Bacon Sizzles in Winter Challenge Opener!

Brady Bacon photo by Lonnie Wheatley

By Lonnie Wheatley

PEORIA, Ariz. (January 24, 2014) – Oklahoma native Brady Bacon kicked off Canyon Speedway Park’s Third Annual Winter Challenge in style by racing from deep in the pack to take the $2,000 USAC Southwest vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Cars winner’s share in Friday night’s 30-lap feature.

Brady Bacon photo by Lonnie Wheatley
Brady Bacon photo by Lonnie Wheatley


Bacon needed just 13 laps to race from his 13th starting position into the lead atop the 1/3-mile clay oval aboard his Fatheadz Eyewear No. 99 Triple-X Chassis Non-Wing Sprint Car then held off Josh Pelkey over the closing circuits to top the first round of the six-event Winter Challenge.


“It feels good to finally get the monkey off our back after so many second-place finishes at the Western World last November,” Bacon commented after capturing the season-opening win.


While Bacon took top Sprint Car honors, Jason Noll bested the IMCA Modified ranks with Matt Martinez victorious in Pure Stock action, Tony Martin best in Mod Lites and Kenny Hilton topping the Micro Sprints.


While Bacon gridded the Sprint Car feature inside the seventh row, Pelkey and Casey Shuman led the way to the green flag from the front row with the initial pair of starts waved off for separate turn two incidents involving Dave Darland and Mike Rux, Jr.  Darland retired pitside while Rux, Jr., continued on.


With the false starts out of the way, Pelkey gunned into the lead ahead of Shuman and Dalten Gabbard with Bacon quickly working his way up to fourth by the sixth round.


While Gabbard worked past Shuman for second soon after, Bacon disposed of Shuman for third on the ninth lap and then took second from Gabbard on the 12th round before taking command from Pelkey for keeps one lap later.


After Gabbard and Colby Copeland were eliminated from competition following a tangle exiting turn four with ten laps to go, Pelkey kept the pressure on Bacon over the final rounds before a slight bobble with the white flag in sight secured the triumph for Bacon.


Bacon took the checkered flag a half-dozen car-lengths ahead of Pelkey in the ABC Motorsports No. 12, with reigning USAC Southwest Sprint Car champion R.J. Johnson rallying from 14th to claim the show position.  Johnson took the position in the final three laps from Shuman, who settled for fourth.


Ryan Bernal raced from 15th to round out the top five in a second Casey Minks entry (teamed with Darland), with Josh Hodges, 16th-starter Aaron Reutzel, Shon Deskins, Nic Faas and Charles Davis, Jr., completing the top ten.


Jason Noll led all the way in the 25-lap IMCA Modified feature, holding off teammate Lance Mari for the win with Jesse Williamson, Stephen Pfeifer and Tim Ward in the top five.  Thirty-five IMCA Modified entries vied for top honors in the Winter Challenge opener.


Matt Martinez emerged from a four-car battle for Pure Stock honors ahead of Ty Warner, Jeremy Eatherton and Mike Goodwin, Tony Martin beat teammates J.C. Gilleland and Ryan Gilleland to the stripe in Mod Lite competition and Kenny Hilton led Jacob Hawkins and Garrett Guilkey to the line in Micro Sprint action.


Canyon Speedway Park’s Winter Challenge resumes with Round Two on Saturday firing off at 5:00 p.m.


Canyon Speedway Park

Winter Challenge Round One Results:


USAC Southwest vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Cars:


First Heat (8 Laps):  1. 5d-Dalten Gabbard, 2. 12-Josh Pelkey, 3. 73-Nic Faas, 4. 45-Jason Grady, 5. 21a-Aaron Reutzel, 6. 51-R.J. Johnson, 7. 9-Ryan Linder, 8. 55nm-David Dykes.


Second Heat (8 Laps):  1. 1x-Dave Darland, 2. 74x-Josh Hodges, 3. 22-Mike Rux, Jr., 4. 99-Brady Bacon, 5. 20-Shon Deskins, 6. 111-Ryan Bernal, 7. 4-Stevie Sussex, 8. 12j-Josh Grady.


