ANDERSON, Ind. – Brady Bacon has entered the 73rd annual Pay Less Little 500 presented by UAW at the quarter-mile Anderson Speedway with Hoffman Auto Racing.
It’s a reunion of sorts between Bacon and Rob Hoffman, who will serve as Bacon’s crew chief and owner for the 500-lap non-winged sprint car classic.
The pairing won two USAC National Sprint Car Series championships together (2014, ’16) and all three of Bacon’s USAC sprint car titles have come aboard the Hoffman No. 69.
Hoffman returns to turning the wrenches after retiring from full-time crew chief duties in 2017. Over the winter, Hoffman built his own pavement sprint car chassis with one race in mind, the Little 500.
“I don’t like to sit back and watch,” said Hoffman. “I built our first pavement chassis in the 1980’s named Genesis. It was practically a Gambler (Chassis) copy that we transformed from the dirt car into a pavement sprint car.”
Hoffman Auto Racing then partnered with Rich Vogler, who brought his V6 Buick to the team. The team then scored their first USAC National Sprint Car Series championship in 1989.
Hoffman’s experience building chassis now returns to the present day as he prepares his eighth chassis to compete in the Pay Less Little 500.
“I was looking for a way to get back into racing,” said Hoffman. “The Little 500 being one event a year is the perfect situation for me. I am excited to have Brady (Bacon) drive the car. He has great talent that will keep him out of trouble.”
Bacon has made four starts at Anderson between USAC midget and USAC sprint car racing. His best finish came in 2008 during the ninth annual Glen Niebel Classic, where he finished eighth.
Bacon will attempt to become the first driver to compete in the Little 500 from the state of Oklahoma. The Broken Arrow, Okla., native has won 35 USAC National Sprint Car Series races and three USAC national championships.
The challenge? Bacon will compete in a race he has never witnessed in person.
“I have raced at Anderson Speedway before, but I have never been to the Little 500,” he explained. “Our goal is go and win. The mental aspect of the race I think is going to be the most grueling part. There are many different layers to the race.”
Hoffman Auto Racing has competed in the Little 500 on five previous occasions. They competed in 2005 and 2006 with Tracy Hines, 2014 with Bryan Clauson, 2016 with Kody Swanson, and 2017 with Tony Stewart.
The team won their first Little 500 with Kody Swanson in 2016.
Bacon’s week of Indy schedule will be rather grueling. He will race his non-winged sprint car at Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track on Wednesday night, a dirt USAC Silver Crown car on Thursday night for the for the Hoosier Hundred and the Little 500 on Saturday.
Bacon and wife Xia Xianna have also taken on the task of promoting multiple races a year. They will promote the T-Town Midget Showdown at Oklahoma’s Port City Raceway in April, as well as the USAC Silver Crown race at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway on May 9.