Sims family takes a chance on dirt

Craig and Shannon Sims of Hope know how to run a successful business, but now, they will also add race team owners to their busy slate of interests.

This weekend, the Simses will field a dirt late model race team for the first time at Florence Speedway with reigning Jackson 100 winner Hudson O’Neal of Martinsville behind the wheel. O’Neal had been driving the MasterSbilt House Car based in Crothersville since the beginning of the season, but a mutual parting happened in July.

O’Neal, 19, the 2017 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Year, whose girlfriendm Tessa Simsm is the Sims’ daughter, plans to debut the new Professional Concrete Cutting and Drilling No. 71 this week at Florence with a Rocket Chassis and a Cornett Racing Engine under the hood.

Tonight’s North/South 100 pays $50,000 to win. Last year, O’Neal finished second in the event behind Chris Madden.

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Craig Sims, a state champion softball coach in 2015 at Hauser High School, is ready for the fresh challenge of owning a race team.

“Obviously starting right out of the gate, it’s going to be a big learning curve to get everything going,” he said. “My goal is to run up front or have a car compete up front every single night. I’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen. I realize it’s easier said than done at this level, but that’s the competitiveness in me.”

Craig has been around the racetrack before. His brother, Brian, and their dad, Greg, competed at Brownstown Speedway in the past.

Tonight’s event at Florence will be streamed live on LucasOilRacing.TV.

English takes big

bucks at Brownstown

Tanner English of Benton, Kentucky, won the 16th annual Hall of Fame Classic on Aug. 8 at Brownstown Speedway.

English, the top rookie this season in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, won $10,000 for his second career win in the event.

With the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series idle last weekend, English brought out his family-owned Longhorn Chassis. He took the lead Josh Rice of Verona, Kentucky, with a handful of laps left.

Rice finished a close second with Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Greg Johnson of Bedford and Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Georgia, completing the top five.

Jacoby Hines of Trafalgar won the open wheel modified feature to become the first repeat winner in that division in 2020. Ryan Thomas of Brownstown finished second, followed by Jared Bailey of Bedford, Jordan Wever of Bloomington and Cole Falloway of Owensboro, Kentucky.

Tucker Chastain of Bedford, sporting a John Gill throwback No. 75, won the super stock feature over Mike Fields of Scottsburg, Matt Boknecht of Seymour, Derek Clegg of Nabb and Zach Sasser of Bedford.

In the crown vic division, Paul Ortman of Seymour won the feature race over Eric Lewis of Corydon, Billy Heil of New Albany, Phillip Boudreaux of Salem and Pat Cranmer of Memphis.

There is no racing at Brownstown Speedway for the next two weeks. The next event is Aug. 29. For information, visit

New Brownstown Hall of Famers

On Aug. 8, Brownstown Speedway inducted Ted Pfeiffer Sr. and Rick Haven into its Hall of Fame.

Pfeiffer, a native of Freetown, was one of the first driving stars at Brownstown when the track originally opened in 1952. He participated in the very first automobile race held at the Jackson County Fairgrounds track. Pfeiffer drove The Pink Lady No. 5 race car, which propelled him to the track title at Brownstown in 1955.

During that era, Pfeiffer also raced in Columbus, Mitchell and Taylorsville. In 1963 and 1964, he participated with the USAC National Sprint Car Division. His sons, Ted Jr. and Jim, and his grandson, Justin Joy, also raced at Brownstown Speedway. He died in 2016 at 90.

Haven, a native of Little York, started his racing career in 1975 in the hobby stock division at Brownstown. He raced until 1980 when he became the chief starter at Brownstown following Tom Sanders and Lou Ahlbrand on the flagstand.

Haven, who was always adorned in his familiar white pants, flagged at Brownstown for 10 years. During the 1980s, he flagged some of the most memorable events at Brownstown, including the Jackson 100, Hoosier Dirt Classic and Kenny Simpson Memorial Race. He also was on the flagstand for the first UMP and STARS races at Brownstown.

Groomer takes Bloomington win

Derek Groomer of Bloomington won the Rod Harris Memorial Race on Aug. 7 at Bloomington Speedway.

Jacoby Hines of Trafalgar finished second, followed by Jordan Wever of Bloomington, Ryan Thomas of Brownstown and Jeff Deckard of Bloomington.

Tyler Neal of Paragon won the super stock feature over Josh Litton, also of Paragon, Zach Sasser of Bedford, Wes McClara and Matt Boknecht of Seymour.

Tye Michocko of Peoria, Arizona, won the 410 nonwinged sprint car feature race over Jadon Rogers of Worthington, A.J. Hopkins of Brownsburg, Jordan Kinser of Bedford and Brayden Fox of Avon.

The next Bloomington event will be Aug. 21.

Bilbee wins at Lawrenceburg

Nick Bilbee won the sprint car feature Aug. 8 at Lawrenceburg Speedway.

Max Adams finished second and Landon Simon third. Completing the top five were Joss Moffatt and Cole Ketcham.

Kyle Schornick won the open wheel modified feature over Adam Stricker, Matt Hamilton, David Spille and Brad Wieck.

Lawrenceburg is idle tonight.

This week in racing history

In 1950 at 25th Street Fairgrounds Raceway in Columbus, Roy Prosser won the Mutual Racing Association feature race over Pat O’Connor, Bobby Stokes, Smokey Stover and Corvie Tullio.

In 1960 at 25th Street, Cecil Beavers won the feature over Mike Johnson and Dick Gaines.

In 1960, Cecil Beavers won two feature races on the same day. He won at Brownstown Speedway over Roy Robbins and Mike Johnson, then traveled to Mitchell Motor Speedway and won the feature over Dick Gaines, Bob Kinser and Bill Dugger.

From 50 years ago in 1970 at Twin City Speedway in Vernon, Pete Willoughby won the feature race over Paul Crockett, Russ Petro, Ray Godsey and Pee Wee Day.

From 50 years ago this weekend at Bloomington, Jim Curry won the 100-lap feature over Don Hobbs, Jerry Brinegar, Bob Fleetwood and Paul Hobbs. Bob Kinser won the sprint car special over Danny Bowlen, Steve Cannon, Bobby Black and Sheldon Kinser.

Also, from 1970 at Paragon Speedway, Larry Miller won the feature race over Mike Bowlen and Bob Kinser.

From 1980 at Lawrenceburg Speedway, Kerry Norris won the sprint car feature over Danny Milburn, Junior Smalley, Bernie Graybeal and Marvin Deputy.

From 1980 at Whitewater Valley Speedway in Liberty, John Lawhorn won the late model feature over Bob Smith, Billy Brandenburg, Daryl Herbert and Dan Patton.

From 1980 at Paragon, Sammy Swindell won the sprint car feature over Steve Kinser, Rickey Hood, Steve Long and Allen Barr.

From 1980 at Twin Cities, Ray Godsey won the late model feature over Pete Willoughby, Ira Bastin, Carl Collins and Dusty Chapman. Kenny Hensley won the street stock feature over Don Walp, Steve Niemoeller and Jim Short.

From 1990 at Brownstown, Scott Bloomquist won the Jackson 100 over Jim Curry, Billy Moyer, Lee Fleetwood and Ray Godsey. Mark Barber took the street stock feature over Tony Godsey, Scott Patman, Gary Green and Earl Plessinger. Randy Petro won the bomber feature over Brad Schlehuser, Dennis Barber, Don Walp and Jeff Wilson.

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