History is in the making on December 12, 2015 when the green flag is waved for the first time signifying the start of the inaugural Bad Boy Indy Invitational. Adding to the glamor of the event, which will be held at the Bankers Life Field House in Indianapolis and aired live on Speed51 TV, is the stout entry list of drivers entered.
Being an invitation-only event, 42 drivers are currently on the entry list for the Midget event. The list includes racing stars that compete in various forms of motorsports including Sprint Cars, USAC Midgets, pavement Late Models and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Two of the names on the list that will be most familiar to racing fans are a pair of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have a history playing in the dirt. Kyle Larson and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. have both accepted their invite to compete in the inaugural $10,000-to-win race.
Larson, the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year, cut his racing teeth on dirt in the USAC ranks. His biggest win to date came in the 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora in 2011. Certainly, a win at the inaugural Indy Invitational would be another highlight on the young star’s resume.
Similar to Larson, Stenhouse also has an impressive resume on the dirt. He is a five-time USAC National Series winner and the 2007 USAC National Rookie of the Year. Stenhouse, a two-time NASCAR XFINITY Series champion, likes to play in the dirt during his free time and happily accepted his invite to race in Indy.
In addition to the NASCAR stars, many of the top dirt racers in the country will be in attendance including two-time USAC National champion Bryan Clauson. The 2014 Chili Bowl Nationals winner is a threat to win anytime he straps into a Dirt Midget, and that certainly won’t change at the inaugural Indy Invitational.
2015 USAC National champion Robert Ballou, a 13-time winner, is also on the entry list. He’ll be joined by fellow USAC stars Brady Bacon, Dave Darland and Kevin Thomas, Jr.
Leading the charge for the Dirt Late Model drivers will be 2015 UMP DIRTcar Late Model National Champion Bobby Pierce. Pierce, who garnered national attention earlier this year with a runner-up finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora (OH), will surely be a threat to win.
Representing Sprint Car racers will be 2013 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion and 57-time Outlaws winner Daryn Pittman. While Pittman doesn’t have the recent experience racing Midgets like some of those on the entry list, he is a veteran wheelman that knows his way to victory lane.
Pavement short track racing fans will also have a reason to watch the Indy Invitational as well. Kyle Busch Motorsports Late Model driver Christopher Bell, best known for his success racing in the USAC Midget ranks, has accepted his invitation to the event. Bell is coming off a rollercoaster weekend that saw him win the prestigious Snowball Derby before losing the race in post-race technical inspection.
He, like the rest of the 41 drivers on the entry list, will be hungry to pick up a once-in-a-lifetime win at the inaugural Indy Invitational.
The full entry list for the Indy Invitational can be seen by clicking here.
Those unable to make it to Indianapolis for the race can watch the race on Speed51 TV’s live broadcast. A live video ticket can be purchased today for $29.99 by clicking here.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Jon Lee/RacinBoys.com