FORT WAYNE, Ind. – official release — Chris Seelman photo — The Rumble in Fort Wayne (Ind.) indoor midget event will expand to three days for the 17th annual running on Dec. 26-28.
Separate programs are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the 1/6-mile track inside the remodeled Memorial Coliseum Expo Center, with a matinee on the final day.
National midgets and non-winged dirt modified midgets will compete all three days, joined by winged outlaw modified midgets on Saturday and Sunday. Karts will be part of the program Friday and Saturday, while quarter midgets are included Saturday and Sunday. Gates open at 11 a.m. each day, with the main portion of the program at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Event promoter Tony Barhorst said the decision to spread the holiday event over three days – prompted by Christmas falling on Thursday – was made with fans and race teams in mind.
Usually, teams practice the day prior to the “Rumble,” he noted. Running three divisions instead of five on Friday allows for adequate practice to build up a racy track surface as well as a day of racing – without requiring teams to come in on Christmas.
“A big reason is that it gives us a more comfortable and enjoyable show for fans who want to see certain divisions,” Barhorst said. “Going to three days also allows us to not run so late on Friday.
“I think a lot of fans are going to like the Sunday matinee, which is like it was in the old days of the Coliseum.”
Last year’s event was one for the ages, with veteran Russ Gamester, just shy of his 48th birthday, and high school freshman Justin Peck, 15, becoming the oldest and youngest midget feature winners, respectively, in Rumble in Fort Wayne history.
Gamester, driving a family-owned car built in 1977, also joined Mike Fedorcak as the only drivers to win at both the Expo Center and the former Coliseum track, which hosted midgets from 1953-89.
More information, including the event schedule, ticket prices, entry forms and “racer’s rate” hotels, is available at www.rumbleseries.com.