Third Heat (8 Laps):  1. 51x-Jimmy Crawford, 2. 50-Charles Davis, Jr., 3. 74-Colby Copeland, 4. 21x-Casey Shuman, 5. 92-Mitch Mack, 6. 11c-Michael Curtis, 7. 5-Tye Mihocko, 8. 16-Mike Martin.


“B” Feature (10 Laps):  1. 5-Tye Mihocko, 2. 11c-Michael Curtis, 3. 16-Mike Martin, 4. 4-Stevie Sussex, 5. 92-Mitch Mack, 6. 12j-Josh Grady, 7. 55nm-David Dykes, 8. 9-Ryan Linder.


“A” Feature (30 Laps):  1. 99-Brady Bacon, 2. 12-Josh Pelkey, 3. 51-R.J. Johnson, 4. 21x-Casey Shuman, 5. 111-Ryan Bernal, 6. 74x-Josh Hodges, 7. 21a-Aaron Reutzel, 8. 20-Shon Deskins, 9. 73-Nic Faas, 10. 50-Charles Davis, Jr., 11. 4-Stevie Sussex, 12. 16-Mike Martin, 13. 45-Jason Grady, 14. 92-Mitch Mack, 15. 12j-Josh Grady, 16. 5d-Dalten Gabbard, 17. 74-Colby Copeland, 18. 5-Tye Mihocko, 19. 11c-Michael Curtis, 20. 51x-Jimmy Crawford, 21. 22-Mike Rux, Jr., 22. 1x-Dave Darland.


Lap Leaders:  Josh Pelkey 1-12, Brady Bacon 13-30.



IMCA Modifieds:


“A” Feature (25 Laps):  1. 44-Jason Noll, 2. 19sb-Lance Mari, 3. W5-Jesse Williamson, 4. 11-Stephen Pfeifer, 5. 4tw-Tim Ward, 6. 59-Mark Stewart, 7. 45-Ryan Roath, 8. 99c-Jesse Sobbing, 9. 222-Larry Hood, 10. L8-Bryan Schultz, 11. 5m-Ricky Thornton, Jr., 12. 4T-Troy Heupel, 13. 23jr-Chris McCurdy, Jr., 14. 15e-Bill Egleston, 15. 8c-Chad Anderson, 16. 8-Nate Warren, 17. 24-Donald Robinson, 18. 37-Mike Jergens, 19. 90.5-Tommy Fain.



Pure Stocks:


“A” Feature:  1. 21m-Matt Martinez, 2. 90-Ty Warner, 3. 66-Jeremy Eatherton, 4. 84-Mike Goodwin, 5. 92p-Josh Parmaley, 6. ACE-Doug Porter, 7. 28-Mike Herrera, 8. 07-Terry Hill, 9. 15-Speedy Madrid, 10. 5m-Zack Madrid, 11. 77-Chris Bulware, 12. 27T-John Todd.



Mod Lites:


“A” Feature:  1. m14-Tony Martin, 2. 117-J.C. Gilleland, 3. 17x-Ryan Gilleland, 4. 30-Nick Gann, 5. 77x-Austin Kuehl, 6. X-Brenden Priedt, 7. 55-Lexus Gann, 8. 75-Chaz Baca, Jr., 9. 95-Collin Bender, 10. 26-Eric Muse, 11. 17-Steve Moriarty, 12. 36-Mike Smith.


Micro Sprints:


“A” Feature:  1. 42-Kenny Hilton, 2. 12-Jacob Hawkins, 3. 32-Garrett Guilkey, 4. 14-Dustin Cormany, 5. 82-Tyler Seavey, 6. 24-Pat Wing, 7. 4-Ryan Walter, 8. 41-Colton Hardy, 9. 57-Kyle Huttinghow, 10. 6-Dave Van Ess, 11. 53-Joe Pitts, 12. 94-Cassie Klenkie, 13. 18-Travis Sellars, 14. 89-Marty Morin, 15. 8-Aaron Miller, 16. 55-Greg Pritts, 17. 2-Dennis Carrier, 18. 101-Jim Branum, 19. 10-Christine Root (DNS).