News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports Columns

August 1, 2012

TRACKSIDE: Stockon takes giant step forward in USAC

One of the more impressive and welcomed storylines of the recently completed Indiana Sprint Week was the emergence of area driver Chase Stockon on the national sprint car scene.

Stockon’s solid efforts over the seven-race series solidified the Sullivan County native’s status as a legitimate frontrunner among the best in non-wing sprint car racing.

Certainly no stranger to area race fans, Stockon is enjoying a career breakthrough season in 2012 on the prestigious U.S. Auto Club sprint car circuit. His strong and consistent runs of top-10 finishes have earned the 24-year-old the label among fellow competitors and officials as one of the sport’s fastest up-and-coming drivers.

His years of campaigning on the many Midwest short track ovals are starting to generate noteworthy results. Although he is still searching for that elusive first USAC feature win, many agree that it’s only a matter of time before Stockon pilots his distinctive-colored No. 22 First Finanical Sprinter into victory lane.

During a recent visit to Lincoln Park Speedway, the personable young racer took time from his hectic ISW schedule to evaluate his season to date and what the future might hold.

When the season opened in Florida back in February, Stockon was keenly aware that his tentative plans to run the USAC circuit on a regular basis would test his driving skills and independently financed efforts to the limit.

As the season reached the midway mark, the determined Stockon had encountered the usual arrays of ups and downs that go with racing. As a third generation racer, he learned to accept the good and bad that goes with the sport he grew up around.

After some earlier mechanical problems, things appear headed in the right direction.

“We had some motor issues early, the usual ups and downs. We’re starting to figure things out. Hopefully we can keep things on a roll,” voiced Stockon, who had a solid fourth-place showing on the high banks of Eldora Speedway over this past weekend.

“We don’t have a lot of money to work with, so we just keep plugging along,” conceded Stockon, who alongside his father Sam has struggled with the costs of running at the local level. Surprisingly, the team has learned that running with USAC provides more than its prestigious status.

“Personally, I think USAC has the best thing going,” he said. “They take better care of their drivers than any track or organization I’ve ever run with. At the same time, if you want to be one of the best you have to run against the best.”

The challenge to stay competitive night in and night out has been every bit as demanding as Stockon and his team predicted.

“You constantly have to be on your game,” he said. “A lot of places we go to is our first time. That’s where the guys who have run with USAC so long have the advantage on us. Bascially, for us at some of the new tracks it’s been a guessing game. I’ve been able to put everything that my dad has taught me to get some pretty decent finishes. You take what you learn and go the next track.”

He has nothing but praise for those he now competes with on a regular basis under the USAC banner.

“The difference between running the local shows on the Indiana tracks [is] most of the guys do it for fun,” he said. “Who knows what they are going to do going into the next corner. These [USAC drivers] do it at a professional level. They have a lot of respect for each other. It’s how they make a living.

“I grew up watching these guys race. They were my heroes. It’s been nice to earn their respect.”

That’s not to say there haven’t been those moments when the new kid on the block didn’t have to earn his place at the race track.

“I’ve had a couple run-ins,” said Stockon, who calls Elizabethtown his home. “Thats part of it. You learn quickly that respect goes both ways. When you run as hard as you do in USAC, you learn to be aware of who is around you. That makes a big difference.”

One of those who Stockon has gained the respect of is veteran driver Dave Darland.

“He’s a good race driver,” lauded Darland, the former USAC champion. “He’s come a long way. He’s done quite a bit on what appears to be a limited budget. He does well with the equipment he has, drives clean, drives hard. He has a bright future ahead of him it he can stay with it. When your young doing it on your own that’s not always easy.”

Also in Stockon’s corner is high-ranking USAC official Jason McCord.

“It’s been pretty awesome what he has been able do in such a short time,” praised McCord. “He’s always been quick on the faster, wider tracks. It’s been the short tracks – the bull rings – that were lacking. This year it’s like lightning in a bottle. He’s put together consistent runs. Some nights he gets burned with bad qualifying. He’s been good at digging himself out of those nights.

“He doesn’t tear up equipment, races hard, races clean. It’s been fun watching him mature over the past couple seasons. I really think he could be one of the great ones. He’s that good.”



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

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports Columns
  • SPT072114sprints crowd.jpg TRACKSIDE: Clauson's run to Indiana Sprint Week title witnessed by many Hoosiers

    The checkered flag has fallen on yet another highly successful Indiana SprintWeek series for the USAC sprint cars.
    Bryan Clauson emerged as the series champ edging out Robert Ballou for the coveted title, his second ISW crown in as many years.

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • Tom Reck: Brickyard 400 highlights big sports week

    It’s another busy week in sports. Two of the events on the schedule are the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the windup of the Show-Me’s/THGA men’s city golf tournament.

