Ken de la Bastide: Local competitors have a good weekend at Fort Wayne Rumble

Jan. 3—It was a good weekend for drivers with experience at the Lucas Oil Little 500 this past weekend at the Rumble in Fort Wayne.

Nick Hamilton won the Saturday night Midget feature for the second time in his career, and the victory was the second for the team of Don and Mel Kenyon.

Russ Gamester, Pendleton resident Travis Welpott and Billy Wease all finished inside the top 10.

Tony Stewart finished 13th with an engine problem, and former Little 500 winner Kyle Hamilton — returning to racing action — came home in 14th.

The Friday night feature was won by Mario Clouser with Thomas Schrage, a two-time Kenyon Midget Series feature race winner at Anderson Speedway coming home in second.

Nick Hamilton placed fourth followed by Gamester. Wease finished eighth, Stewart in ninth with Jack Macenko, a Kenyon Midget winner at Anderson, rounding out the top 10.

Only 14 teams were eligible for the two Midget feature races, so just making the field was an accomplishment.

This past week, the SRX Racing Series announced the 2023 season schedule.

The series puts veteran drivers in identical cars, and this coming year the events will take place on Thursday in a renewal of the former ESPN "Thursday Night Thunder" programming.

Stafford Springs, Connecticut, returns for a third straight season — an easy decision with the ESPN headquarters in the same state.

The only appearance in the Midwest will be Aug. 3 at Berlin Raceway in Michigan.

Other venues include Thunder Road in Vermont, Motor Mile Speedway in Virginia with the dirt tracks at Eldora in Ohio and Lucas Oil Speedway in Missouri rounding out the schedule.

I have been in the past to Stafford, Berlin, Thunder Road and the Motor Mile. All should put on an excellent night of racing.

It will be interesting to see which local drivers get the opportunity to run on their home tracks.

The Vores Compact Touring Series will make three visits to Anderson Speedway in 2023.

The Compact Touring Series has always produced good fields of cars and outstanding racing at Anderson Speedway.

The biggest race for the series at the local facility is a 100-lap feature Sept. 16.

The pro compacts will be at Anderson on April 15 with the Champion Racing Association Sportsman Late Models and Street Stocks on Aug. 12.

It has also been announced the 500 Sprint Car Tour will make an appearance this year at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in the Volunteer State.

Should be exciting since the track is similar to Berlin Raceway, which has two races on the schedule.

The Series will compete at Anderson Speedway three times in addition to the 75th running of the Little 500.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.