Brady Bacon – Super at Short Track Nationals!

By Bill W

November 1, 2011 – Brady Bacon was on his game last weekend at the Short Track Nationals recording a preliminary feature win and a second place finish in Saturday’s finale. This weekend, he hops in the legendary Hoffman #69 to tackle the Perris Oval Nationals at the Perris Auto Speedway in California. It will mark his first trip to Perris in three years.

With rain threatening, the I-30 Speedway kicked off its Short Track Nationals near Little Rock, Arkansas on Thursday. Brady was able to get both his heat and qualifier in, finishing second in both after starting fifth. “We had the ideal situation compared to a lot of others,” he says. “We were able to get our heat and qualifier in on Thursday night before the rain. The track was probably at its raciest then. The others had a sloppy track to deal with early on Friday. We were able to pass three cars in the heat and the qualifier and that let us start up front in the feature.”

Friday dawned with clear skies, but the Brady Bacon Racing #99 team had to go to work immediately after hot laps. “We had a motor issue there in hot laps.,” says Brady. “We didn’t feel like the motor was running quite right. I didn’t know if the mag was getting weak, but we didn’t want to take the chance of not being 100%. We went ahead and changed it. The show was running so fast, we actually cut it pretty close.”

The Broken Arrow, Oklahoma driver started outside row one of the preliminary main event. There were some scary times, including about three laps with a cloud of smoke behind him, but Brady roared to victory. “We had an overflow of oil, which made me and everyone else get nervous,” he says. “No damage was done and we still won the race. We just made it a little more exciting than it had to be.”

The win locked Brady into Saturday’s Dash. A “revenge draw” saw Jason Sides hand Brady the last pill (six). “I don’t know why Sides gave me number six, but I thought it was fun to pass him in turns one and two when he started on the pole,” he says. “I’m sure he gave it to me because he races with me the least. You have to be careful on those ambush draws if you have to race someone the next weekend.”

A third place dash finish gave Brady a starting spot inside row two for the $15,000 to win finale. He tucked in behind leaders Sammy Swindell and Shane Stewart, until he saw a shot to get into the runner-up spot. “I saw (Danny) Lasoski poke his nose to the outside of me,” says Brady. “I know that at some point in the feature, enough stuff gets thrown up from the bottom to the middle. When I saw Lasoski beside me, I figured it was fast enough to move up there for a little bit. We were faster there for a few laps, and we were able to get by Shane and those lapped cars we were in at the time.”

As the 40-lap feature would down, Brady found himself with a number of cars between himself and leader, Sammy Swindell. “The track was getting narrower and it was harder getting into the corners,” he says. “I think if it would have been slicker coming off the corners, I would have been better off. That way I could have rolled off a little better than others, but the way the track was, it didn’t benefit me much.”

Despite a left front tire for Swindell, Brady had too much ground to make up and settled for a well-earned second place finish. “Last year we were really good there all the time,” he says of the ¼-mile oval. “This year, we had struggled. It was nice to get back to our old ways at Little Rock. We were definitely happy with the weekend. I wish we could have raced Sammy at the end, but he was in his rhythm and it was hard to catch him. We had a good car, and the track was much better than last year.”

The Perris Oval Nationals will get underway tomorrow when Brady practices with the Hoffman team. “It will be good to practice tomorrow,” he says. “Then we race Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We were good at Haubstadt, and they won Eldora with Kyle Larson. The practice time should help us a bunch and help us get on the same page. With some breaks, I think we’ll definitely be in contention.”

Brady has good memories of Perris Auto Speedway. “I’ve ran well there, but it’s the kind of place that if you are off, it magnifies your problem,” he says. “The shape of the track can make it rough. We have to make sure we have a stable racecar that can move from top to bottom. The track can change quick.”

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