Pre-Entries Revealed For Night Before The 500

Pre-Entries Revealed
Kyle O'Gara is among the entrants for the upcoming Night Before The 500 at Lucas Oil Raceway. (Dallas Breeze photo)

CLERMONT, Ind. — Lucas Oil Raceway officials have released the first look at the midget and sprint car entry lists for the upcoming Night Before The 500 on Aug. 22 at the .686-mile paved oval.

Just over a week out from the one-time revival of the historic event, 26 midget and 24 sprint car drivers have pre-entered, with several heavy hitters among the projected fields.

For the $10,000-to-win sprint car headliner, perhaps, the most impressive name on the early entry list is that of 1983 Night Before The 500 midget winner Ken Schrader, who will make his return to Lucas Oil Raceway hoping to win the prestigious event at age 65.

Schrader’s most recent “big victory” was an ARCA Menards Series win at Salem (Ind.) Speedway in April of 2015, though he did pick up an ARCA pole at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds last September.

Additional sprint car entrants that will be likely threats to cash the five-figure payday include Indy Summer Nationals winner Kody Swanson, brothers Kyle and Nick Hamilton, pavement open-wheel ace and former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Bobby Santos and hometown favorite Kyle O’Gara.

Also notable on the sprint car entry list is 1976 Knoxville Nationals runner-up Gary Dunkle, who raced his non-winged sprint car on the pavement at LOR in June and will return for the Night Before The 500.

On the midget side of the card, the current entry pool is led by Swanson and Santos, both whom will attempt double duty by running in both the sprint car and midget programs during the weekend.

The Hamilton brothers and O’Gara will do the same, while Thomas Meseraull and RMS Racing lead the contingent of midget-only competitors looking to capture the $5,000 top prize in that division.

Former Rumble in Fort Wayne winner Jim Anderson, Midwest ace Mario Clouser and California’s Maria Cofer are other midget entrants looking to etch their names in the history books as Night Before The 500 champions.

Past winners of the midget portion of the Night Before The 500 include Mel Kenyon, Rich Vogler, Jeff Gordon, Mike Fedorcak, NHRA legend Doug Kalitta, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Jason Leffler and Tracy Hines, who won the most recent Night Before The 500 midget race run in 2014.

Kenyon boasts the most victories in Night Before The 500 history with five (1963, ’65, ’77, ’79, ’80).

To purchase tickets for the Night Before The 500, click here.

Night Before The 500 Sprint Car Entries (alphabetical)

  • Dakoda Armstrong
  • Derek Bischak
  • Gary Dunkle
  • Cord Ehrhart
  • Kyle Hamilton
  • Nick Hamilton
  • Justin Harper
  • Chris Jagger
  • Christian Koehler
  • Nick Landon
  • Joe Liguori
  • Tony Main
  • Chris Neuenschwander
  • Kyle O’Gara
  • Aaron Pierce
  • Tyler Roahrig
  • Bobby Santos III
  • Ken Schrader
  • Baden Stewart
  • Kody Swanson
  • Joey Vallone
  • Brian Vaughn
  • Billy Wease
  • Ronnie Wuerdeman

Night Before The 500 Midget Entries (alphabetical)

  • Jim Anderson
  • Todd Bertrand
  • Derek Bischak
  • Annie Breidinger
  • Toni Breidinger
  • Cole Carter
  • Mario Clouser
  • Maria Cofer
  • Courtney Crone
  • Cody Gerhardt
  • Kyle Hamilton
  • Nick Hamilton
  • Brandon Maurer
  • Thomas Meseraull
  • Dylan Nobile
  • Kyle O’Gara
  • Alby Ovitt
  • Aaron Pierce
  • Bret Sanderson
  • Bobby Santos III
  • Ryan Shilkuski
  • Avery Stoehr
  • Kevin Studley
  • Kody Swanson
  • Tanner Swanson
  • Jake Trainor