Ken de la Bastide: Flo Racing honoring the King of the Midgets

Apr. 23—For those fans who subscribe to Flo Racing, there is a special tribute to Mel Kenyon and Rich Vogler set to air Wednesday.

The Legends of Racing Series, in conjunction with USAC, is presenting the "King of the Midgets."

Kenyon overcame a serious racing accident in which he lost all the fingers on his left hand in 1965 but continued to compete with USAC.

He won seven national Midget championships, posted eight runner-up finishes and finished in the top five in points in 21 of 27 seasons.

He won 111 feature races, finished second 131 times and was on the podium in another 107 races, and that was just in USAC.

It's believed Kenyon won a total of 380 Midget features in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.

Kenyon made eight starts in the Indianapolis 500, with a career-best finish of third in 1968. He finished in the top five a total of four times.

Mel and his brother Don are still active in racing as former co-owners of the aptly named Kenyon Midget Series.

Two weeks ago, Mel celebrated his 91st birthday at Anderson Speedway and was working on Kenyon Midgets in the pit area.

Over the past few years, I have gotten to know both Don and Mel Kenyon, and they are without a doubt two of the nicest people in racing.

Both brothers are always willing to assist a young competitor in the Midget series that carries their name.

Every year Anderson Speedway hosts the Kenyon Classic for the Kenyon Midget Series, which at 75 laps is the longest race the series runs.

Vogler earned the nickname "Mad Dog" because of his aggressive driving style. His mission was to win every race he competed in.

Vogler won five USAC Midget championships and two national Sprint Car titles.

Unfortunately, Vogler died while leading a Sprint Car race at Salem Speedway in 1990 at the age of 29.

Vogler won 95 USAC Midget races and 33 sprint car events.


Anderson's Greg VanAlst started 21st in the ARCA Menards Series race last weekend at Talladega and drove to an 11th-place finish.

After three races, VanAlst is the points leader with a five-point margin over Christian Rose and Andres Perez.

Kody Swanson won the season-opening USAC Silver Crown race at Toledo, leading all 100 laps.

Scott Dixon recorded his 57th career victory with IndyCar at Long Beach and now trails A.J. Foyt by 10 wins for the all-time lead.

As expected, the NASCAR race at Talladega did have the big wreck on the final lap which propelled Tyler Reddick to the victory.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.