Speedway News (8128)
Keep up on racing and speedway news from around the US
Kyle Nelson has been promoted to Director of Events at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Executive Vice President and General Manager Brandon Hutchison announced today.
"Since he joined the Speedway, Kyle has been integral in the success of all our events," said Hutchison. "He has a knack for thinking outside the box to elevate the experience of everyone who visits Atlanta Motor Speedway from vendors to clients to fans and attendees."
Nelson began his career with the Speedway in 2015 as an Event Coordinator after he graduated from Texas A&M with a BS in Sport Management. He was promoted to Event Logistics Manager at AMS in 2016.
"I'm thrilled for this opportunity," said Nelson. "I'm looking forward to working with all of our events and track rentals to continue to provide them with the best possible experience for all fans and attendees."
As the Director of Events, Nelson will coordinate and oversee all facility rentals and will manage the Speedway's short track racing programs. He is also charged with various fan entertainment and track service initiatives for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. Nelson will also work with the operations department on upgrading and modernizing the facility and identifying areas of improvement.
Atlanta Motor Speedway’s next major event is the Feb. 22-24, Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR Race Weekend. The Weekend features Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying on Friday, Feb. 22, the NASCAR XFINITY Series Rinnai 250 and NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series 200-mile race doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 23, and culminates with the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 24.
Tickets for the 2019 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 can be purchased by contacting Atlanta Motor Speedway at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or by visiting www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.
Texas Motor Speedway’s (TMS) track president Eddie Gossage announced Wednesday that the Stadium Super Trucks would return to the Fort Worth, Texas speedway’s schedule. However, the trip’s date would change.
Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks Series (SST) will join the NASCAR tripleheader in March on the 1.5-miler that includes Monster Energy Cup, Xfinity and Gander Outdoors Truck races. The first SST race of the O’Reilly 500 is on Saturday, March 30th after the NASCAR Xfinity Series event. On Sunday, March 31st action will be packed for fans at the Great American Speedway, with a SST race before the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, and a second race following the 500-miler.
The SST have visited the Speedway since 2017, but visited during the INDYCAR weekend in June, which also hosts a NASCAR Truck event. “The past two years we have been at the track with IndyCar and now to have the organizers believe that we can add real value to the NASCAR weekend I'm extremely excited about it. Most of all, I'm extremely confident that the NASCAR fans will love what we bring to motorsport.” said founder, owner and competitor, Robby Gordon about the exciting news
The course is run on the frontstretch of the 1.5-oval, and turns into the infield using the south infield road course which runs across the paddock and pit lane. The course features several jumps, some of which go over other parts of the circuit.
Black Friday is Back! Racing Electronics is offering fans 25 percent off plus FREE shipping on scanners, headsets, rentals and more, which is great for Talladega Superspeedway fans who want inside access to their favorite race teams and drivers during its spring tripleheader weekend, April 26-28, 2019, featuring the GEICO 500.
Once fans visit the Racing Electronics website to purchase their merchandise, they must enter code TRACK2018 at checkout to receive their discount (valid online only). Offer may not be combined with other discounts, excludes Motorola and AfterShokz products and FREE shipping only in Continental USA. Offer expires Dec. 17 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
With the Racing Electronics scanners and headsets, fans will hear the uncensored chatter from the driver in the cockpit to the crew chief from the pit box and spotter high above the track while taking in the incredible three- and four-wide racing action at the historic 2.66-mile venue.
Talladega Superspeedway will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2019, as well as the $50 million Transformation Infield Project. An Oversized Vehicle Tunnel that will be open 24 hours is slated for completion during the spring weekend, as well as the 67-spot Finish Line Premium RV area and new Infield Shower Trailers. Ticket information for all Talladega Superspeedway events is available online at www.talladegasuperspeedway.
Richmond Raceway (Richmond) and AEG Presents announce The Avett Brothers, one of the top folk-rock acts in the country, will bring their iconic sound to Virginia Credit Union LIVE! at Richmond Raceway on Sunday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. This will be the band’s first performance at Virginia Credit Union LIVE! since July 25, 2013.
