Times Sports Editor
TERRE HAUTE -- The Wabash Valley Fairgrounds were especially festive on Wednesday evening under sunny skies.
As the Vigo County Fair entertained plenty of people with a variety of food, 4H activities and rides, racing fans were excited for another reason.
Indiana Sprint Week was in town.
Thirty-nine sprint cars unloaded for a chance at an illustrious win at the famed Terre Haute Action Track and an Indiana Sprint Week feature victory.
Many of the top drivers around the country were on the premises as well as plenty of the best the Hoosier State had to offer.
Chad Boat, who has had a great start to ISW, claimed the top qualifying spot in 21.577 after coming out early in the lineup. Tony Stewart Racing's Tracy Hines came out near the end, but still found a fast line and registered the second fastest circuit in 21.690. Jerry Coons Jr. rounded out the top-three in the Hoffman owned No. 69.
As heat races rolled out, West Terre Haute's Blake Fitzpatrick joined the first heat, but suffered his first bad night during a great early run at ISW.
Robert Ballou went on to win the feature ahead of Josh Wise and Shane Cottle. In the second heat it was Hunter Schuerenberg with the win ahead of crowd favorite, Dave Darland. California's Brad Sweet also claimed a transfer spot along with Tracy Hines.
In the third heat, Coons collected the win followed by Henry Clarke, Kyle Cummins and Jon Stanbrough. The final heat race of the night saw Damion Gardner, Bud Kaeding, Dustin Morgan and J.J. Yeley.
A star studded field lined up in the last chance race including USAC's National Sprint Car points leader, Jones.
The TSR pilot of the Chevy No. 20, made the feature with a B-Main victory followed by Cole Whitt, Boat, Bryan Clauson, Hud Cone and Scotty Weir, who all transferred to the main event.
When the green flag waved for the 30-lap A-Main, Sweet took the point and didn't look back. The Grass Valley, CA native survived a couple of early cautions and a late charge by Coons and Darland, but neither was able to get close enough to seriously challenge. Sweet's win was his second-career USAC Sprint win and came in the Kasey Kahne, Curb Racing, Ollie's Bargain Outlet Maxim No. 9. Whitt and Wise rounded out the top-five as Boat took the ISW points lead heading into Thursday's race at Kamp Motor Speedway in Boswell. Tonight, ISW heads to the famed red clay of Bloomington.
Indiana Sprint Week
At Terre Haute Action Track
1. Brad Sweet, 2. Jerry Coons Jr., 3. Dave Darland, 4. Cole Whitt, 5. Josh Wise, 6. Damion Gardner, 7. Levi Jones, 8. Chad Boat, 9. Scotty Weir, 10. J.J. Yeley, 11. Tracy Hines, 12. Robert Ballou, 13. Bryan Clauson, 14. Darren Hagen, 15. Hunter Schuerenberg, 16. Hud Cone, 17. Henry Clarke, 18. Jon Stanbrough, 19. Bud Kaeding, 20. Shane Cottle, 21. Kyle Cummins, 22. Dustin Morgan. NT