This week kicks off what sprint car fans have been waiting for since last July.
Indiana Sprint Week officially begins with a long trip south to the newly refurbished Lawrenceburg Speedway. With new lighting, concrete walls, high banks and fencing as well as facilities that are now second-to-none, Lawrenceburg has become one of the state's, if not one of the nation's top tracks.
Tonight and Thursday start the series at Lawrenceburg followed by a double dip at Gas City's I-69 Speedway on Friday and Saturday evening. Kokomo is on the slate for Sunday before the series catches its' breath for several days before hitting Kamp Motor Speedway in Boswell on July 17. The famed red clay at Bloomington is on tap for Friday, July 18 and the series wraps up at Haubstadt on Saturday.
The series draws drivers from all over the country to compete for the coveted title that provided bragging rights for the rest of the summer.
The series also counts towards the USAC Sprint car points, which means the country's best drivers will clash with the Hoosier State's top hotshoes.
Dave Darland holds the crown as the defending champion and has as good a chance as any this year to match Kevin Thomas as the only four-time champion. One of the West Coast's top drivers, Cory Kruseman, joins the battle this week as well and is a two-time champ along with Levi Jones, who won in 2004.
No one can discount Jon Stanbrough, who has recently been hitting his 2007 form that saw him win National Sprint Car Driver of the Year.
Stanbrough knows most of these tracks like the back of his hand and is always one of the favorites in the series.
Kruseman has the most ISW wins with 12 with Darland and Stanbrough each holding 10 wins in the 21-year history of the series.
Tony Stewart's powerful racing team is shooting for an unprecedented Triple Crown in 2008. No team has ever won all three USAC Series in one year, but they currently lead the midget, Silver Crown and sprint standings.
Kruseman is obviously gunning for a championship because he's planning on bringing his entire three-car team from California and Darland will be competing in the 2B entry.
USAC also will be debuting a new official Fan Club as well to start with Indiana Sprint Week.
The USAC Battalion as it will be called, gives members unique opportunities to get up close and personal with the top drivers in USAC. Each member will also receive a photo ID card and an official "Let the Battle Begin" T-shirt, a seat cushion, window decal and driver hero cards too. Members also will be treated to a party with the drivers at a date later this season. A one-year membership is $39.95 and a two-year membership is $75 and includes a free copy of Dick Wallen's United States Auto Club Fifty Years of Speed and Glory, which is a steal considering the book is normally $125 by itself.
New merchandise also will be debuted at Sprint Week.
More information is available at www.usacracing.com.