Stewart back to sprint car after virus break

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 canceled due to wet weather, the three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion made the most of his start at the state-of-the-art facility, ultimately qualifying for the 25-lap, $5,000-to-win showstopper and earning 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 race winner in 2019. “The last thing you want to do at one of these races is 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.”

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Although it was 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. 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, 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 keep Eldora’s 67th season of racing on hold, and additional events scheduled for this June also are 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.

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 nonspectator event June 4 through 6. The proposal, currently being reviewed, consists of dirt late model teams working in a controlled and closed setting for an invitational event streamed exclusively online at

USAC’s Indiana schedule begins June 14

Indiana’s USAC schedule will resume with a 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 available at 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 through 21 Indiana Midget Week featuring the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midgets.

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

Once you go to, a screen will pop up asking you to choose an event. There will be option to upgrade to a pit pass. There will be an option to purchase tickets for the full week of Indiana Midget Week.

There also will be a space to reserve children’s tickets. All children’s ticket prices will be based on each track’s policies. It also will be required to fill out a COVID-19 waiver.

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

The popular Indiana Midget Week tour commences two days later with six consecutive nights of USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget racing. First up is the 3/8-mile of Paragon Speedway, 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 to the quarter-mile Gas City I-69 Speedway, which has origins with the IMW series date to the inaugural year in 2005.

On June 18, the 5/16-mile Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville is on the IMW docket for the 11th straight year. The quarter-mile red clay of Bloomington Speedway provides the surface June 19. The 3/8-mile Lawrenceburg Speedway, which hosted the very first IMW event in 2005, serves as the penultimate race of the miniseries June 20. The 2020 IMW finale June 21 at Kokomo Speedway comes to the quarter-mile venue, which first hosted USAC Midget racing in USAC’s inaugural season of 1956.

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

This week in racing history

From 50 years ago 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 at Haubstadt, Cliff Cockrum won the feature over John Kemp, Larry Goad, Chuck Amati and Bernie Graybeal.

From 40 years ago at Twin Cities, Bob Fleetwood won the late model feature over Ray Godsey, Pete Willoughby, Vern LeFevers and Russ Petro.

From 30 years ago at Brownstown, Ray Godsey won the late model feature over Jim Curry, Paul Shafer, Bob Pierce and Steve Barnett. In a second late model feature, Jim Ruddick took the win over Tom Helfrich, Earl Plessinger, Ernie Barrow and Mike Jewell. 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.