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Brady Bacon Man of Many Hats Lawrenceburg Speedway

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Lawrenceburg Speedway

Brady Bacon Man of Many Hats Lawrenceburg Speedway

By Danny Burton

Brady Bacon is a lot more than some guy who moved to Indiana from Oklahoma. He’s a husband and a dad. Recently, he’s tried his hand at race promotion. He writes a monthly column for Sprint Car and Midget. He has a generous amount of marketing skills and understands the importance of not only securing sponsors, but also keeping them happy. He’s fortunate to be married to a lady who is on the same page. But he’s best known for driving open wheel cars, especially sprint cars, very fast. That’s exactly what he did on a somewhat chilly Thursday night at the Lawrenceburg Speedway, coming from sixth to take the lead on the sixth lap and motoring off to the victory.

He wasn’t sure if he was a bona fide old man but he figured that he was old enough to be close, not that it mattered. Since it was too cold for him to see a race while at his second home, he headed north to his primary home, Indiana, checked the weather and packed an extra jacket. He arrived at the Lawrenceburg Speedway and promptly had the impression that it seemed as if it was yesterday when he had been here last. (Actually, it was six months to the day.)

Lawrenceburg Speedway

Each year brings new drivers, teams, and paint jobs. (I’m not a fan of the term “livery.) Paul Nienhiser decided to put the wing away and try his luck without the extra sheet metal. Young Carson Garrett is one of the latest to migrate to Indiana and test himself against the USAC regulars. Tanner Thorson (Reinbold/Underwood) and Dave Darland (Baldwin Brothers) were matched up with new teams for them. So were Max Adams (Mike Gass) and CJ Leary (Michael Brothers). Jake Swanson has moved here and will be getting quite an education this year. The Wingo family stepped up their program, bringing two cars driven by Stevie Sussex and Ryan Thomas.

Jadon Rogers, maybe the youngest racer who can be called a veteran, went out to qualify early and his lap of 14.297 seconds held up. Some frontrunners drew higher numbers and they found themselves in the feature later, but starting a bit deeper in the field. It made for more interesting competition.

The first heat was won by Sterling Cling with Scotty Weir, CJ Leary and Cole Bodine all transferring to the show.

Second heat: Dave Darland, Brady Bacon, Justin Grant and Max Adams.

Third heat: Thomas Meseraull, Garrett Abrams, Paul Nienhiser and Robert Ballou.

Fourth heat: Chris Windom, Kevin Thomas Jr., Kyle Cummins and Stevie Sussex.

B Main: Jadon Rogers, Nick Bilbee, Matt Westfall, Jake Swanson, Tanner Thorson and JJ Hughes.

With Grant and Leary landing on the front row of the 30-lap feature, it would be a tempting bet to take those two against the field. Indeed, Leary took the lead as Tim Montgomery waved the green. The race slowed for its only yellow flag on the third lap when Chase Stockon nearly flipped, bouncing to a stop instead.

Leary controlled the restart, but Bacon was on the move. From sixth, he had moved to third when the yellow waved. The green waved again and Bacon took second on lap four. Two laps later, he passed Leary in turns three/four and began to check out. By the halfway mark, Bacon’s lead was a full straightaway as he deftly made his way through lapped traffic.

With Bacon running away from the field, all one had to do in finding some drama was watch Windom, who had started tenth and charged to the front quickly. Fourth by lap ten, two laps later, Windom passed Grant for third. From there, he steadily reeled Leary in, catching him with five laps to go. Both weaved in and out of traffic with Windom never very far from Leary’s back bumper.

Bacon’s margin of victory was just under three seconds over Leary, with Windom a close third. Grant was fourth and Meseraull came from ninth to finish fifth. Rogers had a steady under-the-radar run, moving from 11th to sixth. Nienhiser, who’s going to be an impressive rookie, was seventh. Bodine was eighth, ahead of KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Robert Ballou. All he did was come from 22md to take ninth. Newlywed Sussex was tenth, the last car on the lead lap.

For those who appreciate numbers, this was Bacon’s 36th USAC Sprint Car win. He’s now tenth in USAC sprint wins, passing Jon Stanbrough and Rich Vogler. Bacon has been associated with Hoffman Auto Racing for several years, long enough to score his 28th win with Rob Hoffman and company. This was Bacon’s third victory at the ‘burg.

Speaking of the Hoffmans, Rob happily received the USAC Sprint Championship trophy in pre-race ceremonies, a trophy named after his father Richard.

And Bacon? Next weekend he puts the helmet aside and tries on his promoter’s hat. If he applies his abilities to promoting as he has while wearing his other hats, he’ll be fine.

The old man looked around the pits and, later, the grandstands. Two things occurred to him. He was one of the oldest people there. How could this be? But he could think back to trips to Lawrenceburg with his dad and watching guys like Roy Robbins, Ross Smith, Frankie Mack, Dick Gaines and Tommy Mattlin. Maybe he WAS old. He looked around for familiar faces. There weren’t any unless he looked at his friend Tim in the flagstand or his friend Rick snapping pictures in turn three. The others had gone. Perhaps a few were at Lincoln Park (where AJ Hopkins won). Others might have looked at the weather forecast and decided that it would be a bit too chilly. Still others were ailing; climbing those stairs can be hard on various body parts. At least one had taken this life’s checkered flag. The old man hung around to let part of the Sprint Week-like crowd exit the fairgrounds. He was in no hurry. He watched part of the modified feature, then left for home.

This Saturday-April 10th

Racing will feature:
Kelsey Chevrolet Sprints
KOI Auto Parts Modifieds
Impact Sports Pure Stocks
Bessler’s U Pull & Save Hornets
Adults: $16
Kids: 7-12: $7
6 & Under: Free
Pit Pass: $30 (all ages)
Pit Gate: 4:00pm
Front Gate: 5:00pm
Hot Laps: 6:00pm
Opening Ceremonies: 7:00pm
It’s also Youth Sports Night @ The Races! Any youth sports team member who enters the gate in uniform will receive FREE General Admission! (Main Front Gate Entrance Only)

Photo Credit: Lawrenceburg Speedway

By Danny Burton



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