Tickets will go on sale to the public online at vaculive.com or in-person at The National Box Office at 708 East Broad Street in Richmond, Va. on Friday, Dec. 14 at 10 a.m. Virginia Credit Union and RICHMOND NATION members will receive an exclusive pre-sale for The Avett Brothers concert on Thursday, Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
In 2018, The Avett Brothers’ “True Sadness” achieved the band’s highest career debut to date as it dominated multiple music charts. The Rick Rubin produced album hit #1 on Billboard’s Top Albums Chart, #1 Top Rock Albums Chart, #1 Digital Albums Chart, #3 on the Billboard Top 200 and scored two Grammy nominations. The band also premiered “May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers,” a documentary co-directed by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio, on HBO. Days after the premier, “True Sadness” launched to #3 on the iTunes Album Chart and #1 on the Rock Albums chart.
The Avett Brothers debuted a new song, “Roses and Sacrifice,” live on Late Night with Seth Meyers in October. The song was released in November, with Rolling Stone calling it a “joyous sing-along.” In the same month, the band headlined the Concert for Hurricane Florence Relief in Greenville, North Carolina, raising $325,000 to help those affected by Hurricane Florence.
Their eighth studio album, “Magpie and the Dandelion,” debuted at #5 on the Billboard Top 200 in 2013. They performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman, and accompanied Chris Cornell for a Pearl Jam tribute on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The band even supported The Rolling Stones in Raleigh during 2015's Zip Code Tour. The Avett Brothers were inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2016.
In 2012, The Avett Brothers album “The Carpenter” hit #4 on the Billboard Top 200. The album was lauded by the industry including People, USA Today, and American Songwriter. The group appeared on Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! twice in a few months' time. During their second performance, the Brooklyn Philharmonic joined to pay homage to Brooklyn with "I and Love and You" at Kimmel's request.
The Avett Brothers made mainstream waves with their 2009 major label debut, “I and Love and You”, landing at #16 on the Billboard Top 200 and garnering critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, Paste, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Time.
The Commonwealth Mall at Virginia Credit Union LIVE! will feature concessions, displays, and merchandise on the day of the event, with gates opening at 6:30 p.m. Parking for the event is located in Lot D, at the corner of Laburnum and Carolina Avenues, and can be accessed through Gate 4 on Laburnum Avenue. Parking is $10 cash only for the public and free for Virginia Credit Union members with lots opening at 5:30 p.m.
Virginia Credit Union LIVE! continues to bring top musical acts and superior concert experiences to music fans in the Richmond region. The venue has hosted top national recording artists such as Aerosmith, Sting, Jimmy Buffett, Dave Matthews Band, Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, and Florida Georgia Line.
In addition to its 6,000 covered seats, the venue hosts six permanent private dressing rooms with restrooms and showers attached to the stage as well as two loading docks. There is a separate hospitality building providing a full menu of food and beverage amenities. The backstage area is completely secured with ample room for parking large vehicles and tour buses.
To purchase tickets and learn more about Virginia Credit Union LIVE!, visit vaculive.com or connect on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. To learn more about The Avett Brothers, visit theavettbrothers.com.
Richmond Raceway PR
The major event schedule will begin in March for the first time since 2006. The Intercontinental GT Challenge California 8 Hours returns for the third consecutive season to kick-off the year on March 29-31. Previously hosted in October, the event will be the second of the GT3 endurance racing series’ five races on five different continents.
The month of May springs into racing action May 3-5 with addition of the Trans Am Speed Festival taking hold of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Contemporary car racing will take center stage by showcasing the motoring muscle of the popular Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli, which is filled with Camaros, Challengers, Mustangs and more. The Trans Am Series was formed in 1966 as a manufacturers championship for modern sedans and returns to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca after a 15-year absence.
The Trans Am Series was held in Monterey in 1969-1972, 1978-1982, 2000-2001 and 2004. Event winners during that span include greats such as Mark Donohue, Parnelli Jones, Peter Gregg, John Morton, Elliott Forbes-Robinson and George Follmer. Complementing the weekend professional Trans Am race will be vintage and historic racers of Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA).
