INDIANAPOLIS – Chase Briscoe will return to his roots this week, competing in the Driven2SaveLives BC39 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The race, in its second running at a quarter-mile dirt oval located in side the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has drawn 90 entries from some of racing’s best dirt track competitors.
Briscoe, who got his start racing sprint cars on dirt, is among them.
“That race is super important,” said Briscoe, who races the No. 98 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. “Obviously, it’s at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but because it’s in Bryan’s honor. It’s a race that everybody wants to win. I’m certainly going there and going to try and win it.”
The race is run in honor of the late Bryan Clauson, who died in 2016 from injuries suffered in a midget racing crash at the Belleville (Kan.) High Banks. He was 27.
Clauson was a dirt track racing icon and was arguably considered a legend in Indiana. He won multiple USAC championships, three in the National Midget division and two in the National Sprint Car class. In 2014, he won the famed Chili Bowl. Clauson was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2018.
Briscoe looked up to Clauson and it’s why it means a lot to him to race in the event, while also appreciating his roots.
“It’s huge,” Briscoe said of Clauson’s memorial race, which helps raise awareness for organ donation. “I remember being 9 or 10 years old and he was 14 years old racing against my dad. I thought that was the coolest thing ever that a kid not much older than me was racing sprint cars. I always looked up to Bryan.
“By the time I started racing sprint cars, he was the guy to beat.”
Briscoe also admired Clauson for the person he was off the track as well.
“I miss him every day,” Briscoe said.
Briscoe believes the event is already elevating to the status as an outdoor Chili Bowl.
“It’s a who who of midget racing,” Briscoe said.
The second edition of the BC39 is scheduled for Sept. 4-5 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Sept. 4 will feature practice and heat races, with qualifying races and features set for Sept. 5.