Bryan Clausen to be the Busiest Driver in the Milwaukee 225 Weekend There is no doubt Bryan Clausen will be the busiest driver at the Milwaukee Mile on June 17-19.
Clausen, the 22-year-old Noblesville, Ind., driver, will compete in three separate divisions during the Milwaukee 225 racing weekend in an effort to pull off one of the most spectacular racing achievements in Mile history.
The two-time USAC National Midget champion will begin his attempt to pull off the unique “triple” on Friday, June 17, with Firestone Indy Lights practice and qualifying in the Sam Schmidt “Road to Indy” open-wheel machine followed by practice and qualifying in the Tony Stewart Racing Silver Crown Chevy and the Corey Tucker Racing Midget racer.
Clausen will race in the two USAC contests on Saturday afternoon and the Indy Lights race on Sunday.
“It will be an exciting weekend for me,” said Clausen, the defending USAC Driver of the Year and Midget Series champion. “The weekend schedule is friendly for me despite racing in three different series. I will run in the Indy Lights for practice and qualifying before jumping into the USAC Silver Crown and Midget cars. Sure, it will be hectic, but I am looking forward to it. I have raced NASCAR at the Milwaukee Mile before, but never the USAC cars there. Jumping from the rear-engine Lights car to the heavy Silver Crown car to the lighter Midget is a unique experience for a driver. Usually, we did it on different weekends. But, at Milwaukee, it is one big weekend of racing for me.”
Clausen has been one of the best young talents in the country as a teenager when he signed with Chip Ganassi Racing to compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Bryan drove in various Nationwide Series races in 2008 and was runner-up in the Rookie of the Year standings. However, lack of funding hurt Clausen’s chances to advance in NASCAR.
He returned to his open-wheel roots in 2009 with a sensational season that included victories at prestigious Midget events such as the Belleville Nationals, Turkey Night Grand Prix, Night Before the 500 and the Hall of Fame Classic. He captured the 2009 USAC Midget title.
In 2010, he repeated the Midget title and was named the first-ever USAC Driver of the Year. He again won at the Belleville and the Turkey Night Grand Prix. In addition, he was awarded the USAC Silver Crown Rookie of the Year and was named the “Mazda Road to Indy” recipient to compete in the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights Series.
“It is a great opportunity for young drivers to get a scholarship to the Firestone Indy Lights,” said Clausen, who has scored Midget wins at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie in the past years. “The Road to Indy is a tremendous program for any young driver. I hope to have a good run at Milwaukee in all three cars.”
If Clausen was to capture all three features (Indy Lights, USAC Silver Crown and USAC Midgets) on June 18-19, it would be one of the most impressive performances in the 108 years of competition at the historic racing oval. The likes of Barney Oldfield, Wilbur Shaw, Rex Mays, Tony Bettenhausen, Rodger Ward, A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Rick Mears, Tom Sneva and others have reached the Milwaukee Mile victory lane previously and Clausen could pull off an achievement that none of those legends were able to accomplish – three feature wins in one weekend.
Of course, Clausen is the first to tell you that his competition in the three divisions will be extreme difficult.
“Each of the divisions has some outstanding drivers and just racing at the front of the fields will be hard,” said Clausen. “And winning in any of the three classes will be great for me.”
Battling Clausen in the Firestone Indy Lights will be point leader Josef Newgarden as well as Esteban Guerrieri, Victor Garcia and Stefan Wilson. In the Silver Crown ranks, Tony Stewart Racing teammate Levi Jones will be Clausen’s prime competition along with former series champion Bud Kaeding, track record holder Dave Steele, Hoosier Hundred winner Jerry Coons Jr. and former IndyCar Series driver Jimmy Kite. Contenders for Clausen in the USAC Midget division at Milwaukee will Bobby East, Darren Hagen, Brad Sweet and current qualifying record holder Bobby Santos III.
Tickets for the June 18-19 Milwaukee 225 will be on sale at the Gate 1 parking lot as well as the ticket office located at 7722 Greenfield Ave. in West Allis or through the www.milwaukeemile2011.com website. For further information, call 800-974-2480.