News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports Columns

December 30, 2012

TRACKSIDE: 2012 a good year in auto racing in Wabash Valley

TERRE HAUTE — The 2012 Wabash Valley racing season avoided the potential pitfalls of a sluggish economy and inclement weather to provide fans one of their best and most promising campaigns in recent years.

Rainouts that had plagued activities at the Terre Haute Action Track in recent years were for the most part a non factor, making for a successful year for veteran promoter Bob Sargent and the O’Connor family of Kokomo, who teamed up in their first full season of organizing events at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds.

The group drew high praise from fans and racers alike for their excellent track preparation, which made for one the most competitive seasons in a number of years — one that generated five first-time feature winners over the course of six shows.

Among the victors were NASCAR standouts Kenny Schrader, Kenny Wallace and Justin Allgaier. Sprint-car action provided possibly the most popular victory when Sullivan County native Chase Stockon won the Jim Hurtubise Classic for USAC sprints.

The year, while providing its share of thrills and excitement on the local half-mile clay oval, also proved to be one of the safest in recent memory.

Attendance, while spotty at times, appeared strong enough to make the year profitable for the promoters, securing the future for continued racing at the nationally recognized racing facility.

Racing at Crossroads Dragway USA remained a viable operation, providing Valley drag racers a favorite location to display their talents and meet their needs to go racing at one of the Midwest’s finest drag-racing facilities.

Over the course of the summer, racing at the oval and drag-racing tracks generated its share of stellar individual and team efforts.

None was bigger than Stockon’s back in October. That victory was one of two for Stockon in USAC competition in 2012 when he tied for seventh in national sprint-car points. It was a season that earned him the sanctioning body’s Most Improved Driver of the Year award.

A second USAC-sanctioned event, the Tony Hulman Classic, also proved a fan favorite as former Valley driver and now car owner Ray Morgan won the prestigious event, with driver Daron Clayton taking the checkered flag in Indiana Sprints Weeks event.

Action wasn’t limited to Fairgrounds as Valley oval tracks and drag strips were a beehive of activity and popular on any given weekend.

Young Braylon Fitzpatrick of West Terre Haute put his name in the Action Track record book when he established a one-lap track record run in qualifications for the Hurtubise Classic

Whether it was taking checkered flags or winning track championships, local racers played a prominent role in the sport on the Wabash Valley and national scene.

At Lincoln Park Speedway, Terre Haute drivers walked off with two of the track’s four point championships. Kenny Carmichael won the Super Stock title in a season that saw the North Terre Haute driver take five feature wins and a second-place finish in the track’s modified division.

No one was a match for C.J. Bryan in the Bomber Class as the Vigo County racer posted an impressive 11-win campaign, notching him the LPS Bomber championship.

At Bakersfield Raceway Park near Linton, Creed Fritz of West Terre Haute won the Restrictor Class and Colten Dooley of Rockville took the Wingless Division, while Drake Turner of Sullivan won in Jr. Sprints and Larry Drake of Terre Haute won the 600 Sidewinder Class.

On the drag-racing scene at Crossroads Dragway USA, Mike Tewell won in Pro Class, Dustin Brenton in Super Pro, Chad Eaton in Sportsman, Tony Virgilio in the Fast 33 Series, Amara Tewell in the High School Division, Chris Miller in Junior Dragster, Adam Price in the Schield Diesel and Stephanie Brenton in Pink Lady.

At Lyons Raceway Park, Super Pro honors went to McColley Young, Greg Dillman in Pro, Bill McCarty in Sportsman, Nathan Jones in Jr. Dragster, Bill McCary in motorcycles, Ron Hayman in Fast 8, Jabin McCarty in High School and Kelly Jo Lanhan in Powder Puff.

Coles County Dragway enjoyed a successful year with Bob Paul taking the Super Pro and Box Track titles and Tom Harlin winning in Pro, Jesse Brant in Sportsman, Eric Cooper in Bike, John Tilford in Quick Series and Eric Willenberg in Jr. Dragster.

Overall, the 2012 season will go down as one of the finest and most competitive in recent years, setting the stage for a promising 2013 at the race track.

 

Joe Buckles can be reached by e-mail at

jbuckles4@frontier.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports Columns
  • AMEY TAKES AIM: Loss of Coach Bennett leaves hole in Marshall

    My email box is a little less busy now, and there’ll be a familiar face missing on basketball trips to Marshall in the future.

    April 15, 2014

  • Ramblin’ Reck: We’ve lost 2 ‘good guys,’ but another is in stroke recovery

    Some reflections and thoughts on some of the “good guys” in sports.

    April 14, 2014

  • Obit Ultimate Warrior_Will.jpg Hughes, News & Views: Memories relived of fallen 'Warrior' who attended ISU for one year

    Editor’s note — Amid national media reports that retired pro wrestler The Ultimate Warrior (formerly known in real life as Jim Hellwig) died late Tuesday night at the age of 54, here is a column that David Hughes completed about the man Tuesday afternoon, not realizing Warrior would be dead within 12 hours.

    I realize some of you will cringe or perhaps shift your attention to a different story if I mention “pro wrestling” in this column.
    But give this stroll down memory lane a chance before you bolt, because I think it’s interesting.
    If I’m wrong, feel free to put me in a headlock. Gently, please.
     

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT 101406 WALTMAN PRACTIC.jpg TODD GOLDEN: Waltman's integrity helped him rise to the top

    When I began to think about former Indiana State coach Royce Waltman — and I’ve thought about him a lot in recent months as the ravages of a stroke and cancer robbed us of his presence — I thought to myself “what can I print?”
    Waltman was many things. Blunt, plain-spoken, unfiltered? All of the above and more. Every Indiana State fan saw Waltman in action … and I had a front row seat for three years right next to him on press row.

    April 8, 2014 3 Photos 1 Story

  • Ramblin’ Reck: Irish still alive in women’s tourney

    The college basketball season is at an end, while some of the National Basketball Association teams still could be playing late in May.

    April 7, 2014

  • SPT 040514 COACH HANNAHS.jpg FROM THE PRESS BOX: Missouri Valley is tough — ISU making it tougher

    For those who measure the quality of a conference by their place in the Ratings Percentage Index, it was a tough year for the Missouri Valley Conference and its marquee sport: men’s basketball.
    The MVC was 11th in conference RPI and took all manner of criticism when Wichita State ran the MVC table for a perfect 18-0 season. The fingers that pointed at the league for fielding a weak challenge to the Shockers’ dominance were many.

    April 5, 2014 2 Photos

  • Trackside: If weather cooperates, racers are set to start their engines

    With any assistance from the weather, the Wabash Valley motorsports season is expected to shift into high gear this weekend on several fronts.

    April 2, 2014

  • College Report: Valley athletes helping Wabash College

    Two Wabash Valley hurdlers helped the Division III Wabash College track and field team go head to head against talent from NCAA Division I schools in the Vanderbilt University Black and Gold Invitational this past weekend.
    The Little Giants produced several quality times, including a first-place finish by Northview grad Joel Whittington in the men’s 400-meter hurdles. The junior captured the title with a top time of 54.4 seconds, the fourth quickest recorded for NCAA DIII men this season. Cole Seward, a freshman from Terre Haute North, took third place, crossing the finish line in 55.7.

    April 1, 2014

  • Ramblin' Reck: April brings showers of closings, openings

    It's the first of April, no April fool – a month marking the wrapup of college basketball, the first month of baseball and the close of the regular season in the National Basketball Association.

    March 31, 2014

  • SPT Bird.jpg Hughes, News & Views: West Vigo graduate earns 600th victory as coach; Looking back at 1979 championship game

    I haven’t written a column since before the Super Bowl, so now’s a good time to get a few things off my chest:
    • Congratulations to Mike Fields — a 1969 West Vigo High School graduate, a 1973 Indiana State grad and a former Terre Haute Tribune part-time sportswriter — for posting the 600th victory of his baseball coaching career.
    He accomplished the feat March 3 when his Harmony High School squad defeated Orlando Oak Ridge 11-2 down in Florida.

    March 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • TODD GOLDEN: ISU's no-excuses approach for real

    If you were to ask me what the drawback of covering Indiana State baseball is? I’d be hard-pressed to name very much.

    March 29, 2014

  • Redneck Quaker: Lidster knows his mushrooms

    To be or not to be, mushrooms this year? After looking high and low, I found a legendary Morel mushroom hunter living amongst us here in the Wabash Valley.
    You are about to learn all of Richard Lidster’s secrets and knowledge on sneaking up on those elusive creatures. Richard is the oldest of three boys. He’s 67 years old, Mike’s 63 and Steve’s 55.

    March 29, 2014

  • SPT 032014 WV DEGROOTE.jpg Til it's over: Long wait finally over for first-year West Vigo baseball coach

    My sincerest apology if I jinx it, but winter should be done now. This means, first and foremost, baseball season has arrived. It’s been a long winter for Culley DeGroote, in particular. He takes over the West Vigo program that his father Steve DeGroote built into a perennial winner.

    March 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT 013114 AIMONE FILE.jpg Amey Takes Aim: Columnist’s boys basketball tradition continues

    In marked contrast to my recent whiny column about girls basketball, I was blessed this winter to see virtually every high school team in the Wabash Valley during the boys season.
    Some might suggest that was a mixed blessing, since a few of our teams weren’t as successful as they are used to being (particularly in the 2014 portion of the season), but the Tribune-Star was still involved with two teams that came within a game of the state finals, one of them in an Indiana final four (no capitalization anymore, new system) and two teams that were in the top eight of their class. That’s only three great teams — Paris was both a game away and in the final eight — but that’s still a pretty good haul.

    March 26, 2014 3 Photos

  • Weekley is among Hall of Fame honorees

    It’s a big week for Indiana basketball. The high school boys state finals will be played Saturday, and former players and coaches will be honored at the annual dinner of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Paul Weekley is one of the former coaches who will be inducted into the Hall.

