Andersen Promotions Announces USAC Sanctioning

PALMETTO, Fla. – Andersen Promotions today announced a new agreement with the United States Auto Club (USAC Racing) to become the sanctioning body for the three racing series owned and operated by the organization – the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship and Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires as well as the new USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires.

Both USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 are key steps on the highly visible Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, a scholarship-supported driver development platform to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Indianapolis 500. The recently announced USF Juniors is a pre-step to the ladder system offering its champion a scholarship package to enter USF2000.

USAC Racing has enjoyed a storied history since being formed in 1956 as a sanctioning body for the United States National Championship and the Indianapolis 500. While its portfolio is best known in the circle track arena with Silver Crown, Sprint, Midget and .25 Midget sanctioning, it now governs a diverse motorsports platform which also includes the SRO World Challenge, Porsche Sprint Challenge and the SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks.

“Thirty years ago when I first announced the USF2000 series launch in 1991, USAC stepped up and was my first sanctioning body,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “We’ve come full circle and I am very pleased to be back with them and look forward to a long-term relationship. USAC Racing is widely recognized for its operation of Midgets, Sprint cars and Silver Crown cars but they are also becoming increasingly prominent in road racing with Porsche and SRO. This is a great sanctioning body and we are proud to be with them.

“I would also like to thank INDYCAR, which has sanctioned the Road to Indy since its inception in 2010. INDYCAR’s focus is, understandably, on series it owns and operates. We’ll continue to use their services on race weekends and look forward to our ongoing relationship as a support series where our drivers continue along their path toward the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.”

USAC Racing sanctioning services will include licensing and membership management, which will result in cost savings for teams and drivers. Andersen Promotions will continue to contract the services of INDYCAR for Race Control, Timing & Scoring and the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team with all events on its 2022 calendar for USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 in support of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

The Road to Indy will be back in action later this month with its traditional Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on October 30/31. The outing will feature all three levels of the ladder including Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, which is owned by INDYCAR and will continue to operate under its sanction.

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BC39 Returns Tonight; 74 Entries

IMS Photo

Indianapolis Motor Speedway continues a busy week of racing tonight with the two day BC39 USAC midget race. The event returns after a oe year absence due to COVID-19. 74 entries will try to make tomorrow night’s feature race.

Conor Daly is the lone Indycar representative, while NASCAR drivers Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, and Ryan Newman will also attempt to make the feature.

Today’s Schedule:

4:00PM -10:00PM Gates Open

5:00PM Hot Lap Sessions (12 Groups)

7:15PM Heat Races (12 Races) 10 laps each

8:00PM Stoops Pursuit 25 laps run in 5 lap segments; cars that have lost positions in each segment exit the track.

24 cars- the heat winners plus the car gaining the most passing points in their heat- make up the field for the Stoops Pursuit.

In 2019 the Stoops pursuit ended with the three cars remaining in the last segment all flipping on the last lap. Kyle Larson was declared the winner.

Indycar Notes

Indycar will have a press conference tomorrow at 11 am with Bobby Rahal, Roger Penske, and Randy Edeker, CEO of HyVee. The rumor is that Iowa Speedway will return to the Indycar schedule in 2022. I truly missed Iowa this year. It is a great track for Indycar, which is sorely lacking oval races.

Driven2SaveLives BC39 Powered by NOS Energy Drink Is Back Aug. 18-19 at IMS

Great news from Indianapolis Motor Speedway

From IMS, which also provided the cover photo

June 02, 2021 | By Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The BC39 is back.

Exciting United States Auto Club (USAC) NOS Energy Drink National Midget Championship racing will return Wednesday, Aug. 18 and Thursday, Aug. 19 to The Dirt Track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third Driven2SaveLives BC39 Powered by NOS Energy Drink. The event is back for its third running after a hiatus in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in a new calendar slot – the week after the NASCAR-INDYCAR tripleheader at IMS.

Tickets will go on sale soon, with information available at IMS.com/BC39. Reserved seat ticket prices for qualifying and the feature event Thursday, Aug. 19 will start at $35, the same price as in 2019.

“Everyone missed the wheel-to-wheel action of the BC39 last year, and race fans have asked us since last summer when it’s returning to the schedule,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “It’s back – and better than ever. We can’t wait.

“This event delivers two nights of some of the most exciting racing you can see anywhere, and it also raises awareness for such an important cause, the Indiana Donor Network and Driven2SaveLives. We also appreciate the continued support and promotion of USAC Midget racing and the BC39 by NOS Energy Drink.”

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.

“Everyone at Indiana Donor Network and Driven2SaveLives is thrilled to see the BC39 return to its rightful place on the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget schedule,” said Taylor McLean, Bryan Clauson’s sister and marketing program specialist at Indiana Donor Network. “The Driven2SaveLives BC39 has not only become a destination event for teams but also a place for race fans to honor Bryan and share how their lives have been impacted by organ donation and transplantation. We cannot wait to celebrate not only Bryan’s legacy, but the legacy of all of those who decided to say yes.”

