News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

Auto Racing

August 30, 2010

Pedrosa wins MotoGP in tragic day at Indy

13-year-old rider in support race dies after accident

Speedway — Dani Pedrosa won MotoGP Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix on Sunday in dominant fashion, but the day of motorcycle racing was marred by tragedy, as an accident at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway claimed the youngest victim in the 101-year history of the track.

Peter Lenz of Vancouver, Wash., died as a result of injuries suffered in an accident in the United States Grand Prix Racers Union support race on Sunday morning.

Lenz was 13. IMS officials confirmed that he is the youngest rider or driver to die on track in IMS history.

Lenz accident occurred during the “sighting lap,” motorcycle racing’s equivalent of the warm-up lap, before the support race began at 10:20 a.m. According to the Associated Press, Lenz fell on the lap and was run over by Xavier Zayat, 12, who also fell but was not injured.

Lenz was placed in a neck brace and was given chest compressions before he was transported to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Shortly after the accident, USGPRU officials announced that Lenz “suffered traumatic injuries.” Lenz was later pronounced dead.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss, but know that Peter is racing even faster in the sky,” said the family of Peter Lenz in a statement released to the media.

Lenz is the first motorcycle rider to die at the track, he is the first fatality on the IMS road course, and is the first death on the track since Tony Renna died during an Indy Racing League practice session in 2003. The last driver to die on track during a race was Swede Savage, who was killed during the 1973 Indianapolis 500.

The USGPRU is an entry-level series for riders aged 12 to 18 designed for them to advance into higher disciplines of motorcycle racing. The series is not normally part of the MotoGP support schedule. The fatality occurred in the second race of a two-race weekend for the series. It was the first fatality in the nine-year history of the USGPRU.

A USGPRU spokesman didn’t know whether track conditions — temperatures were in the 90s and made it difficult for riders to get grip from their tires — contributed to the accident.

Most of the crowd at IMS was unaware of the tragedy as the MotoGP races unfolded later Sunday.

For the featured MotoGP class, all hopes to see the Stars & Stripes fly atop the podium in the featured race for the first time on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course were placed on the shoulders of rookie rider and pole-sitter Ben Spies.

Pedrosa, however, made emphatically certain that the red, white and blue was one step below Spain’s red and gold on the podium flag stand.

“I am very happy and pleased with my bike [a Honda]. It was a fast bike in the straight and it was going well in the corners. So I have good feelings. I’m tired but very happy,” Pedrosa said.

Spies, riding for the Monster Yamaha Tech team, got a good start off the start-finish line as riders in the first two rows scrambled for position. Spies ultimately led Andrea Dovizioso, fellow American Nicky Hayden, Pedrosa and defending champion Jorge Lorenzo coming out of the first lap.

Hayden, riding a Ducati, quickly dropped back in the field — he eventually finished sixth — as Pedrosa began to make his way forward. Never more than 1.4 seconds off the pace of leader Spies, Pedrosa picked off Repsol Honda teammate Dovizioso on the fourth lap.

Pedrosa then tracked Spies down. He clicked a tenth of a second per lap off Spies’ lead until Pedrosa pounced on the seventh lap.

Pedrosa caught Spies in the 11th turn, which begins the complex of five turns on the north end of the track before the circuit re-enters the oval portion of the course. Pedrosa was directly behind Spies as both entered the straightaway. Pedrosa drafted off Spies and passed him just before the start-finish line as the eighth lap began. Pedrosa easily cleared Spies entering the first turn and began to pull away.

“I mean, we can’t complain, you know. We came in and did better than I thought we were going to do. I didn’t set the world on fire, but we had a good pace,” Spies said.

Just five laps after Pedrosa passed Spies, he had a 3.3-second advantage and never looked back. Pedrosa, who used an extra hard rear tire to regulate temperature and grip, rode to 5.6-second margin before he ultimately won by a 3.5 seconds. It was Pedrosa’s third win of the season; he had previously won the Italian and German Grands Prix.

Pedrosa put Honda in the winner’s circle at Indy for the first time in the race’s three-year history. Yamaha had won the previous two editions.

While Pedrosa dominated up front, Lorenzo — the MotoGP points leader — consolidated his spot atop the standings. He passed Dovizioso on Lap 12 and finished third. Lorenzo has a commanding 68-point lead over Pedrosa with seven races left on the MotoGP slate.

There were three accidents during the race. Marco Melandri fell on Lap 3, Casey Stoner fell on Lap 8 and Marco Kallio fell on Lap 19. None of the riders were hurt.

Spain’s Nicolas Terol, riding an Aprilia, won an uneventful 125cc class race by a 5-second margin over Germany’s Sandro Cortese.

The Moto2 class race, which featured a whopping 38 riders, by far the largest field in Indy history, had to be restarted at a shorter distance after a red flag flew on an opening lap where six riders fell. None were hurt.

