By Richie Murray
Brownsburg, Indiana (September 2, 2019)………The 26th edition of the Rich Vogler Classic arrives at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Ind. this Saturday, September 7, for the sixth and final appearance of the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series on pavement in 2019.
The pavement has been mostly dominated by one driver this season, point leader Kody Swanson (Kingsburg, Calif.), who’s won the pole and the race at four of the five so far: Memphis, Toledo, Madison and Salem. However, the one missing from Swanson’s resume this year is the .686-mile Lucas Oil Raceway where he once again won the pole and led the first 53 laps until dropping to the sideline with an engine issue while leading.
Hamilton took control from that point forward, leading all but one lap to score his first career series victory. It’s been a career year in the series for the Danville, Ind. native with four top-five finishes in five starts.
Kody’s younger brother Tanner Swanson (Kingsburg, Calif.) was a hard-charger after electing to start from the tail, then pitting, and restarting from the tail, and still managed to drive to second. He’s a two-time Rich Vogler Classic winner himself in 2013 and 2015 and a five-time Silver Crown winner at LOR. With one more win at LOR, he would become the winningest Silver Crown driver at the track, breaking a tie with Mike Bliss.
Between Tanner and four-time winners Kody Swanson and Bobby Santos (Franklin, Mass.), they have won 12 of the 14 Silver Crown races at LOR since 2011. Santos won the first Rich Vogler Classic at LOR with Silver Crown cars after the event moved from Winchester (Ind.) Speedway in 2012. He won the most recent as well back in 2017 after last year’s event was washed away by Mother Nature.
Since 2011, the only ones to break up the Tanner, Kody, and Santos stranglehold at LOR has been Hamilton and David Byrne (Shullsburg, Wisc.), who used a last-lap last corner pass of Tanner to win the 2014 Vogler Classic in dramatic fashion, his first and only series victory thus far.
Finishing behind Hamilton at the line in May’s race was Tanner Swanson, Bobby Santos, Justin Grant and Eric Gordon. Gordon (Fortville, Ind.) is a three-time USAC National Sprint Car feature winner at LOR, taking victories in three-straight seasons in 1990-91-92. Gordon’s Vogler Classic debut came in the inaugural 1991 edition, finishing 16th in both the sprint and midget features that afternoon at Winchester.
Brian Gerster (Fishers, Ind.) finished 7th in May’s race. His first two career USAC National Midget wins came at LOR in 1994-95. Gerster was fast qualifier in a sprint car at the Vogler Classic in 1999. He finished a best of 4th twice in the Vogler Classic, in a midget in 1996 and in a sprint car in 1997.
Pits open for the Rich Vogler Classic at noon eastern on Saturday, Sept. 7. Grandstands open at 3pm, Silver Crown practice at 4:15pm, Silver Crown qualifying at 6:30pm and the green flag for the USAC Silver Crown main event slated for 7:45pm.
Advance general admission tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children (11 & under). Race day general admission tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for children (11 & under). Pit passes are $30 for USAC members and $35 for non-members.
Speed51 Super Select joins the USAC Silver Crown Champ Cars on the event card.
The Rich Vogler Classic will have live, flag-to-flag coverage on FloRacing. You can listen to live audio of the broadcast for free on the USAC app or follow along with live updates
on https://www.facebook.com/usacracing/ and https://twitter.com/USACNation/ with live timing and scoring available on both the USAC and Race-Monitor apps.
ALL-TIME LUCAS OIL RACEWAY USAC SILVER CROWN WINS:
1. (5) Mike Bliss & Tanner Swanson
3. (4) Bobby Santos & Kody Swanson
5. (3) Bobby East
6. (2) Kenny Irwin, Jr., Jim Keeker, Jason Leffler & Ken Schrader
10. (1) Pat Abold, Jeff Bloom, David Byrne, Bob Cicconi, Jay Drake, Bruce Field, Russ Gamester, Kyle Hamilton, Tracy Hines, Rick Hood, Kasey Kahne, Jason McCord, Ryan Newman, Johnny Parsons, George Snider, Dave Steele, Tony Stewart, Brian Tyler & J.J. Yeley
PAST RICH VOGLER CLASSIC WINNERS:
1991: Robbie Stanley (Sprint) & Don Schilling (Midget)
1992: Jim Mahoney (Sprint) & Kenny Irwin, Jr. (Midget)
1993: Robbie Stanley (Sprint) & Stevie Reeves (Midget)
1994: Robbie Stanley (Sprint) & Mike Bliss (Midget)
1995: Kenny Irwin, Jr. (Sprint) & Mike Bliss (Midget)
1996: Andy Michner (Sprint) & Tracy Hines (Midget)
1997: Andy Michner (Sprint) & Tracy Hines (Midget)
1998: Chet Fillip (Sprint) & Ricky Shelton (Midget)
1999: Dave Steele (Sprint)
2000: Ryan Newman (Sprint) & Ryan Newman (Midget)
2002: Dave Steele (Sprint)
2003: Michael Lewis (Sprint)
2005: Dave Darland (Sprint)
2006: Bryan Clauson (Sprint)
2007: Marc Jessup (Sprint)
2008: Darren Hagen (Sprint)
2009: Tracy Hines (Sprint)
2010: Shane Hmiel (Sprint)
2011: Tracy Hines (Sprint)
(Indianapolis Raceway Park)
2012: Bobby Santos (Silver Crown) & Tracy Hines (Midget)
2013: Tanner Swanson (Silver Crown) & Tracy Hines (Midget)
2014: David Byrne (Silver Crown)
2015: Tanner Swanson (Silver Crown)
2016: Kody Swanson (Silver Crown)
2017: Bobby Santos (Silver Crown)