Public Forum – June 23, 2010


A Great Hoosier Hundred
This year marked the 57th or 58th running of the Hoosier Hundred depending on who you want to listen to. Dick Jordan of USAC goes with 58th, so that’s good enough for me.

I have attended all of them and this was one of the best in recent years. I attended the first one in 1953, crawling around in the grandstand trying to take home as much dirt as possible (I was 6 years old when Bob Sweikert took that first checkered flag).

I have now seen this great race as a spectator, car owner, promoter and pace car driver. This year’s winner, Shane Hmiel, is the real deal and could have held his own with any of the great drivers who have won this historic event. He charged from 12th place on the 51st-lap restart to take this year’s new format for the 100 miles!

There are so many people to thank for putting on this show. First and foremost, Bob Sargent and his entire staff at Track Enterprises who are willing to keep coming back to promote even without the major sponsor needed to justify the time and effort. They also do a great job on the Springfield and DuQuoin Silver Crown races.

The USAC officials should be commended for getting the show started on time and the race completed by 10:15 p.m. All the drivers and crews were willing to try something different to bring the paying fans more excitement for their money. The use of race strategy really paid off for the fans!

Thanks to Cindy Hoye and Dave Hummel of the Indiana State Fairgrounds for listening to Bob concerning the sand on the surface of the track. Many loads of sand were removed this year to produce the best auto racing surface they’ve had in years.

Finally, thanks to Ken Schrader and all the E-Mod teams for participating in the 20-lap preliminary feature. They put on a good, clean show for their first time on the Indy mile.

A big thank you to Dennis and Lynn Wood, who with their help and dedication to the Hoosier Hundred made it possible for us to carry forward a great tradition.
Tom Johnson

Thanks To Tony Stewart
Most people know Tony Stewart is always doing things to help others, things that no one except people involved know about.

Everyone who reads Speed Sport News knows of the health problems that Hall of Famer Jack Miller is having. He was not going to be able to make the Knoxville, Iowa, Sprint Car Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on June 5, but Tony Stewart stepped up and sent his private jet to Tampa, Fla., and carried Jack and his wife Louise to Knoxville and back home to Tampa after the event.

We want to thank Tony and his pilots for taking time out of their busy schedule for the helping hand.
Gus Miller
Heyworth, Ill.

So Long Lucky Dog
Suggestion: Eliminate the lucky dog. The lucky dog gives a lap back to a racer who couldn’t stay on the lead lap by racing for it. They should not be given a lap for it. They should have to race their way back.
Steve Kibort
Milan, Ill.

American Made
I love red, white and blue — GM, Chrysler and Ford.

From rust bucket to plastic bucket — that’s what I think about Toyota. I don’t like owners, drivers or announcers pushing Japanese cars in the announcer’s booth. You know the names.
Jim Bergo
Minot, N.D.

Not So Classic
I recently attended the Masters Classic at Knoxville, Iowa, and I would like to congratulate Steve Kinser and Jac Haudenschild for showing much class and not participating in the race.

I thought the race was for drivers 50 years of age and older who were either retired or just raced locally on occasion. The two full-time professional drivers who elected to race against the rest of the field spoiled the race and the other racers’ time in the sun.
Paul Barth
Chaska, Minn.

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