By Lonnie Wheatley
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (June 5, 2010) – It was just a week ago that Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Brady Bacon was searching for that elusive first Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National triumph.
Over the course of the last eight nights though, the 20-year-old has now reeled off three Lucas Oil Sprint Car wins in a row after topping Saturday night’s 35-lap main event atop the high-banked, ¼-mile I-30 Speedway clay oval.
This time, the proven wingless ace that is a suddenly burgeoning winged Sprint Car star, disposed of early pacesetter A.G. Rains on the 13th round and never looked back en route to another checkered flag aboard Mike and Megan Eubanks’ Wesmar-powered Tel-Star Communications No. 99 Triple-X.
“We started with the winged racing last year and it really took us about a year to learn what would work best for us,” Bacon explained after just the 12th three-peat in series history that has included 577 ASCS National features since 1993. “Mike and the guys are giving me a perfect car right now.”
While Bacon gridded the feature field fourth, he was into second on the opening lap behind pole starter Rains when the caution flew for Shane Stewart’s turn two spin. After quickly replacing a bent wheel and flat tire, the reigning Lucas Oil Sprint Car champion rejoined the field at the tail.
After another brief caution for Dustin Morgan’s turn two spin three laps later, Bacon went to work on Rains for the lead. Bacon looked inside of Rains for several laps before testing the waters up top.
Rains moved to the top side of turns three and four on lap 13, which was the just the opening Bacon was looking for. Bacon ducked to the bottom, used a lapped car as a pick and raced into a lead that he would not relinquish.
The only thing that slowed Bacon’s pace over the remaining distance was a red flag after 24 laps when Ricky Logan got upside down in turn four. Logan was uninjured.
Bacon slipped away over the final eleven circuits, holding a half straightaway advantage and working traffic as he took the checkered flag to extend his lead in the $60,000 championship points chase to 63 markers.
While Bacon cruised out front, the action in his wake was intense with Zach Chappell and Tony Bruce, Jr., battling side-by-side for runner-up honors over the final ten circuits.
Chappell, an April 10 Lucas Oil ASCS winner at I-30, got the edge at the stripe in the Wesmar-powered Legends Bar-B-Que No. 50z Maxim, with ninth-starter Bruce, Jr., settling for show honors in the Bruce Racing/The Oil Medics No. 18 Maxim.
Tim Crawley rallied from 11th in Mike Ward’s McCarver-powered Boater Sports No. 88 Maxim and held off “B” Main transfer Jason Johnson for fourth at the stripe. Earning Hard Charger honors by racing from 18th, Johnson rounded out the top five in the Jason Johnson Racing Don Ott-powered Haynes/Pope Transportation No. 41 Maxim.
After holding down the third position for the opening ten rounds or so, Danny Wood crossed the stripe in sixth with West Memphis shoe Rains nipping leading Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Kyle Hirst at the line for seventh.
California’s Hirst was eighth after starting 21st, with Darren Stewart and Matt Covington completing the top ten.
Shane Stewart salvaged a 14th place finish after his early miscue.
Logan, Rains, Wood, Chappell and Covington topped heat race action for Saturday night’s 41-car field, with Wade Oliver and Johnson winning the twin “B” Mains.
Dusty Fronabarger tumbled off the top of turn two at the completion of the night’s first heat race, while Austen Wheatley climbed a tire and flipped exiting turn two in “B” Main action. There were no injuries.
Gary Wright cut a right rear tire in heat race action and then was unable to make the necessary charge from the tail of a “B” Main to the top three after exhausting all his provisionals in the opening three events of the season.
The Lucas Oil Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters return to action next weekend, June 11-12, at Eagle Raceway in Eagle, NE, with the Eagle Nationals.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters
I-30 Speedway Results:
Heat Races (Top 16 in Passing Points to “A” Main; Balance to 2 “B” Mains):
Heat One (10 Laps): 1. 10a-Ricky Logan, 2. 57-Shane Stewart, 3. 5h-Justyn Cox, 4. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 5. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 6. 90-Jeff Swindell, 7. 38-Rick Pringle, 8. 73-Dusty Fronabarger, 9. 01-Jeremy Newkirk.
