Bacon ready to start title defense at Ocala

bradybaconFrom Dick Jordan

Brady Bacon of Broken Arrow, Okla. and Dynamics, Inc. open defense of their 2014 AMSOIL USAC Sprint Car National Championship this week as the “Winter Dirt Games VI” begins Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla.

The team will try to add to Hoffman Auto Racing’s all-time series record of 86 feature wins as the six-race “Winter Dirt Games VI” follows the Ocala openers with a trio of races Feb. 26-27-28 at East Bay Raceway Park in Gibsonton, Fla.

Bacon, who won last year’s opener at Ocala and has eight career wins, posted 14 podium finishes on his way to the 2014 title. He will pilot the Mean Green/Lykins Oil Triple X/Williams Mopar in the Florida tour.

The Hoffman team, who also won in 2012 at Ocala with driver Darren Hagen, earned their initial USAC National victory with driver Jim Hemmings at Salem, Ind. in 1961. In addition to Hemmings, Bacon and Hagen, other drivers who found victory lane in Hoffman cars include Rich Vogler, Steve Butler, Robbie Stanley, Larry Cannon, Cary Faas, Kenny Irwin Jr., Andy Michner, Dave Darland, Brian Tyler, Tracy Hines, Jon Stanbrough, Jerry Coons Jr., Daron Clayton and Kyle Larson.

“Florida played a major part of our season last year,” says Bacon. “Getting off to a great start is always good and the team appears ready to make another title charge. It’s nice to have six races there to kick-start the year. I’ve never raced at East Bay but I like the challenge of new tracks. Ocala is one of the most unique tracks we race at all year. It’s like a half-mile in turns one and two, the like a quarter-mile in turns three and four. Turns three and four are critical and it seems like we are pretty good in that part of the track so that helps. It seems like the competition steps up more and more each year so putting together a sweep will be difficult but we will certainly try. I’m ready to get out of the Midwest for a couple of weeks!”

Bryan Clauson is the Ocala track record holder and won last year’s Saturday night feature there. He joins the competition for Bacon this week, along with others like 2014 USAC Sprint winners Justin Grant, Dave Darland, Tracy Hines, Chase Stockon, Jon Stanbrough and Robert Ballou.

Defending USAC Silver Crown Champion Kody Swanson is also among expected participants, along with 2014 series Rookie of the Year Jarett Andretti and 2014 USAC Most Improved National Driver Shane Cockrum.