News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Trackside

July 12, 2012

TRACKSIDE: Summer heat has made this ‘The Hell Tour’

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

The grueling 29-race series marathon stretches the limits of endurance, talents and fortunes for those willing to take on one of the most demanding schedules that dirt track racing has to offer.

The late model crews head to the Terre Haute Action Track tonight for one of the final stops on the tour that will provide Wabash Valley fans one of the few opportunities to see the high-profile, late-model stock cars in their own back yard.

With the highly competitive and nationally recognized series rapidly drawing to a close, the local stop for the 27th Annual Dirt Car Summer Nationals is taking on added significance.

Only three races remain on the tour and a tight two-man points chase for the coveted UMP crown has unfolded with Brian Shirley clinging to a slim point advantage over Shannon Babb as the stockers head to Ohio this weekend.

While he might rank third in points, Jason Feger would like nothing better than to steal the limelight from the two front-runners as he makes his long-awaited Action Track debut.

Having the chance to run at the local half-mile dirt oval has been a longtime goal for the Illinois driver and Feger has every intention of making the most of the opportunity. Like those around him Feger knows the local half-mile dirt oval will test his talents and equipment to the limit.

“I’ve always looked forward to running Terre Haute but I have never been in the position to give it a try until now,” voiced the Bloomington, Ill., driver. “When I first started racing the late models, I only had one car and one motor. The [Action Track] can be pretty hard on equipment so I’ve held off until now.

“This Summer Nationals tour can take its toll on both the cars and drivers. You have to come prepared if you have any hope of doing well. The big half-miles demand the best out of everybody and everything. It’s that simple.”

If racing 29 nights in a 32-day time span is not challenging enough for the drivers and crews, the recent Midwest heat wave has made the task even more demanding.

“The heat can always create its problems,” cautions Feger, the 2010 Summer Nationals champ. “That’s part of racing, but I’ve never seen it this bad. You can expect it when you’re in Kentucky and Tennessee but it’s been like that everywhere we’ve gone. It can be brutal and you’ve got to keep your car in one piece.”

Terre Haute is not his home, but Feger has always maintained strong ties to the local area through racing the late models. This despite the fact that stockers, for some unknown reason, have never won over the Hoosier state that is dominated by non-wing sprint car racing.

So when Feger catches the possiblity to win over some new fans to the late models, he jumps at the opportunity. From all indications he’s done quite well in fulfilling that mission in the Wabash Valley area.

“We don’t get the chance to run around here very often but when we do I’ve always had great support from the fans,” he said. “One of my biggest supporters is my sponsor VP Racing Fuels, which is based in Terre Haute. I hope we can have a good night for all of our supporters.”

The tour that runs in nine states has generated 13 different winners in 25 races and Feger is one of the few repeat victors with three checkered flags, including a recent one at Lincoln Park Speedway.

Win or lose, Feger hopes the Nationals come up a big winner at the front gate for promoters Bob Sargent and Reece O’Connor.

“Bob and Reece do a great job with their track prep and for racing,” Feger said. “Hopefully we’ll have great turnout, good racing and will be able to come back maybe more than once a year. I think the fans will like what they see.”

I I I

n Stock car week – The Action Track late model show is one of two big stock-car attractions in the Wabash Valley this week.

Lincoln Park Speedway will host its biggest Bomber class show of the year with the feature winner taking home a $1,000 paycheck.

The eighth annual Bomber Bash is sure to attract its share of outsiders with open rules permitted for this special event.

If the regular LPS contingent hopes to protect home track bragging rights, its best chance appears to ride with Terre Haute driver C.J. Bryan, who has dominated the division throughout the summer.

Even with an impressive eight-win campaign already under his belt, Bryan knows he’ll probably play an underdog role Saturday night.

“There’ll be some guys from all over the state and they’ll be bringing some high-caliber equipment that we don’t normally have to go up against,” said Bryan. “I’ve got a lot laps at the place that the outsiders don’t, so maybe every thing will even itself out. Nothing will come easy.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Trackside
  • 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

  • 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.

    October 2, 2013 1 Photo

  • 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.

    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.
    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.

    August 1, 2013

  • 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.

    July 17, 2013

  • Finding best talent the key to all sports, including auto racing

    The success of any sporting franchise often rests with the ability of owners to find and mold talent into a winning combination.

    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

    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.

    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

  • 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.

    October 12, 2012

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

    Veteran sprint car driver Jon Stanbrough has never been one to hide his distaste for chasing point championships. It simply doesn’t bode well with his style of racing.

    August 30, 2012

  • TRACKSIDE: Brett Andrew plays role in developing NASCAR's new body styles

    The recent announcement from NASCAR regarding the approved body styles for the 2013 Sprint Cup Series follows extensive wind-tunnel testing that was a year in the making.

    August 17, 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.

    August 1, 2012

  • 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.

    July 25, 2012

  • 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.

    July 18, 2012

  • 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.

    July 12, 2012

  • 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.

    July 4, 2012

  • 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.

    June 27, 2012

  • TRACKSIDE: Clauson bucks the IndyCar trend

    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

  • 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.

    June 6, 2012

  • 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.

    May 31, 2012

  • 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.

    May 24, 2012

  • 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.

    May 16, 2012

  • 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.

    May 2, 2012

  • 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.

    April 12, 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.

    April 4, 2012

  • TRACKSIDE: Valley racing showed best, worst of times in 2011

    A look back on the 2011 Wabash Valley auto racing season reveals the best and worst of times the sport has to offer.

    January 1, 2012

  • TRACKSIDE: Menard's victory at Brickyard momentous for family, race fans

    Who says one of those familiar bright fluorescent-colored Menards race cars can’t find its way to victory lane at Indianapolis?

    August 3, 2011

  • TRACKSIDE: After a delayed start, the Terre Haute Action Track gets season cranked up

     Its arrival may have been delayed by several months — for a host of reasons — but the 2011 Terre Haute Action Track season is finally out of the blocks.

    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.

    July 13, 2011

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Today in History for April 16th Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs
NDN Video
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