Night Before The 500 Full Of History

0
50
Tracy Hines (24) races under Dalton Armstrong en route to winning the Night Before the 500 USAC midget race at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis last season. (David E. Heithaus photo)
Tracy Hines (24) races under Dalton Armstrong en route to winning the Night Before the 500 USAC midget race at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis last season. (David E. Heithaus photo)

CLERMONT, Ind. – Few American motorsports events have the traditional depth of next Saturday night’s Night Before the 500 USAC National Midget Series race at Lucas Oil Raceway.

The 68th running of this classic marks the resumption of the 2013 USAC National Pavement Midget Series, which debuted this year in Florida.

Caleb Armstrong enters Saturday’s race as the series leader, six points ahead of Bobby Santos. Armstrong has never won the Night Before the 500, but Santos roared to two Traxxas USAC Silver Crown wins at Lucas Oil Raceway last year and was the 2006 Night Before the 500 winner.

Having begun in 1946 at the 16th Street Speedway across from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the race has continued at tracks like Kokomo Speedway, the Indianapolis Speedrome and the Indiana State Fairgrounds, but has found its home the past 33 years at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Former race winners looking for a repeat Saturday are defending race winner Tracy Hines, Darren Hagen, Tanner Swanson and Santos.

Saturday’s program will also include five USAC Hall of Fame inductions, which were among those delayed by last Saturday’s USAC Silver Crown postponement at the track. Those being honored Saturday will be Johnny Rutherford, A.J. Watson, Bob Wilke, Don White and Pancho Carter.