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Justin Grant
Grant Rules Feature; Daum Goes Low To Win Stoops Pursuit

Justin Grant led the last 11 laps to capture the 30-lap feature Friday during the second night of the Driven2SaveLives BC39 at The Dirt Track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, keeping RMS Racing unbeaten in the two preliminary feature events.

Grant’s teammate, Thomas Meseraull, won the 30-lap preliminary feature Thursday night in the split-field format for the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship drivers and teams.

Grant, from Ione, California, powered to a 2.947-second victory over runner-up Cannon McIntosh to earn $5,000. Emerson Axsom finished a close third to earn a guaranteed starting spot in the 39-lap feature Saturday night along with Grant and McIntosh.

“We’re here racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in front of all you great fans, and I’m not going to phone it in and come third if we can help it,” Grant said. “Our RMS race cars are fast. I feel like it could be a slugfest between me and Thomas tomorrow. Neither one of us are very good at playing nice guy.

“Should be entertaining, should be exciting tomorrow.”

The 39-lap BC39 feature is scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m. ET Saturday on the quarter-mile dirt oval inside Turn 3 of the IMS oval. Twenty-four cars will take the green flag for a winner’s purse of $20,039.

Public gates open at 4 p.m., with access permitted through IMS’ 30th Street entrance. Hot laps begin at 6 p.m. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 7 p.m., followed by qualifying races. Tickets and paddock passes are available at

In the Friday night feature, Axsom took the lead from pole sitter McIntosh on Lap 3. Meanwhile, Grant, who started fifth after winning his qualifier and heat race earlier in the evening, bumped past McIntosh for second with 14 laps to go and set sail for Axsom.

With 11 laps to go, Grant slid past Axsom for the lead and never relinquished it despite a restart with seven laps to go. Grant now has a victory in all three USAC National series this season – Silver Crown, Sprint Car and Midget.

Low Rider Daum Powers to Pursuit Victory

Zach Daum never wavered from his preferred low line and drove to victory in the Stoops Pursuit race that closed the evening’s on-track action.

Daum, from Pocohontas, Illinois, earned $2,400 for the victory in the 25-lap race featuring a unique format. Ethan Mitchell finished second, .848 of a second behind. McIntosh placed third.

“That wasn’t a 25-lap setup there,” Daum said. “But it was a good five-lap run before they could get momentum. So, I kind of figured that’s how it was going to play out. So, I went for it, and it worked out.”

The Stoops Pursuit race was comprised of 25 laps split into five-lap segments, with the starting lineup inverted based on each driver’s hot lap times during Thursday and Friday’s programs. Any car involved in a caution was eliminated. Every five laps, a competition yellow flag was displayed, and cars with a net loss in position exited the track.

Daum started sixth in the No. 7p car fielded by RAMCO Speed Group and climbed to third by the end of the second five-lap segment. He was one of the few drivers to stay glued to the inside of the track while other cars rode the high line “cushion,” including Mitchell.

Mitchell and Daum were first and second after the end of the third and fourth segments, setting up a fascinating contrast of styles and car placement for the final five-lap sprint to the checkered.

“I didn’t really feel any pressure in the middle part of the race when I was just kind of sizing up Ethan there,” Daum said. “The last five laps I decided, ‘Just don’t screw up, hit the bottom, slow your entry down, and you can gas on exit.’ We were able to do that.”

With four laps to go, Mitchell lost momentum after brushing the wall, letting Daum pull even at the flag stand and start to drive away with three laps remaining.

“Once you get the lead that early in a format like this, it’s tough to stay out front and fend guys off,” Mitchell said. “Unfortunately, we came back second place, but that’s what Zach does. He rolls the bottom solid, and all it takes is one mistake on my part.”

Seventy-two cars are participating this week at IMS, making the Driven2SaveLives BC39 the largest USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship field of the year. The event, which is being held for the fifth time, honors USAC champion and three-time Indianapolis 500 starter Bryan Clauson while increasing awareness of and participation in the Indiana Donor Network and Drive2SaveLives.

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