Summer events will bring thousands to Terre Haute

DAVID PATTERSON

Later this month, Terre Haute will be host to the USAC quarter midget dirt nationals, held at the Terre Haute Quarter Midget Association’s Hulman Mini-Speedway at 3150 Houseman St.

“This is the first dirt nationals at the new facility at Davis Avenue and Houseman,” David Patterson, executive director of the Terre Haute Convention & Visitors Bureau told members of the bureau’s board of directors on Tuesday.

The event, which starts July 24, will bring in about 1,000 people “from California to the East Coast,” Patterson said and is the fourth time in 25 years the nationals have been held in Terre Haute.

“It is a great way to kick off the new facility,” Patterson said. And for hotels, the event is good news, as most participants will likely stay at least a week, Patterson said.

In other racing, a new event for the BRANDEIS Midwest Sprint Car Series will be held today at the Terre Haute Action Track.

“Rumble at the Fair” appears for the first time on the MSCS schedule. Sprint car drivers will compete in a feature that pays $3,000 to the winner at the action track, which is a slightly banked half mile oval dirt track.

The MSCS returns to the Terre Haute Action Track for a second time on Aug. 11. The series raced at the track last year with 30 cars.

In other news, Patterson told the CVB’s board that Terre Haute has been awarded the Indiana Youth Bowling Championship for 2020, which will bring about “3,000 kids for eight weekends,” Patterson said. “We performed so well with the state women’s championship, I think that turned the table in our favor” to hold the tournament, Patterson said.

The event typically starts in late February and extends to early to mid April, excluding Easter weekend, Patterson said.

The county’s running season kicks of Aug. 17 with the Valley Kick off, hosted by Terre Haute South. The county has 13 running events that extend through Nov. 23, when the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 National Cross Country Championship is held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country course.

Other events include a Nike Valley Twilight race on Oct. 5, expected to bring 2,500 athletes. 

The Nike Cross Country Regional Midwest Championships will be held Nov. 16, expected to bring in more than 3,400 athletes.

Running events at the LaVern Gibson course are “a big deal,” as the events are expected to draw 40,000 runners to the county from August to November, Patterson said after the meeting.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com. Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.