HOLLY, Mich. – REVS Racing and Must See Racing officials have announced that 1978 USAC Sprint Car champion and nine-time Indianapolis 500 starter Tom Bigelow will serve as grand marshal for the June 20 Indy Summer Nationals.
The blockbuster event will feature Must See Racing non-winged sprint cars, Midwest Supermodified Series winged supermodifieds and the Midwest Compact Touring Series presented by Rev-X Oil at Lucas Oil Raceway in Clermont, Ind.
Bigelow is no stranger to sprint car activity at Lucas Oil Raceway. He found victory lane three times during USAC sprint car events between 1972-77.
“I think the return of sprint cars to Lucas Oil Raceway is going to be a great event,” explained Bigelow. “Sprint car events at Lucas Oil were always a lot of fun. There were always a lot of fans in the stands and it was always a good show. I just always loved going there. That racetrack (LOR) is just a natural for open wheel racing. I’ve seen a lot of great sprint car races there over the years.”
Bigelow was very humble when asked what it means to be named grand marshal for the return of non-wing sprint cars to Lucas Oil Raceway in nearly nine seasons.
“This is really neat. It’s gonna be a lot of fun to get down there and see all the guys again, to see friends and fans again,” he noted. “I’ll probably bring my grandson and wife with me. We’ll have a lot of fun.”
Of Bigelow’s three sprint car wins at LOR, the May 14, 1977 win over Pancho Carter stands out vividly in Bigelow’s mind due to the nature of how he won it.
“I kinda sucked Pancho Carter down just a little bit off the wall with just a couple laps to go while running second,” Bigelow recalled. “When it gets down near the end of the race, a guy doesn’t think he’s gonna change his groove. If you see somebody driving underneath you, and you think they might get you down there, he’ll move down that extra car length and leave just enough room between him and the wall to get my him. That’s exactly what I did down in three and four. People told me afterwards there was probably only a couple inches on each side of me and Pancho told me he didn’t think there was enough room.
“That race really stands out. But I had a lot of great races and memories from LOR.”
The Must See Racing non-wing sprint car portion of the event is expected to draw a strong field of cars. To date, the expected entry list for the event has already topped 30 cars.
It will be the first time in nearly nine years that non-winged sprint cars have raced at LOR.
The Midwest Supermodified Series has also released names of some of the early entrants headlined by Bobby Santos III. Santos will pull double-duty as he will also compete in the sprint car portion of the event.
Other supermodified entrants include Nick Capelli, Mike McVetta, Kyle Edwards, Rich Reid, Trent Stephens, Otto Sitterly, Cord Ehrhart, Kevin Feeny, AJ Lesiecki, Danny Shirey, Talon Stephens, and Greg Furlong, among others.