The Historic Oval Invitational, which will be held at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on May 19 - 20, is a celebration of the golden years of stock car racing and classic American Muscle. Featuring race cars like Midgets, Sprints, Super Modifieds, Champ Cars, Vintage Outlaws, and Stock Cars, each of the seven preceding decades of the track's history will be represented. Among the entries is en State Vintage Stock Car Club (GSVSCC) Member, Mary Van Druten. The New Jersey-native will be fielding two cars, including the No. 6 1978 Maynard Troyer Modified and the No. 17 1981 Black Stock Car, which was Built by Troyer and Jimmy Susi.
For many of the participants, continuing to race these cars is their way of honoring the giants of our sport, and ensuring their stories continue to be told. This is certainly true for Van Druten. One of his cars was the first that Maynard Troyer ever manufactured. The legendary Modiifed chassis builder, bearing the late Maynard's name, still produces some of the most competitive asphalt Modifieds that can be found in the Sunoco Modified and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour fields. Not originally a driver, Van Druten has a long history as an avid fan and crew member at Wall Stadium. The 6'7" drive explains, “ I acquired them after working for the crew of Gilhan at Wall Stadium for over 20 years. I have been to plenty of races and have not personally raced but It was a sight to see some of these cars in action."
Historic race cars on a historic track. Those are two of the things that draw Van Druten to the Historic Oval Invitational. He brings the cars that are storied in Modified racing to a facility that is nationally-recognized as the first paved oval in the United States. Dating back to May 26, 1940, some of the most iconic drivers in American Motorsports have competed at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, including Jeff Gordon, Mario Andretti, Tony Stewart, and NASCAR Hall of Famers Richie Evens and Jerry Cook. Van Druten explains, “I am looking forward and excited for this event. The track is beautiful, the people are great, and its a great place to relax outside of work. Its going to be fun running these cars on the race track with a lot of history."
The Third Annual Historic Oval Invitational begins on Friday, May 19 and runs through Saturday, May 20. In addition to the variety of cars that will be participating on the track, an almost equally impressive field of cars is expected for the Classic Car Show on Saturday, from 10am-2pm. To enter, purchase tickets, or find more information about the Historic Oval Invitational, visit thompsonspeedway.com.