INDIAN Midget Week is in the United States Auto Club record books, and now it’s time to begin planning for Indiana Sprint Week.
Those who attended Midget Week races are sure to want to attend Sprint Week races. Midget Week was tough for the fans who wanted to take in the entire series, but Sprint Week will be even tougher.
Sprint Week will begin July 13 at Gas City I-69 Speedway and conclude July 21 at Tri-State Speedway at Haubstadt. Other races in the series will be held at Kokomo Speedway (July 14), Lawrenceburg Speedway (July 15), the Terre Haute Action Track (July 18), Lincoln Park Speedway at Putnamville (July 19) and Bloomington Speedway
The series is characterized by full pits and fuller grandstands. Fans will want to arrive early to assure having a good seat.
The series will be even tougher for the competitors. Car counts will be as high as 70, and for some races, they may be even higher. Everyone will qualify, and the fastest 32 qualifiers will be divided into four heat races. They will be inverted for the start of the heat races. Drivers from 33 on back will be slated for non-qualifiers’ races, and the top four from those races will tag the tail of the heat races. The first four from each heat will transfer to the feature along with the first six from the hooligan.
Each year, attendance at Sprint Week races increases, and many of the competitors and fans attend in style. Some competitors show up with their cars, parts and tools in a two-story trailer pulled by a semi-tractor. Others will have a trailer towed behind a “toter home.” These teams will be racing seven out of nine days. There will be no time to return to their shops to make repairs or pick up spare parts. Many teams will take a spare car, in addition to a ton of spare parts. They want to be in a position to make needed repairs while on the road.
The teams will generally have a large motor coach or simply a large motor home to pull their trailers. Many of the fans also will have large motor homes. There will be so many of these mobile mansions surrounding the tracks that one might suspect they are at a NASCAR race.
This year, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is inviting camping fans and teams to make the Speedway’s Lot No. 3 their home base for the two off-days in the middle of Sprint Week. Lot No. 3 is located in front of the IndyCar offices on the south side of 16th Street across from Turn 2.
There will be no charge for parking, but there will be no hookups, and the spaces must be reserved. Those wishing to reserve a spot should email James Spink at email@example.com.
‘The King’ is out front
A few years back, some winged sprint car fans were beginning to talk about Bloomington’s Steve Kinser being past his prime. Tony Stewart heard these stories, but he wasn’t about to believe them. In fact, Stewart wanted Kinser to run with his winged sprint driver, Donny Schatz. However, Stewart realized that he didn’t have much to teach Kinser about winning sprint car races.
Kinser is a 20-time World of Outlaws champion with more than 500 feature wins to his credit. As close as I can tell, nothing much changed for Kinser. He still races out of his own Bloomington shop with his same crew guys. His relationship with Stewart was probably helpful with sponsorship.
Kinser has a thin six-point lead in the World of Outlaws points over Donny Schatz, but he’s leading the points. Kinser’s son, Kraig, drives for the Kinser team, and he is looking like the third-generation driver that he is. Last weekend, Steve and Kraig each won one of the two races held at the Dodge City, Kansas, track. The best part was that Steve also beat his longtime nemesis, Sammy Swindell.
Tim McKinney is an auto racing columnist for The Republic. He can be reached at 372-3936.
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