One week later, Ferrari Challenge North America’s Ferrari Racing Days and exclusive Corse Clienti Formula 1 cars descend on Monterey May 9-12. The single-marque series sparks the enthusiasm of Prancing Horse fans and owners alike. Competition among Ferrari 488s in 2018 ranged from professional drivers to notable amateurs such as Hollywood actor Michael Fassbender. The Corse Clienti Formula 1 program enables a small group of people to purchase F1 cars and use them to the fullest with tutelage from Scuderia Corsa drivers.
Motorcycle fans will be greeted to a full sensory experience July 12-14 when the MotoAmerica racing series blasts into town for three days of world-class motorcycle racing for the Monterey Motorcycle Festival featuring MotoAmerica. There will be racing legends, celebrities, vintage racing and heritage GP racing motorcycle exhibitions, classic motorcycle auction and engaging family events among the planned activities. Returning for its fifth consecutive year at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, MotoAmerica carries on the AMA Superbike tradition while fielding its full slate of five highly-competitive classes. MotoAmerica takes the sole spotlight, as the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship series will not be racing in North America in 2019, but is anticipated to return to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in 2020.
The prestigious Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, a cornerstone of Monterey Classic Car Week, returns on its traditional date on the third week of August. The Monterey Pre-Reunion kicks things off with more than 300 historic race cars taking to the race track on August 10 and 11. The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion on August 15-18 will feature 550 cars selected for their history and race provenance. The 50th anniversary of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) will be celebrated as featured marque throughout the four-day event with legendary cars and drivers from the series’ illustrious past, present and future.
“Monterey Speed Week” with IMSA and INDYCAR
In September, “Monterey Speed Week” will bring America’s premier sports car racing series and America’s premier open-wheel racing series to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in back-to-back weekends with special events taking place in between. First up will be the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returning for its penultimate race of the season on September 13-15. The technologically-advanced prototype and GT cars will do battle with championships on the line in an always thrilling race. The new, seven-race WeatherTech Sprint Cup series will hold its deciding race of the 2019 season in Monterey.
Indy cars return to Monterey for the first time in 15 years with the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Monterey on September 20-22 for what will be the crown jewel event in the 2019 race schedule. The champion will be crowned during the season ending event that brings INDYCAR back to its spiritual road racing home. Memories such as Alex Zanardi passing Bryan Herta during the last lap on the Corkscrew in 1996, Mario Andretti’s emotional retirement in 1994 and Bobby Rahal’s remarkable four consecutive wins will be rekindled while five-time champion Scott Dixon and a grid full of talented drivers bring incredible racing to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Tickets for the INDYCAR Monterey Grand Prix are currently on sale at www.WeatherTechRaceway.com or by calling 831-242-8200. The on sale dates for all other events will be announced in the coming weeks.
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 2019 Schedule
Intercontinental GT Challenge California 8 Hours March 29-31
Trans Am Speed Festival May 3-5
Ferrari Racing Days & Corse Clienti F1 May 9-12
Monterey Motorcycle Festival featuring MotoAmerica July 12-14
Monterey Pre-Reunion Races August 10-11
Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion August 15-18
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship September 13-15
INDYCAR Grand Prix of Monterey September 20-22
Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway’s charitable entity, Racing Advocates for Community Enrichment (R.A.C.E.), donated $52,809 in grants to 31 deserving Chicagoland community organizations in 2018 at today’s seventh annual luncheon to honor those organizations.
In addition to the gifts mentioned above, $148,532 distributed by Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway through contributions to 23 local service groups for their work during the NHRA and NASCAR event weekends. Beyond that, Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway’s food and beverage partner, Levy Restaurants, contributed another $97,923 as it staffed its concession locations with yet another collection of charitable groups. In the end, the four entities provided a total of $299,264 in donations to deserving organizations within the region in 2018.
“It is incredibly humbling to reflect upon the impact Chicagoland Speedway, Route 66 Raceway, R.A.C.E. and Levy Restaurants has had in the local community through R.A.C.E.,” said Scott Paddock, president of Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway. “Since R.A.C.E.’s inception in 2012, we have collectively presented $2.1 million to deserving charitable organizations, athletic teams and clubs.”
