Sunday, May 13, 2018

Indianapolis 500 Signature Sunday - Bryan Clauson

My second Indianapolis 500 Signature Sunday takes me back to the last Indianapolis 500 that I attended.  My bride-to-be was completely onboard with roadtripping it from Texas to Indianapolis two years ago and attending the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500.  If you wonder why we drove, two round-trip flights were going to be more than $1300.  It was a lot of driving and road time, but we did the entire trip for well less than that. 

This wasn't the year that I got autographs from Bryan Clauson, but it was the last time that I saw him race.  The Indianapolis kid even led the race (under caution) and I was fortunate enough to get a picture of him leading, no matter how bad of a picture it was. 

I had every intention of sending this picture to him to sign, but I never had the opportunity.  Less than four months later, Clauson was killed in an on-track incident in Nebraska.  We always want to find the bright side in dark times.  Bryan Clauson was an organ donor and his death did save lives.  

I met Clauson in 2012 at a get-together (not sure what else you'd call it) in his hometown (and where I lived) of Noblesville, IN in 2012.  The "local boy" was running the Indianapolis 500 that year for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.  

Sarah Fisher, me, Bryan Clauson
He finished 30th, falling out of the race with mechanical problems.  

Clauson was kind enough to sign a couple of cards that I had.  Asking him to sign a memorabilia card was a conscious decision since so few IndyCar drivers would have a mem card.  

For those that don't know, Clauson was on-track to race is NASCAR's top series, potentially full-time.  As is oftentimes the case in racing, bad luck kept him from making it to the Winston Cup (or whatever it's called now) Series.  Twice during the 2008 series he was set to make his debut but both times qualifying was rained out and he wasn't eligible to start the race.  He was supposed to race the full 2009 season in the Busch (or whatever it's called now) Series.  That may have provided him another chance at later running in the top series but his team's sponsor left and he could not find another ride and Clauson disappeared from stock car racing.  

Clauson returned to his roots, running USAC and other open-wheel cars, which gave him the opportunity to run the Indianapolis 500 three times.  The 2016 racing season was supposed to be a whirlwind season for Clauson.  Per wikipedia:  "Clauson was attempting to compete in 200 races in 2016 which is being billed as "The Chasing 200 Tour, Circular Insanity". The tour included the 100th Indianapolis 500, USAC Midget and Sprint cars, World of Outlaws (WoO) sprint cars, and wingless sprint cars. He normally ran about 150 shows per year; he hoped to double up by racing some 360 wingless sprint car class cars at 410 (WoO / USAC) winged sprint car events. Clauson traveled the country living out of a mobile home."  

Since I'm writing this post, I will take it as a chance to show the few other Clauson cards that I have.  

2008 Press Pass - Signings #14 Bryan Clauson

2009 Press Pass - Gold Holofoil #41 Bryan Clauson /100

2008 Press Pass Speedway - Red #41 Bryan Clauson /10

Even though you're gone, BC, you're not forgotten.  I still have my two t-shirts (just wore one of them last week), coozies and my BC Forever sticker on my car.  I wish you were running the race in two weeks.  


I've decided to try selling on Sports Card Direct again.  Hopefully you'll take a look at my page and see if there's anything you're interested in.  I can always sell off the site and ship in a PWE if you're only looking for a card or two and don't want to pay $3 shipping.  I'm going to start listing more cards daily.  It's time to get out of a lot of my stuff.  

If you shop online and haven't signed up and used ebates yet, you're missing out.  I also use it on eBay to get money back from purchases there.  Between referrals and cash back, I've gotten over $150 in a year.  FREE CARDS!  Another $40 was depostied into my Paypal account last week.

If you're on Twitter, please give me a follow.  You can also find me on Trading Card Database.  I love trading cards, when it makes sense.  Happy collecting!

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