IRL: ARDC's Fornoro Gains Backing for IRL Run

Steering Committee Unanimously Elects Fornoro As Its First IRL Driver Candidate SOMERVILLE, N.J., July 16 - The Steering Committee, a group of Eastern business people who are trying to raise funding...

Steering Committee Unanimously Elects Fornoro As Its First IRL Driver Candidate

SOMERVILLE, N.J., July 16 - The Steering Committee, a group of Eastern business people who are trying to raise funding to get short-track stars from the area into the Indy Racing League and the Indianapolis 500, unanimously elected Nick Fornoro Jr. of Reeders, Pa., as its first driver candidate. The election was held at a meeting here Wednesday night.

The group is structured similar to a scholarship committee. Its members hope that the six-time American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) CARQUEST Midget Series champion is just the first in a long line of similar drivers it will be able to assist.

The Steering Committee's next two meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 5 and Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. at the home of Jack Hart, the group's co-founder, at 35 N. Gaston Ave., Somerville, N.J.

More information can be obtained from Hart at (908) 722-9303 or Linda Mansfield at (908) 281-7542.

"This group is a positive step forward towards having someone from the Pennsylvania/New Jersey short-track scene at Indy," said Hart. "Drivers from the Midwest and California aren't the only ones who have talent. The area's racing is among the best in the world, and we need a representative in the world's biggest auto race. We've already had positive feedback from the IRL, and hopefully once we get one of our drivers in there we can pave the way for others in the future. We know it's a big challenge but we're hoping that people will support us and get involved, because it'll all be worth it on Memorial Day."

Fornoro's 99th career midget feature victory occurred in a North American Midget Auto Racing Series (NAMARS) event May 9 at Shadybowl Speedway in DeGraff, Ohio, in a car owned by Mack McClellan. He is also campaigning a midget owned by Skip Hultgren of Belmont, N.H., this season in selected events.

When counting the many different kinds of race cars that Fornoro has driven, he has 176 feature triumphs. He has raced on 124 different speedways, and he's won on 56 of those 124 tracks. He has driven everything from American Racing Series (now Indy Lights) cars to Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) stock cars to United States Auto Club (USAC) Silver Crown cars, sprints, midgets and three-quarter (TQ) midgets.

Fornoro earned his sixth ARDC CARQUEST midget series championship in 1995. That put him two titles away from tying retired driver Len Duncan's record eight ARDC driving crowns. He is fifth on the ARDC feature winners' list from 1955-1998.

Fornoro was the Northeast Midget Assn. (NEMA) champion in 1981. He was also the champion of several other clubs.

His father, Nick Fornoro Sr., was the 1950 ARDC driving champion and the first NASCAR midget champion (1953), when that organization sanctioned midget events. Nick Fornoro Sr. was also a flagman for several organizations, including Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART).

Nick Fornoro Jr.'s brother, Drew, is also a midget champion.

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Series IndyCar , Midget