February 24, 2017 – Fresno, CA…The Supermodified Ultimate Pavement Racing Series, (SUPRS), will honor the late Billy Vukovich III with the 13th Annual running of the Billy Vukovich III Classic 100 at Mesa Marin Raceway presented by Supermodified Scorecard.
SUPRS co-founder John Davidson, of Sacramento, CA, has sponsored this race since it’s inception through his Supermodified Scorecard business. His support is just as strong now as it ever was for a race that honors a fellow Californian.
“California-based Supermodified Scorecard continues to proudly sponsor the annual SUPRS sanctioned “Billy Vukovich III Classic” to recognize and honor his legacy and contribution to the supermodified division,” said Davidson.
Davidson is a three-time winner of the race and is one of four drivers to have won the prestigious event more than once.
About Billy Vukovich III
Billy Vukovich III was a three-time starter of Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, the first third generation racer to compete in the race and like his father and grandfather before him was named the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race Rookie of the Year.
While many in the mainstream motor sports arena will remember Billy III as a rising star of the IndyCar ranks, the supermodified community will always claim him as one of their own. Starting out just like Bill Vukovich and Bill Vukovich II, Billy got his start in midgets in his home state of California and was a champion in that division. He quickly moved through the ranks to the supermodifieds and competed for famed supermodified car builder Jim Belfiore before moving to larger, better funded teams in California’s Central Valley.
During his supermodified tenure, Vukovich III claimed the 1986-87 USAC Supermodified Championship. In 1987 alone he won an incredible 12 of 17 races with a string of seven consecutive victories. He was also a two-time winner of the prestigious Copper World Classic at Phoenix International Raceway and was a threat to win when he competed at Madera Speedway in the Vernon Reitz “Spirit of Madera” machine.
Vukovich III was also a part of the storied return of winged supermodified racing to Oswego Speedway, competing there in an exhibition race against Eddie Bellinger, Steve Gioia, Jr. and Bentley Warren.
This event was the forerunner of the return of winged supermodified racing to Oswego Speedway with the 1992 ISMA wing show and set the stage for ISMA’s 1992 East vs West series and ultimately the 1995 East vs West Shootout at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Vukovich III was killed at the age of 27 while practicing for a CRA pavement sprint car race at Mesa Marin Speedway on November 25, 1990.
Each year Madera Speedway runs the Vukovich Classic in honor of all three generations of the racing Vukovich family. There is an annual Billy Vukovich III golf tournament held to raise funds for the Billy Vukovich III Scholarship Fund for students of Billy’s high school Yosemite High School where there is also a memorial honoring the 1981 graduate who loved meteorology and amateur weather forecasting.
Practice gets underway for the SUPRS 12th Annual Billy Vukovich III Classic at 8pm. Time Trials take place at 8:45pm with racing starting at 9pm.
SUPRS Billy Vukovich III Classic 100 History
- 2005 Billy Vukovich III Classic Champion: Bud Flath
- 2006 Billy Vukovich III Classic Champion: John Davidson
- 2007 Billy Vukovich III Classic Champion: Devin Gee
- 2008 Billy Vukovich III Classic Champion: John Davidson
- 2009 Billy Vukovich III Classic Champion: Ray Sand Jr
- 2010 Billy Vukovich III Classic Champion: Bobby Gangwer
- 2011 Billy Vukovich III Classic Champion: John Davidson
- 2012 Billy Vukovich III Classic Champion: Steve Callahan
- 2013 Billy Vukovich III Classic Champion: Steve Callahan
- 2014 Billy Vukovich III Classic Champion: Rob Warren
- 2015 Billy Vukovich III Classic Champion: Ray Sand, Jr.
- 2016 Billy Vukovich III Classic Champion: Bobby Gangwer