Racings Winter Wonderland

The calendar may say January, but there's plenty of racing going on during the winter months with several big name drivers finding ways to get behind-the-wheel during the "off-season."

Tony Stewart has been particularly busy this winter returning to his roots in a midget car.

For the second straight year, Stewart swept the "Ft. Wayne Rumble" last weekend, winning both Friday and Saturday night's features at the Ft. Wayne Memorial Coliseum indoor race.

"We got lucky two nights in a row on the starts," said Stewart, who has won all four of his “Rumble in Ft. Wayne” races in the last three seasons. "We were just lucky because we were taking the right line."

Stewart has some more indoor racing on his schedule coming up in two weeks when he competes in the 21st annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

For Stewart's sake, things will work out better this year at the prestigious mid-winter meet than they did a year ago when he flipped and injured his shoulder.

Kasey Kahne and J.J. Yeley will be joining Stewart in Tulsa for the five night show held January 9-13.

Kahne will be coming fresh off his dirt tracking tour of Australia, where he recently competed at Tyrepower Parramatta City Raceway, a .28-mile track in Grenville. Monday Kahne finished fourth in the the second of two Kasey Kahne International Sprintcars/Coca-Cola Track Championship races.

A large contingent of NASCAR stars will tackle the road course at Daytona International Speedway in a few weeks as they compete in the Grand American Road Racing Series' season-opening Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.

Jeff Gordon, Stewart, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya and Bobby Labonte will be joined by other stars from around the racing world including Danica Patrick, Sam Hornish, Jr. and Helio Castroneves for the twice-around-the-clock classic at Daytona on January 27-28.

While Stewart will be at Daytona for the Rolex 24, he won't take part in the upcoming Jackson Hewitt Preseason Thunder test session at DIS which begins on Monday, January 8. Stewart and Robby Gordon, who is competing in the Dakar Rally, which runs Jan. 6-21 through seven countries in Europe and Africa, have opted to skip their respective test sessions.

Mike McLaughlin is expected to shake down Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing Home Depot Chevrolet while P.J. Jones will test Gordon's new Ford Fusion at the sessions.

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