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The USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship makes its final Midwest appearance of the 2016 season, before heading out west, this Saturday night, October 15 at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track for the 17th “Jim Hurtubise Classic.”
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The race honors Hurtubise, the auto racing legend who dominated the Action Track back in the early 1960s. The North Tonawanda, New York native known as “Herk” racked up five consecutive USAC Sprint Car wins from 1960 to 1962, a feat that hasn’t been matched in the ensuing 54 years.
The “Hurtubise Classic” dates back to 1990 when Jack Hewitt won the inaugural edition of the event, but this year’s race marks just the 17th running; the tradition resumed after a ten-year hiatus from the schedule from 2000 to 2009.
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Brady Bacon enjoys a hefty 245-point lead over Chase Stockon in the series standings. Bacon and Stockon are among the five past “Hurtubise Classic” winners expected to compete in Saturday night’s event.
Bacon’s lone Terre Haute triumph came at the “Hurtubise” in the fall of 2014 while Stockon raced to victory in 2012. Stockon’s most recent series victory came at Terre Haute just three months ago at the “Don Smith Classic” during “Indiana Sprint Week.”
Those two will be joined by recent “Hurtubise” winners Jerry Coons, Jr. (2013), Chris Windom (2011) and Jon Stanbrough (2010).
The event has proven to be wide-open over the years, producing 14 different feature winners in the 16 runnings of the race. Only the great Jack Hewitt was able to win multiple “Hurtubise Classics” throughout his career, taking three of them, including the first two in 1990 and 1991, before grabbing his third one in 1995.
In fact, the last 11 “Hurtubise Classic” have produced a different winner each time. Terre Haute USAC winning drivers looking for their first “Hurtubise” trophy this Saturday include the USAC National Sprint Car division’s winningest driver, Dave Darland, as well as 2016 “Sumar Classic” Silver Crown winner C.J. Leary, 2015 “Don Smith Classic” victor Aaron Farney and 2013 “Don Smith Classic” winner Kevin Thomas, Jr., who will continue to sport the No. 1 on his car for Robert Ballou, winner of the 2015 “Hurtubise” as he continues to recover from injuries sustained in USAC/CRA Sprint Car crash at Calistoga (Calif.) Speedway in September.
Pit gates for Saturday night’s event open at 3:00pm with front gates opening at 4. Hot laps get underway at 6 with ProSource Qualifying set for 6:30 and racing beginning at 7.