Bobby Santos III will be one of a select few drivers in Thursday night’s Rich Vogler Classic field
that has previous experience at Winchester Speedway.
The former Little 500 champion was in USAC’s most recent appearance at the World’s Fastest
Half Mile back in 2011 with the USAC Sprint Cars. He has also raced in the most recent open-
wheel series to converge on Winchester, the Auto Value Super Sprints.
Santos hopes to use that past experience in USAC Silver Crown’s first race on the high banks
Sunday afternoon as he searches for his first win with the series since 2018 at Phoenix Raceway
Santos was one of several drivers to take part in the open test session held on Sunday, May 2
just before the originally scheduled date for the Rich Vogler Classic presented by Pallet Builder,
making his first laps around Winchester in a Silver Crown car.
“These things are just a little bit lazier than the Sprint Cars. I personally enjoy these cars more
around this place. I think these are a little bit easier to get comfortable in than a Sprint Car.”
While Thursday will be Silver Crown’s first race at Winchester, the series does have recent
history at another high-banked half-mile, at Salem Speedway in Southern Indiana. While the
tracks are similar in appearance, there is one major difference between past races at Salem and
Sunday’s race at Winchester – the lap count.
The Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorial has historically been 75 laps, while Sunday’s race will be
100. Santos expects the extra distance to have the potential to change how drivers attack the
race and the racetrack.
It’s a potential change that Santos welcomes with open arms, giving him an old-school feel with
how to make it to the end of the race while balancing going after the checkered flag..
“There’s going to be a lot of throttle control that will come into play in this race. I think through
practice and qualifying it’s going to be up on the wheel and laying down the best lap you can lay
down. As soon as we go green in the race, I think tire wear is going to be something to keep an
eye on. It’ll be a matter of managing throttle. In my opinion, that’s how racing should be.
That’s old-school: manage your tires, manage your equipment racing; I miss that kind of racing.
I wish we did more of it.”
While Santos has a considerable amount of experience at both of Indiana’s high-banked tracks,
it has not translated to wins. He hopes to change his luck around Thursday and take the Rich
Vogler Classic trophy with him back to the Northeast.
“I love this division; I love Silver Crown cars. To go to such historic racetracks like this
(Winchester), it’s pretty neat. I’ve raced here a handful of times and I’ve raced at Salem a
handful of times, I feel like I’m overdue to get my first win in the bank. This one is going to be
The 2021 version of the Rich Vogler Classic will celebrate open wheel racing’s rich history at the
“World’s Fastest Half Mile” while paying homage to the legendary life and career of one of
motorsport’s greatest talents, the late Rich Vogler. The 100-lap main event will showcase the
beauty and blazing speed of the renowned Silver Crown machines while testing the bravery and
skill of some of the world’s best drivers upon the fabled high banks of Winchester.
Thursday’s event marks USAC’s first trip to Winchester since 2011, when the Sprint Cars came
to town for the Rich Vogler Classic. It will also serve as the season opener for the USAC Silver
Crown Champ Car Series.
Joining the USAC Silver Crown Thursday night will be the Midwest Old Timers Vintage Racing
Club, featuring upwards of 40 vintage open-wheel cars. Fans will be able to witness the
progression of the open-wheel machines through the decades.
Tickets for the Rich Vogler Classic are available online at winchesterspeedway.com/tickets.
For more information regarding the event, please visit the track’s website at
winchesterspeedway.com. You can follow @FastestHalfMile on Twitter and Instagram, and be
sure to like the Winchester Speedway Facebook page. For additional info on the USAC Silver
Crown Champ Car Series, go to usacracing.com.