By Mike O’Leary
June 21, 2011 – With or without the cooperation of the weatherman, the 2011 King of Indiana Sprint Series (KISS) will conclude this coming weekend. A huge doubleheader is on the card, as two historic Hoosier ovals provide the stage for the grand finale. Paragon Speedway leads off the weekend next Saturday, June 25, and the KISS series will conclude the following night, Sunday, June 26, at Kokomo Speedway.
With two racing programs canceled by rain, one feature shortened by more than half, only the opening event at Bloomington Speedway has been completed. Jon Stanbrough currently sits atop the KISS points, but has one of the Midwest’s hottest racers, Brady Short, on his heels. Both are past Kings of Indiana, Stanbrough for a record five times, while Short took the title in 2009. Not far behind sit Dave Darland, Chris Windom and Damion Gardner. Stanbrough collected race wins at both Paragon and Kokomo last year, while capturing his fifth crown. But then, he has won at every dirt sprint car track in the state. If recent wins provide an advantage, Short has the most recent victory on the Paragon clay, in the MSCS-sanctioned Chuck Amati Classic 68, last weekend. At Kokomo, young Braylon Fitzpatrick scored most recently, last Sunday.
Saturday’s event will be Paragon Speedway’s eighth KISS race, and Stanbrough has won the past three. The pit gate will open at 4:00, the grandstands at 5:00, with hot laps at 6:00 and racing at 7:30. Grandstand admission is $15, pit passes are $30, and children 12 and under are admitted free in the Grandstand with a paying adult. The program includes Paragon’s super stock, bomber and pure stock divisions. More information is available at http://www.paragonspeedway.com.
This year’s KISS grand finale will be hosted by Kokomo Speedway, on Sunday. Adult general admission is $15, and kids aged 10 and under are free with a paying adult. Pit passes are priced at $30. Sunday’s racing program includes street stocks and thunder cars, as well as MMSA Mini-Sprints. The pit gate opens at 3:30 pm and grandstand gates at 4:00. The first race will start at 6:15. Information, including directions to the track, are available at http://www.kokomospeedway.net.
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 Brady Short
May 13 Gas City I-69 Speedway Rain
May 21 Lawrenceburg Speedway Daron Clayton
June 19 Tri-State Speedway Rain
June 25 Paragon Speedway
June 26 Kokomo Speedway
Current KISS Points: 1. Jon Stanbrough 395, 2. Brady Short 370, 3. Dave Darland 358, 4. Chris Windom 349, 5. Damion Gardner 345, 6. Casey Shuman 318, 7. Robert Ballou 312, 8. Chad Boespflug 304, 9. Keith Bloom 302, 10. Brett Burdette 288