R.A.C.E. developed integral partnerships with a multitude of organizations which activated during major event weekends, including the NASCAR Stars and Stripes Weekend, the Route 66 NHRA Nationals and the D’Arcy Buick GMC Route 66 Classic.
The following 21 organizations were awarded grants Thursday and photos from the event can be found here:
- The Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery Memorial Squad is a group of men and women who provide military honors for veterans buried at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery. The grant awarded for $1,000 will aid in the continuation of honoring our veterans.
- The Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery Support Committee is a registered nonprofit organization founded by military veterans, family members and interested citizens to provide support for the maintenance, improvement and continued development of the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery. The grant awarded for $1,000 will assist with maintenance of this regional landmark.
- Cheers to the Warriors is a nonprofit organization that does business as Warrior Vodka. Eighty percent of all Warrior Vodka sales made through an alcohol distribution company is deposited into a Cheers to the Warriors bank account with the only checks written out of that account going directly to combat injured veterans.
- Easterseals was selected by former Joliet Police Chief Brian Benton to benefit from his participation in the D’Arcy Buick GMC Route 66 Classic Grudge Matches. Easterseals received $1,000 to help children and adults with disabilities and special needs find the highest-quality services designed to meet their individual needs.
- GHQ Military Preservation Group provides a way to preserve United States of America military history and heritage. The group is challenged to offer all Americans, young and old, the opportunity to view, experience and learn about the nation’s military services during peace time, war or conflict around the world. GHQ wants all of America to understand, appreciate, and respect all that have served our country and protected our freedom. One thousand dollars was presented to the organization for this purpose.
- Grundy County Community Foundation was selected by Grundy County Executive Chris Balkema to benefit from his participation in the D’Arcy Buick GMC Route 66 Classic Grudge Matches. The Community Foundation of Grundy County was presented with $2,000 to bridge people who care with causes that matter by facilitating grants, providing unique donor services and convening the community around issues of concern to develop plans of action.
- Grundy-Three Rivers Habitat for Humanity is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities and hope. Grundy-Three Rivers Habitat for Humanity was awarded $2,000 as a result of Grundy County States Attorney Jason Helland’s participation in the D’Arcy Buick GMC Route 66 Classic Grudge Matches to assist in the elimination of substandard housing locally.
- The Illinois Patriot Guard Riders is a 100% volunteer, federally registered non-profit organization which ensures dignity and respect at memorial services honoring fallen military heroes, first responders and honorably discharged veterans. The Illinois Patriot Guard Riders received $1,000.
- Miracle League of Joliet was selected by the Mayor of Joliet, Bob O’Dekirk, to benefit from his participation in the D’Arcy Buick GMC Route 66 Classic Grudge Matches. The Miracle League of Joliet was presented with $2,000 to provide children and young adults with disabilities the opportunity to play and participate in the game of baseball.
- Morris Police Benevolent Society was selected by Morris Police Chief John Severson to benefit from his participation in the Route 66 Classic. The Morris Police Benevolent Society received $2,000 to assist the community through charitable donations, special events and award a $500 scholarship to a Morris Community High School student each year.
- Mulligan’s Battery L is formally known as the First Regiment, Illinois Light Artillery which was an artillery battery that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Mulligan’s Battery received $1,000 to continue traveling with a Civil War-era museum to educate the public on that specific war.
- Muscular Dystrophy Association was selected by Joliet Fire Deputy Chief Greg Blaskey to benefit from his participation in the Route 66 Classic. MDA received $1,000 to send children with neuromuscular disease to MDA’s summer camp where they can discover a world created specifically for them, and meet many other kids sharing the same needs and experiences.
- Operation Care Package is a volunteer-based public charity located in Manhattan, Illinois, dedicated to their mission that no Hero serving the nation should be forgotten. Operation Care Package received $1,000 to support our soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen through care packages and letters of encouragement.
- Pits for Patriots was the recipient of the Miss Classic Queen of Hearts competition. The ladies who competed in the Miss Classic Pin Up Contest were challenged to solicit donations during the Route 66 Classic event with the contestant that earned the most crowned as the Queen of Hearts. Pits for Patriots rescues and trains pit bulls to act as service dogs for veterans and first responders with physical and emotional needs at no cost to the recipient.
- Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana is the sole beneficiary of the Chicago Brushmasters charity art auction. The Brushmasters is composed of over forty of the Midwest's top custom painters. These artisans attended the Route 66 Classic and held several auctions which generated $1,860 for Ronald McDonald House Charities. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana cares for families of children with complex medical needs by providing comfort, compassion and a sense of community.
- Senior Services Center of Will County provides a number of services including, but not limited to: coordination care, caregiving, safe at home, support programs, senior express and tax preparation services for individuals 60 years of age and older. Illinois State Representative Larry Walsh Jr. selected Services Center of Will County to benefit from his participation in the Route 66 Classic and thus the organization received a $1,000 grant.
- Team Make A Difference was selected by Morris Fire Chief Tracey Steffes to benefit from his participation in the Route 66 Classic. Team Make a Difference was presented with $2,000 to grant someone in need in their community with a place of serenity to rest comfortably, heal and restore hope.
- United Way of Will County was selected by Will County Executive Larry Walsh to benefit from his participation in the Route 66 Classic. United Way received $1,000 to help unite communities and resources by empowering people and creating positive, sustainable change.
- The Veterans Garage is a group of veterans and patriots who are proudly dedicated to the restoration, preservation, maintenance and display of Historic Military Vehicles and Equipment. Veterans Garage received $1,000 to continue honoring the men and women of the armed services by providing their vehicles at veteran-related events such as parades, welcome home escorts, dedications and more.
- Will County Children's Advocacy Center was selected by the Mayor of Channahon, Missy Moorman Schumacher, to benefit from her participation in the Route 66 Classic. The Advocacy Center also partnered with Chicagoland Speedway for their Men Who Cook fundraiser and thus received $1,541 to provide services to young victims of sexual and physical abuse.
- Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, Wreaths Across America remembers, honors and teaches by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as at more than 1,400 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad including the local Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery. One thousand dollars was provided to Wreaths Across America honor an American hero with a hand-crafted all-American balsam, hand-tied with a red velvet bow at Christmas.
- Lastly, the Dominican University Softball Team and the Lewis University Softball Team were recognized for their outstanding efforts in staffing and executing 50/50 raffles at Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway events.
R.A.C.E. is a donor advised fund of The NASCAR Foundation, a 501c3 charitable entity. With a focus on youth, safe driving and the military, R.A.C.E. raised funds over the course of the year through community events, raffles and auctions. The three principles guided the seven-member R.A.C.E. Advisory Committee, which was responsible for evaluating grant applications throughout the year.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway will take place in June as part of the four-race weekend June 27 – June 30. The weekend will kick off on Thursday, June 27 with the ARCA Racing Series followed by NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series 225 under the lights on Friday night. On Saturday, the NASCAR Xfinity Series Overton’s 300 will hit the track as the precursor to Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Overton’s 400 showdown.
The Atlanta chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities distributed $94,261 in grants to 35 metro Atlanta non-profit organizations during a ceremony at Atlanta Motor Speedway Thursday. The grants have been made possible thanks to individual donations collected at various events throughout the year.
“Contributing to local organizations that provide substantial and lasting assistance to children in need is a point of pride for us,” SCC Atlanta Board of Directors Chairman Trea Pipkin said. “We would like to thank our dedicated supporters, corporate partners, and volunteers whose efforts throughout the year have made these contributions possible.”
Since its founding in 1994, Speedway Children’s Charities Atlanta has granted more than $4 million to local children’s causes in metro Atlanta.
With local chapters at each of Speedway Motorsports, Inc.'s eight premier NASCAR facilities, Speedway Children's Charities raises grant money through local fundraisers including golf tournaments, track events, barbeque cook-offs, auctions for unique race experiences like driver ride-alongs, nightly event promotions, and much more.
Each chapter provides grants to programs which specifically help children in their respective region. Chapter support comes from providing winter coats and backpack meals to low-income families as well as facilitating clubs that provide healthy after-school activities and aiding hospital cancer research.
For more information on Speedway Children's Charities or to learn how to volunteer or make a donation to your local chapter, visit www.speedwaycharities.org.
