Brady Bacon

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Ninety drivers entered for BC39 midget race at Indianapolis

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Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Christopher Bell and Chase Briscoe are among the 90 entries for the second annual Driven2SaveLives BC 39 on Wednesday and Thursday at The Dirt Track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

This is the third largest field for a USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship event in the past three decades. Twenty-six drivers will advance to the feature on the quarter-mile track located in Turn 3 of IMS’ infield. The winner of Thursday’s A-Main will collect $15,000.

Also entered are NASCAR driver J.J. Yeley, IndyCar driver Conor Daly, NASCAR on NBC reporter Dillon Welch and Karsyn Elledge, granddaughter of Dale Earnhardt.

Brady Bacon led the final nine laps to win last year’s event, which pays tribute to the late Bryan Clauson.

 

BC39 ENTRY LIST (90 Drivers)

00 LUKE HOWARD/Overland Park, KS (Jay Mounce)

08 CANNON McINTOSH/Bixby, OK (Dave Mac Motorsports)

1 KARSYN ELLEDGE/Mooresville, NC (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)

1BR CHASE JONES/Greenwood, IN (SFH Racing Development)

1K BRAYTON LYNCH/Springfield, IL (Rusty Kunz Racing)

1NZ MICHAEL PICKENS/Auckland, NZ (RMS LLC)

1ST ALEX BRIGHT/Collegeville, PA (Daryl Saucier)

2 RYAN HALL/Midlothian, TX (Mark Bush)

2J J.J. YELEY/Phoenix, AZ (Jeff Taylor)

2x MATT LINDER/Hoschton, GA (Mark Bush)

3 RICH DRANGMEISTER/Hobart, IN (Rich Drangmeister)

3N JAKE NEUMAN/New Berlin, IL (Jim Neuman)

4A JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA (RAMS Racing)

4D ROBERT DALBY/Anaheim, CA (Ken Dalby)

5 KEVIN THOMAS JR./Cullman, AL (Petry Motorsports)

5B CHASE BRISCOE/Mitchell, IN (Chase Briscoe Racing)

5D ZACH DAUM/Pocahontas, IL (Daum Motorsports)

7 CRITTER MALONE/Pittsboro, IN (Seven LLC)

7BC TYLER COURTNEY/Indianapolis, IN (Clauson/Marshall Racing)

7s JON STEED/Rushville, IN (Steed Motorsports)

7u KYLE JONES/Kennedale, TX (Trifecta Motorsports)

7x THOMAS MESERAULL/San Jose, CA (RMS LLC)

8 RANDI PANKRATZ/Atascadero, CA (Wally Pankratz)

9 CHRIS BAUE/Indianapolis, IN (Chris Baue)

9B CLINTON BOYLES/Greenwood, MO (Jay Mounce)

9H EMILIO HOOVER/Broken Arrow, OK (James Hoover)

10 LANCE BENNETT/Aurora, CO (Olivia Bennett)

10A MICHAEL KLEIN/Elsmere, KY (Mike Wallace)

11L AARON LEFFEL/Springfield, OH (Chuck Taylor)

11m KENDALL RUBLE/Vincennes, IN (Martin Motorsports)

11T TOMMY KOUNS/Lebanon, IN (Chuck Taylor)

12 BILLY WEASE/Noblesville, IN (Amanda Wease)

15 DAVE DARLAND/Lincoln, IN (Petry Motorsports)

15DJ DAVID PRICKETT/Fresno, CA (Neverlift Motorsports)

15J JEFF WIMMENAUER/Indianapolis, IN (Jeff Wimmenauer)

15s SHANNON McQUEEN/Bakersfield, CA (Broc Garrett)

15x CARSON GARRETT/Littleton, CO (Broc Garrett)

17 RICKY STENHOUSE JR./Olive Branch, MS (Clauson/Marshall Racing)

17BC CHRIS WINDOM/Canton, IL (Clauson/Marshall Racing)

19 SPENCER BAYSTON/Lebanon, IN (Brodie Hayward)

19m ETHAN MITCHELL/Mooresville, NC (Bundy Built Motorsports)

20 CODY WEISENSEL/Sun Prairie, WI (Kevin Weisensel)

21 CHRISTOPHER BELL/Norman, OK (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)

21D JUSTIN DICKERSON/Pittsboro, IN (Mike Dickerson)

21F JONATHAN BEASON/Broken Arrow, OK (Team Ripper)

