From Richie Murray
INDIANPOLIS, Ind. (November 15, 2016) — For the second time in the last three seasons, Brady Bacon has been crowned as USAC’s 2016 AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion.
Following a runner-up finish at Indiana’s Gas City I-69 Speedway in May, the 26-year-old Broken Arrow, Oklahoma driver took a point lead he would not relinquish, eventually building his advantage in the standings to 314 by season’s end. The 314-point margin between Bacon and second-place Stockon was the largest in the USAC National Sprint Car standings since J.J. Yeley’s 352-point rout in 2003.
Consistency was paramount for Bacon throughout the 2016 season. Though he was dominant in the standings throughout the final six months of the season, Bacon managed just two victories – the series’ first ever visit to Montpelier (Ind.) Motor Speedway in May and at the Jackson (Minn.) Motorplex in June, which proved to be a landmark for the venerable Hoffman family as they became the first team in the history of the USAC National Sprint Car series to reach 100 victories (95 National, 2 Midwest and 3 “Special Events”), truly a milestone that stands as a testament to their legacy of excellence.
The championship hardware goes to the driver who’s the most consistent, the one who’s backed by a team that is prepared night-in, night-out at racetracks small and large, semi-banked and high-banked. No team has answered that challenge over the past three decades more than the Hoffman Auto Racing team.
Yet, Bacon and Hoffman Auto Racing’s path to the championship didn’t solely rely on victories this time around. Following a 2015 season in which they won its most races ever in a single season (7), Bacon and the Hoffmans were dependable and true to form, nearly always found near the front of the field and, along the way, compiled 22 top-fives, and 36 top-ten finishes in 41 series starts (all series bests in 2016).
In the meantime, Bacon, the winningest driver for the Hoffmans, moved up USAC’s National Sprint Car winners’ list where he now ranks 26th all-time, tying Coons, Jr., Parnelli Jones and Bud Kaeding with 17 career wins.
In July, Bacon collected his first “Indiana Sprint Week” title and Hoffman Auto Racing’s first since 1998, becoming just the fifth driver to win the seven-race summer series and the USAC National Sprint Car championship in the same calendar year.
The famed number 69 of the Hoffman’s has been a staple of the full USAC Sprint Car trail for nearly 30 years while the family-owned team has roots dating back to USAC’s inception in 1956. That year, Eddie Sachs drove the Hoffman midget to a 100-lap victory at Dayton (OH) Speedway. The Hoffman’s first USAC Sprint Car victory came just one year later, in 1957, with Don Branson behind the wheel at Ohio’s New Bremen Speedway.
Six decades after that first triumph, the Hoffmans are widely-renowned as the most legendary USAC Sprint Car team of all. The Milford, Ohio-based team possesses 11 USAC National Sprint Car titles, teaming with drivers Rich Vogler, Steve Butler, Robbie Stanley, Dave Darland, Tracy Hines, Jerry Coons, Jr. and Bacon.
Meanwhile, Bacon became the 16th driver to win multiple USAC National Sprint Car titles and the first driver from Oklahoma to accomplish the feat.
Bacon’s big 2016 season also included being awarded the Mike Curb “Super License” that is given to the driver who earns the most combined points in USAC’s Silver Crown, National Sprint and National Midget divisions. Bacon also leads the way in the ProSource Fast Time Challenge heading into the Thursday, Nov. 24 “Turkey Night Grand Prix” USAC Midget race at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway.