News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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October 12, 2012

TRACKSIDE: Chase Stockon hopes momentum stays with him in Terre Haute

TERRE HAUTE — Momentum, an element that can be as elusive to a race driver as that perfect setup, can spell the difference in winning or running at the rear of the pack.

It’s a force difficult to achieve and maybe even harder to maintain. One learns quickly to make the most of the opportunity when it comes his way.

It’s something Chase Stockon will carry with him coming into today’s Jim Hurtubise Classic at the Terre Haute Action Track.

Only days following the biggest victory of his young and promising career, the $10,000-to-win USAC feature at Lawrenceburg, Stockon followed that up with another rich payday this past weekend at Tri-State Speedway.

The latest checkered flag came in the Midwest Sprint Car Series special on the southern Indiana banked quarter-mile dirt oval.

In a season that has generated the highest and lowest of times for the Sullivan County native, the 24-year-old Stockon can only hope the momentum factor will remain on his side as he seeks that elusive “home track” win this weekend.

It’s been a banner season thus far for Stockon, with his first USAC feature win ever and a host of top-five finishes putting him seventh in the national sprint car series rankings and 10th in USAC National Drivers Championship points.

While it might be difficult to single out any one reason for his success this season, Stockon says years of pounding the Midwest dirt tracks is starting to pay off. That and a little bit of good fortune has fallen his way.

“You can never get enough of good luck. That’s just part of racing, part of life. We just hope it stays with us, especially this weekend,” said the upbeat Stockon.

After a slow start in the season-opening swing in Florida back in February, the Elizabethtown-based team is continuing to build momentum off the strength of the team’s success in the “Eastern Swing Tour” in June in Pennsylvania.

“Things really started turning around for us with that trip,” Stockon recalled.

“Everything just started falling in place. Me as a driver, having the right equipment, and as a team, we started hitting on the right setups. It’s something that just comes with experience.”

“It [experience] goes a long way in this sport. It’s not something that just comes your way overnight. You have to work at it. It’s not always easy for you as a driver or those around you who pay the price to get you where you are.”

Part of that price is the financial burden that goes with running in a national series.

Following the Terre Haute race this weekend, the USAC sprint slate calls for a race in Michigan on Sunday night followed by a four-race California tour next month to close out the season.

Stockon’s success of late will help fray the costs for the western swing, where he hopes to keep his lofty standings in the points and maybe even move up to a coveted top-five ranking.

“We’ve had a couple nice paydays here in Indiana over the past couple weeks, so that will help a lot with the costs. We’ve been lucky to have a sponsor like Tom Burkby out of Beech City, Ohio, with Superior Tank and Trailers, so that’s kept us going,” added the driver of the No. 32 First Financial Sprinter.

As for the points, his run of 11 top-five finishes over the past 14 races ought to provide the momentum to move up a couple spots in the points.

“It would be nice to get fifth, but we’re not going to hang our heads if we finish sixth or seventh,” Stockon said. “Who knows if we hadn’t had the slow start at the beginning of the year, we might have been shooting for a third-place spot.”

All the success that has come his way in 2012 is tempered by the passing of his mother Laura in August after a long, courageous bout with cancer. While she might not be here to enjoy the success of the team that still carries her name, as car owner Chase says, she remains as much a part of the team today as when she was alive.

“I’ve been very fortunate that my mom and dad have always been behind my efforts to go racing,” he emphasized. “They made a lot of personal sacrifices over the years to get me where I am today.

“It really hurts knowing mom is not around to share the success with our wins, but we all know that she is watching over us. We’re out to give our most every time we go to the race track. She wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

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Local product: Saint Mary-of-the-Woods first baseman Sarah Burnham takes a throw to her position at first base in the Pomeroy�s win over Rose-Hulman Wednesday.

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

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    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.
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  • Redneck Quaker: A young lady of the outdoors

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Local Interest
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  • 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.
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    March 11, 2014

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

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  • Vigo County Jail Log: Feb. 7, 2014

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    February 7, 2014

High School
College
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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

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    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

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    April 19, 2014

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    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.
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    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

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

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    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

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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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