that terre haute action track
that terre haute action track

From Dick Jordan

The storied Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track opens an ambitious 2011 schedule of events with the May 26 “Tony Hulman Classic” AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car race. The race is one of four to be sanctioned by the United States Auto Club, which has been designated as the track operator this season.

The “Sumar Classic 100” for USAC’s Traxxas Silver Crown cars is slated July 3, while the “Indiana Sprint Week” race for the USAC AMSOIL National Sprints, titled the “Don Smith Classic,” is scheduled July 13. The AMSOIL Sprint Cars will return to the Terre Haute oval on September 10. The July 13 race will honor the many contributions to the sport of one of Terre Haute’s most prominent citizens, banker and former race organizer Don Smith.

“We certainly recognize the importance of the Terre Haute half-mile and are excited about the coming season of events,” says USAC Competition Director Dave Brzozowski. “The track has hosted 224 USAC races dating back to 1956 and we are looking forward to continuing the great traditions established there.”

Additional dates with other sanctioning bodies are being explored and ticket information will be available soon.

“We are really excited about this opportunity,” says USAC’s Jason McCord. “We have a late start, and a lot to do, but really look forward to being a part of the Terre Haute community and working with the local officials. We want the Action Track to be something the local community supports and is a great destination for our visitors.” McCord becomes the first manager at the Action Track to have once raced there. “We have always enjoyed working with the crew at Terre Haute and look forward to working with a group of people who dedicate their time to making the Action Track a first rate place.” added McCord. “If anyone would like to support the track please contact me at jmccord@usacracing.com to discuss opportunities.”

Earl Motter won the first USAC race at Terre Haute, a 100-lap Midget race in 1956. In the ensuing years drivers compiling” the most USAC wins at the famed oval include Rich Vogler (13), Jack Hewitt (11), Gary Bettenhausen (10), J.J. Yeley (8), Bubby Jones and Roger McCluskey (7), Levi Jones and Sheldon Kinser (6) and Jim Hurtubise, Pancho Carter and Don Branson (5).

Jon Stanbrough won twice in Sprint cars at the Action Track last year. Levi Jones won the Silver Crown race and Jerry Coons Jr. also won a Sprint race.

The May 26 “Tony Hulman Classic” continues a tradition dating back to 1971 when George Snider won the inaugural running of what has become a coveted National event.