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Racing action picking up in Indiana

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Sunday night at the Action Track in Terre Haute started a huge two week slate of racing for the state of Indiana.

The O'Reilly Auto Parts World of Outlaws put on another exciting show for a solid crowd at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds 1/2 mile oval along with the Modifieds.

Danny Lasoski extended his series points lead with a feature victory over Steve Kinser. The victory came under the watchful eye of car owner Tony Stewart who made the trip down from Chicago after his second place NASCAR finish.

While Stewart was 'incognito' in his words during the feature race, he did stop to say hello and shake some fans' hands in the infield while watching 'The Dude' take a 12-car length victory over Kinser, who is in second place in the series standings.

Ray Humphrey took a dominating Modified series victory on a quick 1/2 mile dirt surface that Stewart commented ". . .was in the best shape he's seen it since 1995." So hats off to track promoter Jamie Reed and the crew that prepare the track each week. Solid reputations are built by word of mouth and with Stewart's outspoken approval and with Indiana Sprint Week on it's way Saturday, July 26. The drivers and fans will keep on growing.

Speaking of Indiana Sprint Week, drivers from around the country have slowly begun to trickle in to various area tracks to start dialing in their cars for what should prove to be a wild eight-date schedule of racing.

J.J. Yeley should prove to be a tough guy to beat in his Tony Stewart Racing/Mopar Beast ride. Yeley became the first driver to record 15 national USAC victories before July 15 when he took the checkered flag at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Friday night.

Yeley and Jay Drake are two of five former Valvoline "Indiana Sprint Week" champions set to battle for the title in this, the 16th year of the eight-race, 10 day tour.

Joining Yeley and Drake at the first date, Thursday, July 17 at North Vernon will be former Sprint Week champions, Dave Darland (1998 & 2001), Tony Elliott (1999) and Cory Kruseman (2002). Kruseman has already cruised the Lincoln Park surface several weeks ago in preparation.

Yeley's IRP victory came in his last chance to beat Sleepy Tripp's 1988 mark of 15 USAC feature victories by July 16. He can now focus on the all-time USAC single-season victory mark of 19 set in 1961 by A.J. Foyt and tied in 1988 by Tripp and in 2001 by Drake.

The "Indiana Sprint Week" schedule will unfold with 30 lap features at Twin Cities Raceway Park in North Vernon on July 17, followed by Gas City - I-69 on July 18, Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville July 19 and Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt on July 20. The series will resume on July 23 with the Kokomo Speedway show followed by Lawrenceburg July 24, Bloomington July 25 and The Terre Haute Action Track on July 26.

Practice at North Vernon, Gas City and Putnamville begins at 6 p.m. with qualifying at 6:30 p.m. and racing at 7:30 p.m. Sunday's Tri-State times are 5:30 p.m. for practice, 6 p.m. for qualifying and 7 p.m. for racing.

Kruseman is the defending champion of "Indiana Sprint Week." Kruseman won four of seven feature events last year.

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