Once the race was restarted, Spain’s Toni Elias, riding a Moriwaki, edged countryman Julian Simon by 0.405 seconds.

Officials from IMS and Dorna Sports, the commercial rights holders for MotoGP, announced Friday that the race will return to Indianapolis in 2011.


Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix

MotoGP class (28 laps)


1. Dani Pedrosa=Spain=Honda=winner

2. Ben Spies=USA=Yamaha=-3.575

3. Jorge Lorenzo=Spain=Yamaha=-6.812

4. Valentino Rossi=Italy=Yamaha=-.12.633

5. Andrea Dovizioso=Italy=Honda=-21.885

6. Nicky Hayden=USA=Ducati=-35.138

7. Marco Simoncelli=Italy=Honda=-36.740

8. Alvaro Bautista=Spain=Suzuki=-36.825

9. Aleix Espargaro=Spain=Ducati=-44.905

10. Hector Barbera=Spain=Ducati=-51.368

11. Loris Capirossi=Italy=Suzuki=-55.386

12. Hiroshi Aoyama=Japan=Honda=-57.903

13. Randy de Puniet=France=Honda=-1:04.139

Not classified

14. Mika Kallio=Finland=Ducati=-10 laps

15. Colin Edwards=USA=Yamaha=-12 laps

16. Casey Stoner=Australia=Ducati=-21 laps

17. Marco Melandri=Italy=Honda=-26 laps

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Auto Racing
  • SPT071614sprints clauson.jpg JOE BUCKLES: Clauson living up to lofty expectations

    Sprint car driver Bryan Clauson is living up to lofty expectations

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Metro roundup: Post 346 rallies past Rockville

    Wayne Newton Post 346 scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to get past Rockville 6-3 in an American Legion baseball regional at Terre Haute North on Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Todd Golden: Bigelow part of Action Track’s lifeblood

    Many things have changed since the Terre Haute Action Track opened in 1952, but the one constant is dirt.

    July 18, 2014

  • Metro: ISU graduate Johnson sixth in shot at Monaco

    Indiana State graduate Felisha Johnson competed in her first International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League track and field meeting Friday, placing sixth in a shot put competition that featured six of the top seven throwers in the world for 2014.

    July 18, 2014

  • SPT071614sprints clauson.jpg Clauson breaks Action Track drought in Don Smith Classic

    Bryan Clauson wins the Don Smith Classic at the Terre Haute Action Track.

    July 17, 2014 4 Photos

  • schrader.jpg Joe Buckles: New alliance features powerful figures trying to lower costs

    Possibly no off track developments involving NASCAR racing  over the past 20 to 30 years has generated as much interest and speculation as last week’s announcement regarding the formation of the new Race Team Alliance organization.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Riley 10s go 4-1, place second in state tourney

    Riley’s 10-and-under all-star team finished as runner-up over the weekend at the Cal Ripken baseball Central Indiana tournament.

    July 14, 2014

  • Trackside: Valley race fans should be happy

    Whether your preference is non-wing sprint cars or late-model stock cars, this is the week that Wabash Valley race fans look forward to all summer.
    The best of the best is the only way to describe what will unfold this week at Valley ovals. First comes the continuation of the popular UMP Summer National “Hell Week” tour for late models and its annual stop at Terre Haute Action Track tonight. USAC’s Indiana Sprint Week opens later this weekend with stops at Gas City on Friday night, Kokomo on Saturday and Lawrenceburg on Sunday evening.

    July 8, 2014

  • Metro sports: Pounds among winners at Crossroads Dragway

    Ron Pound was one of the winners in Crossroads Dragway racing on Saturday.

    June 30, 2014

  • Trackside: Rising costs make Valley racing more difficult than ever

    The life and times of your weekly short-track racer has long lived up to the colorful and exciting ways coveted by those in the stands who gather each weekend to watch their favorite team or driver compete.
    While the weekly trek to the race track has always presented its challenges, the task in recent times has made those trips to the many dirt ovals across the country a little more difficult to make.

    June 24, 2014

  • Metro roundup: Lady Rex take Ohio softball tournament

    The Lady Rex 18u softball team had a 5-1 record over the weekend to win the Ohio Premier tournament.

    June 23, 2014

  • Trackside: Likable Dave Darland still chalking up victories at 48

    One of short-track racing’s all-time open-wheel greats continues to add to his growing legacy.
    When veteran racer Dave Darland rolled into victory lane at Lincoln Park Speedway last week, he notched his 94th USAC career win. Add the countless number of open-competition wins over the years and it’s easy to surmise the popular driver is approaching the lofty 200-win plateau.
    His latest checkered flag came in the USAC Indiana Midget Week show at the same 5⁄16-mile dirt oval where he cut his teeth in an open-cockpit car more than 30 years ago.

