The Sprint Summer Showdown begins today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Brickyard 400 for NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers is the first of five races in the new event that will culminate with the AdvoCare 500 in Atlanta.
Drivers who win the five races in the event will be eligible to win $3 Million by winning in Atlanta. He’ll win $1 million if he does it, $1 million for a favorite charity and $1 million for some lucky fan.
Dale Earnhart Jr. likes it. “It was pretty cool back when it was the Winston Million. It was very exciting and I was fortunate to win it,” he said.
Junior got off to a good start this season but has had five consecutive finishes of 15th or worse. He will start 22nd in today’s race.
Kurt Busch doesn’t think the Showdown takes away from the Sprint All-Star Race.
“The All-Star Race has its own prestigious value. It’s going to be interesting how Atlanta works out because it is a tough 500-mile race and it could come down to a fresh set of tires with eight laps to go,” he said.
He drives for Penske Racing and Roger Penske is looking for his first NASCAR victory at Indianapolis where he has been so successful in IndyCar races. “Winning for Roger would be that much more special,” he said.
Super Weekend set — Tickets go on sale this week for next year’s race to be run July 29 as part of The Super Weekend at The Brickyard, sponsored by Crown Royal.
A Nationwide Series race was run at Lucas Oil Raceway on Saturday where it was run before the first Brickyard 400. It will be part of the IMS schedule next year and will be run July 28.
Two Grand-Am Road Racing Series events also are on the card and will be run July 27 on the road course at the track.
Ticket prices in the penhouse and deck sections in the E&B Penthouse for the 2012 race have been reduced from $165 to $150 and fans may buy a general-admission ticket for $80. That has open seating the first two days, limited general-admission seating on the third day and general-admission access on race day.
Pit passes — Four drivers have competed in all 17 Brickyard races at Indianapolis: Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Jeff Burton and Bobby Labonte.
Gordon has finished in the top eight in 13 of his 17 starts, while Martin has been in the top nine in 10 races.
Hoosier Tony Stewart has been in 12 races and finished in the top eight eight times.
• Hope Solo, goalkeeper for the U.S. women’s soccer team, will be the honorary driver of the 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport pace car.
• Matt Kenseth will start ninth today and will seek his 200th top-10 finish in the race.
The Sprint Summer Showdown begins today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
- Auto Racing
Carpenter arrives as Indy 500 threat
And the crowd went wild.
Not only did Ed Carpenter win the pole for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500, he is the hometown son. Carpenter, the stepson of Tony George, completed his rookie orientation in 2004 and has spent the last several years, proving he deserved to be the IZOD IndyCar Series. There is no questioning his credentials now.
Carpenter wins Indy 500 pole
Ed Carpenter is on the pole for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500.
The native of Marshall, Ill., earned the No. 1 spot for the May 26 race with a strong run in the Fast Nine competition at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday. He is the first American driver on the pole since 2006.
TRACKSIDE: Rain still a pain for Wabash Valley racing organizers
Soggy weather conditions, which have rightfully drawn the ire of Wabash Valley race fans and crews in recent days, continue to plague promoters where it hurts the most — their pocketbooks.
TRACKSIDE: Tough to rise from sprint-car racing, especially in challenging financial times
Open-wheel sprint-car racing, whether it be at the national or local level, has earned a reputation over the years of generating its share of thrills and excitement for its fans and a valuable training ground for drivers seeking to hone their skills that someday might elevate them to the “major leagues” of their sport.
METRO ROUNDUP: Rose baseball wins another thriller
Rose-Hulman earned its third victory in its last at-bat in the last five days with a 6-5 win over Franklin in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball Tuesday night at Art Nehf Field.
East gets jump at SUMAR Classic
In his relatively brief but successful racing career, young Bobby East has at times unfairly been labeled as a driver who could master the pavement ovals but one who was still a work in progress on the dirt.
Hurtubise, Sumar races on Action Track slate this weekend
Championship racing is scheduled this weekend at the Terre Haute Action Track with U.S. Auto Club features set for today and Saturday.
One USAC championship will be decided and the spread in the other division could widen or tighten up as a result of the races.
The Jim Hurtubise Classic for sprint cars is today. Only 26 points separate three drivers in the point totals.
TRACKSIDE: Chase Stockon hopes momentum stays with him in Terre Haute
Momentum, an element that can be as elusive to a race driver as that perfect setup, can spell the difference in winning or running at the rear of the pack.
It’s a force difficult to achieve and maybe even harder to maintain. One learns quickly to make the most of the opportunity when it comes his way.
It’s something Chase Stockon will carry with him coming into today’s Jim Hurtubise Classic at the Terre Haute Action Track.
