LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. — official series release — Brady Bacon Racing photo —
Brady Bacon benefited from some Hoffman Auto Racing home cooking on Sunday night as he captured his first Indiana Sprint Week feature win and the 90th win in the history of the famous Cincinnati-based team at nearby Lawrenceburg Speedway.
He tracked down early leader Aaron Farney and held off the late advances of Robert Ballou to take his fourth victory of the season in the Hoffman Auto Racing – Mean Green No. 69 Triple X/Williams Mopar.
“To win a USAC race here at Lawrenceburg, the Hoffmans’ home track, is really great. It seemed like a really long race, being a sitting duck there out front in traffic for so long,” Bacon said. “It’s so easy to get behind in these races this week, and so many good cars to make it tough on you, so you gotta grab them when you can. I woulda liked to gone to the outside in traffic, but they were racing pretty hard, and Landon (Simon) got a little bottled up there and I got in the back of him, but luckily we were able to get in the race track and get back by both of them. It was a tough race, and I’m glad we came out on top.”
Kevin Thomas Jr. led from the pole but Farney was charging on the high side right off the bat, and he pulled Thomas down the fronstretch to lead lap two, as Thomas bounced and lost brakes early in the event.
Farney was running the high side as Bacon sliced from his row-three starting spot to challenge for the lead, taking command on lap six. Meanwhile, Ballou took third from Thomas. A lap later, the only caution after the initial start appeared with 23 laps to go.
From there, Bacon took off and Ballou worked past Farney for the second spot. The lead duo ran away from the field, while Thomas fought for a top five spot with Justin Grant.
Inside the final 10 laps, the leaders encountered thick traffic, with cars racing side-by-side. Ballou tried the high side, but he couldn’t take his momentum past Bacon. On lap 23, Bacon entered turn-three on the bottom behind Simon, who bobbled slightly as Bacon got into his back bumper. Those two scattered as Ballou grabbed the lead on the high side, but Bacon squared off turn four and powered back to the lead as they hit the stripe.
Bacon then went to the high side to clear a couple lapped cars and distance himself from Ballou, who regained the National Sprint Car point lead with his runner-up finish aboard the Blakesley Auto – Twister X No. 12 Maxim/Ott.
“Nights like tonight, as bad as I want to win, you also don’t want to do something stupid,” Ballou said. “This week long deal puts a lot of pressure on people, but you just have to put yourself in good positions. We want to win all the races we can this week and this year, so if we can get that done, everything should take care of itself. Brady was running pretty hard up there and wanted that one pretty bad – we had a shot but had to take second. I’m glad to get tonight in with all the rain we’ve had, and luckily they worked hard to get it ready so we could race.”
On the final lap, Justin Grant slipped underneath Farney for third.
“We kinda found something there in the middle to work and get around guys,” Grant said. “I don’t think we had anything for those top-two guys, but were were solid. You start legging it pretty hard in the closing laps, and I saw Farney up there. He’s a young kid and doing a great job, but you know going into traffic that you can capitalize on his inexperience. A couple bad lane choices cost him some, and we were able to squeak by him. He’ll learn from those and figure it out next time.”
Darland edged Farney at the line in a photo finish for fourth.
Shawn Westerfeld was the fast qualifier.
Chase Stockon, who came in as both the National Sprint Car and Indiana Sprint Week points leader, flipped after bouncing through turn-three while in a transfer spot in the Semi-Feature. He was forced to use a provisional to start the feature, which did not earn him Sprint Week points.
RESULTS: AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series; Indiana Sprint Week; Lawrenceburg Speedway; July 12, 2015
** Rose flipped on lap 1 of the feature. **
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 K.Thomas, Laps 2-6 Farney, Laps 7-30 Bacon.
CREDIT: USAC Racing