    March 24, 2014

  • SPT011114ISUMBB lansing.jpg FROM THE PRESS BOX: ISU never kicked down the door in 2014

    After Indiana State’s 91-71 loss Tuesday at Arkansas in the National Invitation Tournament, and in the days since, I can’t help but think of Bum Phillips and the 1980 Houston Oilers as I ponder Indiana State's 2013-14 men's basketball season.
    Stay with me.
    The Oilers had lost to the all-conquering Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1978 and 1979 AFC Championship games. Despite that, it seemed the Earl Campbell-led squad was the team of destiny to knock the Steel Curtain off their perch.
    So much so that Phillips, the wonderfully colorful Oilers coach, said the Oilers would "kick the door down", knock off their black-and-gold nemesis, and win the AFC Central in 1980.

    March 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ramblin' Reck: Three local hoops teams still have shot at titles

    Then there were three — Indiana State men, Indiana State women and Clay City, the three teams still playing basketball in our area.

    March 17, 2014

  • conrady mug.jpg College report: Former Terre Haute South player Conrady returns to coaching

    Former Terre Haute South and Furman University basketball standout David Conrady has re-entered the coaching world after a short hiatus. Conrady was recently named head coach of the boys team at Chattanooga Christian, a prep school in eastern Tennessee.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Redneck Quaker: Here’s a lot of stuff to think about

    I would like to express how dedicated the folks of the Emmanuel United Methodist are to their religion and all the folks in the community.
    Michael Bolin is an inspiration to all, for his love of the outdoors and great fellowship, being a positive up-beat person.

    March 15, 2014

  • Redneck Quaker: This fisherman has spent 43 years catching ultimate cold ones

    I know, it’s getting late in the year for an ice fishing story, but I’ve had several request from you ice walkers! And there’s plenty to learn from Bryan Holland that can be applied next winter.

    March 12, 2014

  • Ramblin' Reck: Four prep basketball teams still in contention

    The season now is over for all but four high school basketball teams in the area.

    March 10, 2014

  • Ramblin’ Reck: It’s officially Tourney Time in the Valley

    The regular season now has ended for most high school and college basketball teams in the area. It’s Tourney Time.

    March 3, 2014

  • dabkowski mug.jpg College report: Valley softball pair help Ball State start off with 12-2 record

    Two Wabash Valley products have helped the Ball State softball team get off to a 12-2 start, including five straight wins last weekend to capture the Louisville Slugger Invitational at Arizona State.

    March 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • Redneck Quaker: Edington, Mafioli set up marriage in unique way

    Kaylee Edington says being outdoors gets you away from the turmoil in life and that is why they want to include it into the most important things in their lives.
    Little did she know a marriage proposal was being planned for her while she was shooting sporting clays in the great outdoors.

    March 1, 2014

  • Ramblin Reck: Cloverdale riding 10-game winning streak

    Illinois high school boys basketball teams commenced postseason play Monday night and teams in Indiana are set to close out the regular season. Two of the teams with top marks in the area are Cloverdale and Clay City and they met last Saturday to cap a good week of basketball.

    February 24, 2014

  • SPT 022314 JAKE ODUM POINT.jpg TODD GOLDEN: Relax, guys: Play loose, have fun

    What seems like an end can really be a beginning for Indiana State’s men’s basketball team.

    February 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Redneck Quaker: Wabash Valley Limbhangers conducting banquet March 7

    Stand by for news!
    No, I’m not Paul Harvey, but please read on about a lot of fun that is about to happen in the turkey-hunting and bass-fishing worlds.

    February 22, 2014

  • Ramblin’ Reck: Regular season winding down in high school basketball

    Time flies when you’re having fun … and playing basketball.
    It’s hard to believe that the regular season ends this week for high school basketball teams that we cover in Illinois. The postseason begins next Monday.
    Paris, Casey and Marshall have the top marks and Robinson has had some good wins playing a tough schedule.

    February 19, 2014

  • MBBMock_packagephoto.jpg From The Press Box: The nuts and bolts of compiling a Mock Selection for the NCAA Tournament

    Before March Madness comes the March mystery of the run-up to Selection Sunday.

    February 17, 2014 3 Photos 1 Link

  • CarterTaylor4497b.jpg College Report: Valley pair square off in softball pitching duel

    Administrators and coaches long ago scheduled the East Tennessee State and Indiana University softball teams to both compete in the Georgia State Panther Invitational in Atlanta last weekend. Little could they have realized, however, that a Sunday afternoon pitching matchup between the two teams would pair two successful, blonde, and versatile performers from western Indiana in a head-to-head clash.

    February 17, 2014 1 Photo

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Today in History for April 16th Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Combat Vehicles in East Ukraine Fly Russian Flag Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast
NDN Video
Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video Miley Cyrus Hospitalized After Severe Reaction To Medicine Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Toddler climbs into vending machine 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things" It's Official! Michael Strahan Joins "GMA" Blood Moon Time-lapse Actress Lake Bell Goes Topless The Five Weirdest Local Taxes in America
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