By Richie Murray
Speedway, Indiana (September 2, 2019)………Ninety, count ’em, 90 drivers are on the final entry list for the Driven2SaveLives BC39 powered by NOS Energy Drink on September 4-5 at The Dirt Track at IMS in Speedway, Ind.
The 90 entered drivers marks the third largest field for a USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship event in the past three decades, which includes 23 USAC National championships and 208 total USAC National Midget feature wins spread out among the 90 drivers, a stacked field from top-to-bottom who are gunning for the $15,000 prize awarded to the winner of the A-Main on Thursday, Sept. 5.
Among the 90 drivers entered are eight drivers who have extensive experience on the famed 2.5-mile oval surrounding the dirt track located in turn three of the infield.
Conor Daly (Noblesville, Ind.) and J.J. Yeley have each finished in the top-ten at the Indianapolis 500, Daly in this past May’s race and Yeley in 1998. Yeley has also made eight Brickyard 400 starts, with fellow Brickyard starters Kyle Larson (Elk Grove, Calif.) and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (Olive Branch, Miss.) ready to give the BC39 a go along with NASCAR Xfinity Series race veterans Chase Briscoe (Mitchell, Ind.), Christopher Bell (Norman, Okla.) and Chad Boat (Phoenix, Ariz.), who finished as the runner-up in the inaugural BC39 in 2018. Meanwhile, Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) made a start in this year’s Freedom 100 Indy Lights race on Carb Day at IMS.
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Brady Bacon is the reigning BC39 race winner from a year ago, leading the final nine laps to score the popular victory. Bacon is a two-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champ in 2014 and 2016 and one of 11 past USAC National champs in the BC39 lineup, in addition to Yeley (2001 & 2003 Silver Crown, 2002-03 Sprint and 2003 Midget), Bell (2013 Midget) and Windom (2016 Silver Crown & 2017 Sprint).
Tyler Courtney (Indianapolis, Ind.) is the defending USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car titlist, while Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) is the reigning USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget champ. Lincoln, Indiana’s Dave Darland (1997 Silver Crown, 1999 Sprint, 2001-02 Midget) and Tucson, Arizona’s Jerry Coons, Jr. (2008 Silver Crown, 2008 Sprint & 2006-07 Midget) are among the three USAC Triple Crown champs, along with Yeley, to have won all three USAC National championships throughout their career.
Lebanon, Indiana’s Spencer Bayston (2017), Minden, Nevada’s Tanner Thorson (2016) and Peru, Indiana’s Russ Gamester represent three more titles among eight previous USAC National Midget champions represented in the BC39 field.
Nearly one-third of the BC39 field has tallied a USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget feature victory in their career, 28 drivers to be exact, led by Darland (30), Bell (23), Coons (19), Yeley (17), Larson (16), Thorson (13), Gamester (12), Courtney (11), Boat (9), Bacon (7), Seavey (6), Bayston (5), Stenhouse (5), Cullman, Alabama’s Kevin Thomas, Jr. (5), Ione, California’s Justin Grant (4), Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania’s John Heydenreich (4), Auckland, New Zealand’s Michael Pickens (4), Pocahontas, Illinois’s Zach Daum (3), Noblesville, Indiana’s Billy Wease (3), Angola, Indiana’s Zeb Wise (3), Pittsboro, Indiana’s Critter Malone (2), Windom (2), and single-race winners Steve Buckwalter (Royersford, Pa.), Tanner Carrick (Lincoln, Calif.), Jason McDougal (Broken Arrow, Okla.), Cannon McIntosh (Bixby, Okla.) and Tyler Thomas (Collinsville, Okla.).
Meanwhile, current USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point leader C.J. Leary and recent Kokomo Speedway Sprint Car Smackdown prelim night winner Thomas Meseraull are seeking their first USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget points-paying victories. Meseraull has won a pair of non-points midget races in USAC competition, in 2004 at California’s Irwindale Speedway and again in 2018 at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin.
USAC Regional series champions are well-represented in the BC39 lineup, namely 2018 Eastern Midget titlist Alex Bright (Collegeville, Pa.), 2017 Gulf Coast Speed2 Midget champ Kyle Jones (Kennedale, Texas), 2017-18 Midwest Thunder Speed2 Midget champion Aaron Leffel (Springfield, Ohio) and 2009 Kenyon Midget champion Dillon Welch (Carmel, Ind.).
USAC’s Western States Midgets have brought a strong contingent, including current series point leader Robert Dalby (Anaheim, Calif.), a two-time winner with the series this year, along with 2012 overall series champion Shannon McQueen (Bakersfield, Calif.) and July Santa Maria winner Maria Cofer (Macdoel, Calif.), two of the five female drivers in this year’s BC39 field. David Prickett was the 2012 Western States Midget Dirt champ while Cody Swanson (Norco, Calif.) is a two-time winner with the series.
