder, 8.297; 20. Nick Hamilton, 1, Steele, 8.336; 21. Cory Setser, 24, Setser, 8.339; 22. Austin Nemire, 19, O’Connell, 8.352; 23. Lynsey Liguori, 74, Williams, 8.374; 24. Rex Norris III, 63, Norris, 8.388; 25. Mike Streicher, 19b, Belt, 8.390; 26. Brian Gerster, 98, Burrow, 8.404; 27. Chris Jagger Jr., 32j, Jagger, 8.498; 28. Anthony McCune, 45, 3-K, 8.514; 29. Rich Corson, 15, Corson, 8.533; 30. Kyle O’Gara, 27, Lawson, 8.560; 31. Kevin Atkins, 36a, Atkins, 8.642; 32. Joey Burrow, 49, Burrow, 8.647; 33. Branson Dils, 15k, Chambers-Knupp, 8.673; 34. Brad Greenup, 4g, Greenup, 8.708; 35. Alex Watson, 41, Sexton, 8.782; 36. Jake Mangeot, 92, Burrow, 9.403; 37. Robby Parish, 7k, Irwin, NT; 38. Taylor Jagger, 27, Jagger, NT; 39. Shayne Riley, 57r, Riley, NT; 40. Chris Jagger, 88, Jagger, NT; 41. Bryan Nuckles, 59, Nuckles, withdrew.

First heat (10 laps) – Knupp, Nocella, Gerster, Atkins, Setser, Mangeot, Rankine, Bruns.

Second heat (10 laps) – Gough, Peck, Santos, Bischak, Nemire, Parish, Burrow, Jagger Jr.

Third heat (10 laps) – Wease, Clouse, J. McCune, Nuckles, A. McCune, L. Liguori, Dils, Riley.

Fourth heat (10 laps) – K. Hamilton, Kaiser, Neuenschwander, Norris, T. Jagger, Westfall, Corson, Greenup.

Fifth heat (10 laps) – Anderson, N. Hamilton, Gamester, J. Liguori, O’Gara, Fedorcak (#19b), Watson, Jagger.

First semi-feature (12 laps) – Bischak, Santos, Neuenschwander, L. Liguori, O’Gara, Fedorcak, Dils, Mangeot, Jagger Jr., Westfall.

Second semi-feature (12 laps) – J. Liguori, Nuckles, Setser, Gamester, Parish, A. McCune, Atkins, Riley, Greenup, Norris.

Third semi-feature (12 laps) – J. McCune, Gerster, Rankine, Nemire, Burrow, T. Jagger, Corson, Watson, Bruns.

Feature (50 laps) – 1. Justin Peck, 2. Billy Wease, 3. Jim Anderson, 4. Anthony Nocella, 5. David Gough, 6. Cooper Clouse, 7. Bryan Nuckles, 8. Nick Hamilton, 9. Geoff Kaiser, 10. Brian Gerster, 11. Brandon Knupp, 12. Jimmy McCune, 13. Bobby Santos III, 14. Derek Bischak, 15. Joe Liguori, 16. Kyle Hamilton. Lap leaders: Anderson 1-31, Peck 32-50.

 

WINGED OUTLAW MODIFIED MIDGETS (600cc)

            Qualifications – 1. Erick Rudolph, 22, Lafler, 7.927 seconds; 2. Ben Quinones, 20, APS, 7.961; 3. Bill Dunham, 84, T&E, 8.185; 4. Brad Lamberson, 19, Dunigan, 8.217; 5. Matt Farnham, 7f, Farnham, 8.271; 6. Cap Henry, 17, Henry, 8.292; 7. Drew Dorsett, 11b, Sager, 8.296; 8. Ginny Quinones, 007, APS, 8.337; 9. Chase Ridenour, 11r, 8.422; 10. Tyler Fitzpatrick, 57, Fitzpatrick, 8.485; 11. Mark Zumbrun, 35z, Zumbrun, 8.523; 12. Rusty Strausbaugh, 29, Strausbaugh, 8.571; 13. Howard McCormick, 26, Sager, 8.767; 14. A.J. Lesiecki, 14, AJD, 9.401; 15. John Ivy, 94, Henry, NT.

           First heat (10 laps) – Dorsett, Ridenour, Rudolph, Zumbrun, McCormick, Dunham, Farnham.

Second heat (10 laps) – Henry, B. Quinones, Lesiecki, Strausbaugh, G. Quinones, Fitzpatrick, Lamberson.

Feature (25 laps) – 1. Ben Quinones, 2. Brad Lamberson, 3. Chase Ridenour, 4. A.J. Lesiecki, 5. Drew Dorsett, 6. Rusty Strausbaugh, 7. Howard McCormick, 8. Bill Dunham, 9. Tyler Fitzpatrick, 10. Erick Rudolph, 11. Matt Farnham, 12. Ginny Quinones, 13. Mark Zumbrun, 14. Cap Henry. Lap leaders: Zumbrun 1-5, Ridenour 6-15, B. Quinones 16-30.

 

NON-WINGED DIRT OUTLAW MODIFIED MIDGETS (600cc)

            Qualifications – 1. Larry Joe Sroufe, 21, Sroufe, 8.176 seconds; 2. Matt Janisch, 14, Jones, 8.280; 3. Erick Rudolph, 32, Lafler, 8.421; 4. Daniel Robinson, 57, Robinson, 8.530; 5. Mike Fedorcak, 9, Fedorcak, 8.581; 6. Blane Culp, 34, Culp, 8.680; 7. Jason Ormsby, 51, Ormsby, 8.730; 8. Jonathon Lesiecki, 24, AJD, 8.776; 9. Russ Gamester, 49, GRP, 8.896; 10. Gary Klein, 68, Klein, 9.087; 11. Blake Lamb, 69, Lamb, 9.157; 12. Shawn Grace, 77, Woods, 9.193; 13. Jaden Rogers, 7, Williams, 9.263; 14. Ryan Ball, 10r, Ball, 9.273; 15. Drew Rader, 74h, Allen, 9.419; 16. Clay Sanders, 21c, Sanders, 9.436; 17. Ethan Foster, 11, Foster, 9.536; 18. Kim Hughes, 6, Hughes, 9.563; 19. Phil Bozell, 83jr, Wolfersberger, 9.585; 20. Braiden Black, 69b, Black, 9.622; 21. Richard Smith, 12, Smith, 9.627; 22. Nick Eastin, 93, Eastin, NT; 23. Jeremy Howe, 48, Howe-Foster, NT; 24. Mike Stahl, 40, NT.

