News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

May 6, 2014

Trackside: Valley racers appear destined for banner year at various tracks

TERRE HAUTE — The green flag may have just fallen on the 2014 racing campaign, but early results give all the indications that it’s going to be a banner season for the Wabash Valley contingent.

Competitors have already made their presence felt at two of the most popular weekly cards, those at Bloomington and Lincoln Park Speedways. Chase Stockon has established himself again as legitimate contender on the U.S. Auto Club sprint-car circuit.

Near-perfect weather conditions helped attract a strong field to Putnamville last weekend and once again drivers and crews from the Valley came home big winners.

Kenny Carmichael and C.J. Bryan took checkered flags in their respective classes, while fellow Terre Haute and Brazil drivers ran up front most of the night.

A tour of the crowded LPS pit area revealed just how prominent the Valley presence is at the popular Saturday night racing venue.

First stop was the area now designated at “Carmichael Corner.” It is appropriately named because of the strong presence of Carmichael Racing with their two-driver entry of Kenny Carmichael and his son Kenny Carmichael Jr. The duo has UMP Modifieds, Super Stocks and the many cars that carry the Carmichael Exhaust sponsorship logos.

The senior Carmichael notched his second of win of the season following a race-long duel Saturday night. The younger Carmichael led the points in the modifieds at both Bloomington and LPS heading into Saturday night’s action.

Sharing the area are a number of Valley racers that include Loughmiller Racing with young Tyler Loughmiller, who continues to hone his skills in dirt-track racing at the tender young age of 13.

The Woodrow Wilson Middle School seventh-grader has moved up to the UMP Modifieds this season after running the Super Stocks a year ago.

Also sharing the space was North Terre Haute’s Josh McDaniels, who continues to improve his skills competing in the Super Stock and modified divisions.

After struggling with a rare lack of feature wins a season ago, C.J. Bryan is back in winning form posting his second Bomber class feature win of year. His first came two weeks earlier when he won the track’s biggest Bomber feature of the year. He plans to be back in the Super Stocks soon with a new car currently being built.

Although he might not be a Valley resident, Dustin Shoulders has close ties with the area while attending Rose-Hulman. He’ll receive his degree in mechanical engineering later this month and plans to attend grad school at the eastside school next year.

He’s already notched a feature win in the Super Stocks and is considered the guy beat on Saturday nights at LPS.

Also in the stock pits were Bob Farris of Terre Haute, who has been behind the wheel of a stocker since 1983. Frontrunners Ronnie Smith and Collen Goodman and veteran Mike Wright Jr., Kenny Weaver of Hymera and newcomer Chucky Walden.

Joining this contingent in the Bombers class are Terre Haute drivers Mike Fisher, Kyle and Lennie Krupa, Bobby Tarrah, Bill Norton and Harry Shepherd, who also competes in the modifieds and David Wallen of Brazil.

Those with area connections competing in the modified class also include Gary and Scott Ricketts of Blackhawk, Larry Lambert, Wayne Newlin, Chad Nolte of Brazil, Doug Bryant of North Terre Haute and Jeff Van Lannen of Shepherdsville.

The Super Stock pits have Travis Heramb, Jack Hatton and Junior Watkins of Terre Haute, Steve Sutliff and Kenny Weaver of Hymera, David Daniels of Dugger and Will Barnett of Brazil.

On the sprint car side, Krockenberger Racing had their familiar No. 21 VP Racing Fuels sprinter on hand for veteran driver Casey Shuman. The team has already made it to victory lane in 2014. The Terre Haute based team had three runner-up and a third-place feature finishes already this season.

Paul May will represent the Valley on the prestigious World of Outlaws circuit, having made shows at Peevley, Mo., and Eldora Speedway in Ohio with a scheduled appearance at Haubstadt this weekend and at the Action Track in September.

Other open-wheel racers included Brandon Mattox of Cory, Dylan Chambers of Brazil, Seth Parker and Brandon Morin of Jasonville and Shelby Van Gilder of Terre Haute.

 

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

 

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