Ocala, Florida…….Defending AMSOIL Sprint Car National Champion Brady Bacon wasted very little time getting himself into the win column with the 2015 tour, as he led all thirty laps and held on after a final-lap challenge from Chase Stockon to take Saturday’s “Winter Dirt Games VI” 30-lapper. The Broken Arrow, Oklahoma driver’s ninth-career victory put him back into the point lead.
Bacon got the jump on fellow front-row starter Chris Windom, as Stockon ran the high side into the third-spot in the early laps. A few laps later, Stockon turned underneath Windom off turn-four to take the second spot. The race went nearly to the halfway point before a yellow, negating a chance for Stockon to use traffic to pass Bacon, who was slowed up behind the tail of the field.
Just as the leaders again approach the back of the field, Kyle Robbins stopped after contact with Shane Cockrum, who had slowed suddenly down the backstretch. With a three-lap dash to the checkered, Stockon tried a new approach to go after Bacon. On the final lap, he entered turn-one higher and came out of turn-two with enough momentum to pull alongside Bacon down the backstretch. The two nearly touched as they moved through the final corners, with Bacon throttling to the checkered with his front wheels in the air for the $5,000 victory.
It was the 87th win all-time for the Hoffman Auto Racing – Mean Green #69 Triple X/Williams Mopar.
“He got a good run on us there and drove it in about as far as he could without making contact, which is exactly what I would have done in the same situation. We’ve seen both extremes of track conditions now and been good on both, so that’s a great feeling going forward. It’s a relief to get that first win of the season, as they can be elusive sometimes. We had a hiccup with an engine issue on practice night, but these guys are champions for a reason and have had us ready to go the last two nights,” Bacon said.
Stockon, who started the night by taking the ProSource “Fast Time Award,” made it two podium finishes in a row as he stalked Bacon to the checkered in the Superior Tank & Trailer – Crescent Electric Supply #32 DRC/Fisher.
“I could just about throw up after coming that close. The drive to win races makes this one hard to swallow, but we feel good about coming out and being this good on such different tracks. We like to see tracks that are completely different like that, and it’s definitely tested us. I knew I had to change something to have a shot at him at the end, and I thought I could make that work down through one and two. I closed up on him but wanted to keep it clean,” Stockon said.
Chris Windom made it a successful second night aboard the Lein Acres – Mid-State Equipment #2 DRC/Speedway Mopar as he rounded out the podium.
“We’ve made big improvements with this car every time we’ve hit the track. Tonight was tough with dealing with some rough, and dodging the holes a bit. It’s actually gone smoother than I expected to bring out a whole new sprint car deal, and I’m excited to keep working on it and try to gain speed every time we go out. I’m grateful to Hans (Lein) for putting me in his car, and hopefully we can make something of it,” Windom said.
Kevin Thomas, Jr. finished fourth in the Bakken Concrete – Griffin’s Propane #17RW Maxim/Fisher, and Kyle Cummins came from ninth to round out the top-five in the Rick Pollock – Bates Commodities #21x Maxim/Advanced.
Jon Stanbrough picked up the ProSource “Hard Charger Award” after advancing from 20th to finish 14th.
AMSOIL USAC SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 21, 2015 – Ocala, Florida – Bubba Raceway Park – “Winter Dirt Games VI”
QUALIFYING: 1. Chase Stockon, 32, 32/TBI-14.475; 2. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-14.593; 3. Carson Short, 21, Short-14.637; 4. Zach Daum, 5D, Daum-14.698; 5. Shane Cockrum, 66, Wade-14.706; 6. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 17RW, Dutcher-14.768; 7. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-14.882; 8. Bryan Clauson, 41, SST-14.882; 9. Chris Windom, 2, Lein-14.911; 10. Kyle Cummins, 21x, Pollock-14.927; 11. Aaron Farney, 15F, Farney-14.936; 12. Dave Darland, 71P, Phillips-14.938; 13. Justin Grant, 40, Hery-14.984; 14. Chad Boespflug, 5, Baldwin-15.106; 15. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-15.118; 16. Casey Shuman, 2x, Barnhill/Dodd-15.136; 17. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-15.160; 18. Brady Short, 11P, Pottorff-15.185; 19. Chris Gurley, 11, Walker-15.296; 20. Kyle Robbins, 17R, Robbins-15.335; 21. Brandon Spithaler, 57B, Burkey-15.340; 22. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-15.404; 23. Jon Stanbrough, 81, JSR-15.569; 24. Logan Jarrett, 29, Jarrett-15.649; 25. Bret Mellenberndt, 97, Mellenberndt-15.779; 26. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-15.846; 27. Kent Wolters, 12x, Wolters-15.939; 28. Landon Simon, 24, LSR-15.958; 29. Isaac Chapple, 7G, Goacher-16.425; 30. Thomas McCance, 22JR, McCance-16.880; 31. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-16.948.
FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Windom, 2. Hines, 3. Grant, 4. Stockon, 5. Cockrum, 6. Spithaler, 7. Chapple, 8. Mellenberndt. 1:59.76
SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. B. Short, 2. Ballou, 3. Thomas, 4. Boespflug, 5. Swanson, 6. Cummins, 7. Andretti, 8. McCance. NT
THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Bacon, 2. Gurley, 3. Stanbrough, 4. Farney, 5. Leary, 6. C. Short, 7. Bell, 8. Wolters. 1:57.31
FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Jarrett, 2. Shuman, 3. Darland, 4. Daum, 5. Clauson, 6. Robbins, 7. Simon. 1:58.16
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. C. Short, 2. Clauson, 3. Cummins, 4. Robbins, 5. Leary, 6. Swanson, 7. Chapple, 8. Spithaler, 9. Mellenberndt, 10. Bell, 11. Andretti, 12. Simon, 13. Cockrum, 14. Wolters, 15. McCance. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Brady Bacon, 2. Chase Stockon, 3. Chris Windom, 4. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 5. Kyle Cummins, 6. Carson Short, 7. Zach Daum, 8. Robert Ballou, 9. Dave Darland, 10. C.J. Leary, 11. Chad Boespflug, 12. Justin Grant, 13. Tracy Hines, 14. Jon Stanbrough, 15. Logan Jarrett, 16. Aaron Farney, 17. Bryan Clauson, 18. Chris Gurley, 19. Kyle Robbins, 20. Shane Cockrum, 21. Brady Short, 22. Kody Swanson, 23. Casey Shuman. NT
**Andretti flipped in the Semi.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1-30 Bacon.
NEW AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Bacon-134; 2-Stockon-132; 3-Ballou-119; 4-Windom-98; 5-Thomas-93; 6-Grant-91; 7-Stanbrough-88; 8-Boespflug-86; 9-C.Short-79; 10-B.Short-73.
NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT RACE: February 22 – Ocala, Florida – Bubba Raceway Park – “Winter Dirt Games VI”