From Indianapolis Speedrome®
The rich history of the United States Auto Club and the Indianapolis Speedrome® will recommence in 2010. The famous fifth-mile track which hosted the inaugural ESPN Midget telecast nearly a quarter-century ago will play host to six Wednesday Night Thunder shows in four USAC divisions. The World’s Home of the Figure 8® will see USAC Regional Midgets, Ford Focus Midgets, Ford Focus Young Guns, and Mopar .25 Midgets beginning on May 26th. Over the years, many high profile racing names have left their mark at the Speedrome in USAC competition. And in this release, we focus on three of those legends.
The late great Rich Vogler showcased his legendary car control for ten plus years at the Speedrome. Vogler teamed with car owner and 2002 track Hall of Fame inductee Jonathan Byrd in the USAC Regional Series. The 1984 and 1985 champion won 26 times in that classification as well as 6 times in National events, both second on the Speedrome all-time list. Vogler also struck gold on a record three occasions in the Indy Midget 500. The Byrd/Vogler pairing went all the way to the Indianapolis 500 competing 5 times with a best result of 8th in 1989. This and his entire amazing list of accomplishments came in a career that ended prematurely with his death in 1990.
If Michael Lang holds the records and Rich Vogler is the benchmark, then Mack McClellan is the foundation of the Speedrome USAC Regional Midget series. He captured the inaugural 1981 championship with a flurried finish of five victories in the last six events. This included the landmark Indy Midget 500 triumph. The hard-charger added season crowns in 1986 and 1987 edging Vogler in each year. The “Mack Attack” grabbed 19 feature triumphs at the Speedrome landing him 4th on the all-time list. Always a class act, he became a racing mentor to several rising stars after his driving career was cut short with a violent crash in the early 1990’s.
Tom Bigelow won the Speedrome USAC Regional Midget title in 1982 and 1983. He had 8 feature victories in the division as well as claiming a USAC National event win here on September 13, 1986 in the grueling 500-lapper. The well-respected driver piloted cars in NASCAR and CART where his was the race runner-up in back-to-back weeks at Texas World Speedway and the Milwaukee Mile. His long racing resume also included 9 Indy 500 starts with a pair of top ten finishes including a best of 6th in 1977. Bigelow was inducted into both the National Midget and Sprint car Hall of Fame. You can hear Tom today as a television color commentator for many Midwest racing events.
The USAC Regional Midgets, Ford Focus Midgets, Ford Focus Young Guns, and Mopar .25 Midgets are back at the Indianapolis Speedrome®. The dates, all Wednesday nights, for this heralded racing return are May 26th, June 2nd, June 9th, June 23rd, June 30th, and July 7th. Each event will see test drives and a driver school in the afternoon before preliminary heats begin at 7:15pm. The feature lineup is 40-laps for Ford Focus Midgets, main events for the Mopar .25 Midgets, a traditional 50-lapper for the Regional series, and the capper 20-laps for the new Ford Focus Young Gun cars. Each USAC event will also be special for the latest innovation, a live broadcast. The programs will all be streamed in real time on their web site www.usacracing.com. This unparalleled showcase will see some of the best blossoming talent develop on a true drivers track.