By Bill W
February 13, 2012 – A podium finish and a track record highlighted the weekend with USAC in the Hoffman owned Dynamics #69 last weekend in Ocala, Florida. The three-night event saw Thursday and Saturday shows sandwich a rainout on Friday night, when Brady set a new track record in qualifying before the rains came. The Broken Arrow, Oklahoma driver will take aim at the Lucas Oil ASCS National opener in Arizona March 2 and 3.
Brady teamed with the famous Hoffman #69 team last weekend. “We put the deal together at the IMIS show and we shook things down in practice on Wednesday,” he says. “We ended up changing the motor before Thursday. They were nice enough to put a Triple X Chassis together with Infinity Shocks, which is my normal package.”
Thursday’s prelim saw Brady time in ninth quick in the 30- car field. “We made some little changes with the new tire,” he says. “USAC has a lot better tire now. The track was dry on Thursday. We were good in three and four all weekend. I think we could get off a little lower than everyone else. I just had a decent time on Thursday.”
The heat went well. “We started fourth, and we were able to get to the front pretty easily,” says Brady. “It took a while to get adjusted to the track. One and two has a sweeping curve there and three and four is almost a triangle. You really have to get it cranked sideways, and get it slowed down.”
The main event would see him start on the pole. The crew went to work on setup, and Brady led the first five laps before falling back a bit. “We gambled a bit and put on a harder tire,” he says. “The track was pretty abrasive and I thought it may lay rubber. It took about five laps to heat up the tire. It started coming in as the rubber got laid down. I fell back to third, and as the tire got hot, the car got better.”
Brady put himself in position to challenge for the win. “We were able to get back by (Jon) Stanbrough (for second), and we got into lapped traffic,” he says. “I was able to actually get by (leader) Damion (Gardner), but a yellow came out. I got by him again on the restart on the front straightaway, but the yellow came out again.”
Gardner had been warned, and held off Brady this time. “I tried the same thing, but he knew what was coming,” he says. “He was able to get down in front of me, and Stanbrough got back by on the outside. At that point, it was hard to pass with the rubber laid down and I had to hold on for third.”
Brady went into Friday knowing he had a good racecar, and he proved it in qualifying. “I think we had the fastest car for most of the race (Thursday), so I was happy about that,” he says. “We came back on Friday and we were the fastest in hot laps by a good margin. Coming for the green on my first time trial lap, (Track Owner) Bubba ‘The Lovesponge’ was crossing the track in his golf cart and stumbled a little bit. That actually gave me an extra lap out there, and it happened to be a little faster than Bryan Clauson. Unfortunately, the rains came after that.”
Saturday’s finale saw Brady qualify 18th. “I just didn’t get a clean qualifying lap in,” he admits. “We were able to win the heat from the front row, but we were pretty far back to start with in the feature. They had prepped the track right before we went out, and it was pretty narrow to begin with.”
Starting in row nine, Brady made his way up to 14th. “We were really tight, and struggled with the car,” he says. “Even if it were perfect, it was tough to pass with the track that fast. We had to take what we could get at that point. I guess you can’t win them all, but with the car as nice as it was, you would like to have a shot.”
Brady hopes to return to the seat of the #69 and was very appreciative of the opportunity. “I need to thank the Hoffman family, Mopar, Mean Green and XXX Chassis,” he says. “We may do something later in the year with them, and I’m looking forward to it.”
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