National Dirt
Tuesday, 14 March 2017


Tyler Courtney battles Kyle Larson in the 2017 Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. Tyler Courtney battles Kyle Larson in the 2017 Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. Hein Brothers Photo


Clauson-Marshall Racing has announced a star-studded three-man lineup that consists of USAC winning drivers currently at the top of their game – Shane Golobic, Tyler Courtney and Justin Grant – to compete for a USAC Midget National Championship in 2017.

The first destination on the road to a championship begins March 18 indoors at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin for the second running of the “Shamrock Classic.”  It’s a place that’s been very kind to the CMR team’s top wrenches, Tim Clauson and Tyler Ransbottom, under USAC sanction.  Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. won under the Bryan Clauson Racing banner at Du Quoin in December of 2015 while Courtney captured the “Junior Knepper 55” in December 2016 during his first ride in the CMR car.

Last March’s inaugural “Shamrock Classic” saw Fremont, California’s Shane Golobic take the lead just past the halfway point of the 50-lapper on his way to picking up his first career USAC National Midget feature score.  The 25-year-old Golobic is no stranger to the team as he has won a number of sprint car and midget races under the tutelage of Tim Clauson over the years.  In 2017, Golobic will be behind the wheel of the Elk Grove Ford/Driven 2 Save Lives machine as he chases the series title for the first time.

“I am excited and thankful for a full season behind the wheel of the Matt Wood Racing/Clauson Marshall No. 17w,” an appreciative Golobic stated.  “I enjoy racing with Matt, Tim, Tyler and the rest of the CMR team and I have no doubt that we will be very successful in 2017.”

Twenty-two-year-old Courtney’s first start for CMR was one he’ll never forget as he raced to victory in the “Knepper 55” USAC Midget “Special Event” at Du Quoin just less than three months ago.  His follow-up performance during a “Chili Bowl Midget Nationals” preliminary night in January ended in the same result – celebrating in victory lane with the CMR crew.  “Sunshine,” as he is affectionately known, assumes control of the Driven 2 Save Lives #7BC for 2017.

“I’m really excited to contend for my first national midget championship this season,” Courtney exclaimed. “We've got a solid group of guys with a lot of momentum on our side from the winter season that hopefully transcends into this season.  I feel it’s going to be a great year.  I've got two really good teammates and one really solid team.”

Ione, California’s Justin Grant seized the moment the first time he had an opportunity behind the wheel of a CMR entry on the Friday night “Chili Bowl” preliminary.  Grant, age 26, took the victory and earned the pole position for Saturday night’s finale, firmly establishing himself as a member of the CMR family where he will tackle the full USAC National Midget schedule for the first time.  The versatile Grant finished third in last season’s USAC Silver Crown standings and currently leads the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point standings after winning the season-opener at “Winter Dirt Games VIII” in Ocala, Florida.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to compete for the 2017 USAC National Midget Championship with the Clauson-Marshall Racing team,” an excited Grant said.  “Between Tim Clauson’s dedication and knowledge and the Marshall’s commitment to this team and our sport as a whole, I couldn’t ask for better people to work with.  Having a seat in the No. 39BC midget will provide me not only a chance to race for wins and a championship title, but also an opportunity to learn from a great team and talented teammates both on and off the race track.  Clauson-Marshall Racing is highly professional as well as very family-oriented and I am honored to be a part of it as we chase wins, a championship and hope to honor Bryan’s memory.”

The lineup of Golobic, Courtney and Grant owns just a single USAC National Midget points win coming into 2017, but expectations are high for this group of young guns who have achieved success in several disciplines of racing at the local and national levels.  Golobic is a World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car feature winner, Courtney is a USAC National Sprint Car feature winner and Grant owns five career USAC National Sprint Car wins.  It’s a youthful, exciting group that’s hitting its stride at just the right time.

“I am really proud of the lineup we have assembled for our inaugural season,” Clauson added.  “While our original plan was to run a two-car team for the championship with Tyler and Shane, the opportunity to add Justin was one we just couldn’t pass up.  All three of the drivers have won in our cars and now to have a team that will allow them the chance to compete for a championship is very exciting.  All three drivers are professional racecar drivers and the type of people we want our development drivers to look up to.”

"To me, this team should be called "We Loved Bryan Racing," team partner Matt Wood said.  “I've never met a person that impacted my life the way Bryan (Clauson) did.  I'm honored to have an opportunity to represent Bryan and be affiliated with the Driven 2 Save Lives campaign.  This USAC midget season will be the best ever.  It's no secret the road to the championship goes thru Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports.  With this lineup of drivers, and the talent of Tim Clauson, I predict next year it goes thru CMR/MWR.”

“After seeing the teamwork displayed by these guys at this year’s Chili Bowl, I could not be more excited to keep it going for the 2017 USAC championship campaign,” team owner Richard Marshall noted.  “These three drivers are winners on and off the track.  They carry themselves in a way that would make Bryan proud, and consequently, will be great mentors for Clauson-Marshall Development drivers.  I can’t wait to get to the track!”

Clauson-Marshall Racing is not only driven by the pursuit of feature wins and a season championship in 2017, but also by promoting organ, tissue and eye donation and transplantation in honor of, Tim Clauson’s son, the late Bryan Clauson, through a partnership with the Indiana Donor Network and the Driven2SaveLives campaign.

Bryan, a two-time USAC National Midget champion and three-time USAC National Sprint Car titlist, passed away after an incident during the “Belleville Midget Nationals” in August 2016.  Bryan was a registered donor and, because of that, saved five lives and will enhance the lives of countless others as a tissue donor.

Driven2SaveLives initially started in 2016 as a partnership between the Indiana Donor Network, Stefan Wilson and KV Racing Technology.  The goal was to promote organ, tissue and eye donation and transplantation around the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in honor of Stefan’s late brother, IndyCar driver Justin Wilson. 

Together, Indiana Donor Network and Clauson-Marshall Racing hope to get people across the country to register their donation decision through Driven2SaveLives.  There are more than 120,000 people nationwide waiting for lifesaving organ transplants.  The Driven2SaveLives campaign will have a presence at dirt track races around the country in Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Ohio and more during the 2017 season.

In the U.S., another person is added to the transplant waiting list every 10 minutes.  Each day, 22 people on average in the U.S. die because a donated organ wasn’t made available in time.  You can make a difference. You could save up to eight lives through organ donation and enhance the lives of approximately 75 people through tissue donation now at 

 “I can think of no better way to honor the gift that Bryan left us all with his decision to be an organ donor then to have our program be a part of the Driven2SaveLives campaign,” Clauson said.  “The campaign is focused on bringing education and awareness about organ, tissue and eye donation and transplantation.  To be able to share the message through the sport that Bryan was so passionate about is humbling to say the least.  Following Bryan’s death, the impact that his decision had on not only the short track community, but racing was something that we knew we wanted to carry on by continuing to spread the message and allow those who are willing an opportunity to share their stories and experiences with donation and transplantation.  The Driven 2 Save Lives Campaign will follow the blue print of Bryan’s Chasing 200 tour by being present at several of racing’s biggest events during the 2017 season.”

You can follow Driven2SaveLives on a variety of social media channels on Facebook, Twitter (@Driven2Save) Instagram (@Driven2Save), Snapchat (@Driven2Save) and YouTube (Driven2SaveLives).

You can follow along with the Clauson-Marshall Racing throughout the season on Facebook (Clauson-Marshall Racing) and Twitter (@ClausonMarshall).