Tucson, Arizona…….Brady Bacon capped Friday’s “Western World Championships” preliminary night at USA Raceway with his seventh win of the season in AMSOIL National Sprint Car competition. The Broken Arrow, Oklahoma driver took charge just past halfway and held off Bryan Clauson to win by .377-seconds, making it the 100th USAC National feature victory for his Dynamics, Inc. – Hoffman Auto Racing team.
Matt Rossi got the jump from the pole and led Tracy Hines early in the 30-lapper. Hines started to get a rhythm using the bottom after a few laps and reeled in Rossi. Hines crossed just behind Rossi on lap eight, but Rossi was still up to the challenge running the high side. The race’s only stoppage came on lap ten when Cody Williams flipped in turn four. He was unhurt.
Hines was on the attack at the restart, nailing the bottom through turns one and two to edge past Rossi and into the lead at the end of lap ten, but Rossi would not go away easily as he hammered the high side to shoot back past Hines for the lead. Meanwhile, Robert Ballou was looking to sew up his National Championship after having problems early in the night and starting 17th. He worked into the top-ten at lap twelve.
On lap thirteen, Rossi jumped the cushion between turns three and four just as Bacon snuck under Hines for the second spot. Rossi recovered momentarily, but Bacon was hot on his trail, flashing less than a car length back on lap sixteen.
Bacon went to the lead on lap 17, and just two laps later Clauson worked past Rossi, as well, as Hines, Kevin Thomas, Jr., and Dave Darland were also coming fast. Ballou was running them down as he passed Rossi for seventh with less than ten laps to go.
Up front, Clauson had caught Bacon but lost a little ground as he had to work to the outside of a lapped car. He came charging again on the white flag lap and had a clear lane on the bottom of turns one and two on the final lap, but Bacon ran the cushion to hold him off and move into a tie for 29th all-time with his 15th career win in the Hoffman Auto Racing – Mean Green #69 Triple X/Williams Mopar.
Brady Bacon backs in the Dynamics, Inc./Mean Green – Lykins Oil/
Triple X/Williams Mopar at USA Raceway Friday night on his way to victory lane and bringing home the 100th USAC National victory for the Hoffman family.
(Rich Forman Photo)
“Getting 100 wins and ten championships, it’s cool to be in the seat and get those milestones for them. It’s an honor to drive their car. I didn’t know what was gonna happen with those two up front, so I had to take my time. The top was curby and it was hard to carry speed, but we were able to roll the bottom to get to the front. I tried to keep a decent pace through lapped cars and didn’t really make any big mistakes. I knew somebody had to be close back there, and if you messed up, it was gonna be a big effect,” Bacon said.
Clauson improved one spot from opening night and finished second in the B&H Contractors – Dooling Machine #63 Spike/Fisher.
“It was gonna be tough to complete anything there at the end. I could maintain through one and two, but he was a bit better up top. He was good enough on the other end to take the lane up. Track position was the biggest hindrance for us, and he just didn’t make any mistakes at all. I had to slow up just a bit too much on entry to one on the last lap to have a shot at him. I felt like we were a tick better, but he wasn’t gonna give us a chance to take it,” Clauson said.
Hines continued his strong West Coast trip with a podium finish aboard his The Carolina Nut Company – MPHG Promotions #4 DRC/Stanton Chevy.
“I knew what the Hoffmans had on the 69 car, and I knew pretty early that we weren’t quite gonna be tight enough. We went a little safe just in case we were gonna have to run the cushion. We’re solid and locked in for tomorrow, so we’ll see what happens with our last race. I feel better now and am not hurting now after the injuries in the middle of the season, and there’s no braces or anything while I’m racing, and we’re back to running well again,” Hines said.
Ballou’s incredible run from 17th ended with a fourth-place finish for the Pacific Turf & Grass – Blakesley Auto #12 Maxim/Ott, and the Rocklin, California driver will clinch the AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship on Saturday. Kevin Thomas, Jr. rounded out the top-five in the Griffin’s Propane – Bakken Concrete #17RW Maxim/Fisher.
