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Little cars and big fun at the Coliseum

December 30, 2018

It seems only fitting that a midget race car model might be called a Munchkin, after the throng of little people who delighted so many generations of viewers of “The Wizard of Oz.” 

What seems more unlikely is that those rare little racers were born and bred right here in northeast Indiana, in a barn in Roanoke.

But those who attended Saturday’s Rumble in Fort Wayne at Memorial Coliseum could have gotten a quick education as a handful of Munchkins took their local angle to the local indoor track.

Mike Fedorcak of Roanoke, the brains and wrench muscle behind all Munchkins dating back to the 1980s, was driving Munchkin No. 97. Munchkin aficionado Cory Setser of Fort Wayne was also competing to make it into the final feature race Saturday night.

A third Munchkin among the ranks of more than 30 midgets was expected to be driven by Tony Stewart of NASCAR driving fame.

Stewart bought the car from Fedorcak, said April Leamon, assisting Rumble promoter Larry Boos in the 21st edition of the event.

Just off the track after some warm-up laps, Setser, 41, said his No. 24 Munchkin : painted black with green and light-blue lettering : is one of nine in existence.

He came by the vehicle as a second-generation race car driver as Fedorcak was a friend of his father, Curtis Setser, a driver of modifieds and stock cars. 

The attraction of the Munchkin, “is that it’s so unique.” the younger Setser said.

rsalter@jg.net

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