GAS CITY, Ind. – Brady Bacon was the boss of Gas City I-69 Speedway Friday night as he captured the Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series feature at the quarter-mile dirt track.
After a violent start to the 25-lap main event with two separate flips by Ben Knight and defending track champion Max Adams, the top four runners ran under a blanket numerous times in the beginning stages of the race, often three abreast.
That was more than a little exciting, but when they caught the tail of the field it became a sprint car feature for the ages. They weaved their way by other competitors, sometimes getting boxed in, sometimes having to take evasive action, sometimes clearing other drivers’ cars by the smallest of margins, and in a couple of cases making slight contact. Despite the pressure they had to keep a clear head, their tempers in check, and be patient while simultaneously going as fast as possible as they pursued the $2,000 winner’s check.
In the end that went to Bacon, a native of Broken Arrow, Okla., who now lives in Richmond, Ind.
The other feature winners Friday night were Dillon Nusbaum (modifieds), Ervin Turner (street stocks) and James Headley Jr. (hornets).
Bacon started ninth in the 24-car field for the sprint car feature in the Wedgewood Motorsports Triple XXX/J&D Chevy, which is sponsored by Glenn Farms, Fatheadz Eyewear and Drive WFX.
Knight flipped high in turn four on the initial start. Adams flipped in almost the same place after contact with Shane Cottle on the second attempt to get the race underway. Both Knight and Adams got out of their cars under their own power, but Adams was transported to a local hospital afterwards for further evaluation.
Justin Grant out-dragged everyone into the first turn on both of those starts driving Paul Hazen’s famous No. 57. He did the same for the third attempt that stuck. Cottle edged ahead on lap three for an instant but Grant fought back and was still leading when Bacon passed Cottle for second on lap eight and then set his sights on Grant.
Bacon dipped under Grant on the frontstretch on lap nine for the lead and led the rest of the way. Cottle passed Grant for second on lap 14, right before Max Guilford, who calls Auckland, New Zealand home, spun low in Turn 4 to bring out a yellow with 15 laps down. That gave Cottle a clear shot at Bacon for the restart with 10 laps remaining.
Bacon was up to the challenge, and with a clear track ahead of him he was able to accrue a 2.016-second advantage over Cottle at the line. Grant finished third. Last week’s winner, Thomas Meseraull placed fourth and Matt Westfall rounded out the top five.
Bacon set the fastest lap of the race with a time of 12.932 seconds on lap eight while he was taking second place. Tyler Kendall was the hard charger, as he started 22nd but finished 11th.
1. Brady Bacon (9); 2. Shane Cottle (3); 3. Justin Grant (2); 4. Thomas Meseraull (6); 5. Matt Westfall (4); 6. Korbyn Hayslett (5); 7. Kevin Thomas Jr. (10); 8. Issac Chapple (14); 9. Mike Miller (18); 10. Cody White (8); 11. Tyler Kendall (22); 12. Max Guilford (13); 13. Katlynn Leer (7); 14. Matt Goodnight (17); 15. Cole Ketcham (12); 16. Adam Byrkett (15); 17. Rob Caho (23); 18. Zack Pretorius (24); 19. Jerry Dahms (19); 20. Travis Hery (20); 21. Anthony D’Alessio (21); 22. Evan Mosley (16); 23. Max Adams (1); 24. Ben Knight (11).