Bacon Doubles Up With Second Straight Ocala Score

Brady Bacon took no chances on his cool down lap following Saturday night’s USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Winter Dirt Games XI victory at Bubba Raceway Park.

Check out the full results!

Following a mishap during his heat race that saw him drop from a surefire win to having to transfer through the semi in order to qualify for the feature, Bacon was once again the class of the field, driving from 9th to 1st to capture his second consecutive series main event win in as many nights at the 3/8-mile D-shaped dirt track in Ocala, Fla.

All the meanwhile, the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma native was adamant to make sure a victory wasn’t going to slip through his fingers twice in one night.

“We made an extra lap in the feature.  I wasn’t going to stop until we knew it was over,” Bacon exclaimed.

Watch all the action from 2020 Winter Dirt Games | USAC National Sprint Cars!

For you see, earlier Saturday evening during his heat race, Bacon was fully in charge, dominating the preliminary event until the final lap when his car began to slow dramatically.  Was something amiss mechanically with his ride, many pondered.

However, as it turned out, Bacon thought he saw the flagman waving the white.  As he came around the stripe the next time, he saw another flag waving and assumed it was the checkered.  As it turned out, that flag was, in fact, the white.  Bacon let off the gas on the actual last lap, assuming the race was over, and dropped from 1st to 8th as his competitors drove by him to knock him out from a potential second row starting spot.

Watch the full feature from night #2:

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As a result, Bacon was forced to transfer through the semi-feature, which he won, then rolled off from the 9th starting spot in the 30-lap feature – the same position he started from in his victory just 24 hours prior.

On paper, Saturday’s results were a carbon copy of Friday’s – a mesmerizing charge to the front that began from the inside of the fifth row.  However, with the way all the elements transpired for Bacon, he wouldn’t have it any other way en route to his 31st career USAC National Sprint Car feature win and his fourth career Winter Dirt Games sprint car score, tying him for second with Bryan Clauson and one behind Damion Gardner.

“It might’ve been a blessing in disguise running that B-Main because I ran the bottom in one and two once and I thought it was really good, so I just moved off of it,” Bacon explained.  “I didn’t want to show my hand too much and I didn’t want people to see that the bottom was fast.”

Check out the full results!

“It was a lot slicker in the feature,” Bacon continued.  “But we were able to sneak around there and get a little grip down the back straightaway when everyone else was way up by the fence.  It didn’t feel like it was going to work because I felt like I was going like 2 mph, but then, all of a sudden, at the end of the back straightaway, I’d be beside or ahead of them.  It was a little unconventional, especially for here, but it worked.”

That’s just how it unfolded for Bacon in a two-lap spurt that saw him slip underneath Chris Windom for second on lap 12 in turn three, then repeated the same move the very next lap in the same spot on Chase Stockon, who had commandeered the opening 12 laps from his outside front row starting position.

Hear from the top finishers:

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As Bacon jetted out to a 2.5 second lead in the waning laps, Windom and resurgent pole sitter Logan Seavey were involved in an intense grapple in which Seavey threw multiple sliders at Windom to no avail as Windom staved off the 2018 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget champ for the position.

With three laps remaining, 14th running Katlynn Leer banged her right rear tire off the outside wall and flipped wildly down the front straightaway to bring out the feature event’s lone red flag and final stoppage, thus erasing Bacon’s advantage and setting up a three-lap dash for the win in which the two-time series champ had one of two ways to go.

Watch all the action from 2020 Winter Dirt Games | USAC National Sprint Cars!

“I was kind of torn whether to run the top or bottom,” Bacon admitted.  “I knew the top was probably a little faster, but I would have left a big window open for someone to slide me, and he did.  But I was able to cross him over and survive.  Thankfully, we just had a really good car tonight and we’re able to overcome any obstacle that was thrown at us.”

Windom successfully dove to the bottom and slid by Bacon in turn one on laps 28 and 29, but Bacon lowered the boom and tucked in at the exit of turn four, taking a lower entry into the first turn on the final lap to essentially shut the door on Windom’s chances for victory and finish off a three-car-length margin of victory ahead of Windom, Seavey and Stockon with Justin Grant rounding out the top-five.

