From Bill Wright
November 7, 2016 – Brady Bacon competed in four features last Friday and Saturday night at the Western World at Arizona Speedway near Queen Creek, and recorded a win as well as second, third and fourth place finishes along the way. The win came in USAC Southwest Series competition aboard Josh Ford’s #73. A third and fourth place finish in USAC National Sprint Car Series action has the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma driver poised for his second championship heading into this weekend’s finale at the Perris Oval Nationals in California. The title would also be the eleventh for the Hoffman Racing/Dynamics, Inc. #69 team.
Friday’s preliminary in the USAC Southwest event saw Brady go from seventh to third in his heat before lining up inside row three for the feature. “In the 360 feature, we started fifth,” he says. “We were able to get to the lead, but I ran out of tear-offs with about five to go. It was greasy on the bottom and we were in some lapped traffic. I think (winner Chris Windom) ran out too, but it wasn’t a good position to be in.”
His second place run preceded his feature in the #69. He had qualified second quick, and ran from sixth to third in the heat. He would post sixth in the main event. “It seemed like things were slicking off in the 360 feature, and we went out in the 410 way too tight,” says Brady. “We fell back to eighth on the start. Finally, with about ten to go, it slicked off. The track got a bit more technical, and we were able to get back up to fourth. If we had been a little freer at the beginning, I feel we could have been up front with them at the end.”
Brady’s win came in Saturday’s USAC Southwest feature and was worth $5,000. After running fourth to second in his heat, he lined up on the pole. “We battled with (Ryan) Bernal for about ten laps, back and forth,” he says. “When the track slicked off a little more, we were able to pull away a little bit. The track got more maneuverable and we worked in lapped traffic really well. We were able to win that one.”
In USAC National competition, Brady again timed in well with third quick. After going from sixth to second in his heat, he lined up fourth for the finale. “We had a motor problem from the start,” he says. “We were actually down a cylinder the whole race. Still, we were able to hold onto and finish third. We were in a bad spot with the motor, because you don’t want to get too aggressive. You don’t know what will happen. We probably had a chassis good enough to win, but it’s hard to race like that when you don’t know what’s going to happen when you slam the cushion and things like that.”
It was a solid point night for the team. “That’s the way it goes sometimes,” says Brady. “We have had some motor problems lately, but we were happy that we had our speed back in qualifying. We had a couple of solid nights.”
With a 257 point lead heading into Perris, Brady and the team can focus on a win and not so much the points. “We’d like to definitely win the Oval Nationals,” he says. “There’s a good chunk of money up for grabs ($25,000 to win). It helps to be at a big race and hang it all out there not worrying about points.”