News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 26, 2011

USAC Tony Hulman Classic tonight

Race is first of four slated at Action Track

Tom Reck
Tribune-Star Correspondent

TERRE HAUTE — The 41st running of The Tony Hulman Classic for United States Auto Club cars is set for tonight at The Action Track.

The first race of the season at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds kicks off a full long weekend of racing capped by the 95th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.

Levi Jones assumed first place in the USAC sprint point totals last week and will try to become the first four-time winner of The Tony Hulman Classic. He has a 17-point lead over Damion Gardner in the totals.

Blake Fitzpatrick of West Terre Haute is seventh in the totals.

Jerry Coons Jr. won the race a year ago and will be in a new car tonight. Last year’s race produced the most lead changes — six after lap one — in the 30-lap event.

Tonight’s race is the first of four USAC races slated at The Action Track.

Regular races are scheduled for Saturday at Crossroads Dragway and Lincoln Park Speedway at Putnamville.

Two more USAC events are on the schedule.

n The Hoosier Hundred is Friday night at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and will be the first Silver Crown race of the season.

Shane Hmiel won the 100-lap event last year and will be grand marshal tonight. He incurred serious injuries in a race in Terre Haute later in the season.

Levi Jones is the defending Silver Crown champ and will be in a Tony Stewart Racing car along with Bryan Clauson.

Clauson will compete in the Freedom 100 the same day on the Carb Day schedule at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when drivers will have their final practice for the 500.

He will try to be the first driver to win both races.

n The 66th Night Before 500 race for midgets is Saturday at Lucas Oil Raceway at Clermont with $20,000 going to the winner.

Clauson is the leader in the midget point totals going into the race, having an 11-point lead over Bobby East.

Tanner Swanson won the race in 2010 with Clauson finishing second.

Kody Swanson incurred a small fracture, a fracture behind the left ear and a chipped vertebrae plus bruises in the Hut Hundred run last week at Tri-State Speedway and was hospitalized.

USAC series point leaders

Sprint cars — Levi Jones 289, Damion Gardner 272, Jon Stanbrough 254, Bryan Clauson 252, Chris Windom, Hunter Schuerenberg, Blake Fitzpatrick, Bobby East, Robert Ballou, Dave Darland

Midgets — Bryan Clauson 187, Bobby East 176, Darren Hagen 167, Jerry Coons Jr. 143, Zach Daum 138, Tracy Hines 116, Brad Kuhn 106, Kody Swanson 106, Levi Roberts 102, Caleb Armstrong 100