Damion Gardner finished tenth and will also celebrate a championship on Saturday, as he takes another USAC/CRA Sprint Car title.
Bacon, Clauson, Hines, Ballou, Darland, Thomas, Gardner, and Aaron Farney are locked into Saturday’s dash to determine to first four rows of the night’s 40-lap championship feature.
AMSOIL USAC SPRINT CAR NATIONAL & CRA CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: November 20, 2015 – Tucson, Arizona – USA Raceway – “Western World Championships”
QUALIFYING: 1. Chase Stockon, 32, 32/TBI-15.446; 2. Bryan Clauson, 63, Dooling/Hayward-15.627; 3. Aaron Farney, 15F, Farney-15.691; 4. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 17RW, Dutcher-15.715; 5. Dave Darland, 71p, Phillips/Curb-Agajanian-15.717; 6. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-15.719; 7. Tracy Hines, 4, THR-15.294-15.802; 8. Jerry Coons, Jr., 20N, Nolen-15.835; 9. Matt Rossi, 02, Rossi-15.836; 10. Mike Spencer, 50, Chaffin-15.854; 11. Damion Gardner, 4x, Alexander-15.911; 12. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-15.968; 13. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-15.993; 14. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-15.996; 15. Justin Grant, 5, Baldwin-16.003; 16. Chris Windom, 21x, Pollock-16.025; 17. Ryan Bernal, 56, Phulps-16.026; 18. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-16.044; 19. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-16.059; 20. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-16.085; 21. Brady Short, 19, Underwood-16.109; 22. Jake Swanson, 92, Sertich-16.141; 23. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-16.167; 24. Thomas Meseraull, 66, Amati-16.178; 25. Jon Stanbrough, 81, Stanbrough-16.191; 26. Casey Shuman, 42, Cheney-16.197; 27. Danny Faria, Jr., 17v, Bowman-16.197; 28. Logan Williams, 5x, Jory-16.206; 29. Chad Boespflug, 04G, Cook-16.334; 30. Brody Roa, 48, Leonard-16.476; 31. Colby Copeland, 74, Williams-16.588; 32. Nick Parker, 94, Morales-16.761; 33. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-17.252.
FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Bernal, 2. Darland, 3. Rossi, 4. Stockon, 5. Short, 6. C. Williams, 7. Faria, 8. Roa. NT
SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Vander Weerd, 2. Swanson, 3. Bacon, 4. Clauson, 5. Spencer, 6. Copeland, 7. Hodges, 8. Shuman. NT
THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. A. Williams, 2. Leary, 3. Gardner, 4. Hines, 5. Grant, 6. Farney, 7. L. Williams, 8. Parker. NT
FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Ballou, 2. Windom, 3. Johnson, 4. Stanbrough, 5. Boespflug, 6. Thomas, 7. Coons, 8. Bell. NT
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Thomas, 2. Farney, 3. Coons, 4. Spencer, 5. Grant, 6. Boespflug, 7. Faria, 8. L. Williams, 9. Roa, 10. Short, 11. Copeland, 12. Parker, 13. C. Williams, 14. Bell. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Brady Bacon, 2. Bryan Clauson, 3. Tracy Hines, 4. Robert Ballou, 5. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 6. Dave Darland, 7. Chase Stockon, 8. Jerry Coons, Jr., 9. Aaron Farney, 10. Damion Gardner, 11. Chris Windom, 12. Richard Vander Weerd, 13. Matt Rossi, 14. C.J. Leary, 15. Mike Spencer, 16. R.J. Johnson, 17. Justin Grant, 18. Jon Stanbrough, 19. Thomas Meseraull, 20. Jake Swanson, 21. Chad Boespflug, 22. Logan Williams, 23. Austin Williams, 24. Cody Williams, 25. Ryan Bernal. NT
**Hodges and Shuman flipped during the second heat. C. Williams flipped on lap 10 of the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-9 Rossi, Lap 10 Hines, Laps 11-16 Rossi, Laps 17-30 Bacon.