TERRE HAUTE —
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.
“We have high hopes with the weather forecast,” he said Wednesday. “It all looks good and we’re ready to race.”
If the rain-free forecast holds up, the 43rd running of America’s longest-running sprint-car tradition will unfold Friday as qualifying, heat races and a 30-lap feature for the Hulman Classic take over the half-mile clay oval.
USAC officials said the feature winner will receive $5,000, with the runner-up getting $2,500.
The Hulman Classic, which originally had been scheduled for May 22, will open a two-night AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car weekend, continuing with Saturday night’s race at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Mich.
Veteran racer Dave Darland of Lincoln sits atop the current USAC point standings, 33 ahead of runner-up Chase Stockon, a Sullivan County native.
Darland, 46, is a former Hulman Classic champion. But it’s been 20 years since his only Classic victory. He’s also had a second, two thirds, a fourth and two fifths in the Classic.
Bud Kaeding of Campbell, Calif., won last year’s Hulman Classic. Other former race winners expected to compete Friday include Chris Windom (2011), Jerry Coons Jr. (2010), Jon Stanbrough (2002 and 2007), Daron Clayton (2006), Tracy Hines (2001) and Darland.
One former winner who won’t be there is Levi Jones (2005, 2008 and 2009).
“[The Hulman Classic] is one of the best sprint-car races of the year, for sure,” Jones told the Tribune-Star over the phone. “But I’m not running a full sprint schedule this year and I have some other commitments [Friday].”
Bryan Clauson stands third in the USAC sprints point standings, just 34 back of Darland, with Kevin Thomas Jr. fourth and Brady Bacon fifth.
UMP Modifieds also will be part of the Action Track card with six-lap heat races and a 15-lap feature.
Friday’s schedule calls for pit gates opening at 3 p.m., grandstands and infield opening at 4, hot laps starting at 6:30, qualifying at 7 and heat races at 7:30. Ticket costs are $35 for a pit pass, $25 for grandstand (free for children 10 and under) and $15 for infield (free for children 10 and under).
After Friday, the next Action Track card will be “NASCAR Night” with an appearance by Sprint Cup driver Tony Stewart on July 2. The Midwest Sprint Car Series and UMP Modifieds will be the featured action that night.
2013 AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car point standings — Dave Darland 633, Chase Stockon 600, Bryan Clauson 599, Kevin Thomas Jr. 584, Brady Bacon 582, Hunter Schuerenberg 560, Tracy Hines 537, Robert Ballou 518, Shane Cottle 404, Chris Windom 366.