Hoosier Hundred Pole Is A Prize Of Its Own

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Hoosier Hundred Pole
Kevin Thomas Jr. won the pole for the 2019 Hoosier Hundred. (Dallas Breeze photo)

INDIANAPOLIS – The pole position at the Hoosier Hundred is a prize on its own.

It’s a one-lap pursuit that provides the best view in the house: a clear path ahead at the start of the 100-mile feature.

That’s what drivers will be shooting during Fatheadz Eyewear Qualifying for Sunday’s 65th running of the Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, featuring the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series.

Kevin Thomas Jr. became the first driver from the state of Alabama to win the pole for the Hoosier Hundred in 2019, leading a race-high 87 of the 100 laps before eventually finishing second to winner Tyler Courtney.

Twenty-four times has the driver who won the pole gone on to win the race. The great A.J. Foyt has won the race from the pole on three occasions (1961, ’64, ’65).

Four-time Hoosier Hundred winner Kody Swanson has won the Hoosier Hundred pole twice in his career. In both cases, 2015 and 2018, he went on to win the race.

Swanson and Thomas are among the four former Hoosier Hundred pole winners in Sunday’s field, along with Indiana’s Russ Gamester (1997, 2013) and Oklahoma’s Brady Bacon (2016).

Foyt and Parsons own the most career Hoosier Hundred pole positions with four apiece.

Parsons owns the official one-lap USAC Silver Crown track record at the Indiana State Fairgrounds of 31.379 sec. (114.726 mph), set on Sept. 2, 1995.

The Hoosier Hundred has been held annually since 1953, with only a handful of interruptions due to inclement weather. Today, it remains one of the oldest, most tradition-rich racing events on the planet.

Many of its winners have gone to achieve legendary status in auto racing, with a list that includes A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti as two of the seven drivers to have won both the Hoosier Hundred and the Indianapolis 500 in their careers.

Hoosier Hundred Pole Winners (1953-2019)

1953: Manny Ayulo – Peter Schmidt #88 – 37.47 sec. – 96.077 mph

1954: Manny Ayulo – Peter Schmidt #44 – 37.93 sec. – 94.912 mph

1955: Edgar Elder – Ernie Ruiz #72 – 38.18 sec. – 94.290 mph

1956: Jud Larson – John Zink #8 – 37.40 sec. – 96.257 mph

*1957: Jud Larson – John Zink #2 – 36.54 sec. – 98.522 mph

1958: Jud Larson – John Zink #9 – 35.94 sec. – 100.167 mph

*1959: Rodger Ward – Leader Card #5 – 36.57 sec. – 98.442 mph

1960: Rodger Ward – Leader Card #1 – 35.43 sec. – 101.609 mph

*1961: A.J. Foyt – Bignotti/Bowes Racing Associates #1 – 34.96 sec. – 102.975 mph

*1962: Parnelli Jones – J.C. Agajanian #98 – 33.55 sec. – 107.303 mph

*1963: Rodger Ward – Leader Card #1 – 34.62 sec. – 103.986 mph

*1964: A.J. Foyt – Ansted/Thompson Racing Division #1 – 34.99 sec. – 102.887 mph

*1965: A.J. Foyt – Ansted/Thompson Racing Division #1 – 35.47 sec. – 104.494 mph

1966: A.J. Foyt – Ansted/Thompson Racing Division #2 – 36.31 sec. – 99.146 mph

1967: Bruce Walkup – Jim Robbins Co. #27 – 34.59 sec. – 104.076 mph

1968: Mario Andretti – Andretti Racing Enterprises #2 – 33.61 sec. – 107.111 mph

1969: Greg Weld – STP Corporation #60 – 34.60 sec. – 104.046 mph

1970: Johnny Parsons – Louis Seymour #39 – 35.27 sec. – 102.069 mph

*1971: Al Unser – Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing Team #1 – 33.75 sec. – 106.666 mph

*1972: Al Unser – Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing Team #7 – 34.31 sec. – 104.926 mph

1973: Greg Weld – Grant King Racers #22 – 35.51 sec. – 101.370 mph

*1974: Jackie Howerton – Patrick Racing Team #42 – 34.25 sec. – 105.109 mph

1975: Johnny Parsons – Vatis Enterprises #93 – 33.314 sec. – 108.062 mph

1976: Johnny Parsons – Vatis Enterprises #93 – 34.429 sec. – 104.563 mph

*1977: Pancho Carter – Rieder Racers #48 – 35.262 sec. – 102.093 mph

1978: George Snider – Jack Rhoades Aircraft Sales #20 – 35.378 sec. – 101.758 mph

