By Richie Murray
Indianapolis, Indiana (July 27, 2021)………The event remains three weeks away, but the 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 on August 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 (Dawsonville, Ga.) who will make his BC39 debut this year. The driver with the most laps led in this year’s Indianapolis 500, Conor Daly (Noblesville, Ind.), will make his third consecutive appearance in the BC39. NASCAR Rookie of the Year contender Chase Briscoe (Mitchell, Ind.), 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 (Broken Arrow, Okla.), plus four-time 2021 USAC National Sprint Car feature winner and 2018 BC39 third-place finisher Kevin Thomas Jr. (Cullman, Ala.).
USAC champions are in abundance with USAC career Triple Crown champion and 2018 ninth-place BC39 finisher Jerry Coons Jr. (Tucson, Ariz.) officially entered along with 1989 USAC National Midget champion Russ Gamester (Peru, Ind.) who is making his third consecutive appearance in the event.
Two-time 2021 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget feature winner Emerson Axsom (Franklin, Ind.) will get his first taste of BC39 experience this year. Shane Cottle (Kansas, Ill.) has won twice on the USAC Regional Midget trail in 2021 and seeks his first BC39 start since 2018 in August. Tyler Thomas (Collinsville, Okla.), the 2018 Jason Leffler Memorial winner in Wayne City, Ill., goes after his third BC39 feature start. Five-time USAC Western States Midget champion Ronnie Gardner (Corona, Calif.) shoots for his first career start and appearance at the BC39.
BC39 returnees include Randi Pankratz (Atascadero, CA), Riley Kreisel (Warsaw, Mo.), Frankie Guerrini (San Rafael, Calif.), Bryan Stanfill (Bakersfield, Calif.) and Tyler Nelson (Olathe, Kan.).
The group of first-time BC39 “Rookie” participants has in it Carson Kvapil (Mooresville, N.C., Kameron Gladish (Indianapolis, Ind.), Ben Varner (Harbor Springs, Mich.), Blake Brannon (Morgan Hill, Calif.), Rylan Gray (Greenfield, Ind.) and Scott Evans (Rhome, Texas).
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.
Driver registration is now officially open for the third running of the Driven2SaveLives BC39 powered by NOS Energy Drink on August 18-19 at The Dirt Track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Teams can file their entry for the event at https://www.thebc39.com/, where they may also purchase tickets, pit and parking passes for the two-night USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship event.
Spectator tickets can be purchased directly at https://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/events/usac/buy-tickets. Spectators are to enter the Indianapolis Motor Speedway via 30th Street.
Brady Bacon (2018) and Zeb Wise (2019) have captured victories in the first two editions of the BC39.
The BC39 officially gets underway on Tuesday, August 17, with team parking at Noon Eastern followed by the heat race position draft at the USAC office, located at 4910 W. 16th Street, adjacent from turn one of IMS oval at 5:30pm. 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.
On track action begins Wednesday, August 18, beginning with the drivers meeting in the IMS Media Room at 2pm Eastern. Public gates open at 3pm with cars hitting the track for practice at 4pm, followed by opening ceremonies at 7pm. Heat races and the incredibly exciting Stoops Pursuit feature race will conclude the night’s racing action.
The finale, on Thursday, August 19, will have the public gates opening at 3pm and cars on track for practice at 4pm, with qualifying races to follow at 5pm. Opening ceremonies are slated for 7:30pm and immediately followed by the main feature events, starting with multiple D-Mains and C-Mains, the semi-feature and the 39-lap main event.
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.
ENTRY LIST: 2021 DRIVEN2SAVELIVES BC39 POWERED BY NOS ENERGY DRINK
2MD CARSON KVAPIL/Mooresville, NC
4K KAMERON GLADISH/Indianapolis, IN
5 KEVIN THOMAS JR./Cullman, AL
5B CHASE BRISCOE/Mitchell, IN
8 RANDI PANKRATZ/Atascadero, CA
9 CHASE ELLIOTT/Dawsonville, GA
15 EMERSON AXSOM/Franklin, IN
19K RILEY KREISEL/Warsaw, MO
21H BRADY BACON/Broken Arrow, OK
25v BEN VARNER/Harbor Springs, MI
40 BLAKE BRANNON/Morgan Hill, CA
43 RONNIE GARDNER/Corona, CA
46 RUSS GAMESTER/Peru, IN
47D CONOR DALY/Noblesville, IN
63 FRANKIE GUERRINI/San Rafael, CA
75AU BRYAN STANFILL/Bakersfield, CA
81G RYLAN GRAY/Greenfield, IN
85 JERRY COONS JR./Tucson, AZ
86 SHANE COTTLE/Kansas, IL
88 TYLER NELSON/Olathe, KS
91T TYLER THOMAS/Collinsville, OK
116 SCOTT EVANS/Rhome, TX