News From Terre Haute, Indiana


April 4, 2012

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.

Despite the concerns of a troubled economy, signs point to a promising and exciting 2012 season for fans and racers alike.

To help make their visits to area tracks more convient, listed below is the 42nd annual Trackside tracks and schedules preview:

• Terre Haute Action Track — Following an abbrevated schedule a year ago, the future looks brighter for supporters of the half-mile clay oval this season.

With a new promotional group in 2012, the track will offer an attractive seven-event slate that features some of the best in open-wheel and stock-car racing.

Whether your choice is sprint cars, late models or UMP Modifieds, promoters Bob Sargent and Reece O’Connor have lined up a schedule that is sure to please even the most avid or casual race fan.

Terre Haute Action Track schedule

April 22 — Spring Fling-Midwest Sprint Car-King of Indiana Sprint Series sprints and UMP Modifieds

May 24 — Tony Hulman Classic USAC sprints-UMP Modifieds

June 19 — NASCAR Nite-MSCS sprints-UMP Modifieds

July 12 — UMP Late Model Summer Nationals-UMP Modifieds

July 18 — USAC Indiana Sprint Week-Don Smith Classic

Sept. 1 — Jim Hurtubise Classic USAC sprints-UMP Modifieds

Oct. 13 — Sumar Classic USAC Silver Crown cars-UMP Modifieds

• Crossroads Dragway — Offering the best in NHRA weekly ET Bracket racing, the local1⁄8-mile strip will serve up specials with the Fast 33 April 28, Fast 33 May 19, the Bernie Mann Memorial May 26, Matt Agresta Memorial June 2, Jegs S/Quick-Fast 33 June 23-24, Fast 33 July 7, Slammin’ 16 July 28, Scheid Diessel Extravaganza Drags Aug 24-26, Fast 33 Sept. 22 and Fast 33 Oct. 13. Information: (812) 229-2167

• Lincoln Park Speedway — The popular 5⁄16-mile dirt oval will offer a weekly Saturday night card of sprint, modified and stock cars with a host of specials, including the season opener Saturday, USAC sprints April 28, National Armed Forces Day May 19, USAC Indiana Midget Week June 4, USAC Indiana Sprint Week July 19, Putnamville Clash July 28, Midwest Sprint Car Series sprints Aug. 18, King of Non-Wing Sprints” Sept. 1 and ninth annual Patroit 100 Sept. 8. Information: (765) 653-3485

• Bakersfield Raceway Park  — Located east of Linton on State Road 54, the Marlin Baker Family will a weekly Friday night card of 600 opens, 600 Upright Mini Sprints, 4 Cylinder stocks, Junior sprints and 600 Non-wing Class (open) racing. Information: (812) 847-2642

• Coles County Dragway USA — Popular to Wabash Valley drag racers, the Charleston, Ill., strip will offer specials with the Saturday TNT Grudge Gamblers, Quick 32 May 19, Nostalgia Blown Altreds Match Race May 26, Hopper Family Memorial Day Classic May 27, Thunder On Prairie Hot Blue Jet Dragster June 23, Terry Luechtefeld Memorial July 21 and Jegs Quick 32 Aug. 18. Information: (217) 345-7777

• Lyons Raceway Park — NHRA-sanctioned drag racing with a full slate of specials with VP Racing Fuels Quick 32 April 20-21, Fast 8 April 27-28, Midwest-Junior Super Series May 18-19-20 NHRA Jegs Quick series June 1-2, Ohio Crankshaft No Box Nationals June 15-16-17, VP Fuels Quick 32 June 29-30, National Dragster Challenge July 28, NHRA Indiana Drag Racing State Championships Aug 3-4 and NHRA King of Track Oct 6.

• Bloomington Motor Speedway — Under new leadership, the popular quarter-mile clay oval will continue to offer a weekly Friday program of sprint stock and modified racing.

There’s a schedule loaded with special events that include King of Indiana Sprints May 4, USAC sprints Larry Rice Memorial May 8, Spring Clash June 1, USAC Indiana Midget Week June 15, Sheldon Kinser Memorial July 6, USAC Indiana Sprint Week July 20 and World of Outlaws Aug. 3. Information: (812) 824-7400

• Lucas Oil Raceway — Home of the sports biggest drag racing event of the year — the 58th MacTools U.S. Nationals, slated for the weekend of Aug. 29-Sept. 3 — the Clermont multi-facility will host its annual SpeedFest featuring USAC midgets and Silver Crown cars and ARCA stock cars on the July 26-27 weekend.

