From Linda Mansfield
GAS CITY, Ind., Sept. 18 — To commemorate the inaugural “James Dean Classic” at Gas City I-69 Speedway on Friday, Sept. 28, a collectible event T-shirt has been produced to celebrate the iconic actor’s love of speed and passion for motorsports.
Designed and produced by Charlotte, N.C.-based SMI Properties — the producers of all event souvenirs for Speedway Motorsports, Inc. and its eight NASCAR-sanctioned motorsports facilities — the T-shirt showcases a photo of Dean next to the event and speedway logos and a non-wing sprint car with Dean’s racing number, 130. In addition to a sprint car, the back of the shirt features candid, family-provided photos of Dean, including one of him seated on one of his early motorcycles and one of him driving his Porsche 550 Spyder. Dean was killed in the car in a highway accident enroute to a sports car race in Salinas, Calif. on Sept. 30, 1955, at the age of 24.
The “James Dean Classic” will feature the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series, which is making its only appearance at the quarter-mile clay oval this season. The event is part of the annual James Dean Festival celebrated in the area. Dean was born in nearby Marion and raised approximately 15 miles from the speedway in Fairmount.
A limited number of the T-shirts will be available at the speedway’s gift shop on race day, Friday, Sept. 28. If inventory is available, mail orders will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis on Monday, Oct. 1 by calling (765) 677-RACE or filling out the contact form on the track’s Web site at GasCityI69Speedway.com.
The heather-gray shirt comes in short- and long-sleeve versions, from small to 4XL. The price is $20 for the short-sleeve T-shirt and $25 for the long-sleeve version. Please add $2 extra for sizes 2XL through 4XL. A nominal fee for postage and handling will be added if mail orders are taken.
Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Fairmount Historical Museum to preserve the history and artifacts of James Dean’s life.
In addition to the USAC AMSOIL sprint cars, the “James Dean Classic” program will include UMP modified competition paying $1,000 to the feature winner, super streets, thunder cars and front-wheel-drive compacts.
Pit gates will open at 3 p.m. and the general admission gates will open at 4:30 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled for 6:25 p.m., time trials at 6:45 p.m., and the racing will start at approximately 7:30 p.m. An adult general-admission ticket is $25, while kids 12 and under are free, as is parking. A pit pass costs $30. The program is the track’s 2018 season finale.
For more details on Gas City I-69 Speedway, please see the track’s Web site at GasCityI69Speedway.com. Fans can also follow it on Facebook (@GasCitySpeedwayOnTheGas), Twitter (@GasCitySpeedway) and Instagram (@GasCitySpeedway).