Fan Force United, the team that fielded Jean Alesi in the Indy 500 and a regular in the Firestone Indy Lights Championship, announced that it has reached an agreement Bryan Clauson to drive its No. 24 Indy Lights car at thew next two oval races at Milwaukee and Iowa.
For the USAC standout, who made his IndyCar debut in last month's Indianapolis 500, it will mark a return to the series where he competed in six events in 2011 and scored four top-five finishes. That effort came via IndyCar's partnership with USAC, which awards a scholarship to USAC's National Champion to participate in Lights. His two best finishes in the series came at Milwaukee and Iowa, where he finished fourth and third, respectively. He pulled “triple duty” in both of those events, engaging in Firestone Indy Lights, USAC Silver Crown, and USAC Midget competition.
“[This is] a giant step forward. To be hired to race at the Indy level, whether in Lights or the big cars, is really exciting,” Clauson said. “Last year in Lights, and this year at Indy, I was able to use my Road to Indy scholarship funds to get myself in a seat. For these races, Fan Force United came to me and asked if I wanted to do this with them. So not only is Fan Force United giving me a chance to drive for them at two tracks that are a lot of fun to race, they are also doing it as an investment in me, which is a really great feeling.
“I've known Tyce (Fan Force United co-owner, Tyce Carlson) for a long time. Since he came up racing the same way I did before he got to Indy, I've always kept an eye on his program. Everybody that really pays attention to these types of things, knows that they always put together a qualify effort. What those guys did at Indy this year was not lost on people. Given some really challenging circumstances, they did a fantastic job. Plus, I get to work with Tim Wardrop (Fan Force United's chief engineer and director of competition). Tim's an Indy legend in his own right and I've always heard great things about him. There is so much to learn about this type of racing, and I hope to learn a lot from him. I feel like it certainly gives me a better shot at doing some winning along the way.”
The Milwaukee race comes in the middle of “Indiana Midget Week,” so Clauson has made the difficult decision to skip the Friday night race at Bloomington Speedway in order to be able to compete in Milwaukee. However, in the two days prior and the two days following the race, Clauson will be going USAC Midget racing at Gas City, Putnamville, Lawrenceburg, and Kokomo. Prior to the Milwaukee weekend, Clauson is competing in the USAC Sprint Car series “Eastern Storm Tour,” and has scored victories at New Egypt Speedway and Grandview Speedway.
Fan Force United had recently released first-year driver Armaan Ebrahim, who had posted finishes of eighth (St. Petersburg), 12th (Birmingham), 12th (Long Beach), 13th (Indianapolis), and 10th (Detroit).
“This is a time of transition for the team, and it's great to be able to go through it with a driver like Clauson, whose record of success everywhere he's gone absolutely speaks for itself,” said team co-owner Scott Williamson. “We can't wait to see what he can do, and we're looking forward to seeing the No. 24 near the front of the field. Hopefully we'll give our Fan Force a reason to bring and ring those cowbells the next couple of weekends.”