From Linda Mansfield
BROWNSBURG, In. (January 28, 2019) — Gas City I-69 Speedway Promoter Jerry Gappens was honored as the 2018 HARF/Heimel Auction’s Promoter of the Year by Hoosier Auto Racing Fans (HARF) Sunday during the club’s 67th annual awards banquet at the American Legion Post 331.
Gas City I-69 Speedway was nearly dormant for four seasons before Gappens leased the famed quarter-mile clay oval from owner Jack Himelick last January. Gappens brought vitality and a major resurgence to the area’s sports scene by staging weekly Friday night races and special events at the track last season. He also introduced fun theme nights and crowd-pleasing intermission entertainment like human bubbleball and helmet-toss competitions, a Soccer Moms Gone Mad race, kids’ coin scrambles, and school bus racing.
“With more than 60 active race tracks in Indiana, including many with great promoters, it is an honor to be recognized by HARF and its fan membership with this very special award,” said Gappens. “I want to give special thanks to owner Jack Himelick for giving me the opportunity to run his facility; to the fans, participants and sponsors for their support, and our dedicated team that executed the hosting of our fabulous events.”
HARF, one of the oldest and largest racing fan clubs in the country, also honored track champions from around the state, including Clinton Boyles, Gas City I-69 Speedway’s 2018 non-wing sprint car champion.
In 2018 Gas City I-69 Speedway staged weekly Friday night racing of non-wing 410 sprint cars, UMP modifieds, super streets, thunder cars and front-wheel-drive compacts.
Special events last season included the return of winged sprint car racing with visits from the Great Lakes Super Sprints and BOSS/FAST on Dirt 410 sprints. Twelve different types of race cars competed at the track last year. The highlight of the season was the inaugural James Dean Classic, which featured USAC AMSOIL national sprint cars for the season finale.
The second season under Gappens’ helm at Gas City begins Friday night, April 27. Gappens said the entire 2019 schedule would be released this week.
HARF, which has nearly 2,000 members, also presented special awards for outstanding contributions to racing in Indiana. Veteran photographer John Mahoney and Levi Jones, a seven-time USAC champion and USAC’s director of competition, were named to the club’s prestigious Hall of Fame.
HARF’s mission is to promote better understanding towards the sport of auto racing, to promote better sportsmanship within the ranks of auto racing, and to do everything possible to improve all of auto racing. It actively supports all forms of auto racing regardless of sanction or affiliation.
For more information on Gas City I-69 Speedway, see the track’s website at GasCityI69Speedway.com and follow it on Facebook at @GasCitySpeedwayOnTheGas and on Twitter at @GasCitySpeedway.