The Madera Speedway will host the Vukovich Classic this Saturday night April 28th. The Vukovich Classic is a celebration of the life of Billy Vukovich III. The headliner for the event is the ground pounding 410 Super Modifieds. The under card includes the BCRA midgets, 360 Super Modifieds, NASCAR Western Late Models, and the American Limited Stock Cars.
Billy Vukovich III was a member of the famed Vukovich racing family, following his grandfather, Bill and his father, Billy II, into the sport. Billy III was named the Indianapolis Rookie of the Year in 1988; his father was Rookie of the Year twenty years earlier in 1968.
Bill Vukovich raced in the Indy 500 from 1951-55. He won the race in 1953 and 1954. He died in a crash during the 1955 race. Billy II raced every year from 1968 to 1980 except 1978. He placed second in 1973 and third in 1974. Billy III raced in the Indy 500 from 1988-90, finishing 14th, 12th and 24th respectively.
Billy III graduated from Yosemite High School in 1981. Staff members who knew him then recall him as a happy, smiling young man who wanted to become a race driver. During his short career, he earned numerous awards in the sport, including Valley Midget Racer Rookie of the Year in 1982 and Super Modified Racing Association championship.
Bill III died in a crash on the Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield November 25, 1990. His parents, Bill and Joyce, live in Ahwahnee. The auto shop at YHS has been named in his memory and thousands of dollars in scholarships have been given in his name.
Quote from Billy Vukovich III:
"I know I'm alot luckier than most kids my age, because I've never wondered or worried about what I'd do with my life. I already know exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life. From as far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to drive race cars. It's in my blood - it's what I love to do."
This is going to be one great night of racing, and is sure to be one of the best shows of the season. Grandstands open at 2:00PM, First race at 5:00.The Madera Speedway would like to thank the Vukovich family. Check out racemadera.com for more information