News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports Columns

July 8, 2014

Trackside: Valley race fans should be happy

TERRE HAUTE — 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.

The seven-race series then takes two days off before resuming at the Action Track on July 16, then the following night at Lincoln Park Speedway.

The sprints served up an ISW preview this past holiday weekend with their Fourth of July visit to Lincoln Park Speedway, where Jerry Coons Jr. drove to an exciting and well-deserved win.

Many of the drivers expected to compete for the ISW title took the opportunity for a final tuneup and were gracious enough on a busy night to offer their predictions of what fans can expect to see over the next two weeks of action.

Dave Darland, Chase Stockon, Tracy Hines, Kevin Thomas Jr. and Bryan Clauson were adventurous enough to offer their views and expectations for the 27th annual running of ISW.

Not surprisingly, their predictions and insights on what it will take to win the much-sought-after title were strikingly similar.

Consistency and a measure of good luck were described as the two most important factors needed to survive and succeed in the seven-race grind.

With three ISW crowns already to his credit, Darland rates a strong favorite. A five-time winner already this season, he appeared more concerned about potential bouts with poor track conditions than his fellow racers.

“Track conditions have probably been harder to deal with than in past years. They have been more physically demanding to deal with this summer than I can remember in a long time,” mentioned the concerned Darland.

“There’s probably about 10 guys capable of winning the whole thing. You have [Brady] Bacon in the Hoffman car, [Bryan] Clauson, [Tracy] Hines and I like to think myself are capable of winning every night. It’s that close.”

Clauson, no stranger to point chases, knows what it takes over the long haul to take home the championship trophy.

“It can be a tough week. You’ve got to be near perfect each night out. The grind of the heat and humidity can be tough. You got to make the best of each night. Some nights, that might be a 10th-place finish,” offered the defending ISW champion.

“Qualifying can be a big part of it. You know that in one of the seven nights, you’re going to have to dig yourself out of a hole. Who’s going to win? I hope your looking at him.”

There would be no more popular winner locally than if Chase Stockon could pull off a title run. He likes his chances but knows he faces a monumental task if he hopes to capture the crown.

“The key as always is to be consistent. Keep out of trouble. To stay in the top 10 every night,” explained the Sullivan County native, who still sports the scars from his violent crash at Sun Prairie, Wis., a few weeks ago.

“I think we’ll in pretty good shape. We have a couple decent race cars.

“As for the conditions you get yourself in the mindset. Try to stay up front every night. Qualifying is always important, but even more so in Sprint Week what with the large fields we will have.”

Hines could be the sleeper in the chase.

“You want to make sure you keep your equipment fresh throughout the week. Everybody is so good. There’s no room for error,” cautioned Hines.

As for the high temps and humidity that is part of ISW, Hines says it’s something you have to take in stride.

“It’s something we’ve done for 15 years, so it won’t be something new. You learn to adjust. At the same time, I’d say we’re all happy when it’s over,” he said.

Thomas, the relative newcomer of the group, looks forward to the challenges of seven races over the 10-day span.

“You’ve got to stay away from the DNFs [did not finishes]. Stay on top of the track conditions every night out. Be consistent. If you had to pick a winner, I’d have to go with Bacon right now,” said the Alabama native.

Thomas downplays the notorious weather conditions that follow ISW.

“It’s probably more tough mentally than physically. Basically it’s two three-race weekends with two days off. It’s what most of us do all the time.” he said.

 

 Joe Buckles can be reached by email 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
Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Bodies of Malaysia Jet Victims Leave Ukraine Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban 98-Year-Old Woman Left in Parked Truck Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Fighting Rages Amid Mideast Truce Push Raw: Typhoon Brings Heavy Wind, Rain to Taiwan Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Raw: Secretary of State Kerry in Israel Raw: Massive Explosion in Gaza City Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Raw: MD Church Built in 1773 Ravaged by Fire
NDN Video
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 Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB'
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