           First heat (10 laps) – Sroufe, Rogers, Sanders, Bozell, Howe, Klein, Ormsby, Robinson.

Second heat (10 laps) – Lesiecki, Fedorcak, Janisch, Black, Lamb, Foster, Ball.

Third heat (10 laps) – Rudolph, Gamester, Smith, Culp, Grace, Rader, Hughes.

Semi-feature (10 laps) – Hughes, Grace, Robinson, Ormsby, Howe, Foster, Black, Klein, Rader, Ball.

Feature (25 laps) – 1. Erick Rudolph, 2. Mike Fedorcak, 3. Russ Gamester, 4. Blane Culp, 5. Clay Sanders, 6. Braiden Black, 7. Jaden Rogers, 8. Daniel Robinson, 9. Phil Bozell, 10. Richard Smith, 11. Shawn Grace, 12. Kim Hughes, 13. Larry Joe Sroufe, 14. Jonathon Lesiecki, 15. Matt Janisch, 16. Jason Ormsby. Lap leaders: Rudolph 1-25.

 

SENIOR HEAVY KARTS

 First heat (8 laps) – Dustin Heath, Shawn Kluck, Craig Strayer, Cody Gallogly, Nick Grommes, Colt Ternet Sr., Austin Horn.

Second heat (8 laps) – Travis Fisher, Josh McKnight, Matt Randall, Kyle Burns, Kyle Kalweit, Andrew Johnson, Teddy Alberts.

Feature (15 laps) – Dustin Heath, Shawn Kluck, Travis Fisher, Matt Randall, Josh McKnight, Jake Shelley, Cody Gallogly, Cole Ternet Sr., Nick Grommes, Kyle Kalweit, Andrew Johnson, Cole Ternet Sr., Kyle Burns, Teddy Alberts.

SENIOR MEDIUM KARTS

 First heat (8 laps) – Shawn Kluck, John Ivy, Ronnie Niehaus, Steven Webb, A.J. Robinson, Brandon Minnick, Andrew Johnson, Wayne Parkhurst.

Second heat (8 laps) – Dustin Heath, Travis Fisher, Zach Wolff, Nate Randall, Derek Hammond, Sierra Lantz, Levi Wilbur.

Feature (15 laps) – Shawn Kluck, Dustin Heath, John Ivy, Travis Fisher, Derek Hammond, Zach Wolff, Ronnie Niehaus, Nate Randall, A.J. Robinson, Levi Wilbur, Sierra Lantz, Wayne Parkhurst, Steven Webb, Andrew Johnson.

SENIOR CAGED KARTS

 First heat (8 laps) – Brandon Dunn, Branson Dils, Josh Hanselman, Anthony Colandro, Zack Schaffer, Mike Ernsberger, Brian Barnett, Ty Conrad, Ashley Marqueling, David Hurley.

Second heat (8 laps) – Philip Schneider, Dylan Woodling, Joe Warner, Max Stambaugh, Ron Vandermeir Jr., Bradley Boyer, Jason O’Hara, Christopher Plank, Mike Welsh, Corey Saylor.

Third heat (8 laps) – Dan Bouc, Cole Rhoton, Zack Myers, Dustin Ingle, Kevin Wall Jr., A.J. Geren, Michael Giachetti, Shanon Chiddister, Aric Vandermeir.

Fourth heat (8 laps) – John Ventrello, Steven Berlin, Brad Schieber, Anthony Myers, Cole Roberson, Brandon Schnittke, Rick Dukes, Dan McLean, Eric Wall.

Feature (15 laps) – Brandon Dunn, Dan Bouc, Philip Schneider, Branson Dils, Cole Rhoton, Brad Schieber, Joe Warner, Max Stambaugh, Dylan Woodling, John Ventrello, Brandon Schnittke, Anthony Colandro, Steven Berlin, Ron Vandermeir Jr.

JUNIOR HEAVY KARTS

 First heat, round one (8 laps) – Korbyn Hayslett, Sam Weaver, Connor Truman, Kaitlin Randall, Hannah Galitz, Michael Paterno.

Second heat, round one (8 laps) – Tayte Williamson, Gene Gregoric III, Dylan Anderson, Amanda Bohn, Myles Morrolf, Andrew Scheid.

Feature (15 laps) – Korbyn Hayslett, Sam Weaver, Tayte Williamson, Gene Gregoric III, Dylan Anderson, Kaitlin Randall, Connor Truman, Andrew Scheid, Michael Paterno, Amanda Bohn, Hannah Galitz.

JUNIOR CAGED KARTS

 First heat (8 laps) – Korbyn Hayslett, Tayte Williamson, Gene Gregoric III, Owen Houpt, Aaron Mulrooney Jr., Jaden Cretacci, Paige Rogers, Jim Emrich.

Second heat (8 laps) – Breiden Mooney, Kasey Ziebold, Aiden Williamson, Dalton Rogers, Madison Bland, Jakeb Boxell, Griffin Hisle, Michael Villena.

Semi-feature (10 laps) – Cretacci, Hisle, Bland, Boxell, Rogers, Creager, Emrich, Villena, Mulrooney.