Jake Neuman (New Berlin, Ill.) established the 10-lap track record at The Dirt Track at IMS a year ago at 2:06.99. Andrew Layser (Collegeville, Pa.) leads all Rookie drivers in the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget point standings.
Brady Bacon captured the inaugural BC39 victory one year ago after starting 7th. He was followed in the top-ten by Chad Boat, Kevin Thomas, Jr., Tyler Courtney, Christopher Bell, Alex Bright, Justin Grant, Holly Shelton, Jerry Coons, Jr. and Ryan Robinson. Rounding out the balance of the field were Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Chris Windom, Logan Seavey, Zeb Wise, Shane Cottle, Jason McDougal, Maria Cofer, Terry Babb, Brayton Lynch, David Budres, Brian Karraker, Tyler Thomas, Tucker Klaasmeyer, Jake Neuman, Dillon Welch and Dave Darland.
Kevin Thomas, Jr. led the first 30 laps of the event and Bacon the final nine. Zeb Wise captured the 2018 Stoops Pursuit race on the opening night of the BC39.
On track action begins Wednesday, Sept. 4, beginning with the drivers meeting in the IMS Media Room at 2pm. Public gates open at 3pm with cars hitting the track for practice at 5pm, followed by opening ceremonies at 6:30pm. Heat races and the Stoops Pursuit race will conclude the night’s racing action.
The finale, on Thursday, Sept. 5, will have the public gates opening at 3pm and cars on track for practice at 4:30pm, with qualifying races to follow at 5:30pm. Opening ceremonies are slated for 7pm and immediately followed by the main feature events, starting with multiple D-Mains, C-Main, the semi-feature and the 39-lap main event.
Spectator tickets and any competitors still looking to buy seats in the competitor section can purchase through www.ims.com/usac.
The BC39 officially gets underway on Tuesday, Sept. 3 with team parking at noon. From 4-6pm, catch five USAC icons at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum’s USAC Stars: From the Dirt Track to the Brickyard series. The event will feature legends Don and Mel Kenyon, and current drivers Michael Pickens, Chris Windom and Chad Boat. Pat Sullivan, longtime USAC public address announcer, historian, and author, will emcee this evening of entertaining banter and thrilling stories.
Tickets are available to Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum members for $15 and non-members for $20. Limited seating. Tickets must be purchased in advance. For more information or to buy tickets, contact Kelly Hartman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following the event, make your way to USAC headquarters, just across the street from the IMS Administration office at 4910 W. 16th Street, for the BC39 Draft Party from 5:30pm to 8:30pm Eastern where drivers will draw for their heat race positions. All cars entered will be randomized into a draft order for the heat race draft. Teams will be able to pick their heat race spot, either in person with a representative, or remotely through USAC officials. Any unrepresented team will be given the first available spot. The heat race position draft is open to the public with team members getting priority into the new USAC worldwide headquarters. Food and beverages will be available.
BC39 ENTRY LIST (90 Drivers)
00 LUKE HOWARD/Overland Park, KS (Jay Mounce)
08 CANNON McINTOSH/Bixby, OK (Dave Mac Motorsports)
1 KARSYN ELLEDGE/Mooresville, NC (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)
1BR CHASE JONES/Greenwood, IN (SFH Racing Development)
1K BRAYTON LYNCH/Springfield, IL (Rusty Kunz Racing)
1NZ MICHAEL PICKENS/Auckland, NZ (RMS LLC)
1ST ALEX BRIGHT/Collegeville, PA (Daryl Saucier)
2 RYAN HALL/Midlothian, TX (Mark Bush)
2J J.J. YELEY/Phoenix, AZ (Jeff Taylor)
2x MATT LINDER/Hoschton, GA (Mark Bush)
3 RICH DRANGMEISTER/Hobart, IN (Rich Drangmeister)
3N JAKE NEUMAN/New Berlin, IL (Jim Neuman)
4A JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA (RAMS Racing)
4D ROBERT DALBY/Anaheim, CA (Ken Dalby)
5 KEVIN THOMAS, JR./Cullman, AL (Petry Motorsports)