    July 21, 2014

  • Todd Golden: Bigelow part of Action Track’s lifeblood

    Many things have changed since the Terre Haute Action Track opened in 1952, but the one constant is dirt.

    July 18, 2014

  • schrader.jpg Joe Buckles: New alliance features powerful figures trying to lower costs

    Possibly no off track developments involving NASCAR racing  over the past 20 to 30 years has generated as much interest and speculation as last week’s announcement regarding the formation of the new Race Team Alliance organization.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tom Reck: At break, A’s own baseball’s top record

    The all-stars will be out tonight in Major League Baseball, meaning there’s a little break in the regular schedules. At this point, the team with the best record in either league … is Oakland which is 59-36 for a .621 percentage.

    July 14, 2014

  • minors.jpg From Terre Haute to the majors: Eitel, Phegley recognized as Triple-A All-Stars

    Phegley is a third-time All-Star in the International League, while Marshall, Ill., native Derek Eitel was named to his first Triple-A All-Star game. The Rose-Hulman graduate and right-handed relief pitcher for the Reno Aces has put up impressive numbers in the Pacific Coast League. Eitel has a 2.70 earned-run average with 60 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings for the Diamondbacks’ top minor-league team.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Andy Amey: Just a small trip to talk about this time

    To paraphrase Carl Spackler, the heavy stuff’s not going to come for quite awhile. So while it’s true that I’m back from a week’s vacation, it’s not time — yet — for the big vacation column. Trips to Noblesville, Brunswick and Reelsville, while providing some nice family time, don’t really have the cachet to fill newspaper space.

    July 11, 2014

  • From the Press Box: Simple sports pleasures are best

    Andy Amey is the undisputed king of vacation columns in the Tribune-Star’s annals. I just returned from vacation, and while there were certainly tales to tell, I’m left with fond memories of simple sports pleasures.
    My family and I spent an extended weekend in Kansas City? Why? Why not? Truthfully, it was close, there’s a lot to do there, and we didn’t want the headache and expense of a long-haul vacation. We had a great time.

    July 8, 2014

  • Trackside: Valley race fans should be happy

    Whether your preference is non-wing sprint cars or late-model stock cars, this is the week that Wabash Valley race fans look forward to all summer.
    The best of the best is the only way to describe what will unfold this week at Valley ovals. First comes the continuation of the popular UMP Summer National “Hell Week” tour for late models and its annual stop at Terre Haute Action Track tonight. USAC’s Indiana Sprint Week opens later this weekend with stops at Gas City on Friday night, Kokomo on Saturday and Lawrenceburg on Sunday evening.

    July 8, 2014

  • Tom Reck: All-Stars get chance to shine

    It’s July and that means all-star baseball time.

    July 7, 2014

  • Redneck Quaker: Yes, you can get paid to go fishing

    Get that boat out and let’s go fish’n! We may make some money while having fun!
    The Indiana DNR is tagging 500 legal-sized black bass on the three rivers in central and northern Indiana as part of a new research project. “Black Bass” includes largemouth, small-mouth and spotted bass.

    July 5, 2014

  • photo3.JPG Hughes, News & Views: Shouses facing tough decisions about Dexter Jr.’s future

    Those of us who have followed Vigo County basketball for more than a decade remember how the families of Greg Oden, Reicina Russell and Chaz Spicer moved to the Indianapolis area before the athletes had a chance to complete high school in Terre Haute.
    Will 6-foot-3, 180-pound Dexter Shouse Jr., who turned 14 in May and recently finished seventh grade at Woodrow Wilson Middle School, pack up his belongings and make a similar trip east with his family?

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tom Reck: July a big month for local sports

    It’s the first day of July, a month full of golf tournaments and racing — all types of racing — and youth baseball tournaments.

    June 30, 2014

  • SPT 030914 ODUM FILE.jpg Steady success: ISU continued to climb ladder with one of its best overall seasons ever

    First of all, if you’re an Indiana State fan, stand up and applaud. The Sycamores collectively went where only one Sycamore athletic department went before in 2013-14. ISU finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference All-Sports Trophy standings. ISU recorded a score of 3.538, its highest in school history.

    June 25, 2014 6 Photos

  • Trackside: Rising costs make Valley racing more difficult than ever

    The life and times of your weekly short-track racer has long lived up to the colorful and exciting ways coveted by those in the stands who gather each weekend to watch their favorite team or driver compete.
    While the weekly trek to the race track has always presented its challenges, the task in recent times has made those trips to the many dirt ovals across the country a little more difficult to make.

    June 24, 2014

  • Tom Reck: Could ISU’s Odum get drafted?

    The National Basketball Association draft is coming up this week. Jake Odum of Indiana State has had several tryouts and looked good in a draft event. It would be nice to see him drafted.

