INDIANAPOLIS – The third annual Driven2SaveLives BC39 powered by NOS Energy Drink for the USAC National Midget Series was canceled Thursday by Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials.
The July 1-2 event was to be one of the premier events of the series calendar, held on the quarter-mile dirt track nestled inside the third turn of the 2.5-mile IMS oval track.
However, Thursday’s decision came in light of the decision by IMS to hold all events during Independence Day weekend without fans in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the state of Indiana plans to enter stage five of its Back on Track Indiana plan on July 4, opening sporting events to fans with social distancing, Marion County – home to IMS – moved into stage three 10 days after the rest of the state.
Due to that fact, track officials were not confident that Marion County would be ready to move to stage five by the holiday weekend.
“After extensive consultation with local and state health officials, we have made the difficult decision to run these events without fans in the stands due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said IMS President Doug Boles. “As a result of this decision, we have also canceled the Driven2SaveLives BC39 USAC midget race and the FGL Fest concert.
“This approach follows national trends for larger communities, and we must follow those guidelines and the leadership and judgement of our city and state officials during this challenging time,” Boles continued. “Our fans – are what make this place so special, and we will greatly miss welcoming them next month for what promises to be a historic NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. We are, however, excited that all three races that will be held will broadcast on NBC and hope everyone will tune in throughout the holiday weekend.”
“While we certainly worked diligently to run our events with spectators, we reached a point where we needed to make a final decision because the race weekend is less than a month away,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President & CEO Mark Miles added. “Today it’s not possible to be confident that Indianapolis will be at stage five of the state’s reopening plan by the Fourth of July weekend.”
The BC39 was born in 2018 and quickly became a fan-favorite event on the USAC calendar.
Brady Bacon won the inaugural running, while Zeb Wise won the 2019 edition driving for Clauson-Marshall Racing in the No. 39bc, a tribute to the late Bryan Clauson, whom the event honors along with its title sponsorship from the Indiana Donor Network.
Customers with tickets to the impacted events will receive an email from the IMS ticket office with instructions for claiming tickets to the track’s 2021 events, an account credit good for all future events at IMS, or a refund.
USAC and IMS officials are working together on possible on-track activity at The Dirt Track at IMS later during the 2020 season.