Brady Bacon – USAC Knoxville Non-wing Nationals Champ!

By Bill W

August 8, 2011 – Entering Sunday night’s USAC Knoxville Non-wing Nationals event, Brady Bacon had been frustrated over his 360 Nationals showing. At the conclusion of the night, he couldn’t be happier as he became the second champion of the USAC Knoxville Non-wing Nationals worth a $5,000 payday! The Broken Arrow, Oklahoma driver continues his Southern Iowa Sprintweek run at Oskaloosa tonight and tomorrow before competing in the 51st Annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals.

Not only was it a win on Sunday night, it was a clean sweep. After dipping under the previous one-lap track record in hot laps, the track slowed a bit for Brady in time trials. The result was still quick-time, however. “I think I may have run a little bit faster with a different line,” he says. “I thought with a couple good laps we would make it in the top six to make the (feature) invert.”

Brady was complimentary of his ride Sunday. “The car was just good all night,” he says of the XXX Chassis with Wesmar power #99. “Running with a wing at this place helps you a lot when you take it off. Everything slows down, and it helps you keep the car straighter.”

A bit of a ledge had formed by heat race time. “Non-wing cars get a different track than wing cars,” says Brady. “They water it differently. You could run the top and bottom on both ends, so that’s all you can ask for.”

The ASCS regular started outside row three of his heat race, and survived some attrition to win it going away. “(Daron) Clayton flipped on the first start, and then Hunter (Schuerenberg) biked up,” says Brady. “We were able to run the bottom pretty well, and I moved around. I was able to get out front and test the track out.”

Despite the treacherous cushion, Brady planned on heading up top for the main event from his sixth starting spot. “I chose the top, because I got beat by Bud (Kaeding) last year when I was running the bottom,” he shares. “We were really good all night, and able to make the right adjustments to have the best car.”

Soon he was into the top three, trailing Kaeding and Jon Stanbrough. “I was running the top battling by Stanbrough (who ran the bottom),” says Brady. “I think we could have got Bud once I got clear and was able to get to the bottom. The top was getting a little technical in turn two, and Bud just biked it and got into the wall. That made it a little easier for us.”

Assuming the lead, Brady pulled away from the pack. Chris Windom was on the move on the bottom, however, and made a late challenge for the lead. “I just kept cruising on the top and (Windom) showed his nose,” he says. “I was able to get in front of him and take some of his momentum. I ran a couple laps on the bottom, but it didn’t feel good down there. I went back up top and ran a little harder so he wouldn’t catch us. This was a big one for us.”

It was a great end to a weekend that had been frustrating. Friday night’s qualifying for the 360 Nationals did not go well. “We tried some stuff that had worked for us on big tracks,” says Brady. “We came here with it, and it didn’t work at all. We just got way too far behind and had to catch up. With 360’s, that’s hard to do. Everyone is so close in their speed.”

The team found the setup on Saturday. After running third in the D main, Brady charged from 15th to 5th, one spot out of a transfer to the B. “We got a lot better on Saturday,” he says. “It makes us feel a lot better heading into the 410 Nationals this week.”

Brady will compete in the Front Row Challenge tonight and Ultimate Challenge tomorrow night at the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, before competing in the Knoxville Nationals this weekend. He will qualify for that on Wednesday.

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Brady Bacon Racing would like the following sponsors for all their help: Fatheadz Eyewear, Oilfield Equipment and Manufacturing, Tel-Star Communications, PPM Titanium Products, Triple X Race Co., Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Smiley’s Racing Products, 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, FSR Radiators, Three-wide Clothing, Fuel Safe and Colonial Fiberglass.