The Driven2SaveLives BC39 powered by NOS Energy Drink, which debuted in September 2018 as an overwhelming success with drivers, teams and fans, will return for its second running Wednesday, Sept. 4 and Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019 at The Dirt Track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The United States Auto Club (USAC) National Midget Championship event once again will kick off race weekend at IMS for the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line, creating five consecutive days of action at the Racing Capital of the World.
Ticket reorders and new applications are being accepted through Jan. 4, 2019 at IMS.com and through the IMS Ticket Office. The inaugural event featured a capacity crowd despite rainy conditions, so fans should act quickly to reorder or apply for seats. Tickets will go on sale to the general public in early 2019.
The event 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.
"The Driven2SaveLives BC39 powered by NOS Energy Drink was a spectacular event for everyone involved, putting talented short-track racers and teams from across America into a richly deserved spotlight," IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. "There were memories made for a lifetime both nights, and everyone at IMS is so happy to see this event return in 2019 as part of Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard weekend.
"We're especially grateful that the BC39 raised so much awareness for the Driven2SaveLives campaign and honored the memory of Bryan Clauson, an extraordinary race driver who was an even better person. We will continue to work hard to ensure this event carries on the incredible legacy of BC through the Indiana Donor Network."
Two-time USAC National Champion Brady Bacon won the 39-lap feature race Thursday night, Sept. 6 to earn the richest purse in recent Midget racing history. The thrilling race before a packed house came after track crews worked tirelessly to prepare the quarter-mile clay oval track after heavy afternoon rain.
The inaugural event opened Sept. 5 with a dazzling victory by 15-year-old Indiana native Zeb Wise, a protégé of Clauson, under the lights in the Stoops Pursuit race.
Dirt and asphalt racers from around the country competed in the inaugural event at IMS, with an all-time record entry of 118 Midget cars. Competitors included NASCAR stars Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Christopher Bell, popular IndyCar Series driver Conor Daly and eight former USAC Midget national champions.
The Driven2SaveLives BC39 powered by NOS Energy Drink also marked the triumphant debut of The Dirt Track at IMS, located inside Turn 3 of the oval. The event also started a new chapter in the longstanding relationship between USAC and IMS, which were synonymous for many years after the sanctioning body was formed in 1956 by IMS owner Tony Hulman. USAC was the sanctioning body for the Indianapolis 500 from 1956 through 1997.
"We were so pleased to see the longtime relationship between the United States Auto Club and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway enter a new era through the inaugural Driven2SaveLives BC39 powered by NOS Energy Drink last September," USAC President/CEO Kevin Miller said. "Both nights of racing were among the high points of our season this year, with great action at the new venue generating incredibly positive response from teams, drivers, fans and media. We can't wait to see who will master The Dirt Track next September, and we appreciate the continued partnership with IMS, Driven2SaveLives and NOS to support the legacy of Bryan Clauson."
Indiana Donor Network, which oversees and coordinates organ, tissue and eye donation across the state, launched Driven2SaveLives in April 2016 with Verizon IndyCar Series driver Stefan Wilson to promote donation and transplantation awareness around the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. At the time, the campaign honored Stefan's late brother, IndyCar race winner Justin Wilson, who died in August 2015 from injuries he sustained in a race crash and saved five lives as an organ donor.
Three-time USAC Midget and two-time USAC Sprint Car national champion Clauson, a versatile and beloved driver, died in August 2016 following a race accident. As a registered donor, he went on to save five lives as an organ donor and continues to heal the lives of countless others as a tissue donor. In January 2017, Indiana Donor Network partnered with Clauson-Marshall Racing and expanded Driven2SaveLives into dirt track racing in honor of Clauson.
"Right now, more than 115,000 men, women and children wait for a life-saving organ transplant," said Kellie Hanner, Indiana Donor Network president and chief executive officer. "Each day, 22 patients die because the organ they needed did not become available in time. Our Driven2SaveLives campaign raises awareness around those who wait and honors donor heroes like Bryan Clauson who saved lives. All of us at Indiana Donor Network are proud to be a part of the BC39 again."