Other key oval events include the Hall of Fame Classic May 19, the Nite Before the 500 for USAC midgets May 26 and Monster Mopar Weekend Sept. 21-23. Information: (317) 291-4090

• Indianapolis Motor Speedway — Adding to its already lofty international status, the Speedway will offer a pair of new events in 2012 including a second NASCAR show and sports cars on its road course.

Of course, the 500 remains the premier event with its timetable calling for Opening Day May 12, Pole Day qualifications May 19, Bump Day May 20, Carb Day May 25 and 500 May 27.

Brickyard 400 weekend offers NASCAR Nationwide practice July 26, Grand Am sport cars July 27, Nationwide race July 28 and Crown Royal Brickyard 400 July 29.

Red Bull Grand Prix Moto GP slate lists practice Aug. 17, qualifications Aug. 18 and the 2012 Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix Aug. 19. Information: (317) 492-8500

• Paragon Speedway — Weekly Saturday night racing at the true grass-roots stage, the3⁄8-mile dirt oval also will host specials with the AMVETS Post 200 May 19, King of Indiana Sprint series June 2, third annual Chuck Amati Classic June 23 and Mike Johnson Memorial Aug. 11. Information: (765) 537-9326

• Kokomo Motor Speedway — One of the nation’s longest-running short tracks, the quarter-mile oval will host the King of Indiana Sprints April 29, Kokomo Klassic May 27, World of Outlaws June 5, USAC Midget Week June 17, USAC Indiana Sprint Week July 17, USAC sprints Aug. 23-25 and Kokomo Klash V1 Oct. 19-20. Information: (765) 459-3877

• Tri-State Speedway — One of the country’s most highly regarded short track operations will present World of Outlaws April 21, MSCS/USAC sprints May 12, Hut Hundred USAC midgets June 2, UMP Late model Summer Nationals July 8, USAC Indiana Sprint Week July 21, MSCS Hoosier sprints Aug. 4, Haubstadt Hustler Sept. 15 and the MSCS Harvest Cup Oct. 6. Information: (812) 768-5995

• Winchester Speedway — The notorious high banks will present the Jegs CRA stocks All-Star Race May 6, Must See Xtreme sprints May 20, ARCA stocks June 23-24, Old Timers weekend Aug. 18-19 and 41st annual Winchester 400 Oct. 12-14. Information: (765) 584-9701

• Greater Salem Speedway — The historic half-mile oval will stage the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200 April 28, Casey General Stores Spring Fest May 19, Touchstone Energy Midwest 200 June 16, Firecracker 200 Lucas Oil Great American Stock race July 4, Summer Short Track Showdown July 15, Short-Track Sun-Fun Festival Aug. 4, 53rd annual Joey James/Pat O’Connor Memorial Aug. 11 and ARCA stocks Fall Classic Sept. 15.

Fans are reminded that all dates are subject to change and to call ahead when threatening weather conditions exist. Information: (812) 883-6504

Joe Buckles can be reached at


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

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    April 2, 2014

  • bucklesphoto.jpg 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.

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    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.

    September 25, 2013

  • 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.
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    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.

    July 17, 2013

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    June 20, 2013

  • 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.

    June 13, 2013

  • TRACKSIDE: Bad weather gives time to reflect

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    June 6, 2013

  • 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.

    May 29, 2013

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    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.

    October 12, 2012

  • TRACKSIDE: Stanbrough continues points chase after recent skirmish with rival

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    August 30, 2012

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    August 17, 2012

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    August 1, 2012

  • TRACKSIDE: Indiana Sprint Week rises above heat, rain, poor economy

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    July 25, 2012

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    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.

    July 18, 2012

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    It is fittingly billed as “The Hell Tour” for many of the Midwest’s leading late model stock car drivers and their crews.

    July 12, 2012

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    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.

    July 4, 2012

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    When veteran driver Jon Stanbrough ushered in a new season in Florida back in February, he found himself facing a pair of unfamiliar challenges.

    June 27, 2012

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    On the surface, the distance from the dirt oval at Lincoln Park Speedway to the massive, paved Indianapolis Motor Speedway may appear only a few miles apart.

    June 21, 2012

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    April 12, 2012

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    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.

    April 4, 2012

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    January 1, 2012

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    August 3, 2011

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    July 20, 2011

  • 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.

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