INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will add to its luster as the Racing Capital of the World with the construction of a quarter-mile dirt track inside its famous oval, hosting a United States Auto Club Midget National Championship event during Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line race week in early September.
Race week for the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard powered by Florida Georgia Line will feature an even wider variety of thrilling action with the USAC P1 Insurance Midget National Championship competing in a two-night spectacular event, the Driven2SaveLives BC39, on Wednesday, Sept. 5 and Thursday, Sept. 6. The event honors late USAC champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 starter Bryan Clauson and increases awareness of Indiana Donor Network and Driven2SaveLives.
The Driven2SaveLives BC39 will include a unique format ending with a 39-lap feature Sept. 6 in the richest Midget racing event in recent history. The event will feature more than $70,000 in purse and incentives, including a $15,000 winner's purse - the largest in Midget racing.
"This is an exciting new chapter of the longtime relationship between USAC and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and reinforces the connection between short-track racing and this facility," IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. "The Speedway truly is The Greatest Race Course in the World, and adding a dirt track will create even more opportunities for fans to enjoy the magic of IMS. We can't wait to see some of the best drivers and teams in America compete here during Brickyard race week."
Construction of The Dirt Track at IMS, located inside Turn 3 of the oval, started last week with the first loads of Indiana clay arriving for grading. Concrete walls and safety fencing will be constructed during the summer, and portable lights will illuminate the track.
Reece O'Connor of Kokomo (Indiana) Speedway is overseeing the track design and layout and supervising the construction. Allegiant International, a multinational advisory and consultancy firm based in Indianapolis, is facilitating the project.
The United States Auto Club and IMS were synonymous for many years after the sanctioning body was formed in 1956 by IMS owner Tony Hulman. USAC was the sanctioning body for the Indianapolis 500 from 1956 through 1997.
"Over the years, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has played such a critical part not only in the formation but also the successful growth of the United States Auto Club," USAC President/CEO Kevin Miller said. "Our roots originated at IMS, and our passion continues to reside here. To have USAC return to hosting a race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a historic and exciting new chapter for our Midget series. We are beyond thrilled for both our competitors and fans to add this race to our 2018 calendar."
Ticket prices will range from $35-50 and go on sale in mid-July. Camping also will be available. Visit www.ims.com/bc39 for more information about this event and to learn when tickets become available.
Indiana Donor Network, which oversees and coordinates organ, tissue and eye donation across the state, launched Driven2SaveLives in April 2016 with Verizon IndyCar Series driver Stefan Wilson to promote donation and transplantation awareness around the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. At the time, the campaign honored Stefan's late brother, IndyCar race winner Justin Wilson, who died in August 2015 from injuries he sustained in a race crash and saved five lives as an organ donor.
Three-time USAC Midget and two-time USAC Sprint Car national champion Clauson, a versatile and beloved driver, died in August 2016 following a race accident. As a registered donor, he went on to save five lives as an organ donor and continues to heal the lives of countless others as a tissue donor. In January 2017, Indiana Donor Network partnered with Clauson-Marshall Racing and expanded Driven2SaveLives into dirt track racing in honor of Clauson.
-USAC Racing Press Release
-Photo credit: Indianapolis Motor Speedway