By Justin Hunter
BRISTOL, Tenn.– Trenton Vogts, 25, usually races at Angola Motor Speedway, but he had dreams of racing in a larger venue.
On May 20, that dream came true.
The Churubusco stock car racer won his first career race at the legendary Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennesee.
Back in 2011, he watched a race at Bristol Motor Speedway and enjoyed the experience, but wanted to be in control of his own car.
“I turned to my buddies and said that the next time I came, I would be driving my own car,” said Vogt.
Seven years passed before his family and girlfriend drove 10 hours in a pickup pulling his 2004 Chevy Monte Carlo in an enclosed trailer. Vogt has spent every penny he earns on his stock car, working his jobs at C&P Machine in Fort Wayne and O’Reilly Auto Parts in Kendallville. He also has five sponsors to financially support him.
Vogt’s grandfather Tom Breezly and uncle Tommy Breezly II used to race in their heyday, and won seven track championships each.
“They have taught me everything I know about driving and have guided me along the way to where I’m at,” said Vogt.
Vogt qualified by racing at Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Shadybowl Speedway in Ohio and Anderson Speedway to advance to Bristol. Any driver who raced at all three venues were guaranteed to race at Bristol.
According to Vogt, racing at Bristol Motor Speedway was everything he ever wanted it to be. It began to set in when he walked into the steep 162,000-capacity venue.
“It’s hard to put into words. It was just amazing,” Vogt said. “You can feel the history when you walk in. You’re racing at the same place where famous NASCAR stars have raced and won. It took me by awe.”
Vogt not only raced at his dream venue, but led all 20 laps. He won in a field of 14 other stock cars and even double-lapped a couple cars.
“We were allowed to have mirrors on the cars, and I kept looking back to see if there was anybody on my butt,” said Vogt. “By the time I crossed the finish line, there wasn’t anybody too close.”
Bristol Motor Speedway has earned the nickname “Thunder Valley,” for how loud it is during races. Vogt said he could tell a big difference from the volume level of Bristol, compared to other tracks he’s raced at.
“It was like surround sound multiplied by 100. You can hear every little thing. The cars are so much louder. It can be a bit intimidating with the roar of all the engines,” Vogt said.
Bristol Motor Speedway was also different for Vogt, because he’s been used to driving on a 0.375-mile track. Bristol is also known as “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile.” Vogt averaged 100 miles-per-hour there.
“It was different driving there, because I’m used to driving smaller tracks and stepping on the brakes kind of hard on the turns, but Bristol was quite a bit bigger and I barely used my brakes at all,” said Vogt.
Vogt is running second place in points at Angola this season. His goal after racing in Bristol is to take the lead and win his first track championship.
“My goal is to take the lead and win the point system,” he said.