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'People's Champion' Darland to return for racing 'Rumble'

A number of former feature winners return for Tony Stewart's event

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 3:20 am

Dave Darland, one of the nation's most popular short-track drivers, returns to the "Rumble in Fort Wayne" on Dec. 27-28 at Memorial Coliseum.

Darland, known affectionately as “The People's Champion,” will drive a car fielded by National Midget Hall of Famers Mel and Don Kenyon.

Darland, 47, has won twice at the Expo Center's 1/6-mile indoor concrete track and has made a record 19 feature starts. He missed last year's event while racing in New Zealand.

Fresh off a victory in the prestigious Turkey Night Grand Prix, Darland is among a record nine former winners already entered for the 16th annual Rumble. Others include defending champions Billy Wease and Derek Bischak, plus Jim Anderson, Lou Cicconi Jr., Rich Corson, Bobby East, Tony Elliott and Mike Fedorcak.

Every feature winner since 2004 will race, except for Tony Stewart, sidelined with a broken leg. Stewart will return as a car owner for Cicconi and Fedorcak while also participating in autograph sessions both days.

The two-day racefest also includes winged and non-winged outlaw midgets, karts and quarter midgets, with a complete racing program each day.

"With this entry list so far, we have the makings of the most entertaining features we've ever had," race organizer Tony Barhorst said.

For more information about tickets, visit