NASCAR Hall of Fame driver and five-time Brickyard 400 winner Jeff Gordon will serve as honorary starter for night one of the Driven2SaveLives BC39 Powered by NOS Energy Drink on Wednesday, Aug. 18 at The Dirt Track at IMS.
As a part of his duties, Gordon will wave the green flag for the Stoops Pursuit race at 8 p.m. (ET) Wednesday on the quarter-mile dirt track located inside Turn 3 of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Additionally, before Gordon climbs into the flag stand, he will turn exhibition laps in a Clauson Marshall Racing United States Auto Club Midget car in front of the crowd, something he hasn’t done in nearly 30 years.
“Like so many others, racing on dirt played a huge role in my driving career, so it was very special to get the opportunity to make some laps recently at The Dirt Track at IMS,” Gordon said. “I had forgotten how much fun it was to slide a dirt midget around a quarter-mile dirt track. With the BC39 coming up, it creates a great opportunity to come back and do it again.
“I’m very thankful to everyone at IMS for making this possible, and I’m excited to be the honorary starter for night one. I’m also thankful to my longtime friend Tim Clauson and Clauson Marshall Racing for providing me a great car to drive. It’s going to be a fun night!”
Gordon will drive a white Clauson Marshall Racing USAC Midget car. It will feature Gordon’s name on the front of the car and logos from Driven2SaveLives, the namesake of the race, and the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion’s pediatric cancer foundation benefitting families and kids with cancer.
“Jeff’s success on short tracks across the Midwest propelled him to a national stage, and with that he truly helped develop and bring popularity to grassroots racing across the country,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “I can’t wait for him to return to his roots here at IMS for all of us to appreciate what he’s done for our local short tracks and for our fans to see one of their favorite adopted Hoosiers back in a USAC Midget car.”
The appearance of Gordon, the 1989 USAC National Midget Series Rookie of the Year, 1990 USAC National Midget Series champion and 1991 USAC Silver Crown Series champion, will be just one part of a spectacular lineup of activities scheduled for night one of the two-night grassroots racing event.
“When Jeff said he wanted to run laps on a race-prepped IMS Dirt Track, my immediate thought was to get him here to do it for the BC39,” Clauson Marshall Racing co-owner Tim Clauson said. “Although it’s only exhibition laps in nature, I am really excited to get to share with the fans the enjoyment of watching Jeff back on the dirt.”
USAC champions and NASCAR and INDYCAR stars will hit the dirt Wednesday for hot lap sessions and heat races the same night Gordon serves in his honorary starter duties. After Gordon lights up the crowd, a selection of drivers from the Driven2SaveLives BC39 Powered by NOS Energy Drink field will take part in the Stoops Pursuit race.
On Thursday, Aug. 19, the field will run hot lap sessions before qualifying races set the lineups for the five main races that will dwindle the field down into the Driven2SaveLives BC39 Powered by NOS Energy Drink feature race.