Darland eyes #100 tonight at Terre Haute

Dave Darland. (Bill MIller Photo)

Dave Darland. (Bill MIller Photo)
Dave Darland. (Bill MIller Photo)
From Dick Jordan

Wednesday’s “Tony Hulman Classic” at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track marks the 45th running of one of America’s most traditional motorsports events. Debuting in 1971, the event has been a signature race for USAC’s AMSOIL National Sprint Car participants.

Defending race winner Dave Darland is now USAC’s all-time leader in terms of series victories but another career milestone awaits Wednesday. He has 99 USAC wins in the three National series and a victory Wednesday would put him in select company with A.J. Foyt, Rich Vogler and Mel Kenyon as the only drivers ever to reach the century plateau.

Darland led four laps on last Friday’s “May Meltdown” at Gas City (Ind.) I-69 Speedway but finished third behind winner Brady Bacon and runner-up Thomas Meseraull. That kept Darland third in the latest series point standings entering Terre Haute.

Darland, who also won the “Tony Hulman Classic” in 1993, is expected to be joined Wednesday by former race winners Tracy Hines (2001), Jon Stanbrough (2002 and 2007), Daron Clayton (2006), Jerry Coons Jr. (2010 and 2013) and Chris Windom (2011). Darland, Stanbrough and Coons hope to join Cary Faas and Levi Jones as the only three-time race winners.

Bacon, the defending series champion from Broken Arrow, Okla., led the final 14 laps at Gas City to post a record 89th victory for his car owners, Dynamics, Inc./Hoffman Auto Racing. Meseraull finished second ahead of Darland, Stanbrough and C.J. Leary. Meseraull led the first 12 laps and was pressing Bacon at the finish. Bacon, who also claimed the ProSource fast qualifying award, piloted the Mean Green/Lykins Oil Triple X/Williams Mopar.

Robert Ballou continues to lead the standings and holds a slim two-point lead over Chase Stockon.

The UMP Modifieds will join the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Cars on Wednesday night. The Mods will be running for $700 to win in their feature event.

Pit gates open Wednesday at 3:00, grandstands at 5:00, hotlaps at 6:00, and racing action at 7:30. Grandstand admission is $25, infield admission $15, and children 10 and under are free.

For more information, visit terrehauteactiontrack.net and like them on Facebook.