With a break in the always unpredictable Midwest weather, the 2008 area motorsports season is slated to shift into high gear as early as this weekend.
To help fans make their plans for the 2008 campaign its time to present the annual Tribune-Star Trackside schedule column that includes a listing of selected tracks and their highlighted dates.
Those tracks and selected dates include:
n Action City Dragway USA, Terre Haute — Following the recent death of co-owner Dallas Montgomery, Marty Sabla will take over the reins at the local National Hot Rod Association sanctioned dragstrip.
In addition to their weekly card of NHRA ET Bracket racing the 1/8-mile strip will host several special events, including: April 18 — Friday Fun Night; May 3 — First Points Race; May 24 — Outlaw Street Madness and bracket racing; June 21 — 10th Annual Bernie Mann Memorial; June 28 — Inaugural Dallas Montgomery Memorial Race; July 5 — National Dragster Challenge; Aug. 24 — Schied Diesel Drags Extravganza; Sept. 27 — Outlaw Street Madness; Oct. 11 — King of the Hill Race. Information — (812) 235-7223.
n Bakersfield Raceway Park, Linton — Located just east of Linton, the 1/5-mile dirt oval will offer a weekly Friday night card of modified midgets, mini-sprints, 4 cylinder mini-stocks and dwarf cars. The season opener is scheduled for April 11 with a program that runs through Oct. 17. Information — (812)-847-2642.
n Bloomington Motor Speedway, Bloomington — Presenting a weekly Friday night program of sprint and stocks, the 1/4-mile dirt oval will have their season opener April 11. Other specials include Spring Clash $3,000-to-win sprints on April 25, USAC sprints on May 9, Wolfpack Challenge for UMP Modifieds on May 16, King of Indiana Sprints on May 30, 20th annual Sheldon Kinser Classic on June 13, USAC sprints on July 18, Indiana Midget Week on Aug. 8, O'Reilly Midwest All-Star Sprints and UMP Modified Nationals on Sept. 19. Information — (812) 824-7400.
n Charleston Speedway, Charleson, Ill. — This popular 3/8-mile dirt track will present a weekly Saturday night show of Hornets, UMP modifieds, street stocks and dwarf cars. Information — (217) 345-2929.
n Coles County Dragway, Charleston, Ill. — The 1/8-mile dragstrip will have its Grand Opening on April 13. Other highlights include Jeg's Jr. Dragster Challenge on May 4, Hooper Memorial Day Classic on May 24, King of the Track on May 31, Super Pro ET $1,200-to-win on June 14, O’Reilly Jr. Dragster Challenge on May 24, Fuqua Firecracker 500 on July 5, Super Pro ET $1,200-to-win on Aug 9, NHRA National Dragster Challenge on Sept. 5, Bob Chaney Memorial Outlaws Supercharged Shootout on Sept. 21. Information — (217) 345-7777.
n Indianapolis Motor Speedway — Indianapolis 500 activities begin May 4, May 10 is Pole Day qualifying, May 11 and 17 are qualifications, May 18 is Bump Day, May 23 is Carbueration Day, May 25 is the Indianapolis 500.
Allstate Brickyard 400 practice is July 25. qualifying is July 26 and race day is July 27.
The inaugural Red Bull Moto Indy GP practice is Sept. 12, qualifying is Sept. 13, race day is Sept. 14. Information — (800) 822-RACE.
n Indiana State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis — The one-mile dirt oval will host the USAC Silver Crown cars for the Hoosier Hundred on May 23 and the AMA Motorcycles on Sept. 13. Information — (317) 927-7500.
n Kamp Motor Speedway, Boswell — The 3/8-mile high-banked oval will host the Wolfpack Challenge for UMP modifieds is April 19, American Late Model Sunoco series is May 31, UMP Late Model Summer Nationals is June 14, USAC sprints visit July 17, 6th annual Lucas Oil/Kamp 50 $5,000-to-win late model is Sept. 13. Information — (765) 869-5212.
n Lincoln Park Speedway, Putnamville — The season opener is April 12 with the Super Spring 30s $1,000-to-win. The 4th Annual Bomber Bash is July 19, the 21st Annual Putnamville Clash is Aug. 2, King of Non-Wing Sprints on Aug. 30, the 5th annual Patriot 100 UMP modifieds is Sept. 6. Information (765) 653-3485.
n O’Reilly Raceway Park, Clermont — ASA late model stocks start the season on April 26. USAC midgets visit May 24, USAC Silver Crown-midgets race July 24, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series visits July 25, NASCAR Nationwide Series Kroger 200 is July 26, NHRA U.S. National Drags are from Aug. 28-Sept. 1, USAC midgets are Sept.12. Circle Track Classic is Sept. 19, Advance Racing Association limited late modifieds and trucks are Oct. 11. Information — (317) 291-4090.