21KS C.J. LEARY/Greenfield, IN (Team Ripper)

21m MARIA COFER/Macdoel, CA (Team Ripper)

22 JOHN HEYDENREICH/Bloomsburg, PA (John Givens)

23m DAVID BUDRES/Beloit, WI (Manic Racing)

25 JERRY COONS JR./Tucson, AZ (Petry Motorsports)

25B STEVE BUCKWALTER/Royersford, PA (Steve Buckwalter)

27 TUCKER KLAASMEYER/Paola, KS (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)

28 ACE McCARTHY/Tahlequah, OK (Jim Neuman)

31 TRAVIS BERRYHILL/American Canyon, CA (Manic Racing)

32J CHRIS JAGGER JR./Warsaw, IN (Chris Jagger Jr.)

35 CONOR DALY/Noblesville, IN (Petry Motorsports)

39BC ZEB WISE/Angola, IN (Clauson/Marshall Racing)

41 OLIVER AKARD/Ft. Myers, FL (Dan Akard)

43 BRENT BEAUCHAMP/Avon, IN (Kevin Arnold)

46 RUSS GAMESTER/Peru, IN (Gamester Racing)

47BC ANDREW LAYSER/Collegeville, PA (Clauson/Marshall Racing)

50 TONY DiMATTIA/Malvern, PA (Tony DiMattia Motorsports)

54 MATT WESTFALL/Pleasant Hill, OH (Steve Bordner)

54m RAY SEACH/Beloit, WI (Manic Racing)

55 NICK DRAKE/Mooresville, NC (Troy Cline)

56AP COLTEN COTTLE/Kansas, IL (Travis Young)

56x MARK CHISHOLM/Cheyenne, WY (Mark Chisholm)

57D DANIEL ROBINSON/Ewing, IL (McCreery Motorsports)

57K KEVIN STUDLEY/Plainfield, IN (Kevin Studley)

61 TREY OSBORNE/Columbus, OH (Mel Kenyon)

67 Logan Seavey/Sutter, CA (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)

67F KYLE O’GARA/Beech Grove, IN (SFH Racing Development)

67K HOLLEY HOLLAN/Broken Arrow, OK (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)

71 JESSE COLWELL/Red Bluff, CA (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)

71B ROBERT BELL/Colfax, IA (Robert Bell)

71K TANNER CARRICK/Lincoln, CA (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)

71s CODY SWANSON/Norco, CA (Marcie Campbell)

72 SAM JOHNSON/St. Peters, MO (Joe Johnson)

76 KEN DRANGMEISTER/Hobart, IN (Ken Drangmeister)

76E BRADY BACON/Broken Arrow, OK (FMR Racing)

76m JASON McDOUGAL/Broken Arrow, OK (FMR Racing)

77B BLAZE BENNETT/Parker, CO (Olivia Bennett)

81 DILLON WELCH/Carmel, IN (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)

84 CHAD BOAT/Phoenix, AZ (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)

85 GIO SCELZI/Fresno, CA (Tucker/Boat Motorsports)

88 TYLER NELSON/Olathe, KS (Tyler Nelson)

91T TYLER THOMAS/Collinsville, OK (Brian Thomas)

97 KYLE LARSON/Elk Grove, CA (Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian)

97A AUSTIN O’DELL/Rochester, IL (Patrick O’Dell)

TBA Tanner Thorson/Minden, NV (TBA)

Christopher Bell passes Kyle Larson on last lap to win Chili Bowl

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Christopher Bell passed Kyle Larson on the last lap to win his third consecutive Chili Bowl Nationals early Sunday morning.

It was the only lap Bell led in the 55-lap race.

“I ran 53 1/2 good laps and didn’t close it out,” Larson told Mav TV after placing second. “Hate it. … It’s just disappointing to be close to winning a race like that, feeling I did everything I could until the very end. Just gave it away. Hate that.”

Bell charged under Larson and they made contact. Larson tried to get under Bell in Turn 3 and they hit again. Bell held off his friend and denied Larson his first Chili Bowl. Bell celebrated his win by doing several spins in his midget before it rolled over.

“If (Larson) wouldn’t have missed his marks, if he would have stuck the bottom, then, A, I wouldn’t haven’t got there, but I’m not just going to run into the back of him,” Bell said in the press conference after the race. “Whenever he went in there and missed his mark and slid up, I took advantage of it.”

