News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

August 9, 2012

TRACKSIDE: Terre Haute's C.J. Bryan having memorable stock-car season

TERRE HAUTE — If there’s been anything hotter than the record-breaking temperatures that have hit the Wabash Valley this summer, it would be the blistering pace set by Terre Haute stock-car racer C.J. Bryan.

The Terre Haute competitor has all but dominated the Bomber class racing at Lincoln Park Speedway this summer.

His stellar performances have the veteran dirt-car racer on track to become a double-digit feature winner, which is no easy accomplishment in the rough and tumble ways of weekly Saturday night short-track racing. It’s a brand of racing that can test one’s driving talents on the track and one’s character off it.

With nine feature wins and sizable point lead already intact, it would appear Bryan could pretty much coast to a track title and secure additional checkered flags as the current season rapidly draws to a close.

Certainly no stranger to the sport, Bryan is quick to attest that he doesn’t have all the answers to his phenomenal season. But he does know success can be fleeting in racing.

“I don’t understand why things are going as well as they are. I’ve been around long enough that things can turn bad just as quickly overnight. You can have your runs of good luck and bad luck. You learn to make the most of the moment,” cautioned Bryan.

One thing he does know is that it takes a good race car to run up front and his car owner Marlin Burns sees that his team has the equipment to be contenders each time they unload the trailer.

“This class can be very competitive. There’s a lot of cars capable of winning out there. We’ve been lucky and we’ve been consistent,” Bryan said. “Marlin has made sure we have the equipment. That helps.”

When the team closed out the 2011 campaign with three wins, it set the goal of a championship run this go-around. The crew built a new car over the winter and targeted the mindset of points chasing.

Although it’s not the way he likes to go racing, Bryan thinks it’s the direction the team must take if it is going to reach its ultimate goal.

“You can’t be as aggressive as you would like to be at times. You’ve got to be smart about it. Be there at the end of the night. We want the championship and this is the way it has to be done,” Bryan explained.

With three championships already to his credit over a lengthy and satisfying career, one would think the successful Terre Haute businessman would be seeking higher goals. He’s been around a long time and is cautious enough to know the business side of racing has more than its share of financial pitfalls.

In the perfect world, Bryan says he would be driving one of the bigger, more prestigious late models. But he knows that’s not likely to happen at this stage of his career.

“I’d love to have had the equipment that I have today when I was 17. Maybe things would have been a little different. I don’t know of many forms of racing, unless it might be the World of Outlaws or Lucas Oil Late Models, where a guy can make a living at it.

“None of us [Bomber drivers] do this for a living. We might make enough on the night to pay our way to and from the track. Like the rest of the guys, I’m not giving up my day job,” said Bryan, who owns and operates Specialty Grafix Sign Co. in Terre Haute.

The way in which Bryan has dominated the Bombers has been well scrutinized by the competition. He’s heard his share of rumblings of a big motor or specials shocks. Winning has a tendency to breed skepticism in racing.

“I’ve heard the whispers. I’ve told them [competitors] they are all welcomed to come over to the shop. I’ll even put the car up on the jack stand for them. If I saw some guy winning as much as we have, I’d probably have questions too. That’s just part of racing,” Bryan said with a grin.

“Like a lot the guys that run the bombers or street stocks, I live for Saturday nights. It’s Sunday through Friday that’s tough. It can be a second job that doesn’t pay well.”

Bryan says his success couldn’t come without the support he receives off the race track.

“I’m fortunate to have my wife Dina and her father [Mel Martin] with me. Mel does a great job helping out with the motors. It can be a full-time job if you want to do it right,” said Bryan.

As the confounded and predictably covetous competition will attest, Bryan and his team are indeed doing it right.

Joe Buckles can be reached at jbuckles4@frontier.com.

 

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Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Catch me if you can: Terre Haute South's Justin Jenkins takes a lead off first base while Northview's Jacob Harden holds him close. Nathan Thomas is on the mound for the Knights.

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    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

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    April 19, 2014

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    April 19, 2014

  • ISU falls to Canisius in first of three-game road series

    The Indiana State baseball team fell behind early and never could get the lead as host Canisius posted a 3-1 victory in the opener of a three-game series Friday at Demske Sports Complex.
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    April 19, 2014

  • Terre Haute North baseball cruises past Warren Central

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    April 19, 2014

  • PREP ROUNDUP: Sollars, Morrison lead West Vigo softball to win

    Kaitlyn Sollars had a double, triple and four runs batted in and winning pitcher Leah Morrison contributed a pair of triples and a double to lead visiting West Vigo over Riverton Parke 14-1 in high school softball.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPT041714 WV BB shaffer.jpg West Vigo baseball wins in rout

    When Brandin Behringer drove in his first run Thursday evening, it gave West Vigo a short-lived lead in nonconference high school baseball.
    The remainder of the Viking senior’s RBIs came four at a time in the bottom of the fourth inning, his grand-slam homer capping the second of consecutive seven-run innings that sent his team to a 15-3 win over visiting North Vermillion.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

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    April 18, 2014

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    On Wednesday, the Colts took a look at some Indianapolis-area talent, including former Warren Central High School and Indiana State standout Shakir Bell.
     

    April 18, 2014

  • Prep roundup: Vikings get big hits to beat North Vermillion on softball diamond

    The West Vigo softball team improved to 4-3 for the season with an 11-4 victory over North Vermillion on Thursday.
    Leah Morrison busted the game open with a three-run double in the Vikings’ seven-run fourth inning.
    Kenzie Little chipped in with a two-run triple in the sixth and Hannah Harden tossed a complete-game for the pitching win.

    April 18, 2014

Local Interest
  • METRO ROUNDUP: Waltman's funeral Saturday at Indianapolis

    Royce Waltman’s visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at St. Luke’s Methodist Church at 100 E. 86th Street, Indianapolis.

    April 10, 2014

  • METRO ROUNDUP: Burnham leads Woods softball to wins

    After dropping a pair of games to Missouri Baptist on Wednesday, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods beat Lindenwood-Belleville 9-7 and 1-0, both games in eight innings, on Thursday afternoon.
    Sarah Burnham’s seventh-inning homer in the first game tied the score 4-4, and the Pomeroys took a 5-4 lead later in the inning on an RBI double by Brooke Jordan before the Lynx tied the score in the bottom of the inning.

    March 21, 2014

  • METRO ROUNDUP: ISU softball splits pair in Florida

    Pitching dominated Tuesday’s opening day of play in the Rebel Spring Games for the Indiana State softball team, which defeated Bucknell 2-0 before falling 2-0 to Creighton.
    “The girls did a great job in the first game getting a couple runs,” ISU coach Shane Bouman said. “We leaned on [sophomore] Yvette Alvarez who pitched really well. We probably got as much as we could out of her and probably should have changed earlier so put that on me. We have a couple little things we can clean up and get a little better and we will be ready to go tomorrow.”

    March 11, 2014

  • Tony Dungy, wife Lauren signing books today in Terre Haute

    Former NFL coach Tony Dungy and his wife, Lauren, are at Sam’s Club in Terre Haute today, Feb. 12, signing books until about 1:30 p.m.

    February 12, 2014

  • Vigo County Jail Log: Feb. 7, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Thursday, based on jail records.

    February 7, 2014

High School
College
  • METRO ROUNDUP: Odum shines in Portsmouth Invitational

    Former Indiana State guard Jake Odum had a productive first night at the Portsmouth Invitational late Thursday.
    The Terre Haute native scored 16 points, had six assists and three steals for the Portsmouth Partnership team in its 88-81 victory over Cherry Bekaert.

    April 19, 2014

  • ISU falls to Canisius in first of three-game road series

    The Indiana State baseball team fell behind early and never could get the lead as host Canisius posted a 3-1 victory in the opener of a three-game series Friday at Demske Sports Complex.
    The Sycamores (24-11) and Griffins (21-13) will meet again at 2 p.m. today, but the venue will switch to Dwyer Stadium in Batavia, N.Y. The same two teams also will play Sunday back at Demske Sports Complex in a noon start.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPT041614 SMWC jordan.jpg Saint Mary-of-the-Woods sweeps doubleheader over Rose-Hulman

    Over the years, defeating its crosstown rival has not usually been easy for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods or Rose-Hulman when they’ve met in college softball.
    But on Wednesday afternoon at The Woods, the home team made its doubleheader sweep look easy to first-year coach Mark Feller with five-inning decisions of 10-0 and 11-1.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT 030714 ODUM 02O'LEARY.jpg Terre Haute North grad O'Leary to transfer from Loyola

    Matt O’Leary is one of three men's basketball players at Loyola recently granted a release from his scholarship from the Missouri Valley Conference school.
    The former Terre Haute North standout told the Tribune-Star he doesn’t yet know his next move.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rose-Hulman, Woods to face off on softball diamond

    The Rose-Hulman softball team will visit a familiar foe today when the Engineers take on crosstown rival Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in a nonleague doubleheader.

    April 15, 2014

Sports Columns
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Terre Haute Rex
SPT 041614 ROSSELLI REX.jpg

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza Expanding the fan base: Bruce Rosselli, manager of the Terre Haute Rex, displays the team's new slogan, Wabash Valley's Own, during a press conference on Wednesday at Clabber Girl.

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