By James Essex
Joey Paxson wrapped up the 2021 racing season for the All-Star Circuit of Champions TQ Midgets on Oct. 2 by winning the season finale at Tony Stewart Speedway in Columbus. The Connersville native, who drives for Tony Stewart Racing, also clinched the season championship with his win.
Paxson’s win in Columbus on was over Matt Lux, Tate Martz, Jason Goff and Cory Clay. Completing the top ten in the season finale was Johnny Goff, Stephen Davis, Austin Nigh, Matthew Hedrick and Brad Davis. Paxson also won the feature on Oct. 1 at the Thunder Valley Raceway in Salem. Landon Browning was named rookie-of-the-year.
Paxson captured the championship points title with Matt Lux coming home in second. Last year’s champion Cory Clay was third with Matthew Hedrick and Addison True rounding out the top five drivers.
The rest of the top ten in the final points standings were Johnny Heydenreich, Rylan Gray, Johnny Goff, Ashlea Albertson and Oliver Akard.
Paxson’s Tony Stewart Racing #14 sponsors this year included Jenmarco.com, Acro Engineering, Ison’s Family Pizza, J&A Auto Repair and Exhaust, Billman Trucking, 3rd Street Dairy Queen Columbus, Creative Finishing, Tony Stewart Foundation, and Jen Mascaro. Ron Combs of Greensburg serves as the team manager.
Columbus go-kart winners
The Tony Stewart Speedway located at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds hosted the Columbus Speedway go-karters final event of the 2021 season on Oct. 23. Conner Smith of Columbus was victorious in two division of racing taking the junior 1 and pro race divisions. Other winners were Maverick Brison (rookies), Devin Smith (flatheads), Grant Hiler (junior 3), Bryson Hutt (pred), Evan Shatto (clone 340), Eric Rudicel (clone 420), Maddi Morgan (junior 3), Troy Deppe (clone 380), Josh Cash (rwyb), Chip Stitsworth (mod lites), and Evan and Jarett Shatto (clone 380 team).
Rice takes Florence
Josh Rice of Verona, Kentucky concluded his spectacular 2021 racing season at the Florence Speedway in Union, Kentucky winning his first career Fall 50 on Oct. 23. Rice took the lead from Bobby Pierce and went on to capture the $5,000 to win the event. Pierce finished second followed by Scott James, Michael Chilton and Jason Jameson. Completing the top ten were Robby Hensley, Jerry Bowersock, Kody Evans, Austyn Mills and James Rice.
Pete Holt won the modified feature over Eric Shepherd Jr., Matt Watson, Carson Freeman and Nick Snell.
Trent Green took the crate late model feature over Jesse Tunny, Jeremy Creech, Jim Couch and Josh Dietz.
Kimmel takes Halloween 200 at Salem
Will Kimmel took home the $10,000 top prize after dominating the 33rd running of the Halloween 200 on Oct. 24 at the Salem Speedway Fueled by the Hoosier Lottery. Kimmel, in the family-owned No. 69 Chevy Nova, survived several late-race restarts and continually drove away from his closest challengers to earn the hard-fought victory and the biggest payday of his career. Kimmel also took home the coolest trophy in motorsports — the iconic Crosley Brands jukebox.
Shawn Smith placed second followed by Brett Hudson, Jeff Caudell and Allen Williams Jr. Completing the top ten were Skeeter Crum, Kyle Hadley, Calvin Parham, Chuck Barnes and Andrew Teepe.
Scottsburg racing tonight
The I-65 Speedway in Scottsburg will be holding a special racing program tonight weather permitting. The track located at the Scott County 4-H Fairgrounds will host crate late models, super stocks, steel-block sprints, pure stocks, crown vics and hornets. General admission is $15. The pit gates will open at 12 noon with general admission gates opening at 3 p.m. There will be a drivers meeting at 6 p.m. with hot laps at 6:30 p.m.
This week in racing history
From 60 years ago in 1961, Wayne Wolf was crowned the Lawrenceburg Speedway super-modified champion.
From 50 years ago in 1971, Tommy Day was named the track champion at Twin Cities Speedway.
Also, from 1971, Vern LeFevers was the late model track champion at the Whitewater Valley Speedway in Liberty.
From 1971, the Columbus go-kart club recognized it’s division champions at their awards banquet held at Donner Center. The 1971 division winners were David Murray (rookie class), Timmy Blythe (a-junior class), Bill Ault (a-open class), Ron Comstock (b-limited class), Bill McCleery (box stock class) and Larry Smith (stock appearing class). Chuck Gray won the most improved driver award and Smith was the recipient of the hard luck award for the season.
From 40 years ago in 1981, Twin Cities named their track champions for the year. Gary Herbert won the late model championship and R.C. Calton captured the street stock title.
Also, from 1981, Kerry Norris was the track champion in the sprint car division at Lawrenceburg.