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Editor's note: DirtonDirt.com's new DirtWire feature is a collection of quick-hitting tidbits from around the Dirt Late Model world:
January 204:55 PM ET
Posted by DirtonDirt.com staff

Brownstown champ Bastin dies at 82

James Essex photo

Ira Bastin of Solsberry, Ind., a longtime Dirt Late Model racer and multitime champion at Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway and Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind., died Jan. 18. The 2005 Brownstown Speedway Hall of Fame inductee was 82.

The hulking Bloomington, Ind., native — his helmeted head frequently was visible atop his vehicle — was a Navy veteran and operated Bastin Excavating while winning more than 200 features during his racing career, which began in jalopy-style race cars at Bloomington Speedway before he ran supermodifieds and then Late Models by 1970.

Bastin won three Brownstown track championships (1972, '77-78) and narrowly missed a fourth in 1979. He captured track titles at Haubstadt in 1972 and ’80. He also won the Kentucky Dirt Track Championship in 1978.

He made four starts in the Jackson 100 at Brownstown with his best finish being a sixth place in the inaugural race in 1980. He had four starts in the National Dirt Racing Association (NDRA) in 1980 and 1981 with his best finish a sixth at Florence Speedway in Union, Ky., in 1981.

Besides driving for himself for several years Bastin also piloted cars owned by Claude Kern, Sonny Arthur, Gene Dalton, Susie Mills and Butch Tucker.

His 40 career Late Model feature victories rank him sixth on Brownstown Speedway's all-time list behind Jim Curry, John Gill, Don O’Neal, Steve Barnett and Paul Crockett. His first feature victory at Brownstown came in 1969 and his last in 1989.

Ira — commonly pronounced “Arie” by family and friends — is survived by his wife Rose Abram Bastin and two sons among other family members. He had 11 great-grandchildren.

Private graveside services were held. A public memorial service is 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23, at Hendricksville Community Center in Solsberry. Chandler Funeral Home in Ellettsville is assisting with the arrangements. — James Essex

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