FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Retired three-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart has confirmed his intention to compete in the year’s 20th annual Rumble in Fort Wayne, set for Dec. 29-30 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
It will mark Stewart’s first Rumble appearance since 2012, and may also allow Billy Wease to have a dream fulfilled.
When Wease captured his fifth Rumble victory in 2015, it inched him closer to Stewart’s record-setting nine wins.
In victory lane that night he said: “Tony’s been fast every year he’s come and raced here. I’ve always dreamed of coming in here, racing head-to-head with him and coming out on top. It hasn’t happened yet, but hopefully one day soon it will, and we can make it a great battle.”
This year, that day will finally come.
Stewart has served notice that his famed ‘Munchkin’ midget has been lowered from the rafters, the dust removed, and that crew members have been readying the car for a long-awaited return to action.
“It is ready to go,” said an anxious and excited Stewart. “I am ready for the challenge.”
Before Wease’s dream can come true; however, both drivers will have to make their way through the grueling preliminary events on the tough makeshift seventh-mile concrete oval inside Fort Wayne’s Allen County Memorial Expo Center.
Wease will attempt to do so in his Randy Burrow-owned machine and Stewart in his Our Gang Poker-TSR Munchkin.
But with nearly 40 other drivers attempting the same task of securing a feature starting berth, the action can get intense.
Among the talented entry list of hopefuls to thwart Wease’s dream are last year’s winners Russ Gamester and Kyle Hamilton, along with former winners Justin Peck, Jim Anderson, Derek Bischak and Mike Fedorcak.
Joining the mix as well will be USAC stalwarts Justin Grant and Kody Swanson.
Grant just completed the 2017 racing season as the only driver to start in all 70 USAC National points races (10 Silver Crown, 37 Sprint Car and 23 Midget), while Swanson wrapped up his third Silver Crown title this season.
Joining the Midgets each night will be winged and non-winged 600cc machines, along with multiple divisions of go-karts and quarter midgets.
CREDIT: Rumble Communications