Feature (15 laps) – Korbyn Hayslett, Tayte Williamson, Kasey Ziebold, Breiden Mooney, Aiden Williamson, Owen Houpt, Madison Bland, Ian Creager, Jakeb Boxell, Gene Gregoric III, Griffin Hisle, Jaden Cretacci, Paige Rogers.

 

KID KARTS

 

First heat, round one (8 laps) – Cameron Vandermeir, Joshua Toth, Jasmine Goble, Jackson Orth, David Bretz.

Second heat, round one (8 laps) – Patrick Clark, Drew Phillips, Garrett Andexler, Hunter Weaver, Parker Lindemann, Brodie Wendel.

First heat, round two (8 laps) –Toth, Vandermeir, Goble, Bretz, Orth.

Second heat, round two (8 laps) – Clark, Andexler, Phillips, Weaver, Wendel, Lindemann.

Feature (10 laps) – Patrick Clark, Cameron Vandermeir, Brodie Wendel, Parker Lindemann, Hunter Weaver, Garrett Andexler, Drew Phillips, David Bretz, Jackson Orth.

 

HEAVY CLONE KARTS

 

First heat (8 laps) – Zach Axlen, Josh McKnight, Max Stambaugh, Kyle Pervis, Matt Browning, John Reiser, Nathan Bevard, Derek Lilly, Blake Adams, Cameron Miller.

Second heat (8 laps) – Brandon Dunn, Kobe Allison, Tyler Ransbottom, Tyler Kramer, Darrin Hurley, Owen Calderwood, James Thompson, Bill Booher, John H. Miller.

Third heat (8 laps) – Dustin Heath, Joey Pendergrass, Joe Barker, Matt Hall, Kyle Pervis, Dellas Burns, Tylar Rankin, Brandon Cretacci, Larry Fullbright.

Fourth heat (8 laps) – Philip Schneider, Jake Shelley, Ryan Moran, Charlie Schultz, Dustin Vandermeir, Scott Hamble, Nick Grommes, Jason Brenneman, Jeff Town.

First semi-feature (8 laps) – Pervis, Lilly, Browning, Hall, Burns, Bevard, Stambaugh, Ferrell, Rankin, Reiser, Ransbottom, Miller.

Second semi-feature (8 laps) – Moran, Kramer, Barker, Schultz, Ice, Grommes, Calderwood, Vandermeir, Booher, Town, Hurley, Miller, Hamble, Brennaman.

Feature (15 laps) – Zach Axlen, Dustin Heath, Jake Shelley, Brandon Dunn, Joey Pendergrass, Ryan Moran, Philip Schneider, Tyler Kramer, Josh McKnight, Joe Barker, Matt Browning, Kyle Pervis, Derek Lilly, Kobe Allison.

LIGHT CLONE KARTS

 First heat, round one (8 laps) – Brandon Dunn, Zach Axlen, Tyler Kramer, Jake Wachtman, Max Stambaugh, Tim Ice, John Reiser, Blake Adams, Christopher Whipple, Tyler Ransbottom.

Second heat, round one (8 laps) – Philip Schneider, Dustin Heath, Jake Shelley, Charlie Schultz, Joe Barker, Ryan Moran, Tyler Kalb, Jamie Ferrell, Zack Wolff.

Third heat, round one (8 laps) – Joey Pendergrass, Kobe Allison, Derek Hammond, Matt Browning, Matt Hall, Dustin Vandermeir, Bill Booher, Kyle Jones.

First semi-feature (8 laps) – Kramer, Wolff, Stambaugh, Moran, Ice, Jones, Browning, Kalb, Hammond, Adams.

Second semi-feature (8 laps) – Wachtman, Shelley, Schultz, Barker, Ransbottom, Hall, Ferrell, Reiser, Booher, Whipple, Vandermeir, Moran.

Feature (15 laps) – Philip Schneider, Dustin Heath, Brandon Dunn, Zach Axlen, Jake Shelley, Joey Pendergrass, Ryan Moran, Max Stambaugh, Kobe Allison, Charlie Schultz, Zack Wolff, Joe Barker, Jake Wachtman, Tyler Kramer.

 

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Chris Seelman photo

 

 

17th annual Rumble in Fort Wayne

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 26-28, 2014 ● Memorial Coliseum Expo Center ● Fort Wayne, Ind.

FRIDAY STORY

Rookie Nocella stuns ‘Rumble’ rivals on opening night

By RON WARE

Classic Motorsports

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Truth be told, Anthony Nocella wasn’t Bobby Seymour’s first choice of driver for his team’s inaugural appearance at the Rumble in Fort Wayne. Or, the car owner admitted with a rueful grin, the second, either.

But that didn’t keep the 22-year-old college senior from Woburn, Mass., from scoring one of the biggest upsets in the 17-year history of the indoor racing classic.

Charging from ninth starting position, Nocella squeezed inside Justin Peck in turn three on lap 33, then pulled away for a convincing win in Friday night’s opening 50-lap midget feature at the Memorial Coliseum Expo Center. Bryan Nuckles settled for second, followed by Derek Bischak, Peck and another rookie, 17-year-old Ross Rankine. The three-day program continues Saturday, then wraps up with a Sunday matinee.

“Pretty awesome, being our first time out here,” Nocella said as one competitor after another offered congratulations. “I’ve heard a lot of these names out here – some of them didn’t even make the show. To move up from ninth and win it is pretty awesome.”

Seymour, saying he hoped he was out of earshot of his driver, admitted he first offered the ride to NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader, then to former Rumble winner Lou Cicconi Jr.

Not that he didn’t have faith in Nocella, who competes primarily in modifieds.

“He’s been driving for me since he was 15,” said Seymour, son of the late USAC car owner “Boston” Louie Seymour. “He has a tremendous amount of talent. He’s a good racer. He drives our modified back East, and sometimes he gets beat up, because he’s such a clean driver.”

“Awesome, awesome,” engine builder Mike Seymour enthused. “What a great job. We have a lot of confidence in him.”