Only days following the biggest victory of his young and promising career, the $10,000-to-win USAC feature at Lawrenceburg, Stockon followed that up with another rich payday this past weekend at Tri-State Speedway.
IndyCar celebrates return to Pocono
IndyCar driver Ed Carpenter had the chance to take a drive around Pocono Raceway, and promptly handed the car keys to racing great Mario Andretti.
METRO ROUNDUP: Rain forces postponement of Jim Hurtubise Classic
Rain and the chance of inclement weather forced postponement of the Jim Hurtubise Classic scheduled for Saturday evening at the Terre Haute Action Track.
METRO ROUNDUP: USAC points leader Levi Jones out for season
Levi Jones, the five-time and reigning United States Auto Club (USAC) National Sprint Car champion, will undergo season-ending surgery on Tuesday to repair two herniated discs in his neck. While a full recovery is expected, the 12-week rehabilitation period will not allow for Jones to finish out the 2012 season, where he has competed in the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car and TRAXXAS Silver Crown divisions for Tony Stewart Racing (TSR).
TRACKSIDE: Stockon takes giant step forward in USAC
One of the more impressive and welcomed storylines of the recently completed Indiana Sprint Week was the emergence of area driver Chase Stockon on the national sprint car scene.
JJ joins hero Mears among four-time winners of Brickyard
Love him or hate him, there is no denying that Jimmie Johnson is a master at the Brickyard.
Hamlin wins Brickyard 400 pole position
Denny Hamlin captured his first ever pole for the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday.
Keselowski gives Penske first stock-car win at IMS
Brad Keselowski made history Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as he took the checkered flag at the inaugural Indy 250 NASCAR Nationwide race.
Bordais, Popow take checkered flag after downpour
While it never rained a drop during the month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Super Weekend at the Brickyard certainly saw its share Friday as both the inaugural Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and the Rolex Sports Car Series met with the wet stuff.
TRACKSIDE: Indiana Sprint Week rises above heat, rain, poor economy
The 25th annual version of Indiana Sprint Week is now officially in the record books and the latest chapter will go down as one of the most successful in recent years.
Red-hot Hunter-Reay goes for fourth straight at Edmonton
Ryan Hunter-Reay goes for his fourth straight victory Sunday in IZOD IndyCar Series action in Canada.
Clayton wins at Don Smith Classic
They call Daron Clayton, “The Modern Day Cowboy.”
The King of Speed
Born in Terre Haute, Roger Curtis grew up on Franklin Street, moved to Riley with his family when he was in sixth grade and attended Thornton Elementary School and Honey Creek Junior High before graduating from Terre Haute South High School in 1985.
Jones occupies driver’s seat: Six-time THAT winner leads Sprint Week series
When you think of USAC’s Indiana Sprint Week, thoughts of Levi Jones shouldn’t be far behind.
TRACKSIDE: Late models may have no long-term future in Indiana
Reflecting on what was billed as the biggest week of the summer for dirt-track stock-car racing … while preparing to shift gears for the busiest week of the year for non-wing sprint-car racing in the Wabash Valley.
Kenny Wallace realizes Action Track dream
Kenny Wallace won the UMP modified feature, leading flag-to-flag for the victory on Thursday night at the Terre Haute Action Track.
Wallace, a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver from 1990-2008, couldn’t have more thrilled to become part of a racing revival at the venerable dirt oval.
TRACKSIDE: Summer heat has made this ‘The Hell Tour’
It is fittingly billed as “The Hell Tour” for many of the Midwest’s leading late model stock car drivers and their crews.
Franchitti mired in post-Indy 500 slump
Dario Franchitti hopes to get back on track in IndyCar Series action Sunday in Canada.
TRACKSIDE: Retired driver LaJoie spreads the word of safety
In his roles as past driving champion and television analyst, Randy LaJoie has rightfully earned the reputation as a major contributor to the sport of auto racing.
Trackside: Stanbrough on track at midseason
When veteran driver Jon Stanbrough ushered in a new season in Florida back in February, he found himself facing a pair of unfamiliar challenges.
Atchison, Virgilio win weekend races at Crossroads Dragway
Troy Atchison and Tony Virgilio won feature races in weekend racing at Crossroads Dragway.
TRACKSIDE: Clauson bucks the IndyCar trend
On the surface, the distance from the dirt oval at Lincoln Park Speedway to the massive, paved Indianapolis Motor Speedway may appear only a few miles apart.
Stewart Racing driver hangs on in final laps
Tony Stewart Racing’s Levi Jones passed Robert Ballou with 11 laps to go and held off a charging Jon Stanbrough to take the Hoosier Tire Midwest Sprint Car Series’ 25-lap feature Tuesday at the Terre Haute Action Track.
- More Auto Racing Headlines
- Carpenter arrives as Indy 500 threat