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USAC Champions, NASCAR, INDYCAR Stars Among Early BC39 Entries

Entries for the Driven2SaveLives BC39 Powered by NOS Energy Drink are beginning to file in, with several major names officially announcing their intentions to compete in the two-night USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget event Aug. 18-19 at The Dirt Track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

A scan of the entries thus far reveals an eclectic mix of USAC’s major stars and notables from other racing disciplines who aim to take their shot at ascending to the BC39 throne.

The list includes 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott, who will make his BC39 debut this year. The driver with the most laps led in this year’s Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, Indiana native Conor Daly, will make his third consecutive appearance in the BC39. NASCAR Rookie of the Year contender and Indiana native Chase Briscoe, the winner of the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard on the 2.439-mile road course in 2020, aims to make his second-straight BC39 feature start.

They are joined by USAC’s three-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion and 2018 inaugural BC39 winner Brady Bacon, plus four-time 2021 USAC National Sprint Car feature winner and 2018 BC39 third-place finisher Kevin Thomas Jr.

USAC champions are in abundance with USAC career Triple Crown champion and 2018 ninth-place BC39 finisher Jerry Coons Jr. officially entered along with 1989 USAC National Midget champion Russ Gamester, who is making his third consecutive appearance in the event.

Two-time 2021 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget feature winner Emerson Axsom will get his first taste of BC39 experience this year. Shane Cottle has won twice on the USAC Regional Midget trail in 2021 and seeks his first BC39 start since 2018. Tyler Thomas, the 2018 Jason Leffler Memorial winner, goes after his third BC39 feature start. Five-time USAC Western States Midget champion Ronnie Gardner shoots for his first career start and appearance at the BC39.

BC39 returnees include Randi Pankratz, Riley Kreisel, Frankie Guerrini, Bryan Stanfill and Tyler Nelson.

The group of first-time BC39 participants includes Carson Kvapil, Kameron Gladish, Ben Varner, Blake Brannon, Rylan Gray and Scott Evans.

The event on the quarter-mile dirt oval inside Turn 3 at IMS will continue to honor late USAC champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 starter Bryan Clauson and increase awareness of and participation in the Indiana Donor Network and Driven2SaveLives.

Brady Bacon (2018) and Zeb Wise (2019) have captured victories in the first two editions of the BC39.

This year’s Driven2SaveLives BC39 Powered by NOS Energy Drink also will be the conclusion of nearly a week of exciting action on the road course and The Dirt Track at IMS. The NASCAR-INDYCAR tripleheader takes place Aug. 13-15, with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and NASCAR Xfinity Series conducting separate races Saturday, Aug. 14 and the NASCAR Cup Series racing on the IMS road course for the first time Sunday, Aug. 15.

Visit www.IMS.com for more information on tickets to all IMS events in 2021.

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