From Mike O’Leary
April 28, 2013 – The 13th Annual King Of Indiana Sprint Series gets underway with a huge doubleheader this coming weekend. Two of the area’s most popular ovals initiate the racing action as Bloomington Speedway hosts the KISS opener on Friday and the second round unloads at Kokomo Speedway on Sunday.
Over the previous dozen years, KISS has built a deserved reputation for exciting racing, featuring the best drivers at the most competitive tracks. This brings out not only the best in the racers, but also the best fans. To this end, KISS features pay $2,500 to win and $250 to start. The KISS promoters have also included tow money, where any car that does not transfer to the feature will collect at least $100. The point fund will pay $4,200, with the series champion earning $1,200. Second in points will collect $900, and third through fifth will receive $800, $700 and $600.
The Bloomington quarter-mile is located just an hour south of Indianapolis, off of State Route 37. General admission for the KISS program is only $20 and kids 12 and under are free with a paying adult; pit passes are $30. The racing will include UMP Super Stocks and Hornets. The main grandstand will open at 5:30, with hot laps at 6:30 and racing beginning at 7:30. The pit gate opens at 4:30. More information is available at www.bloomingtonspeedway.com.
A couple of hours north of Indianapolis, the Kokomo Speedway will open the pit gate at 3 pm on Sunday and the front gate at 4, with racing at 6:15. General admission is $20 and kids 10 and under are free with a paying adult, while pit passes are $30. The Sunday night racing program includes Kokomo’s street stocks and thunder cars. For more information, visit the Kokomo Speedway website at www.kokomospeedway.net.
While Bloomington and Kokomo are rich in racing history, both have been cornerstones of the KISS series. The winningest driver in KISS, Jon Stanbrough has three victories at Bloomington. Other winners include Tony Elliott and Kevin Briscoe in 2003 and 2004, and more recently, Chris Windom (2009) and Brady Short (2011). However one of the attractions of the KISS series is that the regular weekly racers are as capable of winning as any other racer. Short, the defending Bloomington track sprint car champion and 2009 KISS King of Indiana, has to be considered one of the drivers to beat whenever racers come into the southern Indiana oval. A tough Bloomington lineup is likely to include Danny Holtsclaw and second-generation racer Chase Briscoe, who finished second and third in last year’s track points.
Sunday’s event will be the series’ eighth visit to Kokomo, and no driver has repeated a KISS feature victory there. Illustrating the competitiveness of Indiana racing, there have been seven different winners in the seven previous KISS races, beginning with Kent Christian’s victory in 2002. Mat Neely captured the 2005 race, and has been followed by Shane Cottle, Hunter Schuerenberg, Billy Puterbaugh Jr., Jon Stanbrough and Blake Fitzpatrick. While any of these drovers are capable of scoring a second victory, with the exception of Neely, who hasn’t raced much in recent years due to business interests, there are many others poised to extend the trend to eight winners in eight years.
This year’s KISS tour makes seven stops. The series will continue with the I-69/Gas City Speedway on May 10, followed by events at Lawrenceburg, Haubstadt, Paragon and the finale at the Terre Haute Action Track on July 2.
2013 KISS SCHEDULE
May 3 Bloomington Speedway
May 5 Kokomo Speedway
May 10 Gas City I-69 Speedway
May 18 Lawrenceburg Speedway
May 26 Tri-State Speedway
June 1 Paragon Speedway
July 2 Terre Haute Action Track