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.
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.
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.
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.
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!