Fans also can visit IMS.com/BC39 for more information about pit passes, camping and prepaid parking.

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 IMS.com for more information on tickets to all IMS events in 2021. https://www.facebook.com/v2.0/plugins/comments.php?app_id=1570557269837095&channel=https%3A%2F%2Fstaticxx.facebook.com%2Fx%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter%2F%3Fversion%3D46%23cb%3Df2cf5375cbf349a%26domain%3Dwww.indianapolismotorspeedway.com%26origin%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.indianapolismotorspeedway.com%252Ff125e257c9cf098%26relation%3Dparent.parent&color_scheme=light&container_width=0&height=100&href=https%3A%2F%2Fdev.ims.com%2Fnews-multimedia%2Fnews%2F2021%2F06%2F02%2Fdriven2savelives-bc39-august-2021&locale=en_US&numposts=5&sdk=joey&skin=light&version=v2.0&width=751

New Circle City Raceway Honors John Andretti with Race4Riley Benefit

Indianapolis will have a dirt track once again, and they are starting their first season in a big way. Circle City Raceway, a new venture at the Marion County Fairgrounds, is a 1/4 mile track and has a 2021 season which includes USAC midgets and sprint races.

Indianapolis last had a dirt track at the site of the old Bush Stadium baseball field in the 1980s.

The big event will be June 9, when they host a benefit race for Race4Riley, the program began by the late John Andretti. The race is part of USAC’s Indiana Midget Week. The program was announced in a release yesterday.

Circle City Raceway will also host USAC Sprints September 17.

It will be nice to have a dirt track in town. I hope to get out to several programs in 2021.

Montoya Returns to the 500; Hoosier 100 Gets Another Reprieve

Two time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya will once again drive in the Indianapolis 500, this time with Arrow McLaren SP. Montoya will pilot a third car for the team, alongside reglkar drivers Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist.

Montoya spent the last three season driving for Team Penske Acura in the Weather Tech Championship Series, winning the championship in 2019. He also has won a CART title. Montoya has driven just about everything. He will drive next season for Dragonspeed in the WEC. Monotya has also .won races in Formula 1 and NASCAR.

With Montoya’s entry into the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500, the field has the potential to include eight former winners. Montoya’s former Penske teammate, three time winner Helio Castroneves, will be driving for Meyer Shank Racing. May 30 will be the first time the pair will be driving on different teams.

Hoosier Hundred Gets Another Chance

The Hoosier Hundred returns to the USAC Silver Crown Schedule at the Indiana State Fairgrounds May 27. 2019 was expected to be the final running of the 65 year old race. The track was schedule to be resurfaced for the sole use of the trotting and pacing horses which normally run during the Indiana State Fair. The COVID pandemic has prevented the track work from being done. The longer the work is delayed is more time to convince the fair board to keep this race.

The night following the Hoosier Hundred is the Carb Night Classic at Lucas Oil Raceway/ The schedule also includes the Silver Crown’s first visit to Winchester Speedway.

The full schedule:

Gift Ideas

My friend Johanna, (@writebend) has compiled a list of some small businesses that sell racing related items. These businesses have had a difficult year and could use any support you can give. Here is the link to her post:

https://write-bend.blogspot.com/2020/11/supporting-motorsport-related-companies.html?m=1

Dragonspeed Fills the Field at 33; Hoosier Hundred Returns

Yesterday Dragonspeed confirmed Ben Hanley will drive the number 81 in the 104th running for the Indianapolis 500.  The entry is the 33rd for the race, avoiding a less than full  field for the first time since 1947. Given the economic climate I think it is quite an accomplishment to have 33 cars this year.

Two other possible entries, Juncos Racing and Top Gun Racing, decided not to pursue an entry until next year. Juncos ran out of time to secure sponsorship and get a car built in time. Top Gun had a sponsor withdraw because there would be no track activation. Cutting the purse in half also figured into their decision. R. C. Enerson was scheduled to drive for Top Gun.

Five rookies are entered- Pato O’Ward, Oliver Askew, Rinus VeeKay,  Alex Palou, and Dalton Kellett. O’Ward passed his rookie test last year but did not qualify for the race.

This year’s race will be the first without a female driver since 1999. Pippa Mann was unable to put a program together for this year.

Because there are only 33 cars, there will be no Last Row Shootout next Sunday, but the Fats Nine will still take place.

