5 Amazing Upsets From Indiana Sprint Week

As we continue to dig through the archives to unearth the gems of the dirt track in an attempt to sideline the boredom or social distancing, we decided to pull out some of the finest moments from USAC's Indiana Sprint Week. 

And make sure to tune into Thunder Relived as we bring you even more of the best historical moments!

5. Brad Fox (1997 at Bloomington Speedway)

Brad Fox was a local Hoosier hero on the rough and tumble sprint car circuit on the Indiana short tracks such as Lincoln Park Speedway and Bloomington Speedway where he held track titles.  However, when the best of the west from and the top USAC National pilots came to call in 1997 at Bloomington, the quiet gasser stood tall to claim the first of his two career USAC National Sprint Car feature wins.

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4. Brad Marvel (1996 at Kokomo Speedway)

By the time the summer of 1996 rolled around, Brad Marvel was already a seasoned veteran of a decade-plus of sprint car racing on the west coast with CRA and on the USAC National trail.  However, a victory had not been in order for the son of longtime motorsports and USAC publicist Bill Marvel.  USAC began sanctioning Indiana Sprint Week in 1996 and Marvel was there to seize the day and the night for a popular victory where his father was there to greet him and give his sign of approval.

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3. Aaron Farney (2015 at the Terre Haute Action Track)

In 2015, Aaron Farney was in his first full-time go-around with the USAC National Sprint Cars.  Feature wins are difficult to come by anywhere you look, but for a true sprint car Rookie on the biggest stage of the series at Indiana Sprint Week, and at one of the most daunting, fastest dirt tracks in America, it’s a doubly arduous challenge. Nonetheless, Farney had shown speed on the big tracks early on in the 2015 season, but no one could’ve expected the smackdown that the young driver was going to lay on this night at Terre Haute for his only career win with the series.

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2. A.J. Anderson (2001 at Bloomington Speedway)

A.J. Anderson had always been one of those drivers that steadily improved each year as he gained experience and gained better equipment.  That all came to fruition for the Stateline, Indiana native as he dominated the Bloomington round of Indiana Sprint Week in 2001, defying the USAC and Bloomington regulars as a relative outsider (He was a Gas City regular on Friday nights rather than Bloomington.)  Rumor has it, however, that a portion of his payday went to re-sodding the infield grass after his victory donuts. Stay tuned for more updates.

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1. Terry Pletch (1999 at the Terre Haute Action Track)

It was a classic Cinderella story, or akin to something you only see in the movies.  With that said, Hollywood couldn’t have written the script that Terry Pletch wrote at the Terre Haute Action Track in 1999.  It wouldn’t have been believable.  He was a longtime veteran of nearly 20 years of sprint car racing at 52 years old with nary a USAC win, or many wins in general, throughout his career but had begun to hit his stride in 1999 with a few local wins to his credit.  Emerging from the non-qualifiers race in a field that featured nearly 70 cars with the most talented individuals in the sport around him, Pletch transferred from the back of his heat race to the feature where he lined up 21st. His bold prediction that he could win it from the back was sounded loudly and proudly on National TV, and he got the job done, with a flat right front to boot!

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USAC iRacing Drivers Get Set-Up for Thursday's Opener

Tyler Courtney, Buddy Kofoid and Cannon McIntosh are among USAC’s most established and upcoming stars on the track.

7 Wild Scott Bloomquist Moments from the Dream

Scott Bloomquist and the Dirt Late Model Dream have their storied histories intertwined. Bloomer has 8 (!!) Dream victories to his credit and has been a mainstay at Eldora since the first Dream edition in 1994. DirtonDirt's Todd Turner takes us on a look back at the best (and worst) Scott Bloomquist moments from Dream history.

2018 Dream Binge Watch

Scott Bloomquist won an unprecedented 8th Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora Speedway in 2018. Here's a binge guide of the full weekend!

Eldora "Dirt Late Model Dream Week" Watch Guide

Miss racing? Miss the Big "E"? So do we. This week, with DirtonDirt.com's help, we dive into the heartbreaks and triumphs of one of Eldora Speedway's crown jewels, the annual Dirt Late Model Dream, held every June at the historic 1/2 mile. Enjoy our "Dream Week" theme offering on FloRacing!

FloRacing 24/7 Watch Guide (Mar 30 - Apr 5)

Another full slate of USAC programming this week! Here is what's playing on FloRacing 24/7.

FloRacing Weekly Watch Guide (3/30 - 4/5)

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Quarantine life got you feeling like a living nightmare? We've got the cure: FloRacing Late Model Dream Week! All week long, we'll be bringing you the most memorable, the most controversial and the most exciting moments from every year of the Dirt Late Model Dream at Eldora Speedway, including all the moments from the inaugural running in 1994 to the epic photo finish in 2019, all in collaboration with DirtonDirt.com.

Binge Watch: Indiana Sprint Week 2010

All-Star Circuit of Champions Taking 'Week-to-Week' Approach to 2020

Eric Walls, the director of the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions, is as anxious to go racing as his 410 Sprint Car tour’s drivers, team members and fans. He understands, however, that he’s unlikely to hear the roar of race car engines as soon as he, and everyone else, would like due to the coronavirus pandemic that has overtaken the country.While the 410 Sprint Car series owned by former NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart hasn’t yet announced any event cancelations or postponements due to the crisis, Walls admitted this week that decisions will soon have to be made on upcoming races starting with the April 10-11 Spring Nationals doubleheader at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park. He certainly wants to remain as positive about racing as he can be, but he knows the opposite will likely be the case with the series, which in 2020 has all of its events slated for live broadcast to FloRacing subscribers.“Yeah, we’d love to race,” Walls said. “But when reality sets in, let’s be honest, we’re not gonna race till May probably.”Walls is monitoring the ever-developing landscape on a “week-to-week basis,” keeping open a sliver of hope for competition to happen if the spread of the coronavirus were to slow enough for government and health officials to relax existing stay-at-home and mass-gathering orders that are keeping racetracks shuttered. But reports of positive coronavirus cases have been escalating in recent days — including in the states of Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania that are slated to host the All Star events scheduled for April — so a quick return to normalcy seems unlikely.“We love to race, and if we get the ‘all clear’ (from government officials), we’ll go racing,” Walls said. “But just for the safety of the fans and the drivers and everybody involved (in the running of a race), we’re gonna take this one week at a time and make sure everybody’s safe and ready to go back to action here.”Walls has been in contact with the promoters of the tour’s April events that begin with Attica and go on to Virginia Motor Speedway in Jamaica (scheduled for April 16), Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa. (April 17), Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway (April 18), Bedford (Pa.) Speedway (April 19) and Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio (April 25). All the track operators have their facilities ready for what would be an attractive and lucrative stretch of racing for the ASCoC, but the crisis supersedes all the best-laid plans.According to Walls, the response he’s giving to All Star drivers who call looking for information on upcoming races basically tells the story of the circuit’s current status.“I’ve had a few drivers reach out to me, just for their travel plans,” Walls said. “A couple of our drivers fly to different places so they wanted to book their travel.“Not that I knew what was gonna go on as far as what the government is gonna do, but it was just my opinion to them that I certainly hope that April 10 we’re racing, but I’m a realist. I can’t see the government from state-to-state lifting this ban until later on in the season.“It’s just giving them my opinion on it and they can book their travel if they want to, but at the end of the day we’ve got to use some common sense when we’re looking at this too.”Walls is already scouring the 2020 calendar to consider makeup dates for races that might fall to the coronavirus situation. That includes the April 16 stop at Virginia Motor Speedway, a $12,000-to-win special that VMS and All Star officials worked together to schedule during the NASCAR weekend at nearby Richmond International Raceway — a weekend that NASCAR has already postponed to an undermined date.“It’s just going through the schedule to where we’re thinking racing is potentially not going to happen and trying to look down through our schedule and reschedule races,” Walls said.With the kickoff of the 2020 ASCoC season in February at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., and East Bay Raceway Park in Gibsonton, Fla. (both tracks ran two races), Walls started his second year as the tour’s director on an uplifting note. He never could have imagined having to deal with the unprecedented crisis that has presented itself, but he remarked that some trying stretches during his rookie campaign at the helm helped prepare him for curveballs thrown at him.“If you could look into the future, I guess (Ohio Sprint) Speedweek last year really groomed me into this position this year,” said Walls, a native of Chambersburg, Pa., who now lives in Brownsburg, Ind., near the Tony Stewart Racing shop that houses the ASCoC office. “With Speedweek, it was just rain every day. We got to the point where we knew we needed to race and Speedweek was a unique opportunity (with teams in one general area), so we started reaching out to racetracks and saying, ‘Hey, it’s not gonna rain there … do you want to race?’ We just took the schedule and moved it all around and got as many races in as we could.”Calling what has come up this year “a challenging time for sure,” Walls anticipates that he will have to do some creative scheduling once again this season. Adding races at tracks that are already bringing the series back later in the season? Extending the season past the planned finale on Sept. 26 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio? Everything might have to be on the table.“It will certainly be a unique year,” Walls said. “I think from not only our series but other series as well, including USAC and the (World of) Outlaws, you’re gonna see something different that no one’s ever seen before.“Our schedule’s a little bit unique. We go to a lot of the same racetracks at different times of the year, and we can certainly throw in an extra date here or there. But just looking down through our schedule late in the season, there’s not very many open weekends. And the open weekends we have built in, they’re for bigger races so our guys can go travel to race with different series. That’s something we built in there this year for our guys to go race for some bigger money in between during the season.“To lose some big money races this early on, it’s gonna make the season rough,” he added. “But I think we’re gonna motor through it and hopefully we can get to racing by the end of April or the first of June and everything goes smooth from there on. It certainly will not just be a flip of the switch (to return to normalcy for the country), that’s for sure. If I had to guess, it’ll be a slow process of going back to full time, but we’ll be ready when it happens.”

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6 Favorite Duels From Indiana Sprint Week

The biggest stage for the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series deserves a top list of the biggest showdowns. There are no shortage of thrilling moments during the yearly Indiana journey. Sit back and enjoy the ranking of our favorite Indiana Sprint Week duels of all time!

5 Of The Strangest Moments From Indiana Sprint Week

Most moments in racing proceed in orderly fashion the majority of the time.  However, those unpredictable moments in racing are what keeps us coming back.  But even better, and more rarer, are the moments that make us crane our necks, send our mouths agape and make the ordinary moments not so ordinary in the end.  That’s the category where these particular moments fall - the ones we will always remember, but still make us scratch our heads then and now.