When the USAC sprint-car contingent rolls into the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds for Round 4 of the highly popular Indiana Sprint Week series Wednesday night, look for a familiar face in a very unfamiliar ride.
Fan favorite and adopted hometown racer Chase Stockon will be sporting different colors in his new ride for the Action Track visit.
In a lengthy and highly successful run in USAC racing, Stockon has made his familiar No. 32 TBI Racing sprinter one of the most iconic rides in present-day sprint-car circles.
While the Sullivan County native will continue his record breaking streak of 300-plus consecutive starts in a new ride, “ol' faithful 32" will be stabled for the time being.
Look for the three-time Action Track victor to roll out on the half-mile oval behind the wheel of the No. 5 KO Motorsports sprinter after jumping in the ride earlier this month.
In a move that is sending the USAC frontrunner in different directions, early results signal the continued path of consistent top running finishes and a potential feature winner each night.
The move to the Brian Davis KO Motorsports Team reunites Stockon with the southern Indiana-based operation that he drove for in selected Midwest Sprint Car Series events a year ago.
“It's sorta a merger of two teams," Stockon said. "We’ve have had a long standing relationship. It’s a great opportunity to try something new. At the same time to spend more time with my family."
The switch might find the popular venturing into winged sprint-car racing. He recently drove the team's winged sprinter in a World of Outlaws show at Haubstadt. He turned a few eyes with a sixth-place feature finish.
“It was a case where they helped me and I helped them. It was a total different feeling driving the wing. They [wings] really plant you to the race track. The speed is really there,” revealed the Sullivan High School graduate.
He had hoped to run the recent WoO show at the Action Track, but the team was committed to the USAC show at Knoxville, Iowa.
While he will be driving with a different chassis, early results show it hasn’t altered his path to top running finishes. He posted an impressive runner-up finish at Gas City, a fifth-place showing at Kokomo and a fourth-place run at Lawrenceburg this past weekend.
Those runs came in the opening rounds of Indiana Sprint Week and had him ranked third only seven points out of the series lead heading into the Terre Haute ISW show.
His new ride is with a Velocity chassis.
“We won’t be running the DRC anymore, so things will be a little different," the 11-time feature winner said. "So far, we’ve been fast right out of the box."
When word leaked out he would be changing rides, the phone started ringing.
"There's no secrets in this business. I’ve had guys calling wanting to buy all my equipment. It's not going to happen. The '32' car is back home in the garage and is not going anywhere,” confided the Fort Branch racer.
In the ever-changing scene of open-wheel racing driver/car changes occur frequently. Chase may be joining a growing list of non-wing sprint racers testing the winged racing waters.
When reminded that defending midget champion and sprint-car frontrunner Tyler Courtney has made known his intentions of finding a full-time WoO ride, Stockon dropped a bombshell himself.
“Yeah and I might be the next one to go. We’ve done some wing stuff on our own, but this here offers some different opportunities. The wings pay much better. At the same time, it costs much more to run. We’ll see what happens,” offered Stockon.
Joe Buckles can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.