Nocella qualified only 19th-fastest, more than a half-second off Brandon Knupp’s pace. But with car builder Mike Streicher lending his assistance, he won his heat, then got a break when a reshuffled lineup allowed him to start ninth in the feature instead of 15th as scheduled. An engineering student at Wentworth Institute of Technology, he proceeded to march straight to the front, with virtually no contact along the way.

“I knew I had a good car,” said Nocella, who drove a Streicher-built Hawk powered by one of Mike Seymour’s Autocraft Volkswagen engines. “I wanted to do it clean.”

Nuckles admitted Nocella was a blur, but he wasn’t complaining about his day.

“I’m thrilled to finish second,” said the Ohio driver, who matched his career-best indoor performance. “We’ve had some bad luck in the past couple of years. I feel like we won.”

Longtime Rumble driver Jason Ormsby of Warsaw, Ind., dominated the non-winged dirt outlaw modified midget feature for his first Fort Wayne victory, leading all 25 laps to beat Larry Joe Sroufe and Russ Gamester. Dustin Heath and Korbyn Hayslett each won twice in karts, while Shawn Kluck, Anthony Colandro, Garrett Andexler and Philip Schneider notched single victories.

Saturday’s program includes the same classes, plus winged outlaw modified midgets and quarter midgets.

Nocella’s victory lifts him and the Seymours into the lead in the battle for the newly created Rumble in Fort Wayne overall championship. A driver’s (and car owner’s) three feature finishes determine the title, worth a $1,000 bonus.

He may need to sweep the weekend just to keep his ride.

“Schrader really wanted to race here,” Bobby Seymour said. “He said to mark him down, he’s coming next year.”

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17th annual Rumble in Fort Wayne

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 26-28, 2014 ● Memorial Coliseum Expo Center ● Fort Wayne, Ind.

FRIDAY RESULTS

MIDGETS (National/Regional/Focus/Kenyon Car)

Qualifications – 1. Brandon Knupp, 78, Chambers, 7.770; 2. Derek Bischak, 31, Bischak,

7.886; 3. Cooper Clouse, 14, Clouse, 7.934; 4. Kyle Hamilton, 33, Hamilton, 7.937; 5. Joe Liguori, 8up, Williams, 7.954; 6. Bryan Nuckles, 59, Nuckles, 7.994; 7. Chris Neuenschwander, 8, Neuenschwander, 8.042; 8. Cory Setser, 24, Setser, 8.088; 9. Jim Anderson, 99a, Guess, 8.110; 10. Ross Rankine, 9r, Rankine, 8.112; 11. David Gough, 6, Gough, 8.134; 12. Billy Wease, 99, Burrow, 8.183; 13. Russ Gamester, 46, Gamester, 8.205; 14. Robby Parish, 7k, Irwin, 8.222; 15. Justin Peck, 5x, Clay, 8.237; 16. Nick Hamilton, 1, Steele, 8.244; 17. Bobby Santos III, 1g, Gormly, 8.265; 18. Rich Corson, 15, Corson, 8.275; 19. Anthony Nocella, 4, Seymour, 8.283; 20. Geoff Kaiser, 10, Moore, 8.349; 21. Brian Gerster, 98, Burrow, 8.381; 22. Kyle O’Gara, 27, 8.388; 23. Patrick Bruns, 22, Grskovic, 8.394; 24. Austin Nemire, 19, O’Connell, 8.449; 25. Chris Jagger Jr., 32j, Jagger, 8.456; 26. Kevin Atkins, 36a, Atkins, 8.492; 27. Matt Westfall, 9, Ryder, 8.522; 28. Lynsey Liguori, 74, Williams, 8.561; 29. Jimmy McCune, 61, Kenyon, 8.615; 30. Anthony McCune, 45, 3-K, 8.731; 31. Rex Norris III, 63, Norris, 8.747; 32. Branson Dills, 15k, Chambers-Knupp, 8.795; 33. Joey Burrow, 49, Burrow, 8.806; 34. Russ Belt, 19b, Belt, 8.816; 35. Brad Greenup, 4g, 8.979; 36. Keith Ousley, 27, 9.911; 37. Chris Jagger, 88, Jagger, 10.100; 38. Shayne Riley, 57r, Riley, 10.660.

First heat (10 laps) – N. Hamilton, Gough, Nuckles, Knupp, Gerster, Atkins, Ousley, Norris III.

Second heat (10 laps) – Wease, Bischak, Santos, O’Gara, Dils, Westfall, Neuenschwander, Riley.

Third heat (10 laps) – Corson, Gamester, Clouse, Bruns, L. Liguori, Burrow, Setser, Marzolf.

Fourth heat (10 laps) – Nocella, Anderson, K. Hamilton, Parish, Nemire, J. McCune, Belt, Janisch.

Fifth heat (10 laps) – Kaiser, Peck, J. Liguori, A. McCune, Greenup, Rankine, Jagger Jr.

First semi-feature (12 laps) – Knupp, J. Liguori, Setser, J. McCune, Atkins, Dils.

Second semi-feature (12 laps) – Nuckles, Rankine, Nemire, Westfall, Gerster, Burrow, Ousley, Clouse, A. McCune.

Third semi-feature (12 laps) – K. Hamilton, Neuenschwander, Parish, L. Liguori, O’Gara, Belt, Jagger Jr.

Feature (50 laps) – 1. Anthony Nocella, 2. Bryan Nuckles, 3. Derek Bischak, 4. Justin Peck, 5. Ross Rankine, 6. Russ Gamester, 7. Kyle Hamilton, 8. Joe Liguori, 9. Nick Hamilton, 10. Chris Neuenschwander, 11. David Gough, 12. Jim Anderson, 13. Brandon Knupp, 14. Rich Corson, 15. Geoff Kaiser, 16. Billy Wease. Lap leaders: Peck 1-32, Nocella 33-50.