n Paragon Speedway, Paragon — The Fan-racer favorite 3/8-mile clay oval will have its season opener on April 19, Steve Bowlen $500-to-win street stocks is May 24. Dave Peeden Memorial sprints-stocks is June 7, 5th annual King of Indiana Sprints is July 5, Mid-Season Championship is July 12, Mike Johnson Memorial sprints visit July 19, UMP Modified Wolfpack Challenge is Aug. 9, 12th Annual Stock Car Dirt Nationals is Sept. 6. Information — (765) 537-2366.
n Salem Speedway, Salem — The high banks will host ARCA stocks on April 12-13, Calvin Gilstrap Classic for Hoosier Outlaw Sprints is May 17, Hooter Pro Cup stocks visit June 28, ASA Salem 200 stocks visit July 19, USAC sprints visit Aug. 3, ARCA stocks visit on Sept. 13 and the 20th Annual $5000-to-win street stocks visit Oct. 26. Information — (888) 246-7223.
n Terre Haute Action Track — Under new leadership, the half-mile clay oval will host the Don Smith Classic for Midwest Sprint Car Series sprints on May 2, Tony Hulman Classic USAC sprints on May 22, Sumar Classic for USAC Silver Crown Cars on July 23, UMP Modifieds on Sept. 12 and Hut Hundred for USAC midgets on Oct. 4. Information — The Action Track does not yet have a phone number.
n Tri-State Speedway, Haubstadt — The quarter-mile oval will host the World of Outlaw sprints on April 9, Midwest Sprint Car Series sprints are May 10 and May 25, UMP Late Model Summer Nationals is June 15, MSCS sprints is June 28, USAC sprints visit July 19, Hoosier Sprint Nationals $10,000-to-win is Aug. 2 and Haubstadt Hustler Sprint 50 $10,000-to-win is Sept. 27. Information — (812) 768-5995.
n Vermillion County Speedway, Danville,Ill. — The 1/4 dirt oval will host the non-wing sprints on April 4, May 16, July 25 and Sept. 5, David Richardson Memorial for modifieds sprint and stocks on May 25, UMP Late Model Summer Nationals on June 22, Larry Cannon Memorial for non-wing sprints on Aug. 29. Information — (217) 443-6588.
n Winchester Speedway, Winchester — The notorious high banks will host USAC sprints on April 20 and June 12, King of the Wings HOSS sprints Aug. 10, World Stock Car Festival CRA Super Series on Sept. 1, USAC sprints Sept 28, and the Winchester 400 for CRA stocks Oct. 10-12. Information (765) 584-9701.
As always fans are cautioned to call ahead when threatening weather exists and remembertrack dates are subject to change.
Joe Buckles can be reached at email@example.com.
With a break in the always unpredictable Midwest weather, the 2008 area motorsports season is slated to shift into high gear as early as this weekend.
Joe Buckles: Fitzpatrick back on track, returns to winning ways
Following a self-imposed hiatus from the Wabash Valley sprint-car scene for most of the summer, Fitzpatrick Racing out of West Terre Haute has returned to action and the results over the past two weekends have been nothing shy of spectacular.
Trackside: Burns, Fitzpatrick provide fun moments at Putnamville
In a season that has generated more than its share of down moments for Wabash Valley fans and racers, last Saturday’s “King of non-wing Sprints” program at Lincoln Park Speedway served notice that there are still a few positive storylines to be found in the wild and unpredictable sport of sprint-car racing.
One such storyline unfolded this past weekend on the rough and challenging 5⁄16-mile Putnamville dirt oval. That’s where the runs of Eric Burns and Blake Fitzpatrick sent fans home feeling that if the season has to come to a close, it couldn’t end on a happier or brighter note.
Trackside: Stewart proves versatility is one of his strongpoints
At a time each summer when stock-car racing takes center stage in the heart of open-wheel racing territory, it was Tony Stewart who emerged the big winner last weekend.
No, not Tony Stewart the race driver but Tony Stewart the owner. He’s the undisputed leader on two racing fronts — the car owner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series with Ryan Newman as his driver and the owner-operator of Eldora Speedway. The popular Indiana native posted impressive showings in both ventures.
Trackside: Sprint Week is fun week for USAC fans
With three rounds down and four to go, the 2013 version of Indiana Sprint Week is ready to take center stage at the Terre Haute Action Track tonight — weather permitting, of course.
It’s hard not to mention the elements when talking racing at the Action Track this season.
Race organizers Reece O’Connor and Bob Sargent have felt the sting of Mother Nature worse than most Midwest promoters this spring and summer with all five of their scheduled shows washed out.
