Unique format sets Driven2SaveLives BC39 for Conor Daly, Kyle Larson and more than 70 others
In its short three-year history, the Driven2SaveLives BC39 USAC Midget race has quickly become one of the marquee events on the dirt track calendar. The 2021 edition kicks off Wednesday night, August 18, and will be streamed live on FloRacing.com (subscription required). The BC39 is run in honor of three-time Indy 500 starter Bryan Clauson, who lost his life in a racing accident in 2016 in Belleville, Kans.
Clauson was an organ donor, and the BC39 is sponsored by Driven2SaveLives.org to heighten awareness of organ donation.
In its inaugural edition in 2018, Brady Bacon topped 77 entries. This year’s race also features more than 70 cars competing to make an A-Main that holds a maximum of 26.
The size of the field is not the only draw. Current IndyCar and NASCAR stars including Conor Daly, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott will crowd into the quarter mile dirt track built inside of Turn 3 of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
But first, the lineup had to be set.
Strategy came into play in lining up the heats. On Tuesday night, a draft allowed drivers pick where they wanted to start in one of eight heats that will set the lineups for Thursday. Since passing points come into play, starting deeper in the field provides some advantage, assuming one believes they can get to the front of the pack before the 10-lap heat is over.
Drawing second, Larson had one of the earliest picks and chose to roll the dice with an outside starting position on Row 4 of Heat 5. With the third pick, Elliott the inside of Row 2 in Heat 2. Daly also picked the third starting spot in Heat 3.
On Thursday, the alphabet soup of Mains begins with D. Heat winners will advance to the feature, with passing points setting the remainder of the positions.
With the draft, top names are spread throughout the night. Elliott rolls off in Heat 2, Tyler Courtney and Chase Briscoe in Heat 3, Bacon and JJ Yeley in Heat 4, Larson in Heat 5, Daly and Ryan Newman in Heat 7, and Spencer Bayston in Heat 8.
It took a while for Heat 5 to fill out after drivers noted Larson was in that event.
In addition to the Wednesday night heats, the track will host the Stoops Pursuit race - a 25-lapper split into five-lap segments with 24 starters including the heat winners. The starting lineup will be inverted by fastest heat race time. It is important to move forward; every five laps, USAC will throw a competition flag, and cars with a net loss in position will be forced to exit the race.
All of that is a prelude to Thursday’s feature.
The 12-lap D-Mains will include cars that ranked 45th through 76th in passing points. The 15-lap C-Main will consist of cars ranked 31-44, plus the top three D-Main finishers. The B-Main will be 20 laps and include drivers ranked 17-30, plus six drivers who advance from the C.
The top six finishers in the B will join the A.
The 39-lap, A-Main feature will have 22 starters, plus two USAC provisionals (if needed) and two track options.
DRIVER2SAVELIVES BC39 HEAT LINEUPS
HEAT 1: Kevin Woody Jr., Cole Bodine, Blake Brannon, Bryant Wiedeman, Jerry Coons Jr., Hayden Reinbold, Karter Sarff and Kevin Thomas Jr.
HEAT 2: Chase Randall, Justin Dickerson, Chase Elliott, Carson Garrett, Tommy Kouns, Jacob Denney, Hayden Williams, Buddy Kofoid and Chris Windom.
HEAT 3: Zac Taylor, Tyler Courtney, Ben Varner, Kaylee Bryson, Jeff Schindler, Chance Crum, Chase Briscoe, Emerson Axsom and Jason McDougal.
HEAT 4: Robert Bell, Aiden Purdue, Kameron Gladish, Maria Cofer, Randi Pankratz, Ethan Mitchell, Brady Bacon, Logan Seavey, and JJ Yeley.
HEAT 5: Taylor Reimer, Austin Barnhill, Russ Gamester, Brenham Crouch, Tanner Thorson, Justin Grant, Trevor Casey, Kyle Larson and Rylan Gray.
HEAT 6: Carson Kvapil, Tanner Berryhill, Shane Cottle, Ryan Timms, Billy Lawless, Daison Pursley, Jeff Wimmenauer, Ronnie Gardner and Tyler Edwards.
HEAT 7: Ryan Newman, Corey Day, Conor Daly, Gary Taylor, Bryan Stanfill, John Heydenreich, Aaron Leffel, Thomas Meseraull, and Daniel Robinson.
HEAT 8: Sam Johnson, Jonathan Shafer, Kyle Cummins, Cannon McIntosh, Glenn Waterland, Zeb Wise, Riley Kreisel, Spencer Bayston and Ian Creager.