TERRE HAUTE —
Bobby East said he has the same fast car with the same engine, “the same great team” and the same driver — himself — that he had last year when he won the 100-lap First Financial Bank Sumar Classic for U.S. Auto Club Silver Crown cars at the Terre Haute Action Track.
“It was awesome [winning the race in 2012],” he told the Tribune-Star on Saturday. “We’d definitely like to do it again.”
East’s chance to do it again will come today when the Sumar Classic, slated for 50 laps this year, returns to the Action Track. The winner, whomever it ends up being, will receive $8,000 of a $34,150 total purse.
“We are excited to kick-start the 2013 Traxxas Silver Crown Series at Terre Haute with fans getting pit access starting at 3 p.m.,” USAC states series director James Spink said. “This is going to be a great season for the series and we think the fans will especially like the double-file restarts.”
“It is a quality event,” Action Track co-promoter Bob Sargent added. “The USAC Silver Crown cars are steeped in tradition with the likes of A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon racing [in similar types of cars] in the past. The 2013 event looks like it will have more talented race-car drivers competing to win.”
Practice is scheduled to start at 5 p.m, followed by qualifications at 6.
Front-gate adult tickets cost $25, infield tickets are $15 and tickets for children 5-12 are $5 each. A 15-lap UMP Modifieds feature will precede the Sumar Classic main event.
Only one defending Silver Crown champion — J.J. Yeley in 2003 — has ever won the Sumar Classic at the Action Track’s half-mile dirt oval.
East, the 2012 series champ who’s returning as part of the potent Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing team, hopes to become the second. But he knows it won’t be easy.
“I think my teammate, Levi [Jones], and Jerry Coons will be tough to beat,” the 28-year-old driver from Brownsburg said. “Generally, everyone in Silver Crowns is pretty good and has a chance to win.”
Jones finished first in the 2010 Sumar Classic.
Sargent mentioned Brian Tyler and Dave Darland as other top contenders today.
The next Action Track card will be the Tony Hulman Classic for USAC sprint cars May 22.
But first things first. East, a 10-year veteran of Silver Crown racing, is eagerly awaiting tonight’s showdown at one of his favorite tracks.
“I like it,” he said of the Action Track. “It’s a very popular track. I haven’t had a lot of success there, but I have won a couple big races there. It’s a prestigious race track and we all like to do well there.”
For more information about tonight and future Action Track cards, call 812-232-4040.
Sumar Classic winners
1995 — Donnie Beechler
1996 — Kevin Thomas
1997 — Donnie Beechler
1998 — Tony Elliott
1999 — Jack Hewitt
2002 — Tony Elliott
2003 — J.J. Yeley
2004 — Brian Tyler
2005 — Josh Wise
2006 — Bud Kaeding
2008 — Dave Darland
2010 — Levi Jones
2012 — Bobby East