INDIANAPOLIS – After two successful editions of the Driven2SaveLives BC39 powered by NOS Energy Drink at The Dirt Track at IMS, the crown-jewel event’s third running will have a new date.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles told SPEED SPORT Tuesday that the BC39 will move to July 1-2.
The move comes in the wake of the NASCAR schedule realignment that sees the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Brickyard 400 shift from an early-September date to Independence Day weekend, creating a holiday-week racing buffet for fans from around the country.
“We’re excited about how things are lining up for next year’s BC39. Next year, it’ll be a little bit of an unknown given that we are keeping it with the NASCAR weekend, so it’ll move to July, but it’s an exciting new aspect for the race,” Boles said. “There is some school of thought that the summer is short-track season, really, so there’s a belief that maybe that (new date) will be better for folks … having it on July 1-2 next year. It’ll be a little bit of a new twist for us.
“At the same time, we still need to really focus on establishing it as an event that drivers want to compete in, whether they’re midget drivers full season or they’re some other version of a short-track driver who comes in because it’s a big event,” Boles continued. “It’s a big priority to make sure that fans beyond central Indiana have viewed it as one of those can’t-miss events and we’re looking forward to continuing that into the new year and the third running of the BC39.”
NASCAR stars such as Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell and Chase Briscoe participated in this year’s BC39, a feat made easier by the fact that the NASCAR Xfinity Series and Cup Series raced on the famed 2.5-mile oval in the days following the $15,000-to-win NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series event.
Boles was quick to note that part of the reasoning behind keeping the BC39 as the lead-in to Brickyard 400 weekend was to continue facilitating that crossover between the stock-car and dirt racing worlds.
“That’s one of the things that we feel like makes the BC39 unique, is because it’s tied to a NASCAR weekend at a NASCAR track, and because of that then you get some NASCAR driver crossover,” Boles explained. “Had we left it in September where it’s been, we were just concerned that it would be harder for guys like Kyle Larson, or J.J. Yeley, or Christopher Bell, or Chase Briscoe … Ricky Stenhouse Jr., for those guys to be able to come and run the BC39.
“We want them to continue to participate in it and having it on a Cup (and) Xfinity weekend makes it easier for them to do just that.”
Zeb Wise is the reigning winner of the BC39, taking the top prize after outdueling both Kyle Larson and Brady Bacon in the closing laps on the quarter-mile IMS dirt oval on Sept. 5.