|Tony Stewart in 2012 Fort Wayne Rumble|
Photo Credit: Ro Cowan
The three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion will return to the 15th Annual Fort Wayne Rumble on Friday, Dec. 28 and Saturday, Dec. 29, trying to add to his record nine victories at the Memorial Coliseum Expo Center. He swept the two-day program last year for the second time in his career.
"I just like to race," said the 41-year-old from Columbus, Ind., who got his start in the lightweight open-wheel, open-cockpit cars. "When the weather is bad outside and you can't do anything else and you like racing, to be able to race indoors is really a luxury."
The unique holiday event brings together more than 300 competitors in midgets, winged outlaw modified midgets (600cc), karts and quarter midgets. Spectator gates will open at 11 a.m. each day, with midget time trials at 6 p.m. and the main portion of the program after 7:30 p.m.
"It's just fun," said Stewart, who especially likes to watch the younger drivers with an eye toward the future of his own race teams. "You get everything from kids racing quarter midgets and go-karts to guys who have been racing 20-25 years."
Stewart's record at Fort Wayne is remarkable consisting of nine victories in just 14 starts and holding the track qualifying record of 7.323 seconds, set in 2005. There was only one time when he failed to win with his car running at the finish. On the second night of competition in 2008, East Coast standout Lou Cicconi Jr. beat him in a race that went green all the way.
Stewart will return to the Rumble in his black No. 2 Munchkin chassis, which he half-jokingly says is funded by his poker games. He will also field a second Tony Stewart Racing entry for his longtime teammate and car builder Mike Fedorcak of nearby Roanoke, Ind., who is a past winner of the Rumble and won on the opening night in 2002.
"It's going to be great fun to have Tony racing at the Rumble against champions from a variety of series,"said event organizer Tony Barhorst of Classic Motorsports. In 1999, he first arrived unannounced and one year Stewart even competed under the name Mikey Fedorcak Jr. from Gnawbone, Ind.
"This year, we know for sure he will be here."
-Press Release Courtesy of www.rumbleseries.com