After 20 Years, Sprint Cars Returning To The Speedrome

After 20 Years
Sprint cars will return to the Indianapolis Speedrome for the first time since the year 2000 in August. (David Sink photo)

HOLLY, Mich. — When racing is fully able to resume across the United States, the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series presented by Engine Pro will enter unchartered territory.

The 410ci winged asphalt sprint car series will stage its first event at the historic Indianapolis Speedrome, in a two-day spectacular that will also include pavement midgets and TQ midgets, while leading into the rescheduled 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Aug. 23.

The Indyana Shootout will kick off on Thursday, Aug. 20 with a full program for the midget division, which will run under many of the same rules as the popular Rumble in Fort Wayne indoor event, a race that has enjoyed success for more than two decades. An open tire rule will be in effect for the midgets.

Indianapolis Speedrome was the birthplace of ESPN’s Thursday Night Thunder telecasts that rose to prominence during the 1980s.

National, regional, D2, Focus and Kenyon midgets will all be eligible to compete at the Speedrome — including the popular Munchkin midgets which have only competed at the Rumble in recent years.

The Mighty TQ Midgets — a traveling three-quarter midget series — Ford Oval and Figure 8 classes will also contest full programs as part of the Thursday racing card, while practice will be held for both the Must See Racing sprint cars and the Speedrome Late Models.

Headlining Thursday night’s sprint car festivities will be Must See Racing’s unique Rumble for the Record exhibition event — a king-of-the-hill style speed trial pitting five winged sprint cars against five winged late models in an effort to lower the fifth-mile oval’s all-time track record.

No rules will be in place for the late model class during the Rumble for the Record, opening up the possibility for several interesting car designs.

Friday, Aug. 21 will feature a complete show for the Must See Racing sprint cars, including a 50-lap feature split into twin 25-lap segments.

The midgets and Mighty TQ Midgets will also return to the card on Friday, joined by the Factory Front Wheel Drive class.

Also on Friday night, will be the finale to the Rumble for the Record, featuring the fastest sprint car and fastest late model from Thursday’s preliminary time-attack battles in a head-to-head showdown.

The fastest driver of the pair will take home a $500 prize and the “King of Quick Time” title.

Indianapolis Speedrome’s 74-year history has seen winged sprint car competition only once, on Aug. 11, 2000, when Gary Fedewa drove to victory in a 100-lap sprint car feature from eighth on the grid over Rick Holley and Mike Ling.

The Indyana Shootout sprint car feature will pay $2,500 to win and $500 to start, while the midgets will race for $2,000 to win and $250 to start on Thursday and Friday.

Tuesday’s announcement gives Hoosier State fans two pavement open-wheel events in the region during Indianapolis 500 week, with the revival of the Night Before The 500 set for Aug. 22 at nearby Lucas Oil Raceway in Clermont, Ind.

Must See Racing President Jim Hanks and Indyana Shootout co-promoter Michael Moore are aware there could be potential overlap between fields for the two events, but are confident in the capability of success for both events.

In the spirit of cooperation, the Speedrome program concludes on Friday night, allowing for midget participants to compete on Saturday at Lucas Oil Raceway, while the majority of the winged Must See Racing teams do not compete regularly in non-winged sprint car competition.

“First off, we are delighted to work with the Indianapolis Speedrome and to be able to add a new venue to our Must See Racing schedule. It has been 20 years since sprint cars battled on the fifth-mile oval there and we couldn’t be more excited to bring the world’s fastest short track cars there for this blockbuster event,” said Hanks. “Historically, for many years there were multiple major events in the Indianapolis area leading into the Indianapolis 500, including the Pay Less Little 500 and the Night Before The 500, which ran on the same night for many years and were both successful in their own right.

“We believe this is a tremendous opportunity to put our drivers in front of a passionate racing audience during one of the biggest weeks in all of motorsports and can’t wait to get things going at the Speedrome in August.”

The Indyana Shootout will be telecast on the award-winning SPEED SPORT presented by Hendrick Automotive Group series on MAVTV, hosted by SPEED SPORT President and veteran broadcaster Ralph Sheheen. Additional coverage details will be announced at a later date.