You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

USAC legends visit Dayton


In its 44-year history the Dayton Auto Racing Fan Club (DARF) has hosted an all-star roster of racing VIPs. This past Tuesday might rank with the best of them.

In a rare treat for open-wheel racing fans, the club hosted USAC’s national career victory leaders in midgets, sprints and Silver Crown cars. For one night Mel Kenyon (111 midget wins), Tom Bigelow (52 sprint wins) and Jack Hewitt (23 Silver Crown wins) gathered under one roof to be honored at USAC Night at Celebrations Banquet Center.

The trio of legends shared experiences and stories, some even suitable for print.

None of the three drive competitively anymore, but Hewitt still provides thrills by giving fans rides in his two-seat sprint car often for charity or fundraising. Hewitt, 62, walks with a limp and has limited use of his right arm after a devastating accident in 2002. Still, Hewitt — who wants to give every rider an authentic experience — slides the sprinter around better than some drivers with two good arms.

“Everybody thinks I’m so in control when I get out there,” Hewitt said with a grin. “Well, if it don’t scare me I know it’s not scaring you. If they only knew how many times I said, ‘Oh (expletive), this ain’t gonna be good.’ I always pull it out somehow.”

Kenyon and Bigelow are still active in racing on the other side of the wall. Kenyon, 80, still works on midgets and provides driving advice. Bigelow, 73, tutors two of his grandchildren who drive.

“When I was in the cockpit I knew what I was doing. Now the grandkids are in the cockpit, sometimes I’m not too sure what they’re doing,” Bigelow said. “Tommy would run around the bottom at Winchester. I kept telling him you have to get up a little higher, a little higher. Well, about halfway through that year he hit every wall in that place. They’ve both won features at Winchester now and that tickles me as their grandfather.”

DARF’s next meeting is the Injured Drivers Fund Auction on Oct. 22 at Celebrations. Anyone with racing memorabilia to donate can contact DARF at mrnsue@yahoo.com or by visiting the website at darfnews.com.

Green light: The racing season is winding down, but there are still plenty of options.

Tri-State Dragway pays tribute to late owner Bob Louden with its second annual memorial race on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Also on Sunday, Waynesfield Raceway Park hosts a Harvest of Sprints spectacular.

And Saturday, Shadybowl Speedway wraps up its season with a special Max Evans Memorial race for dwarf cars.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Darnell Hoskins Jr. signs with Saginaw Valley State (Mich.) for hoop
Darnell Hoskins Jr. signs with Saginaw Valley State (Mich.) for hoop

Darnell Hoskins Jr., a 2016 Thurgood Marshall High School graduate who spent this past season in prep school, signed to play basketball at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan on Tuesday. He was at least the third area product to sign during this regular signing period, which extends through mid-May. Earlier Tuesday morning Trotwood-Madison...
Reports: Derek Jeter, Jeb Bush group agrees on deal to buy Miami Marlins
Reports: Derek Jeter, Jeb Bush group agrees on deal to buy Miami Marlins

Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has reached an agreement to sell the team to a group of investors that includes New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, according to a report from the Miami Herald on Tuesday afternoon. There are "other details to be worked out," but that deal would have to be approved...
Report: Tim Beck could bring Notre Dame transfer Malik Zaire to Texas
Report: Tim Beck could bring Notre Dame transfer Malik Zaire to Texas

Malik Zaire may finally be entering the homestretch in his search for a new school, and a former Ohio State assistant might end up making the difference when it’s over.  Rivals.com reported Tuesday the former Alter High School star is down to four schools after deciding not to return to Notre Dame:  Zaire, who will be eligible to play...
Ohio State, Dayton reportedly interested in former Pittsburgh recruit
Ohio State, Dayton reportedly interested in former Pittsburgh recruit

Aaron Thompson, a point guard from Fairfax, Va., went back into the recruiting pool when he was released from his letter of intent to attend Pittsburgh last week. Could he end up in the Buckeye State? Jon Rothstein of Fanrag Sports reported Tuesday the three-star prospect has received interest from Ohio State and Dayton along with Georgetown, VCU and...
Report: NFL Draft prospect Gareon Conley of Ohio State accused of rape
Report: NFL Draft prospect Gareon Conley of Ohio State accused of rape

Gareon Conley, a defensive back from Ohio State expected to be an early pick in the NFL draft this week, reportedly has been named in a sexual assault investigation in Cleveland. TMZ reported Tuesday a woman has accused Conley of raping her in a hotel room on April 9. According to the report, the accuser says she met Conley in a hotel elevator around...
More Stories