Left to right - James Spink, Irish Saunders, Garrett Walls, Zane Devault
10:15 am - Press Conference
"Thanks for coming" stated Paula Nate from Hoosier as she began the Media Press Conference. She introduced James Spink, USAC .25 Driver Development Director along with Irish Saunders, Asphalt Product Manger for Hooser Racing Tire, and .25 drivers, Garrett Walls and, Zane Devault.
Spink thanked the Media in attendance for coming to the event. "The weather looks good for the weekend," said James. "We will practice from 1 - 5 today. We have a unique track out there, a parking lot. No one has an advantage here. We will practice at 9 am on Saturday morning followed by opening ceremonies. Our heat races will determine line ups for the mains to be run on Saturday afternoon. This event follows our very successful National Event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where we had
over 200 cars. There will be drivers from 5 clubs racing here this weekend representing the Kokomo, Mini Indy.25, Toledo, Buckeye, and Miami Valley Clubs. Drivers range in age from 5 - 17 years old."
Irish Saunders was next up thanking everyone for coming. He continued "this is the first event here at Newto Park. This idea came to mind at Hooser built many years ago. Bob and Joyce Newton built this park for soccer and baseball. The next idea was why not run a race here. Those of you that know Bob Newton, you know he does everything first class. We want this to be an event where everyone has lots of fun. We want all the parents to walk way saying they can't wait till next year. I am looking at the next Tony Stewart here... watching these kids. We of course stress safety first here with Hoosier."
A head and neck safety device was introduced and displayed. Irish stated that he believes the kids should get accustomed to running with head and neck restraints so they will be comfortable in them when they move on to other forms of racing.
Paula continued, the Town of Lakeville has been awesome. After the racing on Saturday we will have a big celebration with putting up the top 3 in each class on the podium. I would really like to thank the community of Lakeville for all they have done too, for this race.
This was the first interview for both Derek and Zane, but Paula and Irish helped the driver's along asking them questions. Derek said he had been racing a year and a half. What do you like about racing and he said racing. He is a member of the Kokomo Club Derek and he is 8 years old.
Zane has been racing 5 years and he is 10 yrs old. James interjected that Zane had come up on Monday to test on the track. "Anytime you set up a temporary track, you need to test it out and make a few changes before the race." Zane said he was from the club in Kokomo. He said, "there wasn't much rubber down on this track, like Kokomo, but the rubber seemed to go down fast here."
James went on to say that both the Senior Honda and Light 160 classes would mirror the 56th running of the USAC Hoosier 100. Each class will run 100 laps. Yellow flag laps will be counted except for the last 10 laps. The winner of the 2009 USAC Hoosier 100 - Shane Hollingsworth will be present on Saturday. Shane got his racing start in Quarter Midgets. Spink said "I don't think it has ever been done before - running 100 laps."
Paula wrapped up the press conference with a brief about the schedule.
Practice Saturday 1 - 5
Corn and Sausage Roast at 5 pm. Driver's eat Free of Charge.
Activities till 10
9 am on Saturday 9:05
9:20 Opening Ceremonies
9:30 action begins for 17 classes
Irish thanked everyone for coming. He said he wanted all the kids to have fun. He announced that 4 ft trophies were waiting for the winners.
Questions: How fast do the cars go around the track - - nearly a 6 second lap.
Irish continued to thank all the volunteers. He reminced about the Plymouth Midget race, held years back. "There were some 80 midgets there. This event is patterned after that race.
He said with the success of this race, they might just have to build 2 tracks at Newton Park; one for dirt and 1 ashalt." Of course, Irish had to admit that he has a dirt track in his back yard.
Question: What made them start racing? Zane's brother races and he started racing..."it was fun and I just wanted to do it too." He was asked how many wins he has so far, but Zane wasn't sure. His favorite NASCAR driver is Tony Stewart.
Garrett admitted shyly that he likes Tony too.
"Tony has some other race event today or he would be there", said Paula.
Someday Zane wants to do a full size sprint or NASCAR. Garrett just wants to keep racing.
Irish finished the press conference saying "this sport involves the whole family. That's what's so cool. These are the stars but the families behind them make it all work."
John C. Caples - Chairman of the Board of USAC - will be attendance on Saturday.