| August 18, 1996|| True Value 200|
| New Hampshire Motor Speedway|
Permanent racing facility
1.058 mi / 1.703 km
211.6 mi / 340.5 km
Temperatures reaching up to 82.9 °F (28.3 °C); wind speeds up to 8.9 miles per hour (14.3 km/h)
The 1996 True Value 200 was the first round of the 1996–1997 Indy Racing League season. The race was held on August 18, 1996, at the 1.058-mile (1.703 km) New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire.
Johnny Unser for Project Indy - Crashed in Friday practice and the car was not repairable
Johnny O'Connell R for Treadway Racing - Withdrew entry before the start of practice
Randy Tolsma R for McCormack Motorsports - Withdrew when his car was sold to Tempero-Giuffre Racing.
Mike Ordway R for ABF Motorsports - His team withdrew him and was replaced by Joe Gosek.
Jon Field R for Tempero/Giuffre Racing - His team withdrew him and was not replaced.
1996 True Value 200 Wikipedia
This race was dominated, but not won, by Tony Stewart, who passed Arie Luyendyk on lap 15 and led most of the rest of the way. A starting-line crash eliminated contender Robbie Buhl and rookie Jim Guthrie. Buddy Lazier, who was still competing with the back injuries that he had suffered at Phoenix, crashed hard early, but fortunately did not worsen his existing injuries. Tyce Carlson had an ignition problem right off and ran most of the first 120 laps on seven cylinders, a problem that was fixed during a red-flag period.
Luyendyk, polesitter Richie Hearn, Scott Sharp, and Buzz Calkins contended for second; however, they and everyone else ran behind Stewart, who had a lap on the field by the time the race was briefly halted for rain on lap 123. The stoppage did several engines no good, among then that of Hearn, who had his engine go sour after the restart; it eventually blew on lap 170.
The shocker came eleven laps after that. Stewart had led 165 laps and had a nearly three-lap lead over second placed Sharp but, with 18 laps to go, he suffered an engine computer failure and abruptly shut off as he entered turn 3. Stewart was scheduled to make a brief fuel stop that lap, but TV Crew communication with John Menard, his team owner, revealed a "timing" problem, later diagnosed as a "crank trigger" failure.
This in turn handed to race lead to Sharp, who stretched his fuel to the finish and won with nearly a one-lap advantage over Calkins and Michele Alboreto. Sharp's win was the first for him, the Lola chassis and Goodyear tires in the IRL, and the first for A.J. Foyt as a car owner since Pocono in 1981.