 

NON-WINGED DIRT OUTLAW MODIFIED MIDGETS (600cc)

 

           Qualifications – 1. Matt Janisch, 14, Jones, 8.095 seconds (breaks track record of 8.328 seconds set by Blane Culp on Dec. 27, 2013); 2. Erick Rudolph, 32, Lafler, 8.378; 3. Clay Sanders, 21c, 8.422; 4. Mike Fedorcak, 9, Fedorcak, 8.444; 5. Russ Gamester, 49, GRP, 8.484; 6. Jason Ormsby, 51, Ormsby, 8.533; 7. Blane Culp, 34, 8.550; 8. Larry Joe Sroufe, 21, 8.666; 9. Richard Smith, 12, Smith, 8.712; 10. Daniel Robinson, 57, Robinson; 11. Phil Bozell, 83jr, Wolfersberger, 8.777; 12. Jonathon Lesiecki, 24, AJD, 8.842; 13. Shawn Grace, 77, Woods, 8.873; 14. Braiden Black, 68b, Black, 9.084; 15. Blake Lamb, 69, Lamb, 9.098; 16. Kim Hughes, 6, Hughes, 9.242; 17. Drew Rader, 74h, Allen, 9.272; 18. Nick Eastin, 93, Eastin, 9.377; 19. Mike Stahl, 40, Stahl, 9.474; 20. Ryan Ball, 10r, Ball, 9.559; 21. Ethan Foster, 11, Foster, 9.919; 22. Gary Klein, 68, Klein, 10.323; 23. Jaden Rogers, 7, Williams, NT; 24. Jeremy Howe, 48, Howe-Foster, NT.

           First heat (10 laps) – Janisch, Robinson, Fedorcak, Hughes, Grace, Klein, Stahl, Culp.

Second heat (10 laps) – Sroufe, Rudolph, Gamester, Bozell, Rogers, Ball, Black, Rader.

Third heat (10 laps) – Lesiecki, Ormsby, Sanders, Smith, Black, Foster, Eastin, Howe.

Semi-feature (10 laps) – Grace, Rogers, Black, Culp, Klein, Ball, Rader, Stahl, Foster.

Feature (25 laps) – 1. Jason Ormsby, 2. Larry Joe Sroufe, 3. Russ Gamester, 4. Jonathon Lesiecki, 5. Blane Culp, 6. Kim Hughes, 7. Jaden Rogers, 8. Mike Fedorcak, 9. Braiden Black, 10. Richard Smith, 11. Erick Rudolph, 12. Shawn Grace, 13. Clay Sanders, 14. Matt Janisch, 15. Phil Bozell, 16. Daniel Robinson. Lap leaders: Ormsby 1-25.

 

SENIOR HEAVY KARTS

 

Heat, round one (8 laps) – Shawn Kluck, Josh McKnight, Dustin Heath, Matt Randall, Nick Grommes, Kyle Kalweit, Kyle Burns, Austin Horn, Teddy Alberts, Cole Ternet Sr.

Heat, round two (8 laps) – McKnight, Kluck, Randall, Alberts, Kalweit, Horn, Heath, Burns, Ternet Sr., Grommes.

Feature (15 laps) – Shawn Kluck, Dustin Heath, Matt Randall, Josh McKnight, Kyle Kalweit, Nick Grommes, Kyle Burns, Teddy Alberts, Austin Horn.

 

SENIOR MEDIUM KARTS

 

First heat, round one (8 laps) – Shawn Kluck, Dustin Heath, Levi Wilbur, Steven Webb, Brandon Minnick, A.J. Robinson, Virgil Cousino, A.J. Kendall.

Second heat, round one (8 laps) – John Ivy, Zach Wolff, Ronnie Niehaus, Derek Hammond, Nate Randall, Sierra Lantz, Wayne Parkhurst.

First heat, round two (8 laps) – Heath, Kluck, Wilbur, Robinson, Webb, Kendall, Minnick, Cousino.

Second heat, round two (8 laps) – Hammond, Niehaus, Randall, Ivy, Lantz, Parkhurst, Wolff, Horn.

Semifinal (8 laps) – Wolff, Robinson, Lantz, Horn, Parkhurst, Kendall.

Feature (15 laps) – Dustin Heath, John Ivy, Shawn Kluck, Zach Wolff, Ronnie Niehaus, Nate Randall, Derek Hammond, A.J. Robinson, Steven Webb, Sierra Lantz, Wayne Parkhurst, Levi Wilbur, Austin Horn.

 

SENIOR CAGED KARTS

 

First heat, round one (8 laps) – Brandon Dunn, Eric Wall, David Hurley, Shanon Chiddister, Zack Schaffer, Aric Vandermeir, Christopher Plank, Mike Welsh, Brad Schieber, Joe Warner.

Second heat, round one (8 laps) – Dylan Woodling, Max Stambaugh, Kevin Wall Jr., Mike Ernsberger, Ty Conrad, Steven Berlin, Brian Barnett, John Ventrello, Dan Bouc, Branson Dils.

Third heat, round one (8 laps) – Zack Myers, Anthony Colandro, Josh Hanselman, Ron Vandermeir Jr., Dustin Ingle, Philip Schneider, Jason O’Hara, Brock Anderson, Ashley Marqueling, Dan McLean.

Fourth heat, round one (8 laps) – Cole Rhoton, Rick Dukes, Brandon Schnittke, Michael Giachetti, Anthony Myers, A.J. Geren, Cole Roberson, Bradley Boyer, Corey Saylor.

First heat, round two (8 laps) – Dunn, Schaffer, Schieber, Warner, Vandermeir, Hurley, Chiddister, Wall, Welsh, Plank.

Second heat, round two (8 laps) – Bouc, Woodling, Ventrello, Ernsberger, Stambaugh, Dils, Berlin, Conrad, Barnett, Wall Jr.

Third heat, round two (8 laps) – Schneider, Z. Myers, Hanselman, Colandro, Vandermeir Jr., O’Hara, Marqueling, Ingle, McLean, Anderson.