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Trackside: Midgets could be on rise in Wabash Valley
With Indiana Midget Week taking center stage this week at Wabash Valley ovals, it’s time to talk midget racing.
More specifically, it’s time to examine its status in the Hoosier State and what the future might hold for one of open wheel’s most competitive but yet overlooked forms of racing.
It’s no secret the mighty, little midgets have suffered from hard times in recent years. Spiraling engine costs and resulting smaller car counts have led to a sharp reduction in the number of races for the midgets.
Terre Haute Action Track supporters of the midgets know first hand. They lost their popular Hut Hundred a few seasons back and hope of them returning to the local half-mile clay oval remains a question mark.
TRACKSIDE: Bad weather gives time to reflect
With weather-related issues continuing to plague the Wabash Valley racing scene, the lack of on-track activity presents an opportunity to offer an overall assessment of the 2013 campaign to date.
TRACKSIDE: Burton’s death shows tragic side of racing
The tragic chain of events that had unfolded the previous night at Bloomington Speedway had cast a pall over what should have been an enjoyable night of racing at LPS.
Word had circulated the Putnam County racing facility that earlier in the day that young Josh Burton had succumbed to injuries from an accident the night before at Bloomington.
TRACKSIDE: Chase Stockon hopes momentum stays with him in 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.
TRACKSIDE: Stanbrough continues points chase after recent skirmish with rival
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TRACKSIDE: Brett Andrew plays role in developing NASCAR's new body styles
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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.
TRACKSIDE: Indiana Sprint Week rises above heat, rain, poor economy
The 25th annual version of Indiana Sprint Week is now officially in the record books and the latest chapter will go down as one of the most successful in recent years.
TRACKSIDE: Late models may have no long-term future in Indiana
Reflecting on what was billed as the biggest week of the summer for dirt-track stock-car racing … while preparing to shift gears for the busiest week of the year for non-wing sprint-car racing in the Wabash Valley.
TRACKSIDE: Summer heat has made this ‘The Hell Tour’
It is fittingly billed as “The Hell Tour” for many of the Midwest’s leading late model stock car drivers and their crews.
TRACKSIDE: Retired driver LaJoie spreads the word of safety
In his roles as past driving champion and television analyst, Randy LaJoie has rightfully earned the reputation as a major contributor to the sport of auto racing.
Trackside: Stanbrough on track at midseason
When veteran driver Jon Stanbrough ushered in a new season in Florida back in February, he found himself facing a pair of unfamiliar challenges.
TRACKSIDE: Clauson bucks the IndyCar trend
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TRACKSIDE: USAC Midget Classic not nearly as revered as it once was
It might be three years removed from its birthplace but the Hut Hundred USAC Midget Classic still holds a special place in the hearts of Wabash Valley racing buffs.
TRACKSIDE: What could have been: Indy’s folklore got richer this week
It’s a question that will linger for years and only add to the folklore of the Indianapolis 500.
TRACKSIDE: Sprint car event could generate close racing
One of the hottest and most competitive weekends of the 2012 motorsports season gets under way tonight at the Terre Haute Action Track with the scheduled running of the Tony Hulman Sprint Car Classic.
TRACKSIDE: Mulling over the biggest weekend in motorsports
We’re approaching what has traditionally become one of the busiest and most prestigious weekends in all of motorsports.
TRACKSIDE: Helfrich: Short-track racing has good future
When questions arise regarding the current state of sprint car racing, whether they be at the local or national level, one doesn’t have to search much further for the answer than veteran promoter Tom Helfrich.
TRACKSIDE: Near-capacity crowd turns out for opening night of racing
Opening night at one of the midwest’s premier short track operations can be like no other time of the year.
TRACKSIDE: Racing season has promise
With several “test and tunes” sessions and season openers having already taken the green flag, it’s a sure sign the Wabash Valley racing campaign is shifting into high gear.
TRACKSIDE: Valley racing showed best, worst of times in 2011
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TRACKSIDE: After a delayed start, the Terre Haute Action Track gets season cranked up
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TRACKSIDE: Changes come up on Indiana racing scene
With the highly anticipated USAC Indiana Sprint Week sprint card on tap at the Terre Haute Action Track tonight and the Tony Hulman/Don Smith Classic and a host of events leading up to the Brickyard 400 looming on the horizon, it would appear that it’s the best of times for Wabash Valley racing buffs.
TRACKSIDE: Fortunes of dirt track racing at Action Track can be written in the dust
In the 40 plus years of covering motorsports, it would appear the process of writing this weekly race column would come together rather routinely.
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- Joe Buckles: Fitzpatrick back on track, returns to winning ways