BC39 Returns to Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Photo Courtesy: PENSKE Entertainment
2021 BC39 action
Photo Courtesy: Penske Entertainment

The late-summer USAC national midget celebration for the late Bryan Clauson, a USAC champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 starter, and an event that gets the positive message of organ donation to racers and the public, is on again this year.

The BC39 Driven2SaveLives Powered by NOS Energy Drink, was interrupted in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic. The race on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s quarter-mile dirt track inside the third turn of the 2.5-mile iconic paved oval has become one of the widest attended and competed national midget events on the USAC calendar. Last year it was won by now-reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson.

“It was a big highlight for everyone at IMS last year to see the BC39 come back after a year’s hiatus due to the pandemic,” noted J. Douglas Boles, IMS president. “This new tradition of an incredible two nights of dirt action continues to grow at the Racing Capital of the World, thanks to our loyal fans and the continued support of great charitable partners, like the Indiana Donor network, Driven2SaveLives, and NOS Energy Drink’s commitment to USAC racing,” he said.

The fourth running of this race takes place on the Wednesday and Thursday after Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s summer tripleheader for NASCAR and INDYCAR. Scheduled for Wednesday August 3rd and Thursday August 4th, the event boasts a huge turnout of racers as well as a packed grandstand. It’s become one of the most highly-anticipated short-track events of each USAC national midget season. There are qualifying races, last chance events and a 39-lap A-Main on Thursday, preceded by heat races and the Stoops Pursuit event on Wednesday evening.

The first three runnings of the BC39 has been dominated by Brady Bacon, who won the inaugural event, Zeb Wise, the 2019 winner and by Larson’s victory last year.

The event marks the conclusion of a week of action at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The NASCAR-INDYCAR tripleheader takes place July 29-31`, with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and NASCAR Xfinity Series conducting races on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on Saturday. The INDYCAR Grand Prix and the Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard take place July 30th (following both series’ practice and qualifying), while NASCAR’s Cup Series takes over the road course for their Verizon 200 at the Brickyard on Sunday, July 31.

The USAC celebration of Clauson and his decision to be an organ donor has full afternoons and evenings of competition both Wednesday and Thursday. Public gates open at 3PM on Wednesday with practice beginning an hour later. Opening ceremonies for the event take place at 7PM, with heat races and the thrilling Stoops Pursuit feature race concluding the first night. Larson has scored two Stoops Pursuit victories, in 2019 and 2021, while Zeb Wise captured the inaugural 25-lap pursuit race in the BC39’s initial competition.

Thursday’s activities have gates opening at 3PM and cars on track for practice at 4PM. Qualifying races begin at 5PM, with opening ceremonies to be conducted at 7:30PM, immediately followed by the main feature events, starting with multiple D-Mains and C-Mains, the semi-feature and the 39-lap main event.

Tickets are on sale now for this inspiring contest. Reserved seat tickets for Wednesday start at $25 while Thursday’s main event tickets start at $35. Contact www.IMS.com for more information.

About Anne Proffit 1266 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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