Indianapolis Motor Speedway is adding dirt racing to its Brickyard 400 NASCAR race weekend in September.
On Tuesday, IMS announced that it will construct a quarter-mile dirt track inside its famous oval and will host a USAC Midget National Championship event on Sept. 5-6 during the Brickyard 400 weekend.
The Driven2SaveLives BC39 on Sept. 5 and 6 will honor the late USAC champion, Indy 500 starter and former NASCAR driver, Bryan Clauson, and promote awareness of the Indiana Donor Network.
Clauson died in August 2016 following a race accident. As a registered donor, he went on to save five lives as an organ donor and continues to heal the lives of countless others as a tissue donor.
The Driven2SaveLives BC39 will include a unique format ending with a 39-lap feature Sept. 6 in the richest Midget racing event in recent history. The event will feature more than $70,000 in purse and incentives, including a $15,000 winner’s purse – largest in Midget racing.
“This is an exciting new chapter of the longtime relationship between USAC and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and reinforces the connection between short-track racing and this facility,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said.
“The Speedway truly is The Greatest Race Course in the World, and adding a dirt track will create even more opportunities for fans to enjoy the magic of IMS. We can’t wait to see some of the best drivers and teams in America compete here during Brickyard race week.”
Construction of The Dirt Track at IMS, located inside Turn 3 of the oval, started last week with the first loads of Indiana clay arriving for grading. Concrete walls and safety fencing will be constructed during the summer, and portable lights will illuminate the track.
Reece O'Connor of Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway is overseeing the track design and layout and supervising the construction. Allegiant International, a multinational advisory and consultancy firm based in Indianapolis, is facilitating the project.
“Over the years, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has played such a critical part not only in the formation but also the successful growth of the United States Auto Club,” USAC President/CEO Kevin Miller said.
“Our roots originated at IMS, and our passion continues to reside here. To have USAC return to hosting a race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a historic and exciting new chapter for our Midget series. We are beyond thrilled for both our competitors and fans to add this race to our 2018 calendar.”