By Mike O’Leary
May 1, 2011 – The 2011 King of Indiana Sprint Series gets underway this Friday with the lead round at Bloomington Speedway. In its eleventh year, KISS has grown to one of the best known sprint car series, competing at the toughest tracks in the Midwest. This year’s series is comprised of six events through May and June.
Friday night will see the return of the Midwest’s top racers to an oval that has been part of the KISS series from the beginning. For the past five years, reigning KISS champion Jon Stanbrough has had a stranglehold on the KISS events at Bloomington, winning three in a row from 2006 – 2008. But that changed when Chris Windom claimed the victory in 2009, and the weatherman took last year’s event.
King of Indiana in 2009, Brady Short is hoping that Bloomington Speedway’s move to the top of the schedule works to his benefit. With terrible luck during last year’s opening night at the Gas City I-69 Speedway, Short was among a handful of top drivers that didn’t make the transfer to the feature race. Although he ran strong enough in the rest of the races to claim third in the final point standings, Short had given up too many points to contend for a second title. But he has a strong start this year, claiming the victory at Bloomington’s opening event.
With this win, Short has to be considered one of Friday’s favorites, and among a strong group of contenders that will challenge Stanbrough for the KISS crown. In addition to Stanbrough, Short and Windom, other top sprint car racers may challenge for Friday’s KISS feature win, among them the most recent USAC winner, Hunter Schuerenberg, and previous KISS race winners Dave Darland, Levi Jones, Daron Clayton and Bryan Clauson.
Friday’s racing program at Bloomington Speedway includes UMP modifieds and UMP super stocks. The pit gate opens at 4:30 and the main grandstand at 5:30, with hot laps at 6:30 and racing at 7:30. General admission is $15, and pit passes are $30, while kids (12 and under) are admitted free general admission with a paid adult. More information and directions are available at www.bloomingtonspeedway.com.
KISS events pay $2,500 to win, $250 to start the feature and the B-Main pays $50 to all starters who do not transfer to the feature. Drivers draw for heat race starting positions, and features will be 30 laps. Under KISS guidelines, each track is responsible for conducting the event in accordance with their track rules. The $3,600 point fund awards the top five point finishers, with $1,000 going to the 2011 King of Indiana Sprints. For the fifth year, Sprint Car & Midget Magazine is sponsoring the KISS Champion’s helmet, with original artwork by Van Horn Tint & Accessories.
2011 KISS SCHEDULE
May 6 Bloomington Speedway
May 13 Gas City I-69 Speedway
May 21 Lawrenceburg Speedway
June 19 Tri-State Speedway
June 25 Paragon Speedway
June 26 Kokomo Speedway