1979: Steve Chassey – Kurtz/DiGeronimo Brothers Racing #15 – 34.769 sec. – 103.541 mph

1980: Joe Saldana – Richard Johnson #33 – 34.569 sec. – 104.140 mph

*1981: Larry Rice – George Middleton #55 – 35.428 sec. – 101.615 mph

*1982: Chuck Gurney – Transportation Computer Services #30 – 34.207 sec. – 105.242 mph

1983: Ken Schrader – Damon Fortune #39 – 33.864 sec. – 106.308 mph

*1984: Steve Chassey – Gohr Distributing #56 – 33.489 sec. – 107.498 mph

*1985: Sheldon Kinser – Ben Leyba #63 – 3.793 sec. – 106.531 mph

1986: Larry Rice – Dave LeFevre #5 – 34.736 sec. – 103.639 mph

1987: Dave Blaney – Allan Nott Engineering #84 – 33.098 sec. – 108.768 mph

1988: Tony Elliott – Conroy Racing #18 – 32.916 sec. – 109.369 mph

1989: Rich Vogler – Mark Wilke #16 – 31.404 sec. – 114.635 mph

1990: Jeff Swindell – Delrose/Holt Racing #12 – 32.883 sec. – 109.479 mph

1991: Jack Hewitt – M & L Plumbing #4 – 33.766 sec. – 106.616 mph

*1992: Ron Shuman – M & L Plumbing #1 – 34.333 sec. – 104.855 mph

*1993: Jeff Swindell – Delrose/Holt Racing #12 – 32.102 sec. – 112.143 mph

1994: Chuck Gurney – Foxco Engineering #56 – 32.624 sec. – 110.348 mph

1995: Johnny Parsons – Dynamics, Inc. #65 – 31.379 sec. – 114.726 mph (Track Record)

1996: Drew for Position

1997: Russ Gamester – Gamester Racing #51 – 31.451 sec. – 114.464 mph

1998: Jimmy Sills – Stanton Racing #75 – 31.911 sec. – 112.814 mph

*1999: Jimmy Sills – Snider/Foyt Racing #11 – 131.507 sec. – 114.260 mph

2000: Ed Carpenter – George Snider #7 – 32.490 sec. – 110.803 mph

2001: Michael Lewis – Lewis Brothers Racing #85 – 31.560 sec. – 114.068 mph

*2002: Jason Leffler – George Snider Racing #11 – 32.345 sec. – 111.300 mph

*2003: J.J. Yeley – Bob East/Tony Stewart #9 – 31.966 sec. – 112.619 mph

2004: Dave Steele – Bob East/Tony Stewart #9 – 31.842 sec. – 113.058 mph

2005: Paul White – Mucci/Matczak Racing #99 – 32.193 sec. – 111.826 mph

*2006: Josh Wise – Tony Stewart Racing #10 – 32.533 sec. – 110.657 mph

2007: Rained Out

2008: Rained Out

*2009: Shane Hollingsworth – Nolen Racing #20 – 31.953 sec. – 112.665 mph

2010: Levi Jones – Tony Stewart Racing/Curb-Agajanian #10 – 33.090 sec. – 108.794 mph

2011: Levi Jones – Tony Stewart Racing/Curb-Agajanian #10 – 33.840 sec. – 106.383 mph

2012: Bryan Clauson – RW Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian #17 – 34.768 sec. – 103.543 mph

2013: Russ Gamester – Gamester Racing #51 – 32.937 sec. – 109.299 mph

2014: Tracy Hines – Mark Lightfoot #16 – 36.266 sec. – 99.267 mph

*2015: Kody Swanson – DePalma Motorsports #63 – 33.233 sec. – 108.359 mph

2016: Brady Bacon – Paul Martens #48 – 34.396 sec. – 104.663 mph

2017: Rained Out

*2018: Kody Swanson – DePalma Motorsports #63 – 33.522 sec. – 107.392 mph

2019: Kevin Thomas Jr. – Foxco Racing #56 – 32.929 sec. – 109.326 mph

* represents a Hoosier Hundred winner who started from the pole position

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