The new quarter-mile dirt track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will have an auspicious opening event in early September, when the USAC-sanctioned DRIVEN2SAVELIVES BC39 presented by NOS Energy Drink takes over the third turn of the historic 2.5-mile oval.
The two-night extravaganza, set for September 5-6, now has 54 entrants – more racers will likely be added – and is the richest USAC P1 Insurance National Midget race in recent history. For the first night of action on Wednesday, racers will conduct hot laps, heat races and a pursuit race. On Thursday, on-track action begins with hot laps, with all cars practicing with their respective qualifying race groups, qualifying races and alphabet mains that conclude with the A-Main race.
The event features more than $70,000 in purse and incentives, including a $15,000 winner’s purse. USAC claims this is the largest in Midget racing. The two-night extravaganza kicks off a week of racing at IMS, culminating in the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, September 9.
USAC highlighted the latest groups to enter this event. The Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian team has entered nine cars and drivers for the inaugural event, including NASCAR MENCS star Kyle Larson, 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Christopher Bell, 2017 USAC National Midget champ Spencer Bayston and current USAC National Midget points leader Logan Seavey. Series regulars Tucker Klaasmeyer, Holly Shelton, Ryan Robinson, Tanner Carrick and Sam Johnson round out the team.
Clauson Marshall Racing has entered four drivers: Tyler Courtney, Justin Grant, rookie Zeb Wise and NASCAR Cup Series racer Ricky Stenhouse Jr. In addition, two-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champ Brady Bacon is on the entry list, as are USAC Triple Crown champs Tracy Hines and Jerry Coons Jr.; Hines is driving for the Leader Card Racers team, who won the Indianapolis 500 three times with Rodger Ward (1959 and 1962) and in 1968 with Bobby Unser.
With many TBA drivers in the entry list (see below), it’s quite possible other NASCAR racers – or maybe even a former (local) NASCAR racer or two – could throw their helmets into the ring. With this many entries, the prospect of great racing is imminent.
Racers wanting to join the party can enter the event at ticketspice.com. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets online at indianapolismotorspeedway.com or by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-8500.