Terre Haute Action Track
Turns 1 and 2 at the Action Track at the 2008 Hulman Classic
|Location||Honey Creek Township, Vigo County, near Terre Haute, Indiana, United States|
|Owner||Vigo County Fair Assoc|
|Operator||Track Enterprises/Bob Sargent|
|Former names||The Action Track|
|Major events||USAC Hut Hundred (until 2009)|
USAC Tony Hulman Classic
USAC Don Smith Classic
|Length||0.5 mi (0.8 km)|
Terre Haute Action Track (also The Action Track) is a half mile dirt track located at the Vigo County, Indiana fairgrounds on U.S. Route 41 along the south side of Terre Haute, Indiana. The track hosts annual United States Automobile Club (USAC) midget car, sprint car and Silver Crown events. Notable drivers that have competed at the track include A. J. Foyt, Jeff Gordon, Parnelli Jones, and Tony Stewart. The track has held events sanctioned by USAC, its predecessor American Automobile Association (AAA), and the World of Outlaws.
The track opened on June 15, 1952. It closed for a short period beginning in 1987 and reopened in 1990. It closed again in May 2007 for the rest of the season after it lost its race card because it broke a local curfew. The promoter had to stop the event early. As of the start of the 2008 season, Rich Vogler's 13 feature wins is the most in track history.
The track was promoted by Don Smith in the 1960s. By 2008, the track had been run by a series of promoters and attendance dwindled. Most sanctioning bodies holding events at the track dropped it from their schedule and only a few events were held in recent years. The track lost its United States Automobile Club (USAC) events in mid-2007. In 2008, the DHK Promotions LLC group took over running the track. DHK Promotions was named for its founders: then-retired Major League Baseball player Brian Dorsett, then-active (later retired) Indy Racing League driver Davey Hamilton and then-active (later retired) Indianapolis 500 radio announcer Mike King.
In 2009 DHK Promotions added a new partner, changed its name to Action Promotions, LLC and announced a schedule of six special events that took place at the historic half-mile clay oval starting Saturday, May 2.
Chris Novotney, a Wabash Valley native who grew up attending sprint car races at the famed track, spent 2008 overseeing the reconstruction of the track surface and the installation of a new track drainage system. Novotney joins Brian Dorsett, Davey Hamilton and Mike King in the group that is now known as Action Promotions, LLC.
Since 2012, the track is operated by Terre Haute Motorsports, a partnership between Bob Sargent and Reece O'Connor.
As of 2018, the track is still under the operation of Track Enterprises and company owner Bob Sargent. Adam Mackey, who is a co-promoter at the facility, announced a more extensive schedule for the 2018 season which features 10 events, significantly more than in recent years.
Track events are no longer broadcast as Crossroads Communications is no longer affiliated with the Track. In 2009 WTHI Hi-99 became the official track station, though the races were not broadcast.
The track held the major midget car racing event since 1954. Event winners include AJ Foyt, Tony Bettenhausen, Don Branson, Tony Stewart, and 1990 winner Jeff Gordon. Rich Vogler won the event eight times, including six in the seven years between 1983 and 1989. Al Herman won the first event in 1954. In 2009 the event was not held and in 2010, it moved to the Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Indiana. The Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Indiana hosted the race in 1987. The 1989 race was held at the Lawrenceburg Speedway. In 1988, 2000 and 2001, the Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Indiana hosted the race.
One of USAC non-wing sprint car racing's biggest races had its inaugural running at the Terre Haute Action Track in 1971. Named the Hulman Classic in honor of Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony Hulman (who was still alive at the time), the race falls during the week of the Indianapolis 500. In its inaugural year, the race paid a total purse of $28,538 ($180,200 today) and was televised on ABC's Wide World of Sports, becoming the first televised sprint car race in history. In its early years, it was not uncommon for drivers to race both the Hulman Classic and the Indianapolis 500 in the same week. As of May 2017, the Hulman Classic was USAC's longest annually-contested event, and had been held at the Terre Haute Action Track every year except for a brief interruption from 1988 to 1991, when the event was held at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
|1971||George Snider||29||Louis Seymour|
|1976||Jan Opperman||64||Bill Smith|
|1981||Sheldon Kinser||6||Ben Leyba|
|1994||Cary Faas||Steve Chrisman|
|1995||Jack Hewitt||63||Bob Hampshire|
|1997||J. J. Yeley|
|2002||Jon Stanbrough||57H||Paul Hazen|
|2003||J. J. Yeley|
|2004||Cory Kruseman||21||Tony Stewart|
|2005||Levi Jones||2B||Scott Benic|
|2008||Levi Jones||20||Tony Stewart|
|2009||Levi Jones||20||Tony Stewart|
|2010||Jerry Coons Jr.||69||Hoffman|
|2013||Jerry Coons Jr.||10E||Monte Edison|
|2014||Dave Darland||71p||Steve Phillips|
|2017||Kevin Thomas Jr.||9K||KT Motorsports|
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- "Terre Haute USAC Results". SpringSpeedway.com. 2006-09-10. Archived from the original on 2008-12-05.
- True Speed: My Racing Life by Tony Stewart, Bones Bourcier, Mark Bourcier; Publisher: New York : HarperEntertainment, ©2003.; ISBN 0-06-103166-6, ISBN 978-0-06-103166-3; Retrieved July 22, 2008
- Ealy, Kyle (2010-05-28). "The Tony Hulman Classic; The first 10 years". Midwest Racing Archives. Retrieved 2020-03-03.
- Hughes, David (2016-05-29). "'500' drivers often raced at T.H. Action Track". Tribune-Star. Retrieved 2020-03-03.
- Murray, Richie (2017-05-22). "Ballou Goes For Unprecedented 3-in-a-Row Wednesday in 47th Hulman Classic". USAC Media. Retrieved 2020-03-03.
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