By Jay Hardin
Track Enterprises Staff
May 16, 2018-Indianapolis, IN-Growing up in Indianapolis in the 1950’s, USAC Silver Crown car owner Gene Nolen had plenty of opportunity to be infected with the racing bug. The Indianapolis 500, the Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and midget action at the old West 16th Street Speedway all served to give the 1961 Indianapolis Tech graduate a taste of the racing life.
Nine years after forming his own plastic injection molding company Nolen bought a midget race car and placed Wisconsin driver Paul Huntington behind the wheel. For the last 29 seasons Nolen has fielded one or more cars in the top tier USAC Silver Crown Series. The Whiteland, Indiana based team has won numerous events including the Little 500 at Anderson and employed a hall of fame stable of drivers including Tony Stewart, Johnny Parsons Jr., Jim Keeker and Tony Elliot.
Nolen nearly retired after the 2014 season, decided to return to the series and at times put three cars on track in USAC’s top division. This season the Hoosier son returns armed with two USAC national champions in his stable and a chance to capture his fourth win as a car owner in the Hoosier Hundred on the Indy Mile.
Gene’s first entry appeared in the first night time Hoosier Hundred at the fairgrounds in 1989 with Rocky Hodges at the wheel qualifying 17th and finishing in the same spot. It would take another ten years before a Nolen entry found victory lane on the Indy mile. Ironically, the late Tony Elliot would lead the last 20 miles in Gene’s familiar number 20 on the way to victory. Elliot repeated again in 2001 in similar fashion leading the last 17 miles. The third Hoosier Hundred win for a Nolen owned entry came with fellow Indianapolis native and second generation driver Shane Hollingsworth who captured a very emotional win on the home track.
Should Nolen win a fourth race he will probably break one of his own streaks. Each Hoosier Hundred win for the Indiana car owner has come with an Indiana driver at the wheel. This year Nolen has 2008 USAC Silver Crown champ Jerry Coons Jr. of Arizona behind the wheel of the yellow 20, Coons is also a two-time Hoosier Hundred winner. The other member of the Nolen stable is 2016 USAC Silver Crown champ Chris Windom who broke through and gained his first mile dirt track win at DuQuoin in 2016.
The Hoosier Hundred is the second of three events in USAC’s “Week of Indy” featuring the Hulman Classic at Terre Haute Wednesday May 23, the Hoosier Hundred at the fairgrounds May 24, and the Carb Day Classic at Raceway Park on May 25.
A great deal is available for those who don’t want to miss a single lap of “The Week Of Indy”. A Superticket is being sold for a savings of 25% off of the regular three day prices. For just $60, a savings of $20, a fan will receive general admission at Terre Haute and Lucas Oil Raceway as well as a reserved seat for the Hoosier Hundred. To purchase a Superticket, visit https://usacracing.ticketspice.com/2018-week-of-indy or call 217-764-3200.
About Track Enterprises:
Track Enterprises is a racing promotion company that oversees popular events that feature top touring series like the ARCA Racing Series, USAC Racing, Dirtcar UMP, POWRi Racing, Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, CRA, Southern Super Series, and more. The company also oversees all racing promotions at Macon Speedway, Lincoln Speedway, and the Terre Haute Action Track.