TERRE HAUTE —
Justin Wilson goes for a repeat in IZOD IndyCar Series action Sunday at Watkins Glen.
The 31-year-old driver from England goes for his second straight victory in the Camping World Grand Prix that will be telecast by ABC, starting at 3:30 p.m.
Wilson gave Dale Coyne Racing its first IndyCar Series victory with his 2009 victory. He’s driving for Dreiyer and Reinbold Racing this year and his teammate will be Paul Tracy, subbing for Mike Conway as he recuperates from injuries incurred in the Indianapolis 500.
Wilson said last year was a “perfect day for me” as he won his second race in the series.
“It was just a great day to go out there and be quick,” he recalled this week. He said the only negative was that his team could only get 19 gallons of fuel in the car on every pit stop.
“We were saving fuel like crazy until we finally got a yellow with 10 laps to go. That allowed us to save enough fuel to go flat out at the end and pull away from Ryan Briscoe,” he said.
Wilson’s margin of victory was four seconds over Briscoe, the pole-sitter.
“I think it is one of the great tracks in the world. I am going to say that since I won there last year but it is just a great, fun track,” says Wilson, who turns 32 on July 31.
Going into the holiday race, Will Power has an 11-point lead over Scott Dixon in the championship point totals and five other drivers are within 50 points. The Team Penske driver also leads teammate Helio Castroneves by 42 points in the road point standings.
Dixon is the leader by four points over Ganassi Racing teammate Dario Franchitti in the oval point totals and hopes to regain his winning ways at Watkins Glen.
Dixon won the first three IndyCar Series events at the course and was back on the podium a year ago.
Team Penske drivers have earned the pole for every race at Watkins Glen. Castroneves has been first in three races and Briscoe has been the pole-sitter the last two years.
Marco Andretti has run well at the course with three consecutive top-five finishes.
Bertrand Baquette, Adam Carroll, Simona De Silvestro, Alex Lloyd, Mario Romancini and Takuma Sato all will be running for the first time at the track.
Carroll is making his season debut in the Andretti Autosport No. 27 car.
Tony Kanaan was the winner of the last race in the series at Iowa, becoming the seventh winner in eight races.
Next up on the schedule is a street race in Toronto on July 18.
TERRE HAUTE —
Justin Wilson goes for a repeat in IZOD IndyCar Series action Sunday at Watkins Glen.
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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.
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For all but one race during its 2013 racing season, the Terre Haute Action Track has taken a beating from Mother Nature.
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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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Top guns, again
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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.
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.
Carpenter wins Indy 500 pole
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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.
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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.
METRO ROUNDUP: Rose baseball wins another thriller
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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.
TRACKSIDE: Chase Stockon hopes momentum stays with him in Terre Haute
Momentum, an element that can be as elusive to a race driver as that perfect setup, can spell the difference in winning or running at the rear of the pack.
It’s a force difficult to achieve and maybe even harder to maintain. One learns quickly to make the most of the opportunity when it comes his way.
It’s something Chase Stockon will carry with him coming into today’s Jim Hurtubise Classic at the Terre Haute Action Track.
Only days following the biggest victory of his young and promising career, the $10,000-to-win USAC feature at Lawrenceburg, Stockon followed that up with another rich payday this past weekend at Tri-State Speedway.
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Rain and the chance of inclement weather forced postponement of the Jim Hurtubise Classic scheduled for Saturday evening at the Terre Haute Action Track.
METRO ROUNDUP: USAC points leader Levi Jones out for season
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