INDIANAPOLIS – Jesse Colwell wasn’t just part of the show Thursday during the second annual Driven2SaveLives BC39 powered by NOS Energy Drink at The Dirt Track at IMS.
More accurately, he was the show.
Colwell endured a series of flips during his qualifier race Thursday afternoon, in part due to contact with teammate Logan Seavey, then came back with a vengeance to transfer through both his D-main and the C-main during the alphabet soup portion of the program.
He came through the pack in the 20-lap B-main at the fifth-mile dirt oval, but came up two positions short of a direct transfer position and finished eighth.
Thanks to his hard-charging and season-long efforts, however, Colwell was rewarded with a USAC points provisional to tag the back of the BC39 feature lineup, rolling off 24th in his No. 71 IWX-sponsored, Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports-prepared Bullet/Toyota.
After that, Colwell survived all of the attrition captured within the 39-lap, $15,000-to-win main event to climb from the 12th row of the grid to a sixth-place finish by race’s end.
It completed two days’ worth of moves made by Colwell, who advanced a grand total of 52 positions across his heat race, qualifier, the D-main, C-main, B-main and the feature.
That gave Colwell the $1,000 Prosource Passing Master Award for his efforts.
“It was a super-cool experience,” noted Colwell after the event. “That’s never how you want to have to make your mark, but to come out of the D and end up finishing sixth when everything was done up … that’s the speed we know we’re capable of and I’m glad that we were able to show that throughout the night in Indianapolis.”
Colwell also garnered the $500 Elliott’s Custom Trailers Rookie of the Race Award for being the highest-finishing first-time competitor at the BC39.
The Red Bluff, Calif., driver – who earned his KKM opportunity this year after winning the KKM Giveback Classic at Millbridge Speedway last November – beat out the likes Kyle Larson, Michael Pickens, Cannon McIntosh and others to secure the prestigious honor.
“That’s wild,” Colwell admitted. “Those are all top guys, and Larson is in the same stuff I was. After we ended up in the D, I figured there was no way we had a shot at rookie-of-the-year for the BC39. To race all the way through there and get it is awesome.
“This was a fun week and a race I’ll definitely remember for a while.”