Updated: 2022 BC39 boasts more than 85 entries, Kyle Larson declares on Friday

2022 BC39
Josh James / USAC.com
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Boasting more than 85 entries, the 2022 Driven2SaveLives BC39, features top midget drivers pitted against an impressive cast of stars from other racing divisions, including four-time Indy 500 starter Zach Veach and Cup playoff hopeful Chase Briscoe.

Update: Hours before the deadline on Friday, Kyle Larson entered the BC39. He is one of five drivers for Chad Boat’s team, which also includes an entry for the first female declared as a winner of a major open wheel series when she took the DIRTCar’s Xtreme Midget Series, part of the same organization that fields the World of Outlaws.

Larson now joins Brady Bacon in a quest to be the first two-time winner of the BC39.

The race has become a staple of NASCAR’s weekend at the Brickyard and will be held midweek following this year’s Verizon 200 and IndyCar’s Gallagher Grand Prix, which marks the first time America’s top-two series will race in a doubleheader at the same track.

In its fourth running this year, the BC39 has already been won by some of the best open wheel racers with Bacon winning the inaugural race in 2018, Zeb Wise winning in 2019 and Larson winning last year. Larson also won the Stoops Pursuit race the night before the main event.

The race was not run in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2022 BC39
Buddy Kofoid finished 10th in last year’s edition of the BC39. Josh James, USAC.com

The BC39 is run in tribute to Bryan Clauson, who lost his life in a 2016 crash in the Belleville Midget Nationals.

Before then, he won 38 USAC National Midget races and 26 times in POWRI Midgets. Clauson also had 41 USAC Sprint Car wins and his combined success opened the door for three starts in IndyCar and 26 in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series.

The race holds a special place for the Clauson family. In 2016, he was one of the drivers to test this new quarter-mile track.

In addition to Larson, Veach and Briscoe, other notables entered this year are former NASCAR drivers JJ Yeley and Ryan Newman, Xfinity driver Sheldon Creed, World of Outlaws 10-time champion Donny Schatz and ARCA’s Michelle Decker.

They will need to outrun midget standouts Buddy Kofoid, Justin Grant, Tyler Courtney, the inaugural winner Bacon, Thomas Meseraull and Logan Seavey.

Some of the other female drivers entered this week include Kaylee Bryson, Taylor Reimer, Mariah Ede, and Maria Cofer.