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.
- Auto Racing
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.
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With any assistance from the weather, the Wabash Valley motorsports season is expected to shift into high gear this weekend on several fronts.
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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
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Gary Bettenhausen, a legend of the Terre Haute Action Track, has died at age 72.
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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.
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In a season that has generated more than its share of down moments for Wabash Valley fans and racers, last Saturday’s “King of non-wing Sprints” program at Lincoln Park Speedway served notice that there are still a few positive storylines to be found in the wild and unpredictable sport of sprint-car racing.
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.
Coons Jr. wins USAC Tony Hulman/Jim Hurtubise Classic at Action Track
For all but one race during its 2013 racing season, the Terre Haute Action Track has taken a beating from Mother Nature.
Trackside: Stewart proves versatility is one of his strongpoints
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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TRACKSIDE: Local drivers, owners looking to have strong night at Tony Hulman Classic
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
Ed Carpenter is on the pole for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500.
The native of Marshall, Ill., earned the No. 1 spot for the May 26 race with a strong run in the Fast Nine competition at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday. He is the first American driver on the pole since 2006.
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.
TRACKSIDE: Tough to rise from sprint-car racing, especially in challenging financial times
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
Rose-Hulman earned its third victory in its last at-bat in the last five days with a 6-5 win over Franklin in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball Tuesday night at Art Nehf Field.
East gets jump at SUMAR Classic
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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.
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- VIDEO: Windom seeking strong start to USAC Silver Crown Series at Action Track