Darland, Elliott Latest Fort Wayne Entries Two of Indiana's favorite sprint car sons Hoosier Auto Racing Fans Hall of Fame nominees Dave Darland and Tony Elliott have entered the indoor "Rumble in Ft. Wayne" USAC midget races...
Darland, Elliott Latest Fort Wayne Entries
Two of Indiana's favorite sprint car sons Hoosier Auto Racing Fans Hall of Fame nominees Dave Darland and Tony Elliott have entered the indoor "Rumble in Ft. Wayne" USAC midget races Dec. 29-30 at the Memorial Coliseum Expo Center in Ft. Wayne, Ind.
The Kokomo, Ind. natives, both on the HARF ballot as Hall of Fame selections, are expected to compete for spots in each night's 60-lap program. Darland will drive the Bohn Racing No. 0 machine, while Elliott will team with 3-K Racing in a Ford Focus midget.
Neither driver has won a USAC race indoors, though Darland won the non-USAC-sanctioned 2004 "Rumble in the Dome" at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis.
"The car is great," said Darland. "We've raced it the last four or five years that I've been running indoors. The car owners always do a good job, and I look forward to running it again. The indoor races are always pretty physical. A lot of cars don't have power steering, which makes it very challenging. You just have to have a lot of luck in those indoor races."
Elliott, who stepped up his midget appearances in 2004 from the past two years, will pilot a Ford Focus car for the first time. He said the car's power and torque indoors should give him a good chance at a victory.
"With the indoor deal, it think it should be a tough little car," Elliott said. "This will be the first time I've been in a Ford Focus midget. Don (Kenyon) called me to run the car, and I think we're going to have a good shot at doing well. I look forward to running the car and doing well for the team."
Darland, a former USAC "Triple Crown" champion, finished third in Weld Racing Silver Crown Series points this year and added a seventh-place finish in the Valvoline National Sprint Car Series and ninth in the National Midget Car Series. Elliott, the 1998 and 2000 National Sprint Car Series titlist, was sixth in the sprint car points, 17th in Silver Crown points and 18th in the midgets.
Gary Bettenhausen, a two-time Silver Crown Series National Sprint Car Series champion, will serve as the grand marshal for the event, which will feature a full USAC program with qualifying, heats, a semifeature and 60-lap features each night. National, Regional, Ford Focus and Kenyon midgets are expected to compete in the "special events", the first to incorporate all four cars.
Bettenhausen will make an appearance Dec. 30 to sign autographs. Special limited-edition Gary Bettenhausen posters will be available for fans attending the Fort Wayne events. Tickets for "Rumble in Fort Wayne," which also includes UMRA TQ and Kart action, are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and can be charged by phone at (260) 424-1811.