Fourth heat, round one (8 laps) – Rhoton, Giachetti, Schnittke, Roberson, Geren, Saylor, Boyer, A. Myers, Dukes.

First semi-feature (8 laps) – Stambaugh, Ernsberger, Dils, Wall, Berlin, Warner, Geren, Chiddister, Welsh, McLean, O’Hara.

Second semi-feature (8 laps) – Schaffer, Bouc, Wall Jr., Ventrello, Barnett, Hurley, Vandermeir, Boyer, Ingle, Plank.

Third semi-feature (8 laps) – Schneider, Schieber, Marqueling, Roberson, Saylor, A. Myers, Anderson, Vandermeir Jr., Dukes, Conrad.

Feature (15 laps) – Anthony Colandro, Cole Rhoton, Brandon Dunn, Dan Bouc, Dylan Woodling, Zack Myers, Philip Schneider, Brad Schieber, Josh Hanselman, Mike Ernsberger, Brandon Schnittke, Michael Giachetti, Max Stambaugh, Zack Schaffer.

 

JUNIOR HEAVY KARTS

 

First heat, round one (8 laps) – Korbyn Hayslett, Gene Gregoric III, Myles Morrolf, Andrew Scheid, Hannah Galitz, Amanda Bohn.

Second heat, round one (8 laps) – Sam Weaver, Tayte Williamson, Dylan Anderson, Kaitlin Randall, Connor Truman, Michael Paterno.

First heat, round two (8 laps) – Hayslett, Gregoric III, Scheid, Morrolf, Bohn, Galitz.

Second heat, round two (8 laps) – Williamson, Weaver, Anderson, Randall, Paterno, Truman.

Feature (15 laps) – Korbyn Hayslett, Sam Weaver, Tayte Williamson, Dylan Anderson, Gene Gregoric III, Andrew Scheid, Myles Morrolf, Hannah Galitz, Michael Paterno, Amanda Bohn, Kaitlin Randall, Connor Truman.

 

JUNIOR CAGED KARTS

 

First heat, round one (8 laps) – Kasey Ziebold, Aaron Mulrooney Jr., Breiden Mooney, Aiden Williamson, Madison Bland, Dalton Rogers, Paige Rogers, Jim Emrich.

Second heat, round one (8 laps) – Korbyn Hayslett, Tayte Williamson, Gene Gregoric III, Jaden Cretacci, Ian Creager, Owen Houpt, Michael Villena, Jakeb Boxwell.

First heat, round two (8 laps) – Mooney, A. Williamson, Ziebold, Mulrooney Jr., P. Rogers, Emrich, Bland, D. Rogers.

Second heat, round two (8 laps) – T. Williamson, Hayslett, Houpt, Cretacci, Boxell, Creager, Villena, Gregoric III.

Feature (15 laps) – Korbyn Hayslett, Breiden Mooney, Kasey Ziebold, Owen Houpt, Ian Creager, Aiden Williamson, Jakeb Boxell, Paige Rogers, Jim Emrich, Madison Bland, Gene Gregoric III, Aaron Mulrooney Jr., Tayte Williamson, Jaden Cretacci.

 

KID KARTS

 

First heat, round one (8 laps) – Parker Lindemann, Cameron Vandermeir, TeigAnn Freed, Joshua Toth, Hunter Weaver, Aryonna Kehle, Jasmine Goble.

Second heat, round one (8 laps) – Brodie Wendel, Garrett Andexler, Patrick Clark, David Bretz, Drew Phillips, Jackson Orth.

First heat, round two (8 laps) – Vandermeir, Freed, Toth, Lindemann, Weaver, Goble, Kehle.

Second heat, round two (8 laps) – Clark, Andexler, Wendel, Phillips, Bretz, Orth.

Feature (10 laps) – Garrett Andexler, Patrick Clark, Cameron Vandermeir, Parker Lindemann, David Bretz, Hunter Weaver, TeigAnn Freed, Joshua Toth, Brodie Wendel, Drew Phillips, Jackson Orth, Aryonna Kehle, Jasmine Goble, Brayton Goble.

 

HEAVY CLONE KARTS

 

First heat, round one (8 laps) – Brandon Dunn, Nathan Bevard, Tyler Ransbottom, Matt Browning, Scott Hamble, Tylar Rankin, Jeff Town, Jamie Ferrell, Dellas Burns, Darrin Hurley.

Second heat, round one (8 laps) – Dustin Heath, Josh McKnight, Tyler Kramer, Kobe Allison, Matt Hall, Joe Barker, Bill Booher, Derek Lilly, Nick Grommes.

Third heat, round one (8 laps) – Zach Axlen, Ryan Moran, Philip Schneider, John H. Miller, Dustin Vandermeir, Charlie Schultz, Tim Ice, Blake Adams, Cameron Miller.

Fourth heat, round one (8 laps) – Jake Shelley, Joey Pendergrass, Kyle Aldrich, Cody Gallogly, Corey Hines, Owen Calderwood, Brandon Cretacci, Kyle Pervis, James Thompson.

First heat, round two (8 laps) – Dunn, Ransbottom, Ferrell, Bevard, Hamble, Rankin, Burns, Town, Browning, Hurley.

Second heat, round two (8 laps) – McKnight, Heath, Kramer, Barker, Hall, Allison, Lilly, Booher, Grommes.

Third heat, round two (8 laps) – Schneider, Axlen, Miller, Moran, Schultz, Vandermeir, Ice, Adams, Miller.

Fourth heat, round two (8 laps) – Pendergrass, Shelley, Hines, Aldrich, Gallogly, Pervis, Cretacci, Calderwood, Thompson.

First semi-feature (8 laps) – Moran, Barker, Lilly, Browning, Aldrich, Gallogly, Ice, Browning.

Second semi-feature (8 laps) – Allison, Schultz, Bevard, Miller, Hamble, Town, Pervis, Hurley, Grommes, Calderwood.

