From the Indianapolis Speedrome
The United States Auto Club will make its grand return to a very familiar track in 2010. The Indianapolis Speedrome® will play host to four USAC Midget divisions competing in six Wednesday Night Midweek Mania shows. Those point championship nights will see incredible opposition in the Regional Midgets, Ford Focus Midgets, Junior Focus Midgets, and Quarter Midgets. The dates for this heralded homecoming are May 26, June 2, June 9, June 23, June 30, and July 7. A special practice has been setup for May 19 that will include a media invite and free spectator admission. The relationship between USAC and the Speedrome has produced an abundance of historic and notable moments.
There is a very strong list of female USAC drivers who have made their mark on the famous fifth-mile. It all began on July 24, 1986. That night an ESPN fan base saw lady speedster Bev Griffis become the first-ever female to win in sanctioning body history. She outdistanced podium finishers Mack McClellan and Johnny Parsons in the 50-lap main event. She and Sondi Eden remain as the only female winners in Regional Midget history at the Speedrome.
2004 saw the addition of a new division to the USAC lineup at the eastside speedway, Ford Focus Midgets. On July 21st of that season, second-generation driver Stephanie Mockler became the world’s first female feature winner in the class. She headed the pack again one year later (August 3, 2005) when her Focus victory led an all female podium, a Speedrome and USAC first. Stephanie was joined in the landmark result by runner-up Alison MacLeod and Erica Santos.
On the championship side, a pair of USAC records were accomplished at the Indianapolis short track in 2004. Sondi Eden scored the initial season title for a female driver when she topped the Regional Midget division. Her achievement was joined that evening by the youngest ever in USAC’s storied record book. 14-year-old Dakoda Armstrong captured the crown in the Speedrome Kenyon Midget series. And if that wasn’t enough, that campaigns Ford Focus championship was the first won by Brice Kenyon, son of USAC’s all-time wins leader Mel Kenyon.
The Indianapolis Speedrome® has seen several of its homegrown stockcar aces climb behind the wheel of a Regional Midget. Two reached that treasured feature victory lane. August 1, 1985 saw the four-time reigning Speedrome Late Model champion Wayne Arnold best current Speedrome Midget king Rich Vogler in a 50-lap main event. On August 28, 1986 in front of a nationally televised audience, future World Figure 8® Champion Jack Dossey Jr captured a 100-lap feature victory ahead of a legendary top five of McClellan, Vogler, Kenyon, and Lotshaw.
Other notable marks are Michael Lang’s Speedrome Midget record victory total of 54 nearly doubling second place Rich Vogler’s 32 wins. The record for consecutive point paying feature victories has that pair each capturing 6 straight (Vogler 1984 and Lang 1996). The 1981 inaugural season was finalized with the innovative Indy Midget 500. The new event was the longest on the National Midget schedule with Mack McClellan winning the long-distance affair. The event was a regular on the schedule for ten plus years. There has been so much history made with more to come from USAC and the Indianapolis Speedrome®.