As racing season nears its conclusion in more areas across the United States, all eyes, especially in Dirt Track America, turn to big midget races across the country. The most notable of these are the Turkey Night Grand Prix and Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. The Chili Bowl is the Super Bowl or Daytona 500 of dirt track racing. It draws entries from all over the country and abroad, pulling big names from IndyCar, NASCAR, NHRA, World of Outlaws and USAC. It’s one of the only dirt racing events to be broadcast on television, with MAVTV having the rights to it.
Many drivers have made their names in USAC midgets, whether it be Rico Abreu, Kyle Larson, Tony Stewart or Christopher Bell. All these competitors have mostly moved onto NASCAR, while owning teams or racing select Sprint Car races throughout the year. Bryan Clauson however, made his name in USAC racing and primarily stayed in their different series throughout his career. He took all of us in the short track community with him once a season to Indianapolis for the 500 and made us proud. But mostly he was a Sprint Car racer, and made his presence felt in USAC racing. Clauson won the 2010 and 2011 championships and racked up over a hundred victories across the different United States Auto Clubs’ divisions. He also picked up one Golden Driller in 2014.
One of the most anticipated events of the Chili Bowl week is the Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions that normally takes place on Tuesday night. To honor Bryan Clauson, it would be a great move by the entire staff to rename this event the “Bryan Clauson Invitational Race of Champions” for 2016 and years to come. This would honor Bryan for what he was, a champion.