From Lonnie Wheatley
Peoria, AZ — (January 23, 2015) — This year’s edition of the E&K Winter Challenge opened in much the same fashion as last year’s Winter Challenge with Broken Arrow, OK, native Brady Bacon parked in USAC Southwest vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Car victory lane at Canyon Speedway Park at the end of the night.
This time, the reigning USAC Sprint Car champion picked up Friday’s $2,000 winner’s share in the 30-lap main event aboard the Josh Ford Motorsports No. 73 entry.
While Bacon took traditional Sprint Car honors, Tim Ward bested the IMCA Modifieds with Matt Martinez victorious in Pure Stocks, Brenden Priest topping the Mod Lites and Gary Winter taking Micro Sprint honors.
After starting third in the USAC Southwest vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Car feature, Bacon took command from early pace setter Mike Martin but soon found himself under heavy pressure from Ryan Bernal. Bernal surged ahead briefly only to get too deep into the cushion and into the wall after 17 laps.
Back out front, Bacon kept reigning USAC Southwest Sprint Car champion R.J. Johnson at bay the rest of the way with Dave Darland advancing from ninth to claim the show position. Charles Davis, Jr., was fourth with Stevie Sussex rallying from 14th to round out the top five.
Josh Pelkey battled Johnson for second until a crash forced him pitside.
The E&K Winter Challenge resumes with Round Two at Canyon Speedway Park on Saturday firing off at 5:00 p.m.
Canyon Speedway Park
E&K Winter Challenge Round One Results:
USAC Southwest vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Cars:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 51-R.J. Johnson, 2. 12-Josh Pelkey, 3. 16b-Dave Darland, 4. 73-Brady Bacon, 5. 16-Mike Martin, 6. 55nm-David Dykes, 7. 21az-Stevie Sussex.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 56-Ryan Bernal, 2. 77-Dalten Gabbard, 3. 50-Charles Davis, Jr., 4. 74-Rick Ziehl, 5. 13-Dennis Giles, 6. 20x-Shon Deskins, 7. 19-Andrew Reinbold.
“A” Feature (30 Laps): 1. 73-Brady Bacon, 2. 51-R.J. Johnson, 3. 16b-Dave Darland, 4. 50-Charles Davis, Jr., 5. 21az-Stevie Sussex, 6. 16-Mike Martin, 7. 74-Rick Ziehl, 8. 19-Andrew Reinbold, 9. 55nm-David Dykes, 10. 77-Dalten Gabbard, 11. 12-Josh Pelkey, 12. 56-Ryan Bernal, 13. 20x-Shon Deskins, 14. 13-Dennis Giles.