Bloomington Speedway

From Ron Green

BLOOMINGTON, Ind., Wednesday, June 23, 2010 – A new weekly television show debuted this week on the Discovery Channel called “Heartland Thunder.”

The one-hour show follows four men and their families as they go modified racing every Friday night at a dirt oval in Kansas City. Producers of the show quickly captured the intensity, raw emotion and passion of weekly short track racing.

To find that same intensity and raw emotion, Hoosier racing fans need to look no further than Bloomington Speedway. The ¼-mile dirt oval provides the perfect setting for some of the best wheel-to-wheel racing in the Midwest. And the intense racing at Bloomington breeds respect and rivalries.

The family names that have helped make Bloomington Speedway racing famous over the years include Kinser, Gaines, Briscoe, DeMoss and Todd.

In 2010, one of these classic family rivalries is clearly taking root in the Grimes Pool & Spas Sprint Car division.

Springville, Ind.’s Jeff Bland Jr. and Bedford, Ind.’s Brady Short have virtually grown up at Bloomington Speedway on Friday nights. Both come from racing families, and each started at Bloomington driving modifieds.

After trying to beat each other on the track every Friday night, the two young drivers have now become the ‘guys to beat’ when the sprint car feature is pushed off each week.

With his win in last Friday night, Bland has a 13-point lead over Mitchell, Ind.’s Dickie Gaines. And trailing closely in third is Short, who was the 2009 Bloomington Speedway sprint car track champion.

Yes, Bloomington Speedway’s “Hoosier Thunder” is just as compelling as the Discovery Channel’s version.

And though you can’t watch it on TV, you can see the action and drama live this Friday during Rose & Walker Night, featuring the Grimes Pool & Spa Sprint Cars, the Tire & Wheel Center UMP Super Stocks and the O’Neal Wood Products UMP Modifieds. The latter is the same class of car featured on “Heartland Thunder.”

Spectator gates for Rose & Walker Drywall & Insulation night open at 5:30 p.m., hot laps are at 6:30 with racing beginning at 7:30. General admission is $12 for adults, and kids under 12 are always FREE general admission at Bloomington Speedway with a general admission paying adult.

For more information, go to or call (812) 824-7400.