Widger Takes The Lead in Driver Standings
Sam Widger, who has been hailed as one of the top drivers on the Chicago circuit for the past 15 years, is now making a strong bid for the Leading Driver title at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino this season. Widger is currently leading all drivers with 60 wins through Saturday, May 12. Three-time defending champion, Pete Wrenn follows closely in second with 56 trips to victory lane.
A native of Illinois, Widger has relocated his talents to Central Indiana for the past five years. After recently celebrating his 4,000th career victory, Widger was atop the driver standings at Balmoral Park this past winter prior to the opening of the Hoosier Park’s Standardbred meet.
The 48-year-old has been on quite a roll this season as he piloted five winners to Hoosier Park’s winner’s circle in 13 races on April, 14. Four of the five winners were conditioned by top trainer and Indiana native, Ryan Bellamy. Widger won the first race of the night with Logcabin Hi Flyer for trainer Ernie Gaskin and continued his winning ways with Cog Hill, Actionuke, Gt Miss Royal and Powergaiterdotcom for the Bellamy Stable.
Widger returns to Indiana off of his best year to date, after finishing third in the standings last season. With over $33 million in purse earnings, Widger has won 4,473 races throughout his illustrious career and had back to back $3 million seasons in 2011 and 2012. His stats would suggest that his best season is yet to come as he has posted 461, 332, 335, 398, in the win category throughout the last five seasons. Widger has already steered 113 winners this season with purse earnings surpassing the $700,000 mark already.
Widger, who had to work his way up from bottom, got his introduction to the harness racing scene at Quad City Downs back in the mid 1980’s. Growing up in Canton, Ill., Widger competed in football, baseball, and wrestling despite weighing less than 100 points until his junior year of high school.
Widger resides in Beecher, Ill with his wife of 18 years, Nancy and his five children. He continues to drive in Chicago during the down time in Indiana as well as on non-racing days. The former leading driver at Balmoral Park is once again leading the way in 2012 standings for what is sure to be a great race to the finish for the title.