The entry list, thanks to Eric Smith of Race Review Online:

Chevrolet (17)

Team Penske (4) – Will Power, Simon Pagenaud, Josef Newgarden and Helio Castroneves

Ed Carpenter Racing (3) – Ed Carpenter, Conor Daly, Rinus VeeKay R

Arrow McLaren SP (3) – Pato O’Ward R, Oliver Askew R, Fernando Alonso

AJ Foyt Racing (3) – Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, Dalton Kellett R

Carlin (1) – Max Chilton

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (2) – Sage Karam, JR Hildebrand

DragonSpeed (1) – Ben Hanley

Honda (16)

Andretti Autosport (6) – Zach Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe, Colton Herta, Marco Andretti

Chip Ganassi Racing (3) – Scott Dixon, Felix Rosenqvist, Marcus Ericsson

Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing (3) – Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato, Spencer Pigot (Citrone/Buhl partnership)

Dale Coyne Racing (3) – Santino Ferrucci, Alex Palou R, James Davison

Meyer Shank Racing (1) – Jack Harvey (Andretti alliance)

Hoosier Hundred Gets New Life

The Hoosier Hundred, thought to be gone after 2019, will return to Indiana State Fairgrounds August 23. The race began in 1953 as part of the USAC national championship. It is now an event in the USAC Silver Crown series. Ther ace is scheduled for 8pm, well after the 500 is over, but activities begin with practice and qualifying during the 500.

The race is able to return because of the pandemic. The track was going to be resurfaced with a limestone base and become a full time harness racing facility. The work never got started due to the pandemic, so this may truly be the final Hoosier 100.

Tickets go on sale Tuesday at 10 am ET at usactickets.com. Seating capacity is limited to 25%.

Larson ‘s 8th Straight Win; Iowa Thoughts

My first trip to Lincoln Park Speedway won’t be my last. Watching Kyle Larson come from 15th to win his eighth straight dirt race was as great a drive as I’ve seen. he used the heat race and the B Main races to learn the track. Larson used the high line in turn four and drove an elliptical pattern, going low into turn one. The move allowed him to make passes easily. It was definitely the quickest way around the track.

Larson was in third by the halfway point of the 30 lap feature. A red flag for Jason McDougal’s  flipped his car allowed him to get in position to take the lead soon after the restart. Larson and pole sitter Tanner Thorson had a great battle for the lead, swapping the point on lap 20. Larson took the lead for good on lap 22.

I was impressed by this track. It is a well maintained track with clean facilities. The program was very well organized. I liked the track exit and entry paths and the fact that the cars are push started off the track. It was nice not seeing trucks and cars on the racing surface as the midgets were warming up and getting pushed off.

I think turn 4 is one of the best corners I’ve seen on a dirt track.

The attendance was limited to 50% capacity, although it seemed to be a larger crowd than that. Very few people wore masks and distancing was a bit of an issue.  Track officials stopped ticket sales as they approached 3,000.

wp-15925269830533204687544529766312.jpg

Fans at Iowa

Last night Iowa Speedway announced that fans would be allowed to attend the Indycar races July 17 and 18 at the Newton track.

The full announcement:

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/90591962/posts/2764759036

Go to the track’s website and look at the FAQ for more information.

Limited ticket sales begin next Friday. I’m not sure what the limit is. Tickets already sold will be honored. There will be no paddock passes or fan walk passes.

This is a fair compromise and allows fans to see racing at one of the most fun tracks on the schedule. I’m not sure we can read anything into this regarding the Indianapolis 500 in August. The trend for the races allowing fans is no infield access. That may continue at Indianapolis.

 

 

Zeb Wise takes the High Road to Victory in BC 39

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.

Notes

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.

BC39: Larson Wins Stoops Pursuit; Feature Race Tonight

Kyle Larson won the Stoops Pursuit last night as the BC39 Drive to Save Lives opened its two day show at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The final 5 laps segment began with just three drivers, Larson, Michael Pickens, and Justin Grant. the race format eliminated drivers who lost positions  at the end of each  5 lap segment.

On the final lap of the last segment, Pickens flipped and Grant hit the wall and flipped. Larson drove to the checkered flag alone. Beither driver was injured.

Larson, who drives for Chip Ganassi racing in NASCAR, will also compete in Sunday’s Brickyard 400. He did not enter the BC 39 last year.

The evening featured great racing in the twelve heats which set the qualifying races for tonight’s event. Drivers received points for passing cars.  The format led to aggressive driving which didn’t always work out.  Brady bacon set the tone for the night in heat 1 with a pass just before the line for the win.

Heat winners:

  1. Brady Bacon
  2.  Kevin Thomas, Jr.
  3. Zeb Wise
  4. Dillon Welch
  5. Gio Scelzi
  6. Zach Daum
  7. Jake Neuman
  8. Chad Boat
  9. Spencer Bayson
  10. Thomas Meseraull

Today’s schedule:

3 pm Gates open

5 pm Hot laps (8 groups)

6 pm Qualifying races (8 races)

7:45 Main races (5 races)

9:30 BC 39 (39 laps)

Tickets $35-$75; no general admission

Some more photos of last night’s action

bc3919W 007

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