Already Building A Colorful History King of Indiana Sprint Car Series Thriller Recalled April 13, 2004 Although only in its fourth season, the King of Indiana Sprint Car Series is already building a colorful history. The first season...
Already Building A Colorful History
King of Indiana Sprint Car Series Thriller Recalled
April 13, 2004 Although only in its fourth season, the King of Indiana Sprint Car Series is already building a colorful history. The first season featured four close and exciting races before Dickie Gaines clinched the title, but one memorable event kept fans talking for a long time.
On Saturday, June 16, 2001, Putnamville's Lincoln Park Speedway hosted its first round of a new multi-race event optimistically named the "King of Indiana Sprint Series", or KISS. The dirt 3/16-mile oval west of Indianapolis was a staple on Indiana's sprint car menu and in all respects was a good place to take the family for a night of entertainment. There was a lively crowd on hand as thirty-three cars hot lapped before the track's KISS inaugural.
In the pits, Kent Christian had the latest "KC Chassis" out of his own shop. Justin Marvel had won the KISS event at Haubstadt's Tri-State Speedway the previous weekend in a "KC" machine fielded by the Booe Brothers. And between races, Captain Brad Marvel was proudly displaying his handsome grandson, Justin's firstborn.
Christian and "The Professor", Kevin Thomas, were among those discussing tire choice as the driver's meeting wrapped up. The Lincoln Park surface was dry, and the two veterans were calculating the merits of their stock.
In contrast, across the pit lane, Jimmy Parsons was working on his sprinter all by himself. The third generation racer was without crew, and appeared to be without tire selection problems, as the four on his machine seemed to be all he had. Parsons admitted that he was limited to another left rear that he could put on the car when he wanted to change stagger. Jimmy was just beginning his sprint car career, and was asking a lot of questions. When he needed more assistance, the Booe crewmembers and Andy Hurtubise would lend a hand. You can tell the guys who really want to race and don't mind doing whatever it takes to get on the track.
Hurtubise, the son of the great Jim Hurtubise, was there to watch, but helped out whomever he could. With a grin, he said that the previous season was the most comfortable he had ever been in a sprint car. But, even though he had spent the winter looking ahead to this summer's racing, it became more important to spend time with his family. With one son recently graduated from high school and another just a year behind, there were things that he wanted to do with them. But, Andy warned, I plan to be back in a sprint car next year.
The feature turned out to be a classic. Driving for Paul Hazen, Danville's Jon Stanbrough tenaciously worked the cushion until he caught Marvel, who had claimed the early lead. Stanbrough was taking the long way around, but carrying a lot of momentum, and as they exited the turns, Marvel would slide up in front of him on nearly every circuit. Finally, with little more than a lap to go, Stanbrough battled past and put a couple car lengths between them. But Marvel didn't quit and on the white flag lap executed a nearly perfect slide as he re-passed in turn four. But nearly perfect wasn't good enough. Marvel slid to the top of the track, scrubbing off speed in front of Stanbrough. But the more-experienced veteran had room to turn back underneath and the two rocketed under the flagstand wheel-to-wheel.
Thinking he had won, Marvel stopped for the victory celebration. But when Lincoln Park's scorers had an opportunity to look at a videotape of the finish, they awarded the win to Stanbrough by inches.
The defending champion of the King of Indiana Sprint Car Series, Jon Stanbrough also owns the most victories in the series. But that night at Lincoln Park was his first. This season, the KISS series returns to Putnamville on Saturday, May 15th.
The KISS series puts the spotlight on the most exciting sprint car drivers in the state as they battle on the best Hoosier dirt tracks. For more information, visit our website at www.KissRacing.com.