Sportscar Vintage Racing Association announced today that with the entries of Tom Bagley, John Martin, and Tyce Carlson the field is set for the Vintage Race of Champions Charity Pro-Am presented by Chopard Watch. The race will take place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday.
“John, Tom, Tyce are three accomplished drivers who proved themselves in Indy car with modest resources,” said SVRA CEO Tony Parella. “They join a stellar field that includes and champions from a variety of series, including Indy car, NASCAR, Trans Am and short track racing.”
John Martin is a five-time Indy 500 starter and has outstanding credentials in road race competition. An excellent mechanic and engineer he converted his 1963 Corvette Sting Ray into an A-Production race car and went SCCA racing. He was national champion in 1964 and went professional in 1966. He drove an AMC Javelin in the classic days of Trans Am and tackled the Indianapolis 500 in 1972. Martin is the ultimate racer of a bygone era as he built, maintained, and drove his race cars in his Indy 500 appearances. He has competed in every Indy Legends Pro-Am since the Brickyard Invitational inaugural in 2014.
Bagley is another driver who accomplished much with limited resources. A three-time Indianapolis 500 starter, he was Indy car rookie-of-the-year in 1978. He competed in 42 Indy car races with top four finishes on three occasions and placing in the top ten 23 times during a period when some of the greatest legends in history were at the zenith of their careers. Bagley’s career took off when he established himself as the driver to beat in Formula Super Vee racing in the late 1970s. He won the Bosch Gold Cup Super Vee Series championship in 1976. Bagley followed that accomplishment up by winning the USAC Mini Indy Series Formula Super Vee championship the following year.
Tyce Carlson competed in both the 1997 and 1999 Indianapolis 500s as well as 28 other Indy car races from 1996 through 2002. During that time, he finished in the top 10 twice, both at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Carlson also competed in the Indy Lights series.
Collectively the VROC Charity Pro-Am field of 20 drivers achieved the pinnacle of various forms of motorsport during their careers. This includes three Indianapolis 500 victories, an Indy car championship, a NASCAR Cup championship, two Xfinity championships, and three NASCAR Truck championships. The race win total includes Indy car – 31, NASCAR Cup – 24, Xfinity – 35, and 65 in Trucks. In sports cars, highlights are two overall wins each in the 24-hour races of Le Mans, Daytona, and a victory at Nürburgring 24, as well as 29 Trans Am victories and two season championships.
Drivers in the field have participated in everything from the Chili Bowl to Formula 1. Other accomplishments encompass a USAC sprint car championship, wins at Pikes Peak Hill Climb and the Silver Crown Copper World Classic, a Can Am championship, the Formula Two Jochen Rindt Memorial Trophy, and a Bathurst 1000 triumph. The field includes an International Race of Champions (IROC) championship and accounts for 20 appearances in the elite series.
Virtually every VROC professional driver is in a sports hall-of-fame somewhere. Among them are the halls-of-fame at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NASCAR, and the SCCA. There are drivers recognized in the National Sprint Car and National Midget halls-of-fame, as well as the Motorsports Hall-of-Fame. Several have a step on the famed Watkins Glen Walk-of-Fame. Many of the VROC drivers are members of general sports halls-of-fame, including those in San Jose, Texas, Florida, and Springfield, Illinois.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Brickyard Invitational VROC Charity Pro-Am will benefit the Morgan Adams Foundation. The foundation supports laboratory and clinical research in the area of pediatric cancer, with an emphasis on tumors on the brain, spine, and central nervous system. Morgan Adams was a five-year-old girl who lost her battle with brain cancer in 1997. The foundation has a history of working with vintage racers to support their cause.
The VROC Charity Pro-Am presented by Chopard Watch is a Saturday feature event at the Brickyard Invitational. The cars are 1963 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros, and Mustangs of SVRA “Group 6” A and B Production. The professionals will be paired with amateur drivers. Amateurs will start the race and be required to drive a maximum of seven laps.
The Pro-Am is one element of SVRA’s “Speed Tour,” where there will be a festival of other activities at the Brickyard Invitational including professional Trans Am by Pirelli series races on Saturday and Sunday. The weekend also presents the Hagerty Insurance “cars & caffeine” car corral, and 300+ vintage racers ranging over 100 years of automotive history racing in SVRA Groups 1 through 12.