Ryan Newman (Photo: Nick Oxford/NASCAR)
A strong contingent of drivers with connections to NASCAR’s national series will be competing in this week’s BC39 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The annual USAC Midget event, which honors the late Bryan Clauson, is held on the quarter-mile dirt track located inside Turn 3 of the historic IMS oval.
Once again this year, the BC39 will feature champions from all over the motorsports world with NASCAR, USAC, World of Outlaws, Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions and more represented.
The entry list includes the names of champions and race winners in the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Take a look below at the list of drivers with NASCAR connections that will be competing in the race.
RELATED: Watch the BC39 live on FloRacing
The defending NASCAR Cup Series champion is also the most recent winner of the BC39. One year ago, Larson prevailed in a thrilling battle with open-wheel stars Justin Grant and Thomas Meseruall to score the $15,000 victory. In addition to his 2021 BC39 win, Larson has won the last two runnings of the Stoops Pursuit race held on Wednesday night.
Briscoe, the driver of the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing car in the NASCAR Cup Series, has yet to miss the BC39 in the three years it’s been held. After failing to qualify in 2018, he finished 24th in 2019 before recording a career-best finish of 11th one year ago. After securing his first NASCAR Cup Series win earlier this year at Phoenix Raceway, Briscoe has been busy on his “Chase’n Dirt Tour” racing MIdgets, Sprint Cars and Dirt Late Models throughout the year.
Stenhouse returns to the BC39 after missing last year’s version of the event. The full-time driver of the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing car on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit finished 11th in the inaugural BC39 before recording his best finish of seventh in 2019. This time around, Stenhouse will be driving the No. 08 car for Dave Mac Dalby Motorsports.
The 2020 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion will make his USAC Midget debut at the BC39. Creed, who currently competes full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with Richard Childress Racing, has made a handful of dirt starts in recent years. He’s competed in Dirt Late Models, UMP Modifieds and Micro Sprints, most notably at Millbridge Speedway in North Carolina.
While Newman no longer competes full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series, he’s a very familiar name to NASCAR fans. He’s also a familiar face at the BC39 after competing in last year’s event. This year, Newman competed full-time with the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) and collected a victory at Stafford Motor Speedway. In addition to driving SRX cars, he’s also raced Midgets, Pavement Sprint Cars, Tour-type Modifieds and USAC Silver Crown cars this season. Now, he’ll return to a Dirt Midget for the first time since January’s Chili Bowl Nationals.
Yeley, who experienced success on dirt before beginning his NASCAR career, returns to the BC39 after attempting all three previous versions of the race. He has failed to qualify in his three previous attempts. In 2003, Yeley claimed the USAC Triple Crown championship after winning the USAC National Midget, USAC National Sprint Car and USAC Silver Crown championships in the same year. On the NASCAR circuit, he has made 342 NASCAR Cup Series starts and 369 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts.
While Welch isn’t known primarily for driving a race car, he’s a well-known personality within the NASCAR world. He returns to the BC39 after missing last year’s event. Welch, the son of FOX Sports NASCAR broadcaster Vince Welch, has created a path of his own in the broadcast industry as a reporter for NBC Sports and MRN Radio. He’s also the co-host of the Loudpedal Podcast on FloRacing. Behind the wheel, Welch has experienced success while racing a limited schedule. In January, he qualified for the A-Main at the prestigious Chili Bowl Nationals.