Said Larson in the press conference after the race: “I didn’t think what Chris did was wrong at all. I knew I missed the bottom, so then I’m trying to squeeze him down. I knew that there was contact coming. If anything, I’m more upset with what I did into (Turn) 3 of running into the side of him. I try to pride myself and not race like that and that’s twice now that I’ve done that on the last lap. Just a little desperation out of myself. Got to not do that in the future.”

Justin Grant was third. Brady Bacon was fourth and Zac Daum was fifth. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. placed 21st in the 24-car field.

The A main began at 12:53 a.m. ET and ended at 1:17 a.m. ET.

MORE: Race results 

Among others with NASCAR ties:

Alex Bowman finished seventh in his C main and did not advance to the B main. 

Justin Allgaier and Tanner Berryhill each failed to advance from their C main.

Chase Briscoe missed advancing from his B main to the A feature by one spot.

Friday 5: Furniture Row Racing’s demise is a fate others know too well

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SPEEDWAY, Ind. — The names have changed but the stories haven’t when it comes to the tale of Furniture Row Racing and all the teams before it that faded away.

The concern about costs, the dependence on sponsorship and the volatility of it all is not something that is new to NASCAR (or even motorsports). That those issues contributed to Furniture Row Racing announcing this week that it would cease operations after this season only added that team to a long list. That Furniture Row Racing won the Cup championship last year only makes the story more powerful.

But not unique.

Go back in time and look at what other car owners were saying and how their concerns were repeated.

In 1999, Ricky Rudd closed his race shop and sold his cars and equipment at auction because he was unable to find a sponsor to continue a team that had won six races in six seasons, including the 1997 Brickyard 400.

Rudd told motorsport.com the day of the auction: “I’ll probably get a little sad when I see those race cars loaded up on trucks and rolled away. That’ll bother me a little. The hardest day was the day before I signed with (Robert) Yates. I walked into the shop and told the guys that the sponsorship deal wasn’t working out, and that I was sorry but I was gonna do something else next year.”

In 2007, Ginn Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. merged during the season because Ginn needed help after it was unable to find funding for two of its three cars. Car owner Bobby Ginn explained to The Associated Press that had he not merged: “We would have had to continue to cut costs, and that is disgraceful to me. I am proud of the merger. I would not have been proud of putting a car out there that couldn’t compete.”

Ginn went on to say: “Even if the sponsors had come in, we probably would be talking about something like this anyway. This is just going to be the way teams operate going forward, and we needed to be invited to the party before it was too late.”

In 2009, Bill Davis Racing — a team that won the 2002 Daytona 500 with Ward Burton — was sold after what The Associated Press described as a “fruitless search for sponsorship.”

In 2013, car owner James Finch sold Phoenix Racing to HScott Racing. Finch told NASCAR.com at the time: “I’ll come to races and all. I just wasn’t going to go broke doing it. Sponsorships are really tough to come by and stuff like that.” HScott Racing announced in December 2016 that it would not field a team, citing lack of sponsorship as a reason.

In 2015, Michael Waltrip Racing announced it would cease operations after the season. Clint Bowyer was a playoff team for that organization that year.

The organization was a three-car team in 2013 but then lost sponsor NAPA after the season in response to the Richmond scandal that year when NASCAR penalized MWR for team orders in the final regular-season race of the year and removed Truex from the playoffs.

Last month, a bankruptcy judge approved the sale of BK Racing to Front Row Motorsports. Court documents showed that BK Racing, which struggled to find sponsorship, lost $29.5 million from 2014-16. The team also owed a bank more than $9 million in unpaid loans and the IRS more than $2.5 million.

“It’s a tough business,” Devine said in February at Daytona when asked why he never aligned with another team to help defray costs. “I think it’s an expensive learning curve. I also think … you’ve got to decide where you are taking the company and I took it down a very independent route, which probably wasn’t the smartest (thing).”

Just in recent years, the sport has seen Richard Childress Racing contract from three to two teams and Roush Fenway Racing, which had five full-time teams in 2009 downsize to four teams in 2010, three teams in 2012 and two teams in 2017.

Furniture Row Racing cut from two teams to one this season and then suffered a fatal blow when 5-hour Energy announced in July it would not remain in the sport after this year. It is to serve as a co-primary sponsor for 30 races this year. Forget that the 2019 Daytona 500 is 164 days away, the need to have sponsorship secured for next year had already passed for Furniture Row Racing.