    June 23, 2014 1 Story

  • College report: Wabash College relay team earns All-America honors

    Some summertime notes from here and there:

    June 23, 2014

  • FROM THE PRESS BOX: Appeal of World Cup is communal

    Columnist explains appeal of World Cup.

    June 21, 2014

  • Tom Lindley column mug.jpg TOM LINDLEY: NCAA could become casualty of paid athletes

    The time has come in Ed O’Bannon’s class action, antitrust case against the NCAA when lawyers start nibbling their fingernails, those in charge of athletic departments feel their heartbeats climb, and athletes try to get a grip on how things will change if their side prevails.

    June 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Trackside: Likable Dave Darland still chalking up victories at 48

    One of short-track racing’s all-time open-wheel greats continues to add to his growing legacy.
    When veteran racer Dave Darland rolled into victory lane at Lincoln Park Speedway last week, he notched his 94th USAC career win. Add the countless number of open-competition wins over the years and it’s easy to surmise the popular driver is approaching the lofty 200-win plateau.
    His latest checkered flag came in the USAC Indiana Midget Week show at the same 5⁄16-mile dirt oval where he cut his teeth in an open-cockpit car more than 30 years ago.

    June 18, 2014

  • Tom Reck: Valley could be home of some champions

    And the beat goes on … for four teams and two individuals in the final week of Indiana high school sports action.

    June 16, 2014

  • Father, son team up to hunt a cape buff

    While hunting “Black Death” in Africa, your mind is racing with everything that can go wrong. The cape buffalo was starting his stalk on the hunters at 30 yards.
    Three days before, a father and son team decided a cape buff would be a challenge of a lifetime, so the hunt was on. Word came of an old bull running with a cow buffalo in the Limpopo providence and had been spotted. They knew the pair because the cow buff was even more dangerous than the bull for charging people for no reason.

    June 14, 2014

  • Todd Golden: Indy 500 book is intriguing look into an important era

    Doing the job I do, I get my share of books sent to me at the office. I hate to admit it, but a lot of them cross my eye for a moment, and like anyone else, if the subject matter doesn’t interest me, I don’t open it.

    June 13, 2014

  • Trackside: Thumbs up given for upcoming Indiana Midget Week

    In his many years of serving in the public relation department for the U.S. Auto Club, Dick Jordan has developed a keen sense for rating the overall health and future of dirt-track open-wheel racing.
    So when the veteran publicist voices a note of guarded optimism for the running of an upcoming series, one knows something special looms on the horizon.

    June 10, 2014

  • College Report: Brazil’s Baysinger navigates college tennis waters

    Garrett Baysinger of Brazil played his senior season of tennis at Rockville, one of the smallest high schools in the state to field a team in the sport.
    In a sport dominated by foreign players for teams in both genders at most levels, the competition for any college roster spot is extremely difficult. Baysinger did well at Rockville and on the summer circuit and earned a spot on the team at Kaskaskia Junior College in Illinois.

    June 10, 2014

  • Tom Reck: Seven teams, three golfers still have title shots

    Most high school sports teams in the Valley have concluded their seasons and are getting set for summer activity but four golf teams, three baseball teams and three golfers will be busy this week with more postseason play — all hoping to play another week in the state finals.

    June 9, 2014

  • Redneck Quaker: Lidster, Pickering try MacNab Challenge

    When a couple of adventurous, 67-year-old youngsters decided to try their hand at taking different species in Africa, they decided to do the MacNab Challenge.
    In one day, you have to harvest three species, one with feathers (bird), one with scales (fish), and one with a tail and legs (mammal).

    May 31, 2014

  • Todd Golden: Good times for ISU athletics

    I wish I had a time machine. Would I use it to correct some wrongs in my life or witness some important events in history? Sure, but that’s not what’s on my mind this instant. I’d love to go forward in time to see how the state of Indiana State’s athletic department from the present is perceived in the future.

    May 28, 2014

  • Ramblin’ Reck: Reflections plentiful from memorable Indianapolis 500

    The 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 is history and will go down as one of the best.
    Weather was perfect and the finish was second closest ever with Ryan Hunter-Reay nipping Helio Castroneves at the finish.
    There were few yellow caution periods with the first incident coming on the 150th lap and a race record was established with 6,105 laps completed by the drivers.

    May 28, 2014

  • Trackside: Crossroads drag strip taking big steps to keep racers

    The eyes of the racing world may have been focused on Indianapolis, Charlotte and Monte Carlo this past weekend. But for Terre Haute area fans and racers, the attention was directed at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds.
    That’s where activities at the Terre Haute Action Track and Crossroads Dragway took center stage. News and results surrounding shows at the two venues offered some encouraging news for the future of racing at the southside facilities.

    May 27, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel
NDN Video
Facebook Is Officially A Mobile Company 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Swiftair Loses Contact With Air Algerie Aircraft Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity