FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Longtime motorsports supporter JEGS High Performance will serve as title sponsor of the quarter midget division in the 12th annual “Rumble in Fort Wayne.”
The unique, two-day indoor event brings together some of racing’s biggest names – Tony Stewart and Lou Cicconi Jr. won the midget features last year – along with aspiring drivers like the 5- to 16-year-olds who race the scaled-down quarter midgets. All six Rumble Series divisions compete on the same, 1/6-mile track before what usually is a packed house. This year’s event is set for Saturday, Dec. 26 and Sunday, Dec. 27 at the Memorial Coliseum Expo Center.
JEGS and Rankin Manufacturing Inc., both headquartered in neighboring Ohio, will help underwrite the expenses faced by the quarter midget teams by paying part of their pit pass costs.
“The neat thing about this is that every dollar of their sponsorship goes directly to the quarter midget teams,” said David Lesiecki, race director for the Rumble Series quarter midgets. “I know the families are very grateful when companies like JEGS and Rankin Manufacturing are able to help out.”
Founded by former drag racer Jeg Coughlin, JEGS has grown into a $200 million a year business that will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2010. His four sons – John, Troy, Mike and Jeg Jr., each an accomplished drag racer – now own and operate the company, which includes three retail stores, a burgeoning mail-order and internet business, a 250,000-square-foot warehouse and championship drag racing teams.
Jeg Coughlin Jr. is a four-time NHRA Pro Stock champion, and the company’s sponsorships extend to NASCAR, USAC and to Geoff Bodine’s U.S. Olympic bobsled program.
“We are very excited to be a part of this race,” said John Coughlin, whose son, Cody, began racing quarter midgets this season but won’t be competing at Fort Wayne. “JEGS is excited to be involved with all forms of motorsports, especially when it involves the kids!
“JEGS is celebrating 50 years in business in 2010 and now, with our third generation getting involved in drag racing and now quarter midgets, this makes it a natural for us.”
Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Joey Logano and Sarah Fisher are among the many top drivers who got their start in quarter midgets. Dakoda Armstrong, a former Rumble Series quarter midget driver, recently signed a developmental contract with Penske Racing, and fellow Rumble Series product Cale Conley set the Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway track record for 360 winged sprint cars this season. Other Rumble Series quarter midget products who have moved on to professional racing include Nick Grodi, A.J. Lesiecki, Ryan Miller, Andy Nock, Tyler Nuckles and Travis Philo.
“David Lesiecki has done a fine job of working to secure sponsorship and directing the quarter midget portion of our events with his wife, Diana, over the years,” Rumble Series president Tony Barhorst said. “They do this for the love of the kids, and we really look forward to showcasing the quarter midgets under the JEGS banner.”
The 12th annual “Rumble in Fort Wayne” will feature midgets, winged outlaw modified midgets, MiniCup stock cars, karts, Jr. Sprints and five classes of JEGS quarter midgets (Heavy 160, Light 160, Heavy Honda, Senior Honda and Junior Honda). Further information, including entry forms and ticket prices, is available at www.rumbleseries.com or by contacting Barhorst at email@example.com. Lesiecki may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.