TERRE HAUTE —
Following several months of speculation regarding the future of racing at the Terre Haute Action Track, fans can now breathe a huge sigh of relief.
In what has to be considered a solid vote of confidence for the future of racing at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds, it has been announced that veteran promoters Bob Sargent and Reece O’Connor have reached a multi-year agreement with the Fair Board to stage races at the local dirt track oval.
The agreement came earlier this week following several months of ongoing negotiations.
In a schedule that runs from April through October, the track will offer seven events featuring the best in open wheel and stock car racing.
U.S. Auto Club sanctioned events including three Sprint Car and a Silver Crown show. After several years absence, UMP late model stock cars will make a return to the track. UMP modifieds will share the cards with the exception of during Indiana Sprint Week.
“We are really pleased with the schedule we have been able to put together. It’s a great mixture of sprint and stock car racing,” offered Sargent.
“The dates are right. We are really pleased to be able to race during the fair and look forward to bringing in Tony Stewart for our NASCAR Night. It ought to be a great year,” he added.
“We’ve always felt the facility at the Fairgrounds has tremendous potential. The parking and camping availability and the track itself that blends to great racing makes it a fan favorite. We hope to build on that,” voiced Sargent, who was just recently named national Promoter of the Year by his fellow promoters at the nationally recognized RPM workshop in Florida.
Fair Board officials, who once again spent the off season searching for a promoter, feel they have landed the right combination to lead the fortunes of racing at their oval.
“We are pleased to have Bob and Reece as the promoters for racing at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds. The Action Track is going to be the place to come and watch great racing for years to come with them as our promoters. We welcome them and look forward to a great relationship,” said Fair Board president Jennifer Cook.
The Sargent-O’Connor combination is not new to the Action Track. They were called upon by the two previous promotional groups to come in and do track preparation. Their efforts drew high praise from the competitors and fans.
This coming after they failed to gain promotional rights at the fairgrounds at the start of the 2011 season. Although negotiations went longer than hoped, Sargent looks forward to operating the oval in 2012.
“We both gave in a little on certain issues,” he said of the negotiation process. “We look forward to a strong working relationship with the board.”
Joe Buckles can be reached at email@example.com