5B CHASE BRISCOE/Mitchell, IN (Chase Briscoe Racing)
5D ZACH DAUM/Pocahontas, IL (Daum Motorsports)
7 CRITTER MALONE/Pittsboro, IN (Seven LLC)
7BC TYLER COURTNEY/Indianapolis, IN (Clauson/Marshall Racing)
7s JON STEED/Rushville, IN (Steed Motorsports)
7u KYLE JONES/Kennedale, TX (Trifecta Motorsports)
7x THOMAS MESERAULL/San Jose, CA (RMS LLC)
8 RANDI PANKRATZ/Atascadero, CA (Wally Pankratz)
9 CHRIS BAUE/Indianapolis, IN (Chris Baue)
9B CLINTON BOYLES/Greenwood, MO (Jay Mounce)
9H EMILIO HOOVER/Broken Arrow, OK (James Hoover)
10 LANCE BENNETT/Aurora, CO (Olivia Bennett)
10A MICHAEL KLEIN/Elsmere, KY (Mike Wallace)
11L AARON LEFFEL/Springfield, OH (Chuck Taylor)
11m KENDALL RUBLE/Vincennes, IN (Martin Motorsports)
11T TOMMY KOUNS/Lebanon, IN (Chuck Taylor)
12 BILLY WEASE/Noblesville, IN (Amanda Wease)
15 DAVE DARLAND/Lincoln, IN (Petry Motorsports)
15DJ DAVID PRICKETT/Fresno, CA (Neverlift Motorsports)
15J JEFF WIMMENAUER/Indianapolis, IN (Jeff Wimmenauer)
15s SHANNON McQUEEN/Bakersfield, CA (Broc Garrett)
15x CARSON GARRETT/Littleton, CO (Broc Garrett)
17 RICKY STENHOUSE, JR./Olive Branch, MS (Clauson/Marshall Racing)
17BC CHRIS WINDOM/Canton, IL (Clauson/Marshall Racing)
19 SPENCER BAYSTON/Lebanon, IN (Brodie Hayward)
19m ETHAN MITCHELL/Mooresville, NC (Bundy Built Motorsports)
20 CODY WEISENSEL/Sun Prairie, WI (Kevin Weisensel)
21 CHRISTOPHER BELL/Norman, OK (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)
21D JUSTIN DICKERSON/Pittsboro, IN (Mike Dickerson)
21F JONATHAN BEASON/Broken Arrow, OK (Team Ripper)
21KS C.J. LEARY/Greenfield, IN (Team Ripper)
21m MARIA COFER/Macdoel, CA (Team Ripper)
22 JOHN HEYDENREICH/Bloomsburg, PA (John Givens)
23m DAVID BUDRES/Beloit, WI (Manic Racing)
25 JERRY COONS, JR./Tucson, AZ (Petry Motorsports)
25B STEVE BUCKWALTER/Royersford, PA (Steve Buckwalter)
27 TUCKER KLAASMEYER/Paola, KS (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)
28 ACE McCARTHY/Tahlequah, OK (Jim Neuman)
31 TRAVIS BERRYHILL/American Canyon, CA (Manic Racing)
32J CHRIS JAGGER, JR./Warsaw, IN (Chris Jagger, Jr.)
35 CONOR DALY/Noblesville, IN (Petry Motorsports)
39BC ZEB WISE/Angola, IN (Clauson/Marshall Racing)
41 OLIVER AKARD/Ft. Myers, FL (Dan Akard)
43 BRENT BEAUCHAMP/Avon, IN (Kevin Arnold)
46 RUSS GAMESTER/Peru, IN (Gamester Racing)
47BC ANDREW LAYSER/Collegeville, PA (Clauson/Marshall Racing)
50 TONY DiMATTIA/Malvern, PA (Tony DiMattia Motorsports)
54 MATT WESTFALL/Pleasant Hill, OH (Steve Bordner)
54m RAY SEACH/Beloit, WI (Manic Racing)
55 NICK DRAKE/Mooresville, NC (Troy Cline)
56AP COLTEN COTTLE/Kansas, IL (Travis Young)
56x MARK CHISHOLM/Cheyenne, WY (Mark Chisholm)
57D DANIEL ROBINSON/Ewing, IL (McCreery Motorsports)
57K KEVIN STUDLEY/Plainfield, IN (Kevin Studley)
61 TREY OSBORNE/Columbus, OH (Mel Kenyon)
67 LOGAN SEAVEY/Sutter, CA (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)
67F KYLE O’GARA/Beech Grove, IN (SFH Racing Development)
67K HOLLEY HOLLAN/Broken Arrow, OK (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)
71 JESSE COLWELL/Red Bluff, CA (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)
71B ROBERT BELL/Colfax, IA (Robert Bell)
71K TANNER CARRICK/Lincoln, CA (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)
71s CODY SWANSON/Norco, CA (Marcie Campbell)
72 SAM JOHNSON/St. Peters, MO (Joe Johnson)
76 KEN DRANGMEISTER/Hobart, IN (Ken Drangmeister)
76E BRADY BACON/Broken Arrow, OK (FMR Racing)
76m JASON McDOUGAL/Broken Arrow, OK (FMR Racing)
77B BLAZE BENNETT/Parker, CO (Olivia Bennett)
81 DILLON WELCH/Carmel, IN (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)
84 CHAD BOAT/Phoenix, AZ (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)
85 GIO SCELZI/Fresno, CA (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)
88 TYLER NELSON/Olathe, KS (Tyler Nelson)
91T TYLER THOMAS/Collinsville, OK (Brian Thomas)
97 KYLE LARSON/Elk Grove, CA (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)
97A AUSTIN O’DELL/Rochester, IL (Patrick O’Dell)
TBA TANNER THORSON/Minden, NV (TBA)