11TH ANNUAL INDIANA SPRINT WEEK MAKES ANNUAL STOP IN BLOOMINGTON BLOOMINGTON, IN (July 21, 1998) - The top non-winged sprint car drivers in the country have come to Indiana for the 11th Annual Pennzoil Indiana Sprint Week. Friday night, the...
11TH ANNUAL INDIANA SPRINT WEEK MAKES ANNUAL STOP IN BLOOMINGTON
BLOOMINGTON, IN (July 21, 1998) - The top non-winged sprint car drivers in the country have come to Indiana for the 11th Annual Pennzoil Indiana Sprint Week. Friday night, the USAC Stoops Freightliner sprint car series makes its yearly visit to Bloomington Speedway as the fifth event of Indiana Sprint Week. With seven demanding events in only nine nights, with racing venues stretching from Lawrenceburg to Kokomo requiring hours of travel almost every day, and with mid-summer temperatures exceeding 90 degrees battering drivers and crews, it challenges every team's endurance and preparation. But with cash and prizes totaling more than $152,000 up for grabs, and 20% of the USAC national sprint car points being awarded in these seven races, it is also one of the most lucrative and thrilling racing events of the year.
Bloomington Speedway's Mike Miles was one of the founders of the Indiana Sprint Week tradition. With Paragon and Kokomo Speedways, Bloomington has been on the tour every year since 1988. Sprint Week race winners at Bloomington have included local legend Bob Kinser, Mitchell's Kevin Briscoe, Danny Smith, Mickey Smith and Arizona's Cary Faas. Kevin Thomas and Bloomington's Kelly Kinser have two victories each. Last July, Avon's Brad Fox, who's father raced at Bloomington thirty years ago, claimed the event on his way to the track's Pennzoil Cup season title.
With Sprint Week races conducted last Saturday and Sunday, Walton's Dave Darland holds a slim advantage over Tony Elliott. Darland scored took a victory at Lawrenceburg, and chased Elliott to the flag at Kokomo on Sunday. Tolleson, Arizona's Jeremy Sherman is third in sprint week points, with Kevin Thomas and Brian Hayden in the top five. While each race winner earns $4,000, the series champion will collect an additional $4,000. USAC veterans Jack Hewitt, Brian Tyler, Derek Davidson, Robbie Rice, Bill Rose, Rusty McClure, Eric Gordon, Tim Cox, Billy Puterbaugh Jr., Tracy Hines, Kent Christian and Jason McCord are competing this year's races. Last year's champion J.J. Yeley is also on the tour again. The strong contingent of West Coast racers have returned, including Richard Griffin, Mike Kirby, Troy Cline, Cory Kruseman, Sherman, Rickie Gaunt, Jay Drake, Cary Faas and Scotty Burns. For the upcoming weekend, California's Jimmy Sills is scheduled to sub for Tyler, who will compete in the IRL race at Charlotte.
Sprint Week action resumes tomorrow night (Wednesday) at the Terre Haute Action Track. This event will be televised live on ESPN2. Thursday night, Sprint Week travels to North Vernon. Friday's stop in Bloomington will feature the oval where the USAC sprint cars will turn their quickest lap times of the year. The racing promises to be wheel-to-wheel on the red clay banks. Saturday's event is at Paragon Speedway, and the finale will be Sunday night at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville.
The open wheel modified division, with exciting racing stars like Ray Humphrey, Matt Tiller, Albert Webb and John DeMoss, will also be in competition on Friday night. The open wheel modified feature purse has been boosted to $500 for this event.
Bloomington Speedway's pit gate opens at 4:30, and the grandstand gates at 5:30 pm. Hot laps begin at 6:30, with racing at 7:45. General admission is just $20, with all fans ages 12 and under admitted FREE when accompanied by an adult. Pit admission is $25.