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National Dirt
Thursday, 29 August 2019


Karsyn Elledge, granddaughter of 1995 Brickyard 400 winner Dale Earnhardt and niece of 17-time Brickyard starter Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will compete in the Sept. 4-5 Driven2SaveLives BC39 powered by NOS Energy Drink at The Dirt Track at IMS. Karsyn Elledge, granddaughter of 1995 Brickyard 400 winner Dale Earnhardt and niece of 17-time Brickyard starter Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will compete in the Sept. 4-5 Driven2SaveLives BC39 powered by NOS Energy Drink at The Dirt Track at IMS. Adam Mollenkopf Photo


By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Speedway, Indiana (August 29, 2019)………At a racetrack, everywhere you look, there’s someone or something you can find that somehow connects to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

When it comes to IMS and the individuals involved either as a driver, crew member or car owner for the upcoming Driven2SaveLives BC39 powered by NOS Energy Drink September 4-5 at The Dirt Track at IMS, there seems to be several links between them, the Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400 or the NTT IndyCar Series.

Starting with the drivers on the BC39 lineup which, as it stands now, is closing on near 90 entries for the second running of the event, USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Rookie Karsyn Elledge (Mooresville, N.C) is the granddaughter of 1995 Brickyard 400 winner Dale Earnhardt and the niece of 17-time Brickyard 400 starter Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Elledge competes in the series for Tucker/Boat Motorsports.  The Boat part of the team ownership belongs to Billy Boat, who won the pole for the 1998 Indianapolis 500.  Billy’s son and Elledge’s teammate, 2018 BC39 second place finisher Chad Boat, competed in the 2014 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at IMS, starting 22nd and finishing 27th.

Making his Rookie start in the 1998 Indianapolis 500 in which Billy Boat started from the pole was J.J. Yeley, who started 13th and finished 9th in his lone Indy run in addition to eight Brickyard 400 starts and six Xfinity appearances at Indy.  Yeley was also in the field for Chad Boat’s lone Xfinity start at IMS as was Kyle Larson, a five-time Brickyard 400 starter himself who finished 5th in the race in 2016.

That 2016 Brickyard 400 also marked Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.’s best performance thus far in six starts, finishing 12th.  Yeley’s best Brickyard 400 start of 6th came in 2012, driving for Joe Gibbs.  Christopher Bell (Norman, Okla.) piloted Gibbs’ NASCAR Xfinity Series car to a 7th place finish in his first IMS start.

Finishing just two spots behind him that day at IMS was Chase Briscoe (Mitchell, Ind.), a winner of Eldora’s NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway in 2018 after taking race the lead late from defending USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget champion Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.).

Seavey drives for Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian.  Kunz, and brother Rusty (owner of Brayton Lynch’s No. 1K), are the nephews of Chuck Weyant, a four-time Indianapolis 500 starter between 1955 and 1959.  Curb-Agajanian, meanwhile has been associated with the Indianapolis 500 for more than half a century.  Agajanian-owned cars won the 500 with Troy Ruttman in 1952 and Parnelli Jones in 1963.  In recent years, the Curb-Agajanian team has been in Indianapolis 500 victory lane twice, with Dan Wheldon in 2011 and Alexander Rossi in 2016, both carrying the famed Agajanian family number of 98.

Keith Kunz Motorsports crewman Jay Drake made two Freedom 100 starts, finishing 4th in 2004 and 3rd in 2005.  Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.)’s run during this year’s Freedom 100 Indy Lights race ended just three-quarters of a lap into the event after getting collected by a spinning car in front of him.  Dave Darland and Russ Gamester, meanwhile, tested for Panther Racing’s IRL team in 2000.  Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) competed on the IMS Road Course in July.

Chase Jones and Kyle O’Gara will compete for Sarah Fisher/Hartman Racing Development in the BC39, owned by nine-time Indianapolis 500 starter Fisher.  The Fisher/Hartman team fielded Josef Newgarden to a 9th place finish in the 2015 Indianapolis 500 and three wins on the IndyCar Series circuit.  One of the crewmembers on the SFHR team for the BC39 is Greg Beck, whose Beck Motorsports team fielded entries in nine different Indianapolis 500 races with Hideshi Matsuda, Robbie Buhl, Dennis Vitolo, Billy Boat, Shinji Nakano, P.J. Jones, Stephan Gregoire and Alex Barron.

