By Richie Murray
Brownsburg, Indiana (June 15, 2021)………This week’s Thursday Night Thunder Homecoming on June 17 brings the Brown’s Oil Service Champion Midgets and Championship Sprint Cars to Brownsburg, Indiana’s Lucas Oil Raceway for a tantalizing open wheel racing doubleheader at the .686-mile paved oval.
Both races are non-points, special events on the USAC calendar and will celebrate the personalities and broadcasts that made the track a staple in living rooms across the United States. Thursday Night Thunder also helped establish names like Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne and others into the vocabulary of racing fans everywhere.
Jeff Gordon will be a special guest for the event on Thursday. Gordon won five USAC National events at the track between 1989-90 (4 midget & 1 sprint), most of which were showcased on live television, before going on to become a household name with NASCAR.
Up for grabs is the Rich Vogler Memorial Trophy, awarded to each of the feature winners for both the sprint car and midget portions of Thursday Night Thunder Homecoming. Both divisions will conclude with 40-lap features paying $5,000-to-win with a field of 23 Midgets and 18 Sprint Cars.
After sweeping both eligible races at the Carb Night Classic in May, California native Kody Swanson is leading the way in the 2021 A.J. Foyt Championship standings. By winning in USAC Silver Crown and Brown’s Oil Championship Midgets on May 29, Swanson has a 13-point advantage over Bobby Santos with two points races up for grabs.
To learn more about the season-long A.J. Foyt Championship, standings and much more, visit www.LucasOilRaceway.com/foytchampionship/.
Seven drivers in the talented field of will pull double-duty in both the Sprint Cars and Midgets on Thursday, including Kody Swanson (Kingsburg, Calif.), brother Tanner Swanson (Kingsburg, Calif.) and Bobby Santos (Franklin, Mass.), all of whom have won numerous USAC events at Lucas Oil Raceway throughout the years.
Double-duty racers also include Nick Hamilton (Danville, Ind.), Taylor Ferns (Shelby Township, Mich.), Kyle O’Gara (Beech Grove, Ind.) and 2021 Anderson (Ind.) Speedway Little 500 winner Tyler Roahrig (Plymouth, Ind.), who will compete in a pair of Klatt Enterprises cars, stepping into the cars formerly driven by Kyle Hamilton, who announced his retirement last weekend.
Gate two opens at Noon EDT on race day. Pit/team load-in begins at 1:30pm. Spectator gates open at 3pm. Sprint Car practice starts at 3:30pm and midget practice takes place at 4:35pm. Sprint Car qualifying is set for 5:50pm and Midget Qualifying at 6:35pm. Opening ceremonies are slated for 7:15pm with the Sprint Car feature rolling off at 7:45pm and the Midget feature at 8:30pm.
Event tickets are available at https://lucasoilraceway.com/thunderhomecoming/.
The event will be streamed live on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/3dgONXz.
SPRINT CAR ENTRY LIST: (18 DRIVERS)
1 DAKODA ARMSTRONG/New Castle, IN (Armstrong)
4 TANNER SWANSON/Kingsburg, CA (Nolen)
5 TYLER ROAHRIG/Plymouth, IN (Klatt)
12 BILLY WEASE/Noblesville, IN (Wease)
12 JAKE McELFRESH/Elwood, IN (Powell)
18 SHANE BUTLER/Bushnell, FL (Butler)
18w TRAVIS WELPOTT/Pendleton, IN (Welpott)
22 BOBBY SANTOS/Franklin, MA (DJ)
26 AARON PIERCE/Muncie, IN (Pierce)
31 DEREK BISCHAK/Angola, IN (Bischak)
31H DON HAMILTON/Commerce, MI (Hamilton)
32 NICK HAMILTON/Danville, IN (Hamilton)
53 JUSTIN HARPER/Denver, IN (TCJ)
55 TAYLOR FERNS/Shelby Township, MI (Ferns)
67 KYLE O’GARA/Beech Grove, IN (SFHR)
71 BRIAN VAUGHN/Shirley, IN (Vaughn)
77 KODY SWANSON/Kingsburg, CA (Doran)
90 PATRICK STEWART/Jamestown, IN (Stewart)
MIDGET ENTRY LIST: (23 DRIVERS)
1BR KYLE O’GARA/Beech Grove, IN (SFHR)
3 TBA (Bohanon)
4 TYLER ROAHRIG/Plymouth, IN (Klatt)
7 COLE CARTER/Brownsburg, IN (Bertrand)
7A DALTON ARMSTRONG/New Castle, IN (Armstrong)
7K TANNER SWANSON/Kingsburg, CA (Irwin-Petry)
7KR NICK HAMILTON/Danville, IN (Irwin-Petry)
7x THOMAS MESERAULL/San Jose, CA (RMS)
8 JAKE TRAINOR/Medway, MA (Trainor)
14AJ JOHN SLUSS/Indianapolis, IN (RayPro)
25 KODY SWANSON/Kingsburg, CA (Rodela)
29 BOBBY SANTOS/Franklin, MA (Seymour)
33 NATHAN BYRD/Goodyear, AZ (RayPro)
40 BLAKE BRANNON/Morgan, Hill, CA (Western Speed)
47 TODD BERTRAND/Suffield, CT (Bertrand)
55 JOSH WISE/Riverside, CA (Bowman)
55F TAYLOR FERNS/Shelby Township, MI (Ferns)
57K KEVIN STUDLEY/Brownsburg, IN (Studley)
60 CODY GERHARDT/Fresno, CA (Western Speed)
66 BRET SANDERSON/Gary, IN (Sanderson)
75 MICHAEL KLEIN/Elsmere, KY (Shilkuski)
80 TONI BREIDINGER/Hillsborough, CA (Breidinger)
99 TBA (Guess)