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All-Star Circuit of Champions Taking 'Week-to-Week' Approach to 2020

Eric Walls, the director of the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions, is as anxious to go racing as his 410 Sprint Car tour’s drivers, team members and fans. He understands, however, that he’s unlikely to hear the roar of race car engines as soon as he, and everyone else, would like due to the coronavirus pandemic that has overtaken the country.While the 410 Sprint Car series owned by former NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart hasn’t yet announced any event cancelations or postponements due to the crisis, Walls admitted this week that decisions will soon have to be made on upcoming races starting with the April 10-11 Spring Nationals doubleheader at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park. He certainly wants to remain as positive about racing as he can be, but he knows the opposite will likely be the case with the series, which in 2020 has all of its events slated for live broadcast to FloRacing subscribers.“Yeah, we’d love to race,” Walls said. “But when reality sets in, let’s be honest, we’re not gonna race till May probably.”Walls is monitoring the ever-developing landscape on a “week-to-week basis,” keeping open a sliver of hope for competition to happen if the spread of the coronavirus were to slow enough for government and health officials to relax existing stay-at-home and mass-gathering orders that are keeping racetracks shuttered. But reports of positive coronavirus cases have been escalating in recent days — including in the states of Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania that are slated to host the All Star events scheduled for April — so a quick return to normalcy seems unlikely.“We love to race, and if we get the ‘all clear’ (from government officials), we’ll go racing,” Walls said. “But just for the safety of the fans and the drivers and everybody involved (in the running of a race), we’re gonna take this one week at a time and make sure everybody’s safe and ready to go back to action here.”Walls has been in contact with the promoters of the tour’s April events that begin with Attica and go on to Virginia Motor Speedway in Jamaica (scheduled for April 16), Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa. (April 17), Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway (April 18), Bedford (Pa.) Speedway (April 19) and Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio (April 25). All the track operators have their facilities ready for what would be an attractive and lucrative stretch of racing for the ASCoC, but the crisis supersedes all the best-laid plans.According to Walls, the response he’s giving to All Star drivers who call looking for information on upcoming races basically tells the story of the circuit’s current status.“I’ve had a few drivers reach out to me, just for their travel plans,” Walls said. “A couple of our drivers fly to different places so they wanted to book their travel.“Not that I knew what was gonna go on as far as what the government is gonna do, but it was just my opinion to them that I certainly hope that April 10 we’re racing, but I’m a realist. I can’t see the government from state-to-state lifting this ban until later on in the season.“It’s just giving them my opinion on it and they can book their travel if they want to, but at the end of the day we’ve got to use some common sense when we’re looking at this too.”Walls is already scouring the 2020 calendar to consider makeup dates for races that might fall to the coronavirus situation. That includes the April 16 stop at Virginia Motor Speedway, a $12,000-to-win special that VMS and All Star officials worked together to schedule during the NASCAR weekend at nearby Richmond International Raceway — a weekend that NASCAR has already postponed to an undermined date.“It’s just going through the schedule to where we’re thinking racing is potentially not going to happen and trying to look down through our schedule and reschedule races,” Walls said.With the kickoff of the 2020 ASCoC season in February at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., and East Bay Raceway Park in Gibsonton, Fla. (both tracks ran two races), Walls started his second year as the tour’s director on an uplifting note. He never could have imagined having to deal with the unprecedented crisis that has presented itself, but he remarked that some trying stretches during his rookie campaign at the helm helped prepare him for curveballs thrown at him.“If you could look into the future, I guess (Ohio Sprint) Speedweek last year really groomed me into this position this year,” said Walls, a native of Chambersburg, Pa., who now lives in Brownsburg, Ind., near the Tony Stewart Racing shop that houses the ASCoC office. “With Speedweek, it was just rain every day. We got to the point where we knew we needed to race and Speedweek was a unique opportunity (with teams in one general area), so we started reaching out to racetracks and saying, ‘Hey, it’s not gonna rain there … do you want to race?’ We just took the schedule and moved it all around and got as many races in as we could.”Calling what has come up this year “a challenging time for sure,” Walls anticipates that he will have to do some creative scheduling once again this season. Adding races at tracks that are already bringing the series back later in the season? Extending the season past the planned finale on Sept. 26 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio? Everything might have to be on the table.“It will certainly be a unique year,” Walls said. “I think from not only our series but other series as well, including USAC and the (World of) Outlaws, you’re gonna see something different that no one’s ever seen before.“Our schedule’s a little bit unique. We go to a lot of the same racetracks at different times of the year, and we can certainly throw in an extra date here or there. But just looking down through our schedule late in the season, there’s not very many open weekends. And the open weekends we have built in, they’re for bigger races so our guys can go travel to race with different series. That’s something we built in there this year for our guys to go race for some bigger money in between during the season.“To lose some big money races this early on, it’s gonna make the season rough,” he added. “But I think we’re gonna motor through it and hopefully we can get to racing by the end of April or the first of June and everything goes smooth from there on. It certainly will not just be a flip of the switch (to return to normalcy for the country), that’s for sure. If I had to guess, it’ll be a slow process of going back to full time, but we’ll be ready when it happens.”

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