Heat Two (10 Laps): 1. 3-A.G. Rains, 2. 93-Dustin Morgan, 3. 99-Brady Bacon, 4. 91-Darren Stewart, 5. 41-Jason Johnson, 6. 8x-Chris Williams, 7. 8z-Zach Pringle, 8. 5k-Jerry Kamer.
Heat Three (10 Laps): 1. 94-Danny Wood, 2. 88-Tim Crawley, 3. 12T-Joe Young, 4. 1g-Cody Gardner, 5. 4-Tommy Snellgrove, 6. K9-Jaysen Baker, 7. 60-Eric Sandage, 8. 9x-Gary Wright.
Heat Four (10 Laps): 1. 50z-Zach Chappell, 2. 14-Jordon Mallett, 3. 58-Wade Oliver, 4. 40-Ernie Ainsworth, 5. 29-Travis Rilat, 6. 9-Justin Sturch, 7. 6-Kyle Hirst, 8. 1x-Chad Pitts.
Heat Five (10 Laps): 1. 95-Matt Covington, 2. 71-Channin Tankersley, 3. 53-Jack Dover, 4. 3g-Darren Long, 5. 24-Justin Carver, 6. 87x-Strike Hill, 7. 2m-Bryce Vowan, 8. 87a-Andrew Marshala.
“B” Mains (Top 3 From Each Advance to “A” Main):
First “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 58-Wade Oliver, 2. 3g-Darren Long, 3. 6-Kyle Hirst, 4. 40-Ernie Ainsworth, 5. 9-Justin Sturch, 6. 1x-Chad Pitts, 7. 29-Travis Rilat, 8. 8z-Zach Pringle, 9. 01-Jeremy Newkirk, 10. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 11. K9-Jaysen Baker, 12. 2m-Bryce Vowan. DNS: 73-Dusty Fronabarger.
Second “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 53-Jack Dover, 3. 90-Jeff Swindell, 4. 24-Justin Carver, 5. 60-Eric Sandage, 6. 9x-Gary Wright, 7. 8x-Chris Williams, 8. 4-Tommy Snellgrove, 9. 38-Rick Pringle, 10. 87a-Andrew Marshala, 11. 5k-Jerry Kamer, 12. 87x-Strike Hill.
I-30 Speedway “A” Main Event:
“A” Feature (35 Laps): 1. 99-Brady Bacon, 2. 50z-Zach Chappell, 3. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 4. 88-Tim Crawley, 5. 41-Jason Johnson, 6. 94-Danny Wood, 7. 3-A.G. Rains, 8. 6-Kyle Hirst, 9. 91-Darren Stewart, 10. 95-Matt Covington, 11. 3g-Darren Long, 12. 29-Travis Rilat, 13. 90-Jeff Swindell, 14. 57-Shane Stewart, 15. 53-Jack Dover, 16. 93-Dustin Morgan, 17. 12T-Joe Young, 18. 71-Channin Tankersley, 19. 5h-Justyn Cox, 20. 14-Jordon Mallett, 21. 1g-Cody Gardner, 22. 10a-Ricky Logan, 23. 58-Wade Oliver, 24. 87a-Andrew Marshala.
Lap Leaders: A.G. Rains 1-12, Brady Bacon 13-35.
Note: Travis Rilat and Andrew Marshala both utilized provisionals to start the “A” Main. It was Rilat’s second of the year and Marshala’s first.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Points (Top 20): 1. Brady Bacon 792, 2. Jason Johnson 729, 3. Tony Bruce, Jr. 719, 4. Shane Stewart 713, 5. Tim Crawley 708, 6. Kyle Hirst 660, 7. Jack Dover 658, 8. Danny Wood 648, 9. Matt Covington 637, 10. Zach Chappell 621, 11. Ricky Logan 570, 12. Gary Wright 569, 13. Darren Long 554, 14. Travis Rilat 547, 15. Dustin Morgan 503, 16. Johnny Herrera 501, 17. Channin Tankersley 499, 18. Justyn Cox 483, 19. Austen Wheatley 457, 20. Andrew Marshala 433.