Although their lifespan may be recalled more often by fans, its demise falls in line with what has happened to many teams through the years.

2. Similar refrain

This is becoming too familiar for Martin Truex Jr.

For the second time in his career, an organization shut down with him as a driver. Two other times, an organization Truex drove for merged to remain in the sport.

In 2007, Truex was with Dale Earnhardt Inc. when it merged with Ginn Racing, creating a four-car operation. Then that organization later merged with Chip Ganassi Racing.

Truex then left for Michael Waltrip Racing only to see his ride disappear after the 2013 season when NAPA left the team. The fallout was from the Richmond team orders scandal NASCAR penalized MWR. Now, Truex will be heading elsewhere after Furniture Row Racing closes shop after this season.

3. What’s next?

One of the things to watch for with Furniture Row Racing is who buys its charter.

The value of a charter, just like anything, is based on what someone is willing to pay. If there’s only one interested party, the price won’t be as high. If there are more, that can raise the price.

Don’t take what the BK Racing charter (and team) sold for in bankruptcy court last month as an indicator. The team, including the charter, sold for $2 million last month. After a minimum price was set for the charter and team, there was only one bid, leading to a sale that many in the court called disappointing.

One thing that should make Furniture Row’s charter is its recent performance. There’s a historical element to charters that have weighted payments based on the performance of the team that held that charter. With Furniture Row Racing’s championship last year, this charter will have a larger payment to the next owner.

4. Unique attraction

The NASCAR weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway began with a USAC National Midget race on Thursday night.

A quarter-mile dirt track was built inside Turn 3 and more than 100 USAC midgets entered the event.

Holding races leading up to a NASCAR weekend is not a new thing but showing this dirt track series is. With a push toward grassroots racing, such options could be good tie-ins with race weekends — as long as fans show up. If fans don’t attend, they won’t happen.

The grandstand was full for the midget race, which was won by Brady Bacon and saw Christopher Bell finish fifth and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. place 11th.

Many fans were already looking forward to this event returning next year.

5. Special promotion

You might have missed it but Pocono Raceway announced this week that children 12 and under will receive free gate admission while accompanied by an adult to its two Cup races and its IndyCar race in 2019.

Children 12 and under already could attend NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity races for free but this is a step up for the sport.

It provides another avenue to reach out to a younger generation with the hope that those in that group become life-long NASCAR fans.

Admittedly, it’s not something that can be done everywhere. Watkins Glen sold out its grandstands again this year. Darlington Raceway did not announce a sellout for last weekend’s Southern 500 but the stands were close to capacity.

At other tracks where there are open seats, it might be something to consider in the future even if only on a year-to-year basis.

Could be the start of something for Cup races.

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Richard Childress Racing forms partnership with grassroots dirt track team

Photo: Dooling Hayward Motorsports/USAC
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Richard Childress Racing not only added Richard Petty Motorsports as a partner on Friday but added a grassroots sprint car team.

Dooling Hayward Motorsports will align with Richard Childress Racing beginning in 2018. Dooling Hayward Racing made the announcement Friday at the Performance Racing Industry show in Indianapolis. Brady Bacon is the team’s driver.

“It’s important for our race team to align with a grassroots racing organization like Dooling Hayward Motorsports and develop young drivers and crew members,” said Richard Childress, Chairman and CEO of RCR, in a statement. “This partnership will be a great opportunity to continue our developmental program and invest in a race team that are proven winners.”

“We are very grateful for the opportunity to compete in the 2018 Sprint Car and Midget season coupled with growing as a team,” said Joe Dooling Jr., President of Dooling Hayward Motorsports, in a statement. “Our relationship with Richard Childress Racing will travel well beyond our alliance. We have many of the same ideals that fit our vision to allow our continued success.”

The announcement comes a day after Clauson/Marshall Racing announced Thursday that Ryan Newman would partner with the team, which will field a sprint car for Tyler Courtney in 2018.

“Both Tim (Clauson) and Richard (Marshall) gave me the opportunity to be involved with something that I’ve thought about for a while,” Newman said.  “I wanted to do this at the right place at the right time. It’s a no-brainer for me to be a part of something that I think will be great. This was a path in my career that made a difference. It was several rungs on the ladder that made a difference, being a part of USAC Midget, Sprint car and Silver Crown racing. It’s an honor to be a part of what they’re putting together.”

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