USAC’s BC39 Race Will Be a Stand Alone Event

This year’s third edition of USAC’s Driven2SaveLives BC39 Powered by NOS Energy Drink will be comprised of at least 68 entries when drivers take to the track for the August 18-19 competition on The Dirt Track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The deadline for entries isn’t until Thursday, August 12th at the crack of noon EDT and more are expected, according to USAC.

After turning laps on the dirt oval located inside the Brickyard oval’s third turn, five-time and inaugural Brickyard 400 race winner Jeff Gordon has been named honorary starter for the first night of competition and will take some exhibition laps before he climbs onto the flag stand to begin the two-day race that celebrates the life of the late racer, Bryan Clauson. Appropriately, Gordon will take his exhibition laps in a white United States Auto Club Midget prepared by Clauson Marshall Racing.

Gordon, of course, is the 1989 USAC National Midget Series Rookie of the year, 1990 USAC National Midget Series titleholder and 1991 USAC Silver Crown Series champion. “When Jeff said he wanted to run laps on a race-prepped IMS Dirt Track, my immediate thought was to get him here to do it for the BC39,” noted Tim Clauson, Clauson Marshall Racing co-owner. “Although it’s only exhibition laps in nature, I am really excited to get to share with the fans the enjoyment of watching Jeff back on the dirt,” he said.

This year’s third BC39 midget race isn’t being held in conjunction with this weekend’s cooperative NASCAR/INDYCAR triple-header, where both the Xfinity Series and NTT IndyCar Series occupy Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s unique interior road-course on Saturday and NASCAR’s Cup Series has control of the same road course – for the first time since coming to Indianapolis in 1994 (hint: winner of that inaugural race was Jeff Gordon, at that time called “Wonder Boy”) – this coming Sunday for its initial appearance on the former Formula One circuit. Last year’s Xfinity road-course competition was a roaring success, and NASCAR decided its premier Cup Series should race the road course too.

As a stand-alone event, the Driven2SaveLives BC 39 promises more than USAC racing, as USAC’s own champions, together with NASCAR and INDYCAR competitors will hit the dirt track on Wednesday for hot lap sessions and heat races on the evening Gordon conducts his honorary starter duties. After Gordon lights up the crowd, a selection of drivers from the large entry field is scheduled to take part in the Stoops Pursuit race.

Thursday’s USAC field is set to run hot lap practice sessions before qualifying races set the lineups for the five main races that devolves the field to its feature event. USAC National Midget champions Chris Windom, Logan Seavey and Spencer Bayston are recent additions to the stacked field. Inaugural BC39 winner Brady Bacon, the three-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprit Car champ, is on the entry list, as is newly-crowned 2021 Indiana Sprint Week champion Kevin Thomas Jr. Zeb Wise, who won the second BC39 race is also entered this year.

Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott is scheduled to race as is Cup racer Ryan Newman, set to drive one of four Clauson Marshall Racing entries. NASCAR’s Chase Briscoe, who got his start in the dirt, much like Jeff Gordon, is on the entry list.INDYCAR pilot Conor Daly continues his dirt-track education in his third BC39 (he’s entered the Chili Bowl the past couple of years too). A late entry from 2019 BC39 winner Zeb Wise came through on Wednesday as the cut-off loomed. A big surprise on the entry list is the absence of current Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR star and points leader Kyle Larson, who won the Stoops Pursuit Race in 2019 – he still has a day to tick his entry.


About Anne Proffit 1248 Articles
Anne Proffit traces her love of racing - in particular drag racing - to her childhood days in Philadelphia, where Atco Dragway, Englishtown and Maple Grove Raceway were destinations just made for her. As a diversion, she was the first editor of IMSA’s Arrow newsletter, and now writes about and photographs sports cars, Indy cars, Formula 1, MotoGP, NASCAR, Formula Drift, Red Bull Global Rallycross - in addition to her first love of NHRA drag racing. A specialty is a particular admiration for the people that build and tune drag racing engines.

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