INDIANAPOLIS – Clauson-Marshall Racing will field an entry for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, with driver Pippa Mann attempting to make her seventh start in The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
The team will bring the No. 39 Chevrolet to Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the support of the Indiana Donor Network and its Driven2SaveLives initiative, which is featured prominently on 16-year-old Zeb Wise’s USAC midget with Clauson-Marshall.
Mann’s entry with Clauson-Marshall hearkens back to the days of old, when the United States Auto Club regularly served as a pipeline to IMS and short-track, open-wheel drivers tested their skills at the historic 2.5-mile oval.
Now, the USAC team founded in the wake of three-time Indianapolis 500 starter Bryan Clauson’s death will look to become a new bridge between USAC and IMS.
“In 2012, it was a privilege to come to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a dad to a driver who was competing in his first Indy 500. Now, we are honored to have an entry in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, as one of our organizational goals is to continue the dirt-to-Indianapolis trail that Bryan first blazed seven years ago,” said team co-owner Tim Clauson. “We are especially honored to partner with Driven2SaveLives, after organ and tissue donation became an important part of our lives in 2016.
“Merging our dirt programs with the Indy 500 program is very important to our future, and we are fortunate to have Pippa Mann behind the wheel,” Clauson continued. “After watching the way she handled the circumstances of last year (not qualifying for the Indy 500) with such grace, we were sure that if we could help her return to the Speedway, we would.”
The Driven2SaveLives program is an Indiana Donor Network campaign, with the goal of raising awareness of the need for organ, tissue and eye donation and transplantation. More than 114,000 men, women and children across the United States are currently waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant.
“Over the past four years, Driven2SaveLives has become a beacon of hope for patients waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant,” said Kellie Hanner, the president and CEO of Indiana Donor Network. “We are excited to partner with Clauson-Marshall Racing this year to spread the donation message far and wide.”
Mann is seeking her seventh Indianapolis 500 start in her eighth IMS appearance, one year after she thought she may have already seen her last shot at making the historic race pass her by.
“I am so thankful for this opportunity to join Clauson-Marshall Racing for their first Indianapolis 500,” noted Mann. “This is more than just a car entry to me and the journey has been an emotional one. Carrying the No. 39, and the Driven2SaveLives campaign on my Chevy entry is an honor that I don’t take lightly, and I’m grateful to Tim Clauson, Richard Marshall and Stanley Ross for believing in me.
“Last year on (Indy 500) race day, I did not have a race car and I was not getting ready to race. As someone who only gets to do this once a year, when I didn’t make the race, I thought that was it,” Mann added. “I didn’t think I’d have the chance to be back here and drive an Indy car again. However, I got a moment of hope when Tim Clauson told me what he wanted to do, and now to see this program come to fruition is something I’m so grateful to Tim and everyone at Clauson-Marshall Racing for.”
Track president Doug Bole applauded Clauson-Marshall’s announcement on Wednesday and expressed his enthusiasm at a new team joining the entry list for The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
“We’re pleased to see Indiana Donor Network continue its involvement in the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, especially after our successful partnership last year in the inaugural Driven2SaveLives BC39 powered by NOS Energy Drink at the dirt track,” said Boles. “It’s even more gratifying to see Indiana Donor Network’s relationship with Clauson-Marshall Racing grow into support that is helping one of USAC’s best race teams climb to the Indy 500 and continue the legacy of Bryan Clauson both on short tracks and at the Speedway.
“Above all, this announcement speaks to everything that Bryan was about. He didn’t just focus on his local race track or the discipline he was racing in – he thought big,” Boles added. “He wanted big challenges. He tried to run 200 races in one year. He ran in every discipline he could. He wasn’t afraid of anything. He wanted to give back, and he did all of that. This announcement today is Bryan Clauson-like and we’re honored to see his legacy continue and this story unfold at IMS.”