INDYCAR backs Clauson at Chili Bowl
USAC champion Bryan Clauson hopes to achieve his goal of racing in the Indianapolis 500 next May, but INDYCAR will have a hand in helping him try to scratch another goal of his racing achievements – winning the Chili Bowl.
Clauson will carry INDYCAR’s colors on his No. 39c midget car as part of Tony Stewart Racing’s “Team of Champions.” Stewart, a former IZOD IndyCar and current NASCAR champion, will field Clauson’s car along with co-entrants Corey Tucker Racing (CTR)/Bryan Clauson, Inc. (BCI)/Curb-Agajanian Racing.
“The support from INDYCAR over the last year has meant a lot,” Clauson said. “Obviously growing up around the 500, I know that the INDYCAR name carries a lot of weight, so to have an organization like that behind you is a great feeling. I think what INDYCAR has done over the last year and is continuing to do in 2012 with building their grassroots connections has been phenomenal. What better way to continue that then being a part of the biggest short track midget race in the country.”
The 22-year-old Clauson has a long list of credentials that includes 23 USAC National Midget Series victories, two USAC National Midget Series championship titles, two USAC Indiana Midget Week titles and two Belleville Midget Nationals triumphs.
In addition to being a two-time USAC National Drivers champion, Clauson has also been named National Midget Driver of the Year three times in his young career. IZOD IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard recently announced that Clauson will attempt to qualify for the 2012 Indianapolis 500 as part of his award for winning his second consecutive USAC National Drivers championship.
“2012 is going to be a huge year for me,” Clauson said. “With what lies ahead in May and beyond is a dream come true. Growing up around the Indianapolis area you dream about the being a part of that 33-car field and to now have a shot at making that dream come true is just an unbelievable feeling. I'm very excited about the program and pieces we are putting together and am eager to slide down into that new DW12.”
Clauson has made two A-main starts in the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. He scored his best finish in 2008, taking the checkered flag in fourth place. He won a preliminary A-main in the Chili Bowl in the Tuesday-night 25-lap qualifier last January, but said he won’t feel any extra pressure to succeed just because he’s carrying INDYCAR’s backing
“I think anytime you're representing a name and organization like INDYCAR there is a little extra pressure,” he said. “I'm bringing the IndyCar name to an event the best of the best from every form of auto racing, so I'm bound and determined to leave Tulsa with the IndyCar name at the top of the list.
“How cool would it be to bring a Golden Driller back to 16th and Georgetown?”