    June 18, 2014

  • Groomer among Lincoln Park winners; Bell, Abreu take Indiana Midget Week races

    Ralph Groomer was a feature winner in racing on Saturday at Lincoln Park Speedway.

    June 15, 2014

  • Trackside: Thumbs up given for upcoming Indiana Midget Week

    In his many years of serving in the public relation department for the U.S. Auto Club, Dick Jordan has developed a keen sense for rating the overall health and future of dirt-track open-wheel racing.
    So when the veteran publicist voices a note of guarded optimism for the running of an upcoming series, one knows something special looms on the horizon.

    June 10, 2014

  • Metro sports: Cassell wins Lawrence County title

    Chris Cassell put together two rounds of 4-under-par 68 for a two-shot victory for his first Albright Motors Lawrence County Open championship on Sunday.

    June 9, 2014

  • Metro: White wins mile, Sebastian 5K at TH Memorial Day events

    Nolan White won the mile run and Matthew Sebastian won the 5-kilometer walk during Terre Haute Parks Memorial Day events Monday at Deming Park.

    May 28, 2014

  • IndyCar Indy 500 Heli_Tayl.jpg Six former winners chasing Indy 500 championship

    Angst, frustration and heartbreak are all part of the lore of the Indianapolis 500, but when a driver finally takes the checkered flag, all of those words are quickly relegated to the back of their mind and replaced with pure joy. That emotion keeps bringing them back, and for the 98th running of the Indy 500, six former winners will chase that passion again.

    May 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Darland wins Hulman Classic for 50th trip to USAC victory lane

    For once, the Terre Haute Action Track and the U.S. Auto Club got a weather break Wednesday night, a window amidst threatening conditions to allow the 44th Tony Hulman Classic to go off without a serious hitch.
    Some might say Dave Darland got a break too, but most would agree instead that the veteran sprint car driver has learned to make his own breaks by this time. He won the Classic for the second time in his career — the first coming in 1993 — and is a three-time USAC winner this season while no one else has won more than once.

    May 21, 2014

  • Trackside: Tony Hulman Classic set for tonight at T.H. Action Track

    Looking for a potential dark horse winner in tonight’s scheduled running of the U.S. Auto Club-sanctioned running of the Tony Hulman Classic at the Terre Haute Action Track?
    The task is indeed a challenging one. The USAC sprint circuit offers some of the most competitive forms of racing anywhere in the country and picking a potential winner out of a field that has at least eight to 10 drivers capable of making it to victory lane is very much a guessing game.

    May 21, 2014

  • Unlikely duo on Indy GP pole

    Verizon IndyCar drivers in the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis showcased rooster tails Friday as the rains came down for the Firestone Fast Six qualifying. Red flag conditions briefly halted the final session as officials stopped action for safety reasons.

    May 9, 2014

  • carpenter.jpg Owner-driver Ed Carpenter getting ready for Indy run

    Before too many pages get torn off the May calendar, IndyCar team owner and driver Ed Carpenter is trying to enjoy his free time away from race tracks.
    Wednesday afternoon was an example of that.
    The Wabash Valley native — born in Paris, Ill., and lived in Marshall, Ill., until he was 8 — signed autographs and granted media interviews while the car he drove in the 2008 Indianapolis 500 sat in the parking lot of the 500 Automotive Chevrolet Buick GMC dealership in Vermillion County.

    May 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drivers give thumbs up to Indy’s new road course

    IndyCar drivers were unified Wednesday: The new road course at Indianapolis is a whole lot better than the old one.

    April 30, 2014

  • Trackside: Track promoters realize rainy weather is part of territory

    The life and times of a race-track operator or promoter is sure to test the patience and character of any individual adventurous enough to journey into such a risky profession.
    Especially if your name is Bob Sargent or Reece O’Connor and your race dates are at the Terre Haute Action Track.

    April 29, 2014

  • SPT 051712 TYLER WAMPLER.jpg Metro roundup: ISU’s Wampler makes national watch list

    Indiana State’s Tyler Wampler has been named to the watch list for the 2014 Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year award.

    April 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 2014 KISS Series opener today at Terre Haute Action Track

    When the 2014 King of Indiana Sprint Series gets underway today, it will be at one of the most challenging ovals on the schedule. The Terre Haute Action Track earned its name years ago.
    The Action Track is a big half mile, with sweeping turns and high-speed straightaways that demand the best from drivers, cars and crew. This may be illustrated by mentioning previous KISS winners at the Terre Haute oval — Jon Stanbrough (three times), Levi Jones, Tony Elliott, Shane Cottle and most recently Robert Ballou.

    April 26, 2014

  • 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

Latest News
AP Auto Racing News Poll
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Hispanic Caucus Slams GOP for Border Bill Shifts Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"

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