The three-time NASCAR champion, some two months away from returning to driving, will be honored with a “Salute to Tony Stewart” at the 16th annual holiday event on Friday, Dec. 27 and Saturday,
Dec. 28 at the Memorial Coliseum Expo Center.
The native Hoosier will enter two cars – Munchkin chassis for longtime indoor teammate Mike Fedorcak and East Coast standout Lou Cicconi Jr. – while also greeting fans and signing autographs both days.
Rumble organizer Tony Barhorst said the recognition is well-deserved for Stewart, who has won a record nine features on the 1/6-mile track and continues to compete regularly on short tracks despite his superstar status.
For Stewart, a trip to the Rumble is something of a homecoming.
“I really enjoy competing up in Fort Wayne and having a chance to run the Munchkin,” he said Tuesday, “so not being in the car this year is a bit different for me, but I’m still looking forward to it. Lou Cicconi is going to run the car this year, and it’s going to be fun to spend time with him and watch him race.
“The Rumble event is a great time for me and the team. We get to see a lot of people that we might only see once or twice a year. It’s also nice that some of my family can make the drive up for this event.
“With the Rumble being held during the holidays, it really gives us not only the chance to race when the weather isn’t the greatest but the opportunity to see a lot of friends.”
Barhorst marvels at Stewart’s drive and his willingness to support short track racing.
“Throughout the history of major sports, it is extremely rare for a three-time champion to return to the roots of where they started,” he said. “This is a chance for us to thank Tony for coming back to short track races and not forgetting where he came from.
“Tony will be doing some interviews between races, and we look forward to hearing about the progress he has made coming back from his injury.”
Stewart, who was injured in a sprint car accident on Aug. 5, said Cicconi will drive his No. 2 Munchkin, while Fedorcak, from nearby Roanoke, will again pilot the No. 97. Both cars are fielded by Tony Stewart Racing, which also competes in the World of Outlaws sprint car series and the U.S. Auto Club’s Silver Crown and sprint car divisions.
Cicconi, who has raced at Fort Wayne twice, is the only driver to win a feature in which Stewart’s car was still running at the finish. That came on the final night in 2008, his most recent appearance, when Stewart ran second in a race that did not have a caution. Fedorcak, the builder and designer of the Munchkin chassis, likewise has one victory (2002) as well as a win at the old Memorial Coliseum track, making him the only driver to accomplish that feat.
“(Mike) and his family are great people,” Stewart said, “and it will be fun to watch him and Lou battle it out on the track this year.”
Some 300 entries are expected in midgets, winged and non-winged modified midgets, karts and quarter midgets. Spectator gates open at 11 a.m. each day, with midget time trials at 6 p.m. and the main portion of the program after 7:30.
Stewart will participate in a free, two-hour autograph session each day.
Information about tickets – including a special VIP package that includes a meet and greet with Stewart – is available at www.rumbleseries.com, along with entry forms and racer’s rate hotels. Tickets may be ordered by mail without a service charge. The event information line is (317) 418-3216. Requests for information may be e-mailed to email@example.com.
Photo credit by: Jim Morrison/Hawkeye Racing NewsThree-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart (right) shares a moment with fellow driver Cap Henry at last year’s “Rumble in Fort Wayne.”
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The “Rumble in Fort Wayne” will expand to include two divisions utilizing 600cc-powered dirt cars, event organizer Tony Barhorst has announced.
Unrestricted and restricted non-winged 600cc modified midgets will join midgets, winged outlaw modified midgets, karts and quarter midgets in the 16th annual indoor event on Friday, Dec. 27 and Saturday, Dec. 28 at the Memorial Coliseum Expo Center. An optional practice session is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 26 on the 1/6-mile indoor concrete track.
Rules and entry forms are available at www.rumbleseries.com (click on Driver Info).
“After much discussion on our 600 classes, I have decided to add both unrestricted and restricted dirt-only 600 divisions,” Barhorst said. “When I say dirt only, I certainly mean it as these cars will be teched closely to Indiana outdoor dirt 600 rules. We will be adding rules soon to assure that these are not specialty cars.”
FORT WAYNE, Ind. Billy Wease couldn’t believe it. Neither could Tony Stewarts legion of fans. In a race in which the invincible Stewart dropped out before halfway with a blown engine, Wease charged from the final starting position to capture Fridays 50-lap midget feature on the opening night of the 15th annual Rumble in Fort Wayne. I kept on diggin, man, an almost delirious Wease said from the makeshift victory lane at the Memorial Coliseum Expo Center, his face splitting into a grin. ll tell you what, I was pretty upset I had to start last. But there was a bunch of crashes, a bunch of crap going on. I stayed in it and let everyone else put themselves out. In coming from the 14th starting spot in the 14-car field and from the rear again after being caught up in a three-car tangle on lap 26 Wease, 26, notched his fourth career victory at the 1/6-mile track and fifth overall indoors. Read More