Third semi-feature (8 laps) – Kramer, Hall, Hines, Vandermeir, Booher, Burns, Cretacci, Rankin, Thompson, Reiser.

Feature (15 laps) – Dustin Heath, Zach Axlen, Brandon Dunn, Philip Schneider, Joey Pendergrass, Jake Shelley, Josh McKnight, Tyler Kramer, Ryan Moran, Kobe Allison, Charlie Schultz, Tyler Ransbottom, Matt Hall, Joe Barker.

 

LIGHT CLONE KARTS

 

First heat, round one (8 laps) – Dustin Heath, Joey Pendergrass, Zach Axlen, Kobe Allison, Ryan Moran, Jake Wachtman, Zack Wolff, Joe Barker, Charlie Schultz, Kyle Jones, Jamie Ferrell.

Second heat, round one (8 laps) – Jake Shelley, Brandon Dunn, Tyler Ransbottom, Tim Ice, Dustin Vendermeir, Derek Hammond, Kyle Aldrich, Tylar Rankin, Bill Booher.

Third heat, round one (8 laps) – Tyler Kramer, Philip Schneider, Corey Hines, Matt Browning, Matt Hall, Blake Adams, Christopher Whipple, Damon Woodbury, Blake Hollinger.

First heat, round two (8 laps) – Axlen, Moran, Pendergrass, Wachtman, Schultz, Heath, Allison, Barker, Jones, Ferrell, Wolff.

Second heat, round two (8 laps) – Dunn, Shelley, Ransbottom, Booher, Vandermeir, Aldrich, Ice, Hammond, Rankin.

Third heat, round two (8 laps) – Schneider, Kramer, Woodbury, Hall, Hines, Browning, Adams, Hollinger, Whipple.

First semi-feature (8 laps) – Moran, Allison, Wolff, Hammond, Browning, Hall, Rankin, Booher, Barker, Ice, Ferrell.

Second semi-feature (8 laps) – Wachtman, Schultz, Woodbury, Adams, Jones, Aldrich, Whipple, Hines, Vandermeir.

Feature (15 laps) – Philip Schneider, Joey Pendergrass, Zach Axlen, Brandon Dunn, Jake Shelley, Tyler Kramer, Ryan Moran, Tyler Ransbottom, Kobe Allison, Zack Wolff, Charlie Schultz, Jake Wachtman, Damon Woodbury, Dustin Heath.

 

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Entry list as of 11p.m.Dec 23 2014

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Veteran Russ Gamester and rising star Justin Peck, who drove into the record books a year ago, head the preliminary entry list announced Friday for the 17th annual “Rumble in Fort Wayne.”

The defending winners are among nearly 40 national midget drivers entered for the expanded, three-day indoor racing classic at the Memorial Coliseum Expo Center. The event is Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 26-28, with a matinee the final day. Winged and non-winged outlaw midgets (600cc), karts and quarter midgets also are part of the program.

Gamester, who was less than two weeks shy of his 49th birthday, dominated on the opening night last year to become the Rumble’s oldest midget feature winner. Then Peck, a 15-year-old high school freshman, stunned a near-capacity crowd a night later, taking advantage of Gamester’s late-race blown engine to become the youngest winner.

But the stakes will be higher this year. For the first time, an overall champion driver and car owner will be crowned, with a $1,000 bonus on the line.

“That would be neat to do,” said Gamester, from Peru, Ind., who 25 years ago won the final indoor title at the former Coliseum track. “I’m pretty close to the end of my career. Seems like we always run good indoors, knock on wood.

“But you know how indoors (racing) is. Any given night can be your night. Racing is racing. Anybody can get hot and win. There are an awful lot of good cars.”

Peck, from Monrovia, Ind., echoed Gamester’s words.

“I think anybody can win it,” said Peck, pointing to his own debut at the 1/6-mile concrete track in 2012, when he finished second and third in the features. “I wouldn’t single out anybody (as a clear favorite). It could be somebody in their first year.

“Bobby Santos is awfully good. Russ Gamester. Billy Wease. It might be somebody who people haven’t really heard of, like (fellow teen) Austin Nemire. We have high hopes.”

Wease, who owns four Fort Wayne victories, returns as part of owner Randy Burrow’s four-car team. Jim Anderson, Derek Bischak, Rich Corson and Tony Stewart Racing’s Mike Fedorcak also are back among former winners.

Their challengers include 2014 champions Brian Gerster (Must See Racing Xtreme Sprint Series), Chris Neuenschwander (USSA Sprint Car Challenge Series), Kyle O’Gara (USAC National Pavement midgets) and Nemire (USAC HPD Midwest Pavement Midwest Dirt midgets).

National midgets and non-winged dirt modified midgets will race all three days, joined by winged outlaw modified midgets on Saturday and Sunday. Karts (Friday and Saturday) and quarter midgets (Saturday and Sunday) round out the event. Gates open at 11 a.m. each day, with the main portion of the program at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Among the other 2013 feature winners who are returning in the same class are Erick Rudolph in winged outlaw midgets; Blane Culp in non-winged outlaw midgets; Brandon Dunn, A.J. Geren, Gene Gregoric III, Dustin Heath and Ryan Moran, all in karts; and Zeb Wise, Chase Burda and Koulten Herbert in quarter midgets.

In all, 232 entries were received by the pre-race deadline. Entries continue to be accepted, Rumble Series president Tony Barhorst said.

Longtime broadcaster Jack Arute will host special guests Saturday and Sunday in the Pressbox Suite Club. Purchase of a VIP package includes dinner with Hall of Fame driver Tom Bigelow on Saturday, lunch with IndyCar team owner Sarah Fisher on Sunday, pit access and pressbox-level seating. Top Rumble drivers will visit the suites on Friday. All will participate in question-and-answer sessions.

In addition, the Evans Toyota Fan Zone will feature race cars and other displays.

