July 31, 2017 – Brady Bacon and the Dooling/Hayward Racing #63 pulled off a nice win Saturday night at the Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas with the USAC National Sprint Car Series. Making it all the sweeter was the fact that team owners Joe Dooling and Brodie Hayward were able to be in attendance. The Broken Arrow, Oklahoma pilot followed that up with a second place USAC finish at Randolph County Raceway near Moberly, Missouri in his first ever trip there Sunday. This week will see four nights of racing with the USAC National Midget Series in the Frank Manafort Racing #76M. Tuesday night, the series hits Jefferson County Speedway in Fairbury, Nebraska, before moving to Solomon Valley Raceway in Beloit, Kansas Wednesday, and the Belleville Nationals on the Belleville Highbanks in Kansas Friday and Saturday. Sunday, Brady will be back in the Bacon/Marshall #99 410 winged car at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa for the Cappy Classic.
Lakeside had changed a bit from Brady’s last visit. “The track was a little different than it was when we went there with the Sprint Bandit series years ago with the Ron Shuman Classic,” he says. “It caught us a little off-guard. It was greasy in the first set of hot laps, so we made some adjustments. We weren’t quite as good as we wanted to be, but sixth quick ended up working perfectly for us. We aren’t running for points, but you still want to win everything.”
After cruising from fifth to finish second in his heat race, he would line up in the front row for the feature. “The track actually came back and started getting heavier,” says Brady. “We actually made some changes on the front straightaway during driver intros. We were still a little tight at the beginning of the race, but we got out in the lead and tried not to make too many mistakes.”
Brady would keep the #63 out front. “The track came to us, and we got better as the race went on,” he says. “When you’re leading, it’s tough to know what’s going on with the track, but fortunately, it didn’t move around too much. We were able to run our same line and ran a good fast pace on the top. We were able to enter the middle of three and four and slide to the top. That was the fastest way for me.”
Having his owners there was an added bonus. “Joe and Brodie were both able to be there,” says Brady. “They had some of their customers and friends there, so that worked out really well for everyone. It was fun to share the moment with them.”
Sunday meant the high banks of Moberly. Brady timed in third quick and won his heat from row three. “It was my first time to Moberly,” he says. “It was a pretty fun racetrack, fast and high-banked. It got pretty slick. The track kept us guessing a little bit. The stock cars went out and kept the bottom groove in play for the feature.”
He would adapt, and finish second after starting fourth. “For the feature, the bottom kind of threw some stuff up in the middle,” says Brady. “So you could run high to middle and diamond through. It was a pretty cool race. We got to second. We got to Tyler (Courtney) once. We just didn’t quite have enough for him. We got beside him once, but we couldn’t quite get him cleared. We lacked a little grip on exit. We burned our tire up, and his looked good.”
Overall, Brady was happy with the weekend. “We’re there every night there, contending for the win,” he says. “So we’re happy about that. We’d like to get the momentum with the midget going again this week in Nebraska and Kansas.”