News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Auto Racing

May 14, 2010

Stanbrough among favorites for today’s Action Track opener

TERRE HAUTE — If you trust the weather.com Web site, the temperature will drop from 69 to 60 degrees after 6 p.m.

Chance of precipitation will range from 10 to 30 percent.

If this forecast comes true, racing fans should enjoy the debut card of the 2010 Terre Haute Action Track season tonight.

“It looks like the weatherman is going to cooperate with us,” said Mike King, a partner in Action Promotions, which oversees Terre Haute’s historic half-mile clay oval. “So that will be great.”

The third annual Union Hospital Don Smith Classic, presented by Republic Services and sanctioned by the Hoosier Tire Midwest Sprint Car Series (MSCS), will culminate with a 30-lap feature that King thinks should finish by 9:30 tonight.

King said Avon driver Jon Stanbrough, who won the non-winged sprint event in 2009 with a final-lap pass of Damion Gardner coming off the fourth turn, must be considered one of the favorites to win it in 2010. He’s already chalked up two feature victories this year and he has nine feature triumphs at the Action Track on his resumé.

King expects 40 or more cars to be entered, including those with Stanbrough, Levi Jones, Bryan Clauson, Jerry Coons Jr. and Robert Ballou (2008 Don Smith Classic winner) behind the wheel. Twenty-four cars will be allowed to start the feature.

The feature winner will receive $3,000 of the $15,000 total purse.

“I believe we’ll get a great car count,” King emphasized. “I think the fans will see quite a show.”

Gates will open at 4 p.m. Hot laps will get underway at 6, with heat racing to follow at 7.

Adult tickets start at $15. Children 12 and under will get in for free with a paid adult admission.

Adult season tickets, which cost $75 apiece, also can be purchased at the Action Track ticket office.

After tonight’s racing is done, an added attraction known as “Megasaurus” — a fire-breathing, mechanical dragon that reportedly weighs 40,000 pounds and stands 35 feet tall — will devour a full-sized car on the front straightaway.

The next Action Track card after this will be the First Financial Bank Tony Hulman Classic for U.S. Auto Club sprint cars May 27.

For more information, go to www.theactiontrack.com or call the track at (812) 236-7951.

Looking into the future, King mentioned that “ongoing talks” are taking place which could add a fifth race to the 2010 Action Track schedule this summer, but nothing has been finalized yet.

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