By Richie Murray
Speedway, Indiana (October 18, 2023)……..Throughout the racing season, Trey Osborne’s living quarters have consisted of a rented one car garage with a mattress on the floor to sleep on.
The confines are cramped, and with him being 6’8” tall, space is few and far between. As a matter of fact, his racecar and his sleeping quarters overlap. In fact, hovering over his head as he lies on his mattress each night is the tail tank of his own sprint car.
Now, the Columbus, Ohio native has become a hired gun on the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship tour and will contest the final two events of the 2023 season in the Baldwin-Fox Racing No. 5 on October 27-28 at Meeker, Oklahoma’s Red Dirt Raceway.
Baldwin-Fox Racing captured the 2017 USAC National Sprint Car entrant championship and has won 22 career feature events with the series. The 20-year-old Osborne has been running his own operation on his own dime but has recently found himself hired for full-time duty with a winning USAC Silver Crown series team and now has a shot with a team who has had its share of success on the USAC National Sprint Car circuit.
“It means a lot just to be trusted with it because these cars aren’t cheap,” Osborne explained. “But at the same time, it’s pretty nice to be able to run someone else’s stuff. Ken (Baldwin) has a lot more resources, more parts and pieces and funding than what I can possibly do with my own stuff. I’m really excited to see what we can do before the end of the year.”
In recent weeks, the team has acquired brand-new tall-cage DRC chassis, which Osborne has promptly assembled. Osborne, who works on the southeast side of Indianapolis at a Caterpillar dealership, has made several back-and-forth one hour and 15-minute trips, each way, to and from the Baldwin-Fox shop in West Lafayette, Ind.
“The first day I came up here, he pretty much told me, ‘here’s the shop and here’s where the tools are; here’s our racecars; build them and we’ll go racing,’” Osborne laid out. “I’ve built a primary and a backup car for Red Dirt, so I’ve gotten them together how I like them, and we’ll see what we can do with them. He bought tall cage cars, which is pretty awesome, and it helps me out a lot.”
Though the physical address is a tad different, Osborne’s role remains practically the same as it always has – build, maintain and race. But the wealth of elements he now has at his fingertips in the Baldwin-Fox shop are a game changer.
“My duty is as a driver, but it also involves the same things as it was before with me building everything,” Osborne stated. “Just newer parts, newer cars, nicer parts and engines, and more tools that make it easier to do the work too, plus a big wide-open shop. So, it’s been an interesting change. I sleep under the tail tank of my own car at a garage. To go from that to this is pretty wild.”
Osborne has plans soon to move to the West Lafayette area, but in many ways, has already made his home at the shop as he continuously prepares his new orange-colored racecars for battle. However, his first USAC events for the Baldwin-Fox team include a venue far away from any place he’s ever called home. In fact, it will be the furthest he’s ever traveled to compete in an event.
“This will definitely be the furthest I’ve gone to race anything,” Osborne revealed of the October 27-28 events at Oklahoma’s Red Dirt Raceway. “Before this, Michigan was the furthest away and that was with quarter midgets. I’ve been down south before but not to go racing. I watched the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals a few years ago down in Oklahoma, but this will be different.”
Osborne, who’s won twice on the local Indiana scene during his first full season of sprint car racing in 2023 – twice at Paragon Speedway and once at Gas City I-69 Speedway – has turned heads throughout the season and instantly gained a groundswell of new fans with his performances during August’s Sprint Car Smackdown at Kokomo Speedway. Now, the 2018 USSA Kenyon Midget series champion is ready to tackle a new venture once more at Red Dirt where not only he, but the entire USAC National Sprint Car competitor base, will be making its debut with the series at the 1/4-mile dirt oval.
“Just looking at pictures of the track and the video that I can find, it looks like it’s roughly similar to something we might have at some of the tracks in Indiana,” Osborne contrasted and compared. “It looks like it could be something that’s similar to a Gas City or Kokomo, that sort of racing style I guess.”
UPCOMING RACE DETAILS:
USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship (co-sanctioned by ASCS Elite Non-Wing Sprints) will compete at Meeker, Oklahoma’s Red Dirt Raceway for two consecutive nights of competition on Friday-Saturday, October 27-28. Sport Modifieds/B-Mods and Non-Wing Micros will comprise Friday night’s program while Factory Stocks and Non-Wing Micros will be on hand for Saturday night’s event.
A practice night will begin the weekend on Thursday, October 26, from 6:30-9pm Central. Grandstand admission is free while pit passes are $20 apiece.
On Friday, pit gates open at 2pm central with the grandstands opening at 5pm and cars on track at 6pm with qualifying and racing immediately following. On Saturday, pit gates open at noon central with the grandstands opening at 4pm and cars on track at 6pm with qualifying and racing immediately following.
General admission tickets are $30 on Friday and $35 on Saturday. High school students and younger are $10. Tickets are available online at www.reddirtraceway.com under the “Buy Tickets” tab and will be sold the day of the show as well.
All access passes (pit access & general admission seating) are available as well for $40 and available at the pit gate on the day of the show only. Pit passes for ages 5 & under are $10. The tailgate area is $175 per carload (up to 8 people per car).