Zeb Wise rode the top cushion to victory in the BC39 USAC midget race at IMS last night. He led 17 laps in the feature race. it was an emotional win for Wise and his team, Clauson-Marshall Racing,. The late Bryan Clauson’s father Tim had picked Wise to drive for the team after seeing him drive in the Batt;le of the Brickyard quarter midge race in 2014. . Clauson is the inspiration for this event. For his team to win it is a bonus.
It was a complete team victory for Clauson-Marshall Racing. Tyler Courtney finished second and Chris Windom was third.
Pole sitter Thomas Meseraull led the first 18 laps. the first of several halts to the action happened. Wise took the lead on the restart. Wednesday’s stoops pursuit winner Kyle Larson charged into second, but could not quite get by Wise. The two chased each other on the high cushion for several laps. They made contact in turn 2, then again in turn 4 when Wise bounced off the wall after getting too high in the dirt. The contact cut Larson’s left rear tire. He was able to return to the race, but Larson was out of contention for the win. He finished ninth.
Last year’s BC39 winner Brady Bacon took the lead on lap 29. He later collided with teammate C. J. McDougall and both cars came to a stop on the front stretch. Wise regained the lead on lap 32 and held it to the end.
My impressions as someone who doesn’t get to enough of these short dirt track shows:
These guys can race and race hard. I was impressed by the action both nights. I wish more of these drivers had Indycar aspirations.
The fans are just as, if not more passionate than fans of the major series. Last night I talked to a couple from Illinois who travel to follow the USAC races. They were very knowledgeable about the series and gave me some good information about some races I want to attend.
Kudos to Conor Daly for his improvement from night to night. conor admits he is still learning how to drive a midget. I though he held his own last night in the qualifying race. I wish more Indycar drivers would try this.
It was hardly a shock to see IMS President Doug Boles go to each car before the feature and shake hands with every driver.
Attendance again was great for this event. With the NASCAR race moving to Jly 4 weekend in 2020, does this event move as well? I’d prefer it stay where it is on the schedule.
back next week to catch up on some Indycar news that I am woefully behind on.