Indiana Sprint Week preview

The 17th Annual Valvoline "Indiana Sprint Week" is rapidly approaching, set to showcase USAC's top talent in seven nights of racing spread over a 10-day period between July 15 and 24. One driver could rake in more than...

The 17th Annual Valvoline "Indiana Sprint Week" is rapidly approaching, set to showcase USAC's top talent in seven nights of racing spread over a 10-day period between July 15 and 24.

One driver could rake in more than $30,000 in prizes with a "sweep" of the races held on seven Indiana dirt tracks. That would include a $2,500 bonus from Valvoline, which has posted a point fund which will be distributed to the top-10 drivers in the seven-race point totals.

Debuting on Thursday night, July 15 at Twin Cities Raceway in North Vernon, the series continues July 16 at Gas City I-69 Speedway, July 17 at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, July 18 at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, July 22 at the Lawrenceburg Speedway, July 23 at the Bloomington Speedway and July 24 at the Terre Haute Action Track.

J.J. Yeley's 2003 Valvoline "Indiana Sprint Week" championship helped vault him to the USAC "Triple Crown" and this year's series could produce another future racing star. Previous series champions have included Kevin Thomas (4 times), Yeley, Dave Darland and Chuck Amati (twice), Tony Elliott, Jay Drake, Cory Kruseman, Gary Trammell and Bobby, Kelly and Randy Kinser.

Drake and Kruseman are expected to be among top contenders for the 2004 title, combining for 13 total previous ISW victories. They are teammates for Tony Stewart Racing and currently hold the top two spots in the National Sprint Car standings. Neither has ever won a USAC National title, although Drake owns Western Midget and TQ Midget crowns.

Darland, like Kruseman, owns a record seven ISW feature victories and could be a top threat for repeating his 1998 and 2001 championships.

Each night of racing climaxes with a 30-lap feature. The Lawrenceburg, Bloomington and Terre Haute races also salute Robbie Stanley, Larry Rice and Jan Opperman respectively.

Valvoline "Indiana Sprint Week" has always produced memorable racing and this year's edition is sure to offer more of the same. It will be pivotal in the chase for the 2004 USAC Valvoline National Sprint Car championship.

The final three nights of action will offer participants an interesting challenge as many of them are also set to compete in the USAC Midget and Weld Racing Silver Crown events at the Milwaukee (Wisc.) Mile. Transportation has been arranged to facilitate those drivers who will be competing in both arenas.

Valvoline "Indiana Sprint Week Champions
1988-Randy Kinser
1989-Chuck Amati
1990-Chuck Amati & Gary Trammell
1991-Bobby Kinser
1992-Kevin Thomas
1993-Kevin Thomas
1994-Kelly Kinser
1995-Kevin Thomas
1996-Kevin Thomas
1997-J.J. Yeley
1998-Dave Darland
1999-Tony Elliott
2000-Jay Drake
2001-Dave Darland
2002-Cory Kruseman
2003-J.J. Yeley

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Dave Darland , J.J. Yeley , Tony Elliott , Cory Kruseman , Jay Drake