It was certainly a rough and tumble “Rumble” for Billy Wease.
The 29 year-old was easily one of the favorites coming into the 18th annual Rumble National Midget race at the War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, IN. He had won the event on four different occasions prior to Sunday’s running on the sixth-of-a-mile temporary oval built each winter for this one event.
Night one of Friday was a tough one for Wease. The native Hoosier driver was run-up the wall in his heat race and his Midget broke a rear-end as a result. The team thrashed on his ride, but he was forced to call it a night.
Sunday he came back with vengeance. Wease locked himself in the main event after a second place finish in the third heat race.
“I was so mad about the heat race incident; all I wanted to do was to sweep the weekend, but since that wasn’t possible, I just wanted to come out and win tonight,” said the former Turkey Night Grand Prix winner.
That is exactly what Wease did. The Noblesville, IN, native started on the outside of the front row and followed Matt Westfall around for a few laps before he made his move into the lead. Wease then dropped the hammer and ran away from the field.
Upon taking the checkered flag, Billy Wease moved into the second spot on the overall Rumble Series National Midget wins list behind Tony Stewart, who has a total of seven victories. Wease’s tally is no up to five.
“I looked up to Tony all of my life and to be able to race with him has been awesome. To be able to be put (my name) into the same sentence as him is incredible, and to be able to be in a stat with him is one of the biggest accomplishment in my career.” admitted Wease.
“I would love to be able to catch up to Tony’s number someday. I hope I am fortunate enough to get there.”
Finishing behind Wease were Bryan Nuckles, former winner Derek Bischak, Kyle O’Gara and Justin Peck.
Cap Henry claimed an emotional victory in the Winged 600s, with Larry Joe Sroufe taking the checkered in the non-winged 600s.
Caidyn Brinkman picked up a pair of victories in the Quarter Midget divisions (Light 160s and Junior Honda). Bryce Massingill was crowned the victor of the Senior Heavy Quarter Midgets and Jacob Senney got the job done in the Animal Quarter Midgets. Taylor Nibert also picked up a win in Heavy Honda Quarter Midgets.
12 year-old young lady Kasey Ziebold picked up her first Rumble Series victory in the Junior Caged Karts.
Brandon Dunn was a name nobody will forget. He picked up two more victories Sunday in Senior Caged Karts and in Clone Heavy’s to bring his weekend tally up to four.
Drew Phillips was the youngster that took the victory in the Kid Kart Class for little ones ages four to seven. The Senior Flathead Kart hardware went to Zach Axlen and the Junior 3 Kart victory went to Gene Gregoric III.
The 18th annual Rumble in Fort Wayne is in the books. The Rumble Series never fails to put on an exciting show. Go-Karts, National Midgets, Winged, and Non-Winged 600cc Midgets filed into the Fort Wayne War Memorial Coliseum, from all over the country, to compete in one of the most prestigious indoor racing events of the season.
Story By: Mikayla Kugler, Correspondent, Speed51.com – Twitter: @MikaylaKugler
Photo Credit: Speed51.com