By Bill W
April 25, 2011 – It was a change of disciplines, but Brady Bacon acted like he had been driving a midget for weeks at the Dodge City Speedway last weekend. With the USAC National Midget series in town, he banked a pair of podium finishes on the 3/8-mile oval. Weather permitting, this weekend, he will head to the Upper Midwest as he will tackle the $5,000 to win Spring Nationals at the Jackson Speedway in Minnesota and the season opener at the Knoxville Raceway in Iowa.
The two-day show in Dodge City started on Friday night with a great qualifying effort (third quick) aboard the Wilke-PAK Toyota powered #11w Spike. “I hadn’t really had a chance to run with this team,” says Brady. “One time, we had motor problems, and the other we were rained out. We were pretty good all weekend. I really like that car. I was never a fan of the normal Spike chassis, but this new one reminded me of a wide-bodied Stealth and it suited me. The Toyota motor ran really well. They’ve done some work on that.”
Starting outside row three in the third heat, Brady quickly moved up to third and that’s where he would finish. “We were third by turn two,” he says. “Tracy Hines was leading, Jerry (Coons Jr.) was second and I was third. I felt faster than both of them. I pulled beside Jerry once, and he kind of closed the door. Finishing first, second, third or fourth really didn’t matter. We were in the show either way.”
The 30-lap main event would take its toll on tires, but that didn’t mean there weren’t two and three grooves for racing. “Everyone pretty much put a (Hoosier) SP3 tire on which is quite a bit harder than the SP-2,” says the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma driver. “I don’t know what it is about that track surface. It can be wet in hot laps and still wear tires. It wasn’t rubber-down or one-lane; it was just hard on tires. It’s not sandy, and it’s black dirt. It’s only about a foot deep. There really wasn’t a way to save tires…you just had to race.”
Starting inside row three, Brady worked forward, and battled in the top five most of the way before settling for third. “The track was spotty the whole weekend in that there were good spots and slick spots,” he says. “We went a little low on our bleeder in the right rear. The pressure we were going for was about right, but the tires were grinding and getting so hot that under the yellow they would bleed down and cool off. We were losing about five pounds of air, and it took a few laps to build it back up. That hurt us. We made a bid to get Bobby (East) for second, but we will take third.”
Brady would time in ninth quick Saturday night. “For some reason the first lap was the quickest one for everyone,” he explains. “It seemed if you ran identical laps, the second was two to three-tenths slower. No one really knew the reason. We were about a car width high on the first lap, and that cost us a top five time.”
After qualifying for the main event by finishing second in his heat, Brady lined up on the pole for the feature. “Gary (Taylor starting outside row one) got me at the start,” he says. “It seemed the outside was the better spot to start. You could use the bank to get going. We changed some things on Saturday, but we didn’t change our gear. It seemed we could have used more. I think with that, we could have gotten by Gary a little quicker and maybe got out front for the win.”
The battle for the lead with Taylor continued until Bryan Clauson shot past the two. “(Taylor) was pulling away on the high side, and we needed a little more,” says Brady. “We just never quite got there. We were racing back and forth, and Clauson snuck up there and got by both of us. We were shuffled back to fourth or fifth in lap traffic, and then we were able to get back by Gary. We were in third, and that’s how we finished.”
Brady will have his Brady Bacon Racing #99 back out this weekend and hopes to aim the trailer North for racing on Friday in Minnesota and Saturday in Iowa.
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Follow Brady at his website located at www.BradyBaconRacing.com! Also keep up with him on Facebook and Twitter (which also can be accessed at the website) at the following links…
Twitter Link – http://twitter.com/BradyBacon
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Brady would like to thank owners Mike and Megan Eubanks and the following sponsors for all their help: Tel-Star Communications, PPM Titanium Products, Triple X Race Co., Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Fatheadz Sunglasses, Smiley’s Racing Products, Oilfield Equipment and Manufacturing, Wesmar Racing Engines, Butlerbuilt Seats, Hoosier Tire Southwest, Diversified Machine Inc., Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Lightning Wings, Simpson, Pro Pan, CP Pistons, Carrillo Rods, KSE Steering, King Racing, Schroth Racing, TI22 Performance Oakley, FSR Radiators, Three-wide Clothing, Fuel Safe and Colonial Fiberglass.