TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – official release — Dave Heithaus photo — Jim Hurtubise won five consecutive USAC National Sprint Car races at the Terre Haute Action Track during one stretch from 1960-1962.
It’s been 52 years and 137 more USAC Sprint races and nobody yet has been able to match Hurtubise’s feat. It won’t be challenged next Thursday night (Sept. 18) when the Jim Hurtubise Classic returns to the half-mile dirt oval after having been rained out Aug. 29.
Bryan Clauson is riding a one-game winning streak in the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series at Terre Haute. Since Hurtubise’s feat, only four drivers have even come close. Bubby Jones won four straight in 1979 while Roger McCluskey (1966), Gary Bettenhausen (1968-69) and Levi Jones (2005) put together three in a row.
The Sept. 18 race is the 150th for the USAC National Sprint Cars at the venerable Vigo County Fairgrounds. It could be pivotal in the race for the 2014 series title.
Dave Darland, whose only two Terre Haute Sprint wins came 21 years apart (1993 and 2014), leads the series with a five-point cushion over Brady Bacon, who has yet to score at the Action Track. Clauson, whose initial USAC sprint win at Terre Haute just came in July, is third in the standings, 40 points behind the leader.
One driver still seeking his first 2104 victory is Jerry Coons Jr., who won the 2013 running of the Jim Hurtubise Classic.
The Terre Haute race kicks off a busy week for the series, which travels to Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, on Sept. 20 for the 4-Crown Nationals.