More information, including the event schedule, ticket prices, VIP suite seating and “racer’s rate” hotels, is available at www.rumbleseries.com. Tickets will be available at the door each day, and fans may purchase pit passes at the event to see drivers up close as teams prepare their cars.

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Victory lane art of Russ Gamester Dec 27 2013FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Drivers and car owners will compete for a newly created $1,000 bonus as overall champion of the “Rumble in Fort Wayne” midget division, event organizer Tony Barhorst has announced.

“With the expansion of our event to three days, I think it’s fitting that we formally recognize an overall champion,” Barhorst said, looking ahead to the 17th annual indoor racing classic on Dec. 26-28 at the Memorial Coliseum Expo Center.

“This harkens back to the old USAC days, when an indoor champion was crowned. It’s going to make the whole weekend more interesting.”

The champion driver and his car owner will equally split $1,000, said Barhorst, who hopes additional sponsors will step up so the award can grow in coming years. “We’d like to add to this, but this is a good start.”

Drivers and owners will earn points solely on the basis of their feature finishes on Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon in the expanded three-day program. The winning driver and owner each day will earn one point, second place two points, third place three points and so on through the field. The driver and owner with the lowest point total – provided they start all three features – will be crowned “Rumble in Fort Wayne” champion.

Separate standings will be kept for drivers and owners. Owners who field multiple entries will earn points for each car, but the point totals are separate.

In case of a tie, the highest finisher on the final day will win the title.

Grant Galloway would have won last year’s championship on the basis of second- and third-place feature finishes. Russ Gamester and Justin Peck won the features.

Barhorst also issued a rules update for the national midget division. No cockpit shock adjustments of any kind and no remote canister shocks are permitted.

National midgets and non-winged dirt modified midgets will compete all three days of the Rumble, joined by winged outlaw modified midgets on Saturday and Sunday. Karts will be part of the program Friday and Saturday, while quarter midgets are included Saturday and Sunday. Competition is held on a specially constructed 1/6-mile concrete track inside the renovated Expo Center.

Gates open at 11 a.m. each day, with the main portion of the program at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

In addition to the racing, the Evans Toyota Fan Zone will feature race cars and other displays. Fans may purchase pit passes at the event to see drivers up close as teams prepare their cars.

More information, including the event schedule, ticket prices, entry forms and “racer’s rate” hotels, is available at www.rumbleseries.com.

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 Photo by Chris Seelman.

  ‘Rumble in Fort Wayne’ to expand to three days

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The “Rumble in Fort Wayne” indoor midget event, featuring top national drivers, will expand to three days for the 17th annual running on Dec. 26-28.

Separate programs are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the 1/6-mile track inside the remodeled Memorial Coliseum Expo Center, with a matinee on the final day.

National midgets and non-winged dirt modified midgets will compete all three days, joined by winged outlaw modified midgets on Saturday and Sunday. Karts will be part of the program Friday and Saturday, while quarter midgets are included Saturday and Sunday. Gates open at 11 a.m. each day, with the main portion of the program at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Event promoter Tony Barhorst said the decision to spread the holiday event over three days – prompted by Christmas falling on Thursday – was made with fans and race teams in mind.

Usually, teams practice the day prior to the “Rumble,” he noted. Running three divisions instead of five on Friday allows for adequate practice to build up a racy track surface as well as a day of racing – without requiring teams to come in on Christmas.

“A big reason is that it gives us a more comfortable and enjoyable show for fans who want to see certain divisions,” Barhorst said. “Going to three days also allows us to not run so late on Friday.

“I think a lot of fans are going to like the Sunday matinee, which is like it was in the old days of the Coliseum.”

Last year’s event was one for the ages, with veteran Russ Gamester, just shy of his 48th birthday, and high school freshman Justin Peck, 15, becoming the oldest and youngest midget feature winners, respectively, in “Rumble in Fort Wayne” history.

Gamester, driving a family-owned car built in 1977, also joined Mike Fedorcak as the only drivers to win at both the Expo Center and the former Coliseum track, which hosted midgets from 1953-89.

In addition to the racing, the Evans Toyota Fan Zone will feature race cars and other displays. Fans may purchase pit passes the days of the event to see drivers up close as the teams prepare their cars.

More information, including the event schedule, ticket prices, entry forms and “racer’s rate” hotels, is available at www.rumbleseries.com.

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Peck, 15, becomes youngest ‘Rumble’ winner

 

By RON WARE

Classic Motorsports

 

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Justin Peck is so young, he still needs his mother to tag along to sign his minor release form.

And as for post-race celebrations?

“IHOP’s where it’s at,” the 15-year-old from Monrovia, Ind., said, grinning. “I’ll stick to milk.”

At the rate he’s going, Peck may be emptying a bottle in the winner’s circle at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway one day.

The high school freshman put his name in the record book Saturday night, surviving a late-race duel with Russ Gamester to become the youngest winner in the 16-year history of the Rumble in Fort Wayne indoor midget classic.

One day earlier, Gamester, 47, had become the event’s oldest winner.

“Indescribable,” Peck said as a parade of fans asked for a photo or autograph. “Best deal I’ve ever had. I hope every young kid coming up can have the same experience I did.”

Peck made an auspicious debut at the Memorial Coliseum Expo Center last year, finishing second on Friday and third on Saturday while also sailing into the turn one fence.

“He’s been telling me all fall he’s going to win the Rumble,” his father, Steve, said.

Peck, driving a Volkswagen-powered Beast for Michigan’s Steve Clay, inherited a front row starting position because of a scratch, beat pole-sitter Lynsey Liguori into the first turn and looked like he might lead all 50 laps.

But Gamester eventually reeled him in, passing Peck on the inside with eight laps to go when the youngster got into turn two too hard.

“I thought I was done,” Peck said.

Instead, Gamester developed an engine problem, and Peck nudged his way past with just two laps remaining. Gamester’s engine finally blew in turn four on the last lap, relegating him to a ninth-place finish.

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