December 28, 2013 — Audio, cover photo and story by Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio and Race Chaser Online — FORT WAYNE, IN — At the Rumble in Fort Wayne, if you’re not named Tony Stewart, Billy Wease is a pretty good guy to be.
In fact, the 27-year-old out of Noblesville, Indiana has established himself as the second-best driver in Rumble Series history at the War Memorial Coliseum Expo Center. While Stewart is the all-time great with 9 career Rumble victories, Wease has scored four career triumphs of his own in the Rumble at Fort Wayne, including a win on opening night at the Rumble a year ago.
“We’ve always had a lot of success when we come indoors to the Rumble,” Wease said, a big smile on his face after scoring a heat race win during Friday’s program. “I really like this place; it’s a fun place to drive in my opinion. Real different than anywhere else you’ll ever run, but a lot of fun.”
Wease has made his mark on open wheel competition over the past several years, with his biggest win coming in 2006 at the prestigious Turkey Night Grand Prix. He is a frequent USAC and Must See Racing competitor and was also a development driver for Penske Racing in the mid-2000s, making several ARCA starts for Roger Penske from 2005-2008. Wease’s best career stock car finish was second in June of 2006 at Michigan International Speedway.
In current years, Wease has shifted more to the sprint car side of the open wheel curve. The Indiana native has run on the pavement with the Must See Racing Xtreme Sprint Series the past two seasons and also driven a dirt sprint car this year. The highlight of Wease’s sprint car drives to date was a second-place finish in his debut at the Pay Less Little 500 in 2012 at Anderson Speedway.
But with all the outside success Wease has had the past two years, hiss success over the years at the Rumble has never been a surprise to most onlookers. The Indiana warrior has driven for veteran car owner Randy Burrows for all four of his Rumble victories, including a win in 2007 and a sweep at the 2009 Rumble. Wease finished fourth in Friday night’s Rumble feature, and is riding a streak of 10 consecutive A-main starts at the Expo Center entering Saturday night’s finale.
“I’m hoping we can continue the streak tonight, for sure,” Wease said Saturday morning before warm-ups. “Dave (Darland’s) streak has stood for a long time (at 16 consecutive A-feature starts) and it would be really cool to equal that one day. For now though, we’re just focused on racing in today.”
“Randy’s always been great to me and he’s a very passionate guy when it comes to this team and this style of racing. It’s always a privilege to drive for him and I’m hoping we can deliver him a fifth Rumble victory tonight.”
Listen in as we caught up with Billy Wease during Friday’s action at the Rumble in Fort Wayne: