News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Auto Racing

April 20, 2011

TRACKSIDE: Wabash Valley racing ready to take green flag — even Action Track

TERRE HAUTE — Despite having already lost several bouts to the elements, the 2011 Wabash Valley motorsports season has taken the green flag and will soon be shifting into high gear on several fronts.

While fans, racers and track promoters face the challenges of a troubled economy, all signs point to business as usual for the upcoming campaign.

Valley tracks have released attractive and ambitious schedules. Several already have opened their gates to strong participant and fan turnouts.

To help fans plan ahead for the season, here’s the annual Trackside column that features key dates and phone numbers to make trips to the races easier:

• Terre Haute Action Track — After weeks of speculation regarding the future of oval-track racing at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds, it appears all is go for the 2011 season.

Fair Board officials have approved and submitted a signed contract to the U.S. Auto Club for the rights to promote events at the local half-mile dirt oval.

USAC released a four-race schedule for the track in January that listed three sprint-car and a Silver Crown event.

“We have sent USAC a signed contract. Although it hasn’t been returned, we feel confident there will be racing at the track,” said Fair Board president Jennifer Cook.

“They [USAC] have asked for four dates. There’s a possibility there could more than just those four races. We want racing at the track. It’s something we feel is good for the fairgrounds and the community.”

 The USAC schedule includes the May 26 Hulman Classic for USAC sprints, July 3 Sumar Classic for Silver Crown cars, July 13 Indiana Sprint Week and USAC sprints Sept. 10. A fifth date may be added.

• Crossroads Dragway (812) 229-2167 — With one of the biggest seasons in track history looming on the horizon, the 1/8-mile strip will offer specials with the May 6 NADM Diesel Mania, May 14 Bernie Mann Memorial, May 15 Fast 33, June 17-19 Holzhauser Midwest Jr. Super Series, June 25-26 Quick 32, July 30 Slammin 16, Aug. 26-28 Scheid Diesel Extravaganza, Oct. 1-2 State Championship Jr./HS ET Points and Oct. 22 Fast 33.

• Anderson Speedway (765) 642-0206 — The quarter-mile banks will see action with the May 25-28 63rd annual Little 500 Sprints, June 18 HOSS sprints, Aug. 1 Redbud 300 for CRA Late Model Stocks and Sept. 17 Season Championship CRA stocks, F/8s and Thunder Cars.

• Bakersfield Raceway Park (812) 847-7485 — Located just east of Linton on Indiana 54, this popular 1/5-mile dirt and road course offers a weekly Friday night card of Mini-Sprints, 4-cylinder stocks and Jr. Sprints on its oval and six classes of go-karts on its road course every Saturday night.

• Bloomington Motor Speedway (812) 824-7400 — Racing doesn’t get much better than what’s presented each summer at this popular quarter-mile dirt oval.

In addition to its weekly Friday night card of sprints, modifieds and stocks specials, this season includes the May 20 Larry Rice Classic for USAC sprints, June 10 USAC Indiana Midget Week, June 24 Sheldon Kinser Memorial, July 15 USAC Indiana Sprint Week and Aug. 5 World of Outlaws sprints.

• Coles County Dragway USA (217) 345-7777 — Under new management, this NHRA-sanctioned, 1/8-mile drag strip located at Charleston Ill., will offer the May 15 Quick 8 and ET Bracket racing, May 28 Big Money Bracket $2,000 Box, June 4 King of the Track, June 24 Thunder on the Prairie, July 16 Quick 8, Aug. 20 Jegs Quick 32. Aug. 26-28 Midwest Jr. Super Series, Sept. 10 Big Money Bracket, Sept. 24 Quick 8 and King of the College ET Bracket and Jrs.

• Kokomo Speedway (765) 459-3877 — A popular Sunday night draw, the quarter-mile oval will be host for specials with the May 29 Kokomo Klassic for sprints, June 26 KISS sprints, June 12 USAC Indiana Midget Week, July 9 USAC Indiana Sprint Week, July 31 Bob Darland Memorial sprints, Sept. 4 Vince Orman Memorial sprints and Oct. 14-15 Kokomo Klash V sprints.

• Lucas Oil Raceway Park (317) 291-4090 — New name but same 5/8-mile paved oval offering a variety of oval-track racing. Specials include the USAC sprints May 12, June 16, July 7, Aug. 19, Sept. 8 and Oct. 13 as part of a monthy Thursday night program.

Other key events are the USAC Nite Before 500 midgets May 28, USAC Silver Crown, midgets and ARCA stock cars July 28, NASCAR Camping World Trucks on July 29, NASCAR Nationwide Kroger 200 on July 30 and the 31st annual NHRA U.S. Nationals on Aug. 31-Sept. 5.

• Lincoln Park Speedway (765) 653-3485 — A popular draw for weekly short-track racers and fans, the rejuvenated 5/16-mile dirt oval offers Saturday shows of sprints, modifieds and stocks with the May 7 USAC sprints, June 9 USAC Indiana Midget Week, UMP Late Model Summer Nationals on June 28, Putnamville Clash on July 30, Midwest Sprint Car Series on Aug. 20, King of Non-Wing Sprints on Sept. 3 and eighth annual Patriot 100 on Sept. 10.

• Lyons Raceway Park (812) 659-2951 — A popular draw for Wabash Valley drag racers, the NHRA-sanctioned drag strip presents a host of season specials that include the Black Smoke Burnout Diesel Drags on April 29-30, NHRA Jegs VP Fuels Quick 32 on May 20-22, Nostalgia Pro Comp Association Points on June 10-11, National Dragster Challenge on June 29-30, VP Fuels Quick 32 on July 29, VP Fuels Quick 32 on Aug. 5-7, NHRA Jr. Dragster League on Aug. 26-27, Quick 32 Bracket Bash Quick 32 on Sept. 2-4, Fastenal Racing Quick 8 on Sept. 23-24 and King of Track on Sept. 30-Oct. 1.

• Paragon Speedway (765) 537-2366 — Clearly the most successful short-track operation in the state, the 3/8-mile dirt track offers weekly Saturday night card of sprints and stocks with the Mike Johnson Memorial sprints May 28, Chuck Amati Classic sprints June 18, June 25 KISS sprints and 15th annual Stock Car Dirt Nationals on Aug. 20.

• Salem Speedway 1-888-246-7223 — The high banks of this historic half-mile paved oval will play host to ARCA stocks April 30-May 1, USAC midgets-Lucas Oil stocks May 14, 52nd annual Joey James/Pat O’Connor Memorial USAC sprints Aug. 6 and ARCA stocks Sept. 17.

• Tri-State Speedway (812) 768-5995 — Located at Haubstadt the quarter-mile dirt-oval ranks among the finest in the nation. Special events include World of Outlaws sprints April 30, Hut Hundred USAC midgets May 21, UMP Late Model Summer Nationals on July 10, USAC Indiana Sprint Week on July 16 and Haubstadt Hustler sprints Sept. 17.

• Winchester Speedway (765) 584-9701 — King of Wings Sprints on May 15, ARCA stock cars May 25, Old Timers Weekend on Aug 20-21. Rich Vogler Classic USAC sprints Sept. 18 and 40th annual Winchester stocks Oct. 14-16.

Fans are reminded schedules are subject to change and to call ahead in cases of inclement weather.

Joe Buckles can be reached by e-mail at jbuckles4@frontier.com

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Auto Racing
  • bb8991b19af8b067e44478c_.jpg VIDEO: Windom seeking strong start to USAC Silver Crown Series at Action Track

    Chris Windom has big plans.
    Sure, the 23-year-old would like to make the ascent from success in the U.S. Auto Club to the fame and fortune of the larger racing series of NASCAR.
    The Canton, Ohio, native who makes his home in West Lafayette has his sights on a big USAC season in 2014. Windom was second in Silver Crown points in 2013 and ninth in the sprint series.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo 1 Video

  • Trackside: If weather cooperates, racers are set to start their engines

    With any assistance from the weather, the Wabash Valley motorsports season is expected to shift into high gear this weekend on several fronts.

    April 2, 2014

  • Jim Nabors at Indy 500.jpg Nabors to sing ‘Indiana’ one last time at IMS

    INDIANAPOLIS — Beloved actor-entertainer and legendary Indianapolis 500 icon Jim Nabors will sing “(Back Home Again in) Indiana” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the final time prior to the start of the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 25. Watch YouTube Video

    March 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • gary bettenhausen.jpg Action Track great Gary Bettenhausen dies

    Gary Bettenhausen, a legend of the Terre Haute Action Track, has died at age 72.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kurt Busch to try Indy 500, Coca-Cola 600 on same day

    It’s been 10 years since a driver last attempted running both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, a feat so grueling that only Tony Stewart has successfully completed all 1,100 miles.
    Now Kurt Busch wants to give “the double” a try and he will have cars capable of winning both races.

    March 4, 2014

  • Kurt Busch 70 percent sure he’ll run in Indy 500

    Kurt Busch put his chances at “70 percent” at running the Indianapolis 500 this year because of recent developments that have pushed a potential program along.

    January 27, 2014

  • Doctors tell Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti he can no longer race

    Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti said Thursday that doctors have told him he can no longer race because of injuries sustained in an IndyCar crash last month.

    November 14, 2013

  • Trackside: Burns, Fitzpatrick provide fun moments at Putnamville

    In a season that has generated more than its share of down moments for Wabash Valley fans and racers, last Saturday’s “King of non-wing Sprints” program at Lincoln Park Speedway served notice that there are still a few positive storylines to be found in the wild and unpredictable sport of sprint-car racing.
    One such storyline unfolded this past weekend on the rough and challenging 5⁄16-mile Putnamville dirt oval. That’s where the runs of Eric Burns and Blake Fitzpatrick sent fans home feeling that if the season has to come to a close, it couldn’t end on a happier or brighter note.

    September 25, 2013

  • SPT 083113 MODIFIED.jpg Coons Jr. wins USAC Tony Hulman/Jim Hurtubise Classic at Action Track

    For all but one race during its 2013 racing season, the Terre Haute Action Track has taken a beating from Mother Nature.

    August 31, 2013 7 Photos

  • Trackside: Stewart proves versatility is one of his strongpoints

    At a time each summer when stock-car racing takes center stage in the heart of open-wheel racing territory, it was Tony Stewart who emerged the big winner last weekend.
    No, not Tony Stewart the race driver but Tony Stewart the owner. He’s the undisputed leader on two racing fronts — the car owner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series with Ryan Newman as his driver and the owner-operator of Eldora Speedway. The popular Indiana native posted impressive showings in both ventures.

    August 1, 2013

  • MET071513 track.jpg Precipitation has been unkind to Action Track in 2013

    Bob Sargent has seen it all and done it all in 30 years of motorsports track promotion. The Terre Haute Action Track promoter isn’t going to be fazed by much, but even he had to admit there is one thing that has sent a shiver down his spine in 2013.
    The weather forecasts. He was asked if watching the weather has given him anxiety in a wet year.
    “Sometimes,” Sargent chuckled. “But doing it this long, it becomes normal. I don’t if it’s nervousness so much as it’s frustrating. Rain is a big letdown.”
     

    July 17, 2013 2 Photos

  • Trackside: Sprint Week is fun week for USAC fans

    With three rounds down and four to go, the 2013 version of Indiana Sprint Week is ready to take center stage at the Terre Haute Action Track tonight — weather permitting, of course.
    It’s hard not to mention the elements when talking racing at the Action Track this season.
    Race organizers Reece O’Connor and Bob Sargent have felt the sting of Mother Nature worse than most Midwest promoters this spring and summer with all five of their scheduled shows washed out.

    July 17, 2013

  • Track opener is facing another iffy forecast

    Two of the biggest challenges facing race organizers are the constant bouts with the always unpredictable ways of the weather and trying to please the insatiable appetites of a fickle fan base.

    July 10, 2013

  • TRACKSIDE: Crossroads Dragway hoping to build off big event

    It was a day of firsts at Crossroads Dragway this past weekend.
    No, not because the sun actually made its first all-day appearance of the season at the drag-racing facility, but for the unveiling of a new racing format that just might alter the looks of 1/8-mile member track NHRA bracket racing.

    June 26, 2013

  • SPT062013racing clauson.jpg Metro roundup: For 2nd time, Hulman Classic postponed

    Qualifying laps had concluded for the 43rd running of the Tony Hulman Classic on Friday when the weather struck for the third time this season — second time for the Classic — at the Terre Haute Action Track.

    June 22, 2013 1 Photo

  • stockon in action.jpg Hulman Classic on Friday at Action Track

    With rainouts having postponed his only two Terre Haute Action Track cards so far in 2013, promoter Bob Sargent remains optimistic about the rescheduled Tony Hulman Classic for U.S. Auto Club sprint cars taking place Friday night.

    June 20, 2013 1 Photo

  • Finding best talent the key to all sports, including auto racing

    The success of any sporting franchise often rests with the ability of owners to find and mold talent into a winning combination.

    June 20, 2013

  • SPT 052613 KANAAN KISS.jpg Kanaan can: Tony Kanaan finally wins Indy 500, ends heartbreak

    Tony Kanaan had been so close so many times in the Indianapolis 500 until Sunday. Now he’s a winner.

    May 27, 2013 2 Photos

  • SPT 052613 KANAAN KNEES.jpg Crowd, competitors erupt in celebration for Brazilian driver

    Tony Kanaan has always been philosophical about his not winning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    May 27, 2013 2 Photos

  • Rookies fare well in 97th running of the Indy 500

    Rookies did real well in the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    May 27, 2013

  • IndyCar Indy 500 Auto_Tayl.jpg Top guns, again

    For the sixth time in his Indy career Friday, three-time Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves won the Pit Stop Challenge on Carb Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    May 25, 2013 4 Photos

  • Looking for Indy breakthrough, Kanaan enjoying role as team mentor

    Ask any IZOD IndyCar series champion and he’d say he would gladly give up that championship to win one Indianapolis 500.

    May 24, 2013

  • TRACKSIDE: Local drivers, owners looking to have strong night at Tony Hulman Classic

    In its rich 43-year history, the Tony Hulman Sprint Car Classic has long carried on a strong local racing tradition.
    From its early beginnings starting in 1971, the U.S. Auto Club-sanctioned event has been the annual centerpiece of the racing calendar at the Terre Haute Action Track as well as a key stop on the USAC sprint schedule and one of the most sought after wins in big league sprint-car racing.

    May 22, 2013

  • Carpenter arrives as Indy 500 threat

    And the crowd went wild.
    Not only did Ed Carpenter win the pole for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500, he is the hometown son. Carpenter, the stepson of Tony George, completed his rookie orientation in 2004 and has spent the last several years, proving he deserved to be the IZOD IndyCar Series. There is no questioning his credentials now.

    May 19, 2013

  • Carpenter wins Indy 500 pole

     Ed Carpenter is on the pole for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500.
    The native of Marshall, Ill., earned the No. 1 spot for the May 26 race with a strong run in the Fast Nine competition at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday. He is the first American driver on the pole since 2006.

    May 19, 2013

  • TRACKSIDE: Rain still a pain for Wabash Valley racing organizers

    Soggy weather conditions, which have rightfully drawn the ire of Wabash Valley race fans and crews in recent days, continue to plague promoters where it hurts the most — their pocketbooks.

    May 8, 2013

  • TRACKSIDE: Tough to rise from sprint-car racing, especially in challenging financial times

    Open-wheel sprint-car racing, whether it be at the national or local level, has earned a reputation over the years of generating its share of thrills and excitement for its fans and a valuable training ground for drivers seeking to hone their skills that someday might elevate them to the “major leagues” of their sport.

    May 3, 2013

  • METRO ROUNDUP: Rose baseball wins another thriller

    Rose-Hulman earned its third victory in its last at-bat in the last five days with a 6-5 win over Franklin in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball Tuesday night at Art Nehf Field.

    May 1, 2013

  • East gets jump at SUMAR Classic

    In his relatively brief but successful racing career, young Bobby East has at times unfairly been labeled as a driver who could master the pavement ovals but one who was still a work in progress on the dirt.

    October 15, 2012

  • Hurtubise, Sumar races on Action Track slate this weekend

    Championship racing is scheduled this weekend at the Terre Haute Action Track with U.S. Auto Club features set for today and Saturday.
    One USAC championship will be decided and the spread in the other division could widen or tighten up as a result of the races.
    The Jim Hurtubise Classic for sprint cars is today. Only 26 points separate three drivers in the point totals.

    October 12, 2012

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Today in History for April 18th Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual
NDN Video
Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity