News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

July 3, 2013

TRACKSIDE: NHRA, midgets among bright spots of racing season

TERRE HAUTE — In a season that has probably generated more rain postponements and cancellations than most fans and promoters would like to talk about, there has been a couple rays of sunshine in 2013.

They’ve come in two forms of racing that just might be the most overlooked and underrated venues of motorsports in the Wabash Valley — NHRA sanctioned track bracket and USAC midget racing.

Both just completed highly successful events with all signs pointing to bigger and better   times ahead for the two contrasting forms of racing.

In what could be termed the best kept secret among the Terre Haute sporting community Crossroads Dragway continues to offer its weekly show of drag racing and  special events equal to that of any facility in the Midwest.

The recent Crossroads 500 not only opened new doors to Valley racers it instituted a inaugural form of racing that might be a trend setter of things to come in straightline racing.

Although rain caused an annoying one-day delay for the new show racers and officials alike voiced a measure of optimism for the future of 500 foot racing on the NHRA’s  smaller 1/8th-mile drag strips located  across the state.

The recognized voiced of drag racing — not only the Wabash Valley scene but nationwide — Nick Agresta of Terre Haute has saw it all in his 50-plus years of following and participating in the sport.

What he saw in the Crossroads 500 not only renewed his optimism for his favorite form of racing but issued a signal for fellow promoters to standup and take notice.

Times are changing and those with an involvement better be prepared for what is about to unfold in the days ahead.

A week removed from the 500 Agresta has had the opportunity to reflect on the new venue with his typical upbeat approach to racing and is beaming with excitement.

“I have been saying for some time now that drag racing is need of change. I am a purist at heart but at the same time I see where bracket racing is in need of reinventing itself. I think what Randy Peters and his staff is doing at Crossroads [Dragway] is a natural for the track,”  voiced Agresta.  

“What they have is a venue for the fast cars with the 500-foot program and the eighth-mile distance for the slower cars. It’s a way of adding a little flavor and juicing up the show, giving a new spin on things,” said the former promoter, now highly respected track announcer.

Like Peters, Agresta is well aware that it might take time for the new concept to catch on with the racers who have the reputation of being reluctant to change.

“It’s the same as it was three years ago when NHRA went away from the quarter mile to the 1000 foot format. A lot of the racing purist didn’t like it but they are in tuned with it now.”

“Change is an inherited thing. Sometimes you have to inject new ideas for things to grow. From a safety viewpoint NHRA has seen the need for change. It’s no different whether it be at the quarter mile or Crossroads,” offered the long-time supporter of the sport. Agresta, who is in his 25 th year of membership in the exclusive NHRA track announcer guild, feels the new concept will slowly gain in popularity as word of its success expands among the smaller drag strips.   

Weather permitting Crossroads will try once again to stage one of their biggest shows of the year with this weekend’s rescheduled Bernie Mann Memorial Big Bucks No-Box Classic. Pro Class winner will pocket a healthy $4,000 payday for his efforts.

I I I

n Midget-week success — With the latest chapter of USAC Indiana Midget Week in the record books it appears the five-race series is now on solid ground with a bright future looming on the horizon.

Young Chris Bell emerged the series champ with two wins. His car owner Keith Kunz was among many voicing a vote of confidence for the series’ future and for that of midget racing in the Hoosier state.

“The fans love the racing and it’s a great opportunity for them to be able to get the number of shows in such a short time span. The five races are just a little more than an hour and half away. That makes it great for the fans and racers,” said the high profile car owner.

As a car owner and racer Tracy Hines is also a big supporter of the series. Five races in five nights. That doesn’t get much better when you start figuring in your expenses. The travel is built in,” said the former series champion.  

“With the races so close together its more important for the drivers to take care of their equipment. You don’t see as many guys crashing each other. Its nice to have championship to run for within the national series.”

Former national midget champion Jerry Coons Jr. is also a strong supporter of the relative new series.

“It’s definitely a positive for our series,” voiced the Arizona driver. “It’s stirred a lot of interest within the division. A good way of building momentum for the midgets. It has created a great deal of new interest within the  national series even if its only for a week,” he said.

 

Joe Buckles can be reached at jbuckles4@frontier.comIn a season that has probably generated more rain postponements and cancellations than most fans and promoters would like to talk about, there has been a couple rays of sunshine in 2013.

They’ve come in two forms of racing that just might be the most overlooked and underrated venues of motorsports in the Wabash Valley — NHRA sanctioned track bracket and USAC midget racing.

Both just completed highly successful events with all signs pointing to bigger and better   times ahead for the two contrasting forms of racing.

In what could be termed the best kept secret among the Terre Haute sporting community Crossroads Dragway continues to offer its weekly show of drag racing and  special events equal to that of any facility in the Midwest.

The recent Crossroads 500 not only opened new doors to Valley racers it instituted a inaugural form of racing that might be a trend setter of things to come in straightline racing.

Although rain caused an annoying one-day delay for the new show racers and officials alike voiced a measure of optimism for the future of 500 foot racing on the NHRA’s  smaller 1/8th-mile drag strips located  across the state.

The recognized voiced of drag racing — not only the Wabash Valley scene but nationwide — Nick Agresta of Terre Haute has saw it all in his 50-plus years of following and participating in the sport.

What he saw in the Crossroads 500 not only renewed his optimism for his favorite form of racing but issued a signal for fellow promoters to standup and take notice.

Times are changing and those with an involvement better be prepared for what is about to unfold in the days ahead.

A week removed from the 500 Agresta has had the opportunity to reflect on the new venue with his typical upbeat approach to racing and is beaming with excitement.

“I have been saying for some time now that drag racing is need of change. I am a purist at heart but at the same time I see where bracket racing is in need of reinventing itself. I think what Randy Peters and his staff is doing at Crossroads [Dragway] is a natural for the track,”  voiced Agresta.  

“What they have is a venue for the fast cars with the 500-foot program and the eighth-mile distance for the slower cars. It’s a way of adding a little flavor and juicing up the show, giving a new spin on things,” said the former promoter, now highly respected track announcer.

Like Peters, Agresta is well aware that it might take time for the new concept to catch on with the racers who have the reputation of being reluctant to change.

“It’s the same as it was three years ago when NHRA went away from the quarter mile to the 1000 foot format. A lot of the racing purist didn’t like it but they are in tuned with it now.”

“Change is an inherited thing. Sometimes you have to inject new ideas for things to grow. From a safety viewpoint NHRA has seen the need for change. It’s no different whether it be at the quarter mile or Crossroads,” offered the long-time supporter of the sport. Agresta, who is in his 25 th year of membership in the exclusive NHRA track announcer guild, feels the new concept will slowly gain in popularity as word of its success expands among the smaller drag strips.   

Weather permitting Crossroads will try once again to stage one of their biggest shows of the year with this weekend’s rescheduled Bernie Mann Memorial Big Bucks No-Box Classic. Pro Class winner will pocket a healthy $4,000 payday for his efforts.

I I I

n Midget-week success — With the latest chapter of USAC Indiana Midget Week in the record books it appears the five-race series is now on solid ground with a bright future looming on the horizon.

Young Chris Bell emerged the series champ with two wins. His car owner Keith Kunz was among many voicing a vote of confidence for the series’ future and for that of midget racing in the Hoosier state.

“The fans love the racing and it’s a great opportunity for them to be able to get the number of shows in such a short time span. The five races are just a little more than an hour and half away. That makes it great for the fans and racers,” said the high profile car owner.

As a car owner and racer Tracy Hines is also a big supporter of the series. Five races in five nights. That doesn’t get much better when you start figuring in your expenses. The travel is built in,” said the former series champion.  

“With the races so close together its more important for the drivers to take care of their equipment. You don’t see as many guys crashing each other. Its nice to have championship to run for within the national series.”

Former national midget champion Jerry Coons Jr. is also a strong supporter of the relative new series.

“It’s definitely a positive for our series,” voiced the Arizona driver. “It’s stirred a lot of interest within the division. A good way of building momentum for the midgets. It has created a great deal of new interest within the  national series even if its only for a week,” he said.