Clauson/Marshall Racing fielded Pippa Mann in this year’s Indianapolis 500, starting 30th and finishing 16th.  Mel Kenyon, owner of Trey Osborne’s No. 61 at the BC39, scored four top-five finishes in his eight Indianapolis 500 starts with brother Don Kenyon as mechanic.  Spike Gehlhausen, a crew member for BC39 driver Chris Baue’s team, made five Indianapolis 500 starts as driver, finishing a best of 10th in 1979. 

Alex Nalon, a Sprint Car racer himself, will be working as a crewman for Justin Dickerson at the BC39.  Nalon’s great grandfather Duke Nalon wheeled the famed Novi to the pole position at the Indianapolis 500 in 1949 and 1951.  Randi Pankratz’s father and car owner Wally Pankratz, a past USAC Western States Midget champion himself as a driver, attempted to qualify for a pair of CART races in late 1981 at Riverside, Calif. and Phoenix, Ariz., suffering from mechanical trouble and an accident in practice that stifled his lone attempts in an IndyCar.

Jerry Coons, Jr. (Tucson, Ariz.) made one Indy Lights start at the Nashville Super Speedway, finishing 9th.  Dillon Welch has announced from pit road on numerous IndyCar broadcasts this season for NBC Sports, following in the footsteps of his father, Vince Welch, who has been a commentator for racing broadcasts, including the Indianapolis 500, for a number of years, and regularly serves as the host for the Indy 500 Fastest Rookie luncheon.

It all seems to tie in, doesn’t it?  Everywhere you look, there’s a connection to the 2.5-mile oval at Indy.  Most importantly, you'll find a racer in the pits and on the track who feels right at home at IMS.  That’s something you can count on finding at the BC39.

Teams can file their entry for the event at until midnight, Thursday, Aug. 29, where they may also purchase pit and parking passes for the two-night USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship event.

There are three options for viewing the racing action and also having pit pass access.  You can purchase a competitor pit pass only where no seat is included with limited viewing of the track.  Secondly, you can purchase a competitor pit pass with reserved seating included, which are available in the lower level of the main grandstands.  Both options are available on

Competitor/crew seating has been added as a special general admission-only section in the main grandstand for the upcoming Driven2SaveLives BC39 powered by NOS Energy Drink at The Dirt Track at IMS on September 4-5.  Pits are located outside turns three and four this year, giving competitors and crews direct access to the grandstands.

Parking will also be available on both ends of the track for those with infield parking passes.  Each entry filed will come with two VIP parking passes for inside parking at IMS.  All others must either purchase inside parking or park outside of turns three and four of the 2.5-mile paved oval track.

Spectator tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at

The BC39 officially gets underway on Tuesday, Sept. 3 with team parking at noon.  From 4-6pm, catch five USAC icons at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum’s USAC Stars: From the Dirt Track to the Brickyard series.  The event will feature legends Don and Mel Kenyon, and current drivers Michael Pickens, Chris Windom and Chad Boat.  Pat Sullivan, longtime USAC public address announcer, historian, and author, will emcee this evening of entertaining banter and thrilling stories.

Tickets are available to Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum members for $15 and non-members for $20.  Limited seating.  Tickets must be purchased in advance.  For more information or to buy tickets, contact Kelly Hartman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Following the event, make your way to USAC headquarters, just across the street from the IMS Administration office at 4910 W. 16th Street, for the BC39 Draft Party from 5:30pm to 8:30pm Eastern where drivers will draw for their heat race positions.  All cars entered will be randomized into a draft order for the heat race draft.  Teams will be able to pick their heat race spot, either in person with a representative, or remotely through USAC officials.  Any unrepresented team will be given the first available spot.  The heat race position draft is open to the public with team members getting priority into the new USAC worldwide headquarters.  Food and beverages will be available.

On track action begins Wednesday, Sept. 4, beginning with the drivers meeting in the IMS Media Room at 2pm.  Public gates open at 3pm with cars hitting the track for practice at 5pm, followed by opening ceremonies at 6:30pm.  Heat races and the Stoops Pursuit race will conclude the night’s racing action.

The finale, on Thursday, Sept. 5, will have the public gates opening at 3pm and cars on track for practice at 4:30pm, with qualifying races to follow at 5:30pm.  Opening ceremonies are slated for 7pm and immediately followed by the main feature events, starting with multiple D-Mains, C-Main, the semi-feature and the 39-lap main event.