In May of this year, Bryan Clauson raced with Dale Coyne Racing/Jonathan Byrd Racing for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. He built friendships with Dale Coyne teammates Conor Daly, Pippa Mann and Gabby Chaves.
When Clauson’s life was tragically cut short after an on-track accident in Kansas earlier this month, the USAC legend’s “Chasing 200” tour was also left unfinished, with 116 starts to his name in 2016. Drivers from multiple racing series have committed to completing those remaining 84 starts for Clauson. Two of his 500 teammates, Daly and Mann will be part of that tally when they race this weekend in Long Pond, Pennsylvania at Pocono Raceway for the ABC Supply 500. The race is the 4th to last contest on the Verizon IndyCar Series season schedule.
Daly, racing for the first time at Pocono, will pilot the No. 88 BC Forever entry in honor of Clauson, rather than his usual No. 18 Jonathan Byrd Honda. He commented on how it’s not only humbling, but also inspiring,
“It’s going to be a great way to pay tribute and obviously a little extra motivation to ‘Park it’ in Victory Lane for Bryan.”
Pippa Mann will return to Pocono Raceway for the second year in a row, behind the wheel of the No. 19 Honda for Dale Coyne Racing and carrying a BC Forever logo on her helmet. She spoke on the timing of her return to the track,
“When I heard from Dale (Coyne) last week that he had decided that I would drive the #19 car this weekend, it meant so much to me, because it gives me the opportunity to be one of the drivers helping Bryan reach his 200 starts this year… He told me this May he always wanted to run this race, so I hope between Conor and I, he sees this as us making those starts for him.”
Mann finished P13 at the track in 2015 in a race that showed a 10-car wide moment on the frontstretch and some amazing maneuvers throughout. Last year’s contest ended on a much more somber note, with Justin Wilson being struck by debris during the race and ultimately passing away from his injuries the next day.
We as a racing community, head to Pocono with heavy hearts this year – remembering both Bryan Clauson and Justin Wilson. These two immensely talented drivers were taken far too soon, but in the midst of doing what they loved to do and arguably, what they were born to do.
The Dale Coyne Racing team has strong connections to both of those drivers as Clauson led laps at this year’s 500 for them and Wilson gave them their first race win, at Watkins Glen International in July 2009. 2009 was Wilson’s first full-time season with DCR, also running with them for the entirety of the 2012, 2013, and 2014 seasons.
Indy car racing returned to Pocono Raceway in 2013 after a 23 year hiatus. This weekend marks the 4th year in a row for IndyCar at the Tricky Triangle. The series and track recently announced confirmation of races in 2017 and 2018. Race weekend dates will be announced in the near future, and I suspect that will happen this weekend during the event… so stay tuned.
Verizon IndyCar Series track times for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway:
Saturday, August 20:
Practice #1 – 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. ET
Qualifying: 1:30 – 2:45 p.m. ET
Practice #2 – 5:00 – 5:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, August 21:
Systems Check – 11:30 a.m. – 11:35 a.m. ET
ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway – 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. E.T.
The race will be broadcast live on NBCSN.
Qualifying will be broadcast as a tape delay on Saturday night/Sunday morning on NBCSN at Midnight ET.
Practice sessions will be livestreamed.
All links to livestream and IndyCar radio coverage is available here.
Featured photo: Shawn Gritzmacher (Conor Daly) and Joe Skibinski (Pippa Mann) c/o IndyCar
In-post photos: Chris Owens (Conor Daly) and Chris Jones (Pippa Mann) c/o IndyCar