(Special to USACracing.com)
Fans of the famed Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center will want to make sure to attend this year’s event. It was announced earlier this week that the sprawling, one-mile oval is scheduled to be converted from a dirt surface to an all-weather track made of crushed limestone following the race.
The ultimate impact is that the conversion of the surface means that auto racing events will no longer be held on the one-mile track following the 2019 Hoosier Hundred. The 64th running of the 100-mile, 100-lap USAC Silver Crown race, scheduled for Thursday, May 23, will be the last running of this grand racing event at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
“USAC, Track Enterprises, Bob Sargent and I have been in meetings with the Fairgrounds staff and in discussion for the last two years about any way to keep auto racing at the historic one-mile oval,” USAC Series Coordinator Levi Jones explained. “To no avail, the economics of the horse industry and their desire to use the one-mile track year-round instead of the half-mile currently in the infield won out in the end.”
With the impending closure, USAC and Track Enterprises are now left to pursue possible facilities that could host the Hoosier Hundred for 2020 and beyond.
The famed oval, known as the “Track of Champions” has a rich history spanning more than a century. Since 1953 the Indiana State Fairgrounds has been home to the Hoosier Hundred.
California racer, Kody Swanson is the four-time and defending champion of the Hoosier Hundred. He’s currently tied with Al Unser for the most-consecutive wins. Swanson looks to take sole possession of the record during this May’s event.
The winner’s list of the event is a definitive who’s who or racing history. Names like A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Bob Sweikert, Jimmy Bryan, Rodger Ward and Parnelli Jones all dot the history books as Hoosier Hundred victors.