News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

November 8, 2007

Idling Action Track will shift gears to new promoter

TERRE HAUTE — By all measures the 2007 motorsports season at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds will go down as one the facility’s most troubling and least productive in recent years.

Shrouded in controversy the Action Track sat idle throughout the summer. Attempts to revive the fortunes of Action City Dragway USA were met with mixed results.

As the season drew to a close, the future of racing at the Fairgrounds was clouded in uncertainty.

In recent weeks, that picture has not only become clearer, but much brighter.

Dragstrip officials have taken preliminary steps to make major improvements to their facility, while Fairgrounds officials are now actively seeking a new promoter for the Action Track after Dave Allison recently agreed to relinquish all promotional rights at the oval.

Fair Board president Dave Hartman has confirmed that local officials and Allison reached an agreement last week to sever their ties.

“Through mutual agreement we parted ways with Dave Allison,” said Hartman. “Pete Plant, the chairman of our race committee, is heading the search for a new promoter. We’ve been approached by several parties regarding the position.”

Although Hartman is reluctant to mention names, former Action Track promoter Bob Sargent is considered a leading candidate for the position.

When reached by telephone last week Sargent acknowledged he has been in contact with Fairgrounds officials.

“We talked for the first time last week. There’s nothing definite, but we will be talking again in the near future. We like the facility what with its tradition and history,” said Sargent, who stages nearly 80 events every season at tracks throughout the Midwest.

A visit to the Fairgrounds shows that work is already underway at the drag strip, where officials hope the lengthening of the shut down area at the eighth-mile strip will make for safer conditions for the racers and help attract bigger and faster fields for 2008.

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