Rex Mays Classic: A Classic Success
West Allis, Wis. 4 JUNE 2008 -- The inaugural Rex Mays Classic vintage Indycar exhibition went off without a hitch on Sunday, June 1, 2008, as twelve vintage cars from 1931-1997 took to The Milwaukee Mile racing surface as a prelude to the ABC Supply / A.J. Foyt 225 IndyCar Series race.
Event promoters Steve Zautke and Jacques Dresang received entries from as far away as Washington state for the exhibition, which boasted no entry fee for the participants.
"Our goal was to create a user-friendly event where vintage Indycar owners could arrive at the track and feel like an integral part of the race day event program," said Dresang. "I think we succeeded in that part with 45 minutes of track time. The thrill for many of us was the fan support and reaction when they stopped by in the paddock area to see all of the cars."
The entries that made the inaugural Rex Mays Classic such a success included the 1931 Miller "Boyle Special;" the 1933 Ford "Detroit Gasket Special;" the 1933 Ford "Cote Motor Company;" the 1935 Sparks-Weirick "Gilmore Special;" the 1946 "Jewell Special;" the 1947 "Truchan-Shanebrook" Miller; a 1953 Kurtis 400; a 1963 Watson "Ol' Calhoun" replica; a 1968 Lotus 56 turbine; a 1972 All-American Racers Eagle; a 1974 Dave LaFerve Automotive USAC championship dirt car; and a 1997 Lola 97/20 Indy Lights car.
The event concept was conceived in early January 2008, with an emphasis on creating an event that celebrated the history of The Milwaukee Mile. Of the cars entered, over half had raced at The Mile, with the 1953 Kurtis 4000 of capturing the 1953 Rex Mays Classic with Jack McGrath behind the wheel, and the 1997 Lola 97/20 capturing the 2001 Indy Lights race win with Townsend Bell.
Plans are already underway for a 2009 event to ensure that the Rex Mays Classic will be even more valuable for entrants and fans alike at "America's Legendary Oval."