 

Joe Buckles can be reached at jbuckles4@frontier.com

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Sports
UK_Mizzou_4-11-14_27_cw.JPG

A.J. Reed The University of Kentucky baseball team falls to Missouri 8-7 on Friday, April 11, 2014, at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

  • Immense power: A leaner A.J. Reed making play as elite prospect

    Reed took his talents to Kentucky and the Southeastern Conference in 2011 and hasn’t looked back in the baseball sense. After a standout career at Terre Haute South — he was Indiana’s Player of the Year in 2011 — area fans had an idea of the wind Kentucky was sowing when it coaxed Reed to Lexington, Ky.

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT041914track porter.jpg Terre Haute track and field athletes shine at Patriot Invitational

    The Terre Haute North and Brown County girls and boys came out winners Saturday in the Patriot Invitational Track and Field Meet at Terre Haute North High School.

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • Metro roundup: Reed connects for 15th home run on four-hit day

    Terre Haute’s A.J. Reed and Kentucky baseball teammate Max Kuhn each had four hits and a home run to lead the No. 19-ranked Wildcats to a series-clinching 11-4 win at Southeastern Conference foe Texas A&M on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in front of 5,311 fans at Blue Bell Park.
    Kentucky (26-13, 9-8 SEC) clinched the series victory at Texas A&M with the win, a day after posting a 6-3 victory in the opener Friday night.

    April 19, 2014

  • Prep roundup: North girls tennis beats ranked teams

    Terre Haute North knocked off two state-ranked teams — No. 12 Fort Wayne Canterbury and No. 13 Delta — on its way to capturing the Delta Invitational championship for girls high school tennis Saturday.

    April 19, 2014

  • ISU baseball drops second straight

    Indiana State’s baseball team rallied late in the game but could not get in front as the Canisius Golden Griffins held off the Sycamores 5-4 Saturday.
    ISU (24-12) will look to avoid being swept for the first time this season at noon EDT today when it plays the series finale against Canisius (22-13).
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Redneck Quaker: A young lady of the outdoors

    Where do I start to tell you about this 10-year-old outdoor lady? Let’s start with her own words from a nice letter she wrote.

    “My name is Lilly Hutchison and this year when I was nine and again hunting with my Papaw, Mike Burch, we got up way before daylight on opening morning of youth deer season. I was watching a 6-pointer for several minutes until a larger buck appeared and chased him off, but not giving me a shot at him. Papaw and I were preparing a place for our evening hunt when a couple of does came across the field right to us. I carefully placed my shot and she ran around 8 yards. That evening, we decided to go to our neighbors’ woods. On the way in, we saw a large buck watering in one of the few puddles in the creek. Papaw said we would wait nearby to see if he would come back. To our amazement, he did! I was fortunate to take this 10-pointer, 250-pound buck. I have had many great hunts with Papaw.”

    April 19, 2014

  • SPT041814THS BB jenkins.jpg Herrin's pitching effort leads South to win over Northview

    When two good high school baseball teams get together, each using one of its better pitchers, the margin for error figures to be slim, and some defensive plays that weren’t made were the difference Friday evening as Terre Haute South beat Northview 7-1.

    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • 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

  • Stout home run sparks South softball at Sullivan

    Terre Haute South junior Mariah Stout made her father proud and helped her team win its eighth game of the season at the same time Friday evening.
    With the previously flat-looking Braves trailing host Sullivan 1-0 with two outs and nobody on base in the top of the second inning, Stout woke up her dugout mates by hammering a McKenzie Pirtle pitch over the fence in left-center field for a score-tying home run.

    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

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
UK_Mizzou_4-11-14_27_cw.JPG

A.J. Reed The University of Kentucky baseball team falls to Missouri 8-7 on Friday, April 11, 2014, at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

  • Immense power: A leaner A.J. Reed making play as elite prospect

    Reed took his talents to Kentucky and the Southeastern Conference in 2011 and hasn’t looked back in the baseball sense. After a standout career at Terre Haute South — he was Indiana’s Player of the Year in 2011 — area fans had an idea of the wind Kentucky was sowing when it coaxed Reed to Lexington, Ky.

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • 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

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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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