Bryan Clauson will get another season on IndyCar's development ladder, after locking up his second USAC National Drivers Championship. The USAC short-track standout clinched his second USAC national title – and the scholarship to compete in Firestone Indy Lights that comes with it – with a sixth-place finish in the USAC Sprint Car race at Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway in Hanford, Calif.
"It was a busy year with a lot of ups and downs, and to lock down and get the job done late in the year to put this thing away was just awesome," said the 22-year-old native of Noblesville, Ind. "I couldn't have done it without my great car owners, Tony Stewart, Mike Curb, and Corey Tucker or all the great crew guys that I get to work with."
Clauson will try to become the first driver since Billy Boat to win three straight Turkey Night grands prix at Irwindale, Calif., later this month, as well as lock up his second consecutive USAC Midget title. He will officially receive his $40,000 prize and his IndyCar scholarship at USAC's "Night of Champions" banquet on Dec. 9 in Indianapolis. Until then, he said he'll work with IndyCar officials to determine how best to utilize the scholarship for 2012.
"I'm really excited about moving forward on the IndyCar side of things," he said. "We had already been hard at work trying to put something together without the scholarship and had some great meetings, so I feel like the scholarship will only help solidify whatever program we put together.
"As far as a direction for where I'll land for sure, I think it's too early. Obviously, I have an idea of where I'd like to land, but there are a lot of people involved in the scholarship program we need to make sure we take care of. When I get home from this West Coast swing after Turkey Night, you can be sure that I will be back hard at work to put a solid program together, whether it ends up being on the Lights side or the IZOD IndyCar side."