Saturday, June 16 – Today was a hot one with temperatures in the 90’s. We decided to take a day off from the USAC midget week and skip the event at Lawrenceburg to visit a track we had never been to before. During the day we decided to take in some of the countryside and choose to visit a town named Connersville, IN. There is an old train there and we thought we just might go for a ride. Little did we know that Thomas the Train was in town and it was a big festival for children as Thomas was connected to the train and children got to ride with Thomas. There was another train that ventured out a bit farther from town and on this ride you got to see Thomas pass you by. Well we were there and even though we did not have any children with us we took the train ride the saw Thomas pass by. We rode in a 1930’s rail car and learned a lot of train history from the volunteer on board. The entire event turned out to be quite interesting.
Afterwards we headed west over to Rushville, yes this is the home of Tony Stewart. As a matter of fact we saw what could have been the home of Tony’s parents as there were many haulers parked in back including the one for the #20 sprint car. But we did not come here to find out where Tony Stewart was from we came to go to the Rush County Fairgrounds. We pulled onto the fairgrounds at 6:10 and found out warm-ups started at 7:00. There was almost no one there so we decided to scoot out to the local Dairy Queen and get a bite to eat. We were back before 7:00 and were also happy to see our good friend Roger Ferrell, who came down from his home near Huntington, IN. We all sat atop the aluminum grandstands and were in our seats prior to the first green dropping on the first set of warm-ups.
It was a single division show featuring the Midwest TQ Racing League. They did not look like the TQ clubs we have here in the Northeast. They actually looked just like a regular midget. The track is a 1/6 mile slightly banked clay oval and the fairgrounds are situated directly behind the high school property. The crowd was small, several hundred and the cars totaled 25. They ran a 4 lap dash, three 10 lap qualifying heats and a B main before taking a 40 minute intermission. It is amazing how you do not mind a 40 minute intermission when you are busy talking and laughing. The time actually went by fast and before we knew it the cars were lining up on the homestretch for the main event.
At 9:44 the green dropped on the 25 lap feature. It did not take long for the 20 car field to incur the first red. On the first lap dash winner, Rick Robinson, took a nasty flip down the backstretch. Luckily Rick was uninjured but it would be 15 minutes before the race would restart. The caution would wave three more times for minor incidences but while the green was out the races were good. The top three positions battled furiously during the final circuits and nobody hit into each other, just good clean racing. Ronnie Combs managed to withstand the pressure and hold on for the win over Brett Hankins and Tate Martz. It was a really good little show and all was complete before 10:15. We hung out in the parking lot talking a bit more then headed back to our hotel in Indianapolis. We will have one more day of racing before we head home.