HAUBSTADT, Ind. — official series release — Lonnie Wheatley/USAC photo —
After nearly having Saturday’s 30-lap Spring Showdown wrestled away from him inside the final ten laps, Brady Bacon fought back to re-take the lead from Robert Ballou and take the victory at Tri-State Speedway.
The defending AMSOIL USAC Sprint Car National Champion took his second win of the season in a race that was also co-sanctioned by the Midwest Sprint Car Series.
After a failed initial start, Tracy Hines got a run off the high side to lead the opening lap, but Kyle Cummins cut underneath to take the lead on lap three, looking for his first USAC Sprint Car win. Just a lap later, Bacon flashed by Cummins to take the top spot as the lead trio of Bacon, Cummins, and Ballou raced away from the field.
Ballou took second and started to stalk Bacon as they encountered traffic. He finally poked inside Bacon on lap 19 as the two nearly made contact while avoiding a slower car. Three laps later, Ballou got a run down the frontstretch and dove under Bacon for the lead. As they hit turn three, Ballou bobbled while Bacon hustled on the cushion to retake the lead as they passed the line.
On lap 24, third-running Kevin Thomas, Jr., who was slicing through traffic in pursuit of the lead duo, made contact with a lapped car and spun in turn-two, necessitating the only caution of the race.
With five lapped cars behind them, it was Bacon versus Ballou for the final seven laps, but Bacon was able to hold a narrow margin and take the win in the Hoffman Auto Racing/Mean Green No. 69 Triple X/Williams Mopar.
The triumph was Bacon’s tenth career win, tying him with Tony Stewart for 43rd all-time.
“We were not gonna lose tonight from a lack effort; we threw everything at it,” Bacon said. “Ballou and Cummins are as good as they get here, so it’s nice to be able to beat them. It’s a different place, and what works here is backwards [compared to] how we do it everywhere else.”
“There were cars everywhere that were unpredictable, and I think it was a matter of time before it messed up one of us,” Bacon added. “I just went to the top after he passed me and caught a break that he had a bad corner with traffic or something. It gave us the momentum to get back around him. I could feel us fading in the final few laps, and I could see him, but I just tried not to make any huge mistakes.”
Ballou was visibly frustrated with narrowly missing his third win this season, as he placed himself in the top-two for the third-straight USAC race at Tri-State.
“I really hate to miss that one, especially as good as our car was,” Ballou said. “We had a brake problem last night that we didn’t get fixed, and it cost us tonight. I ran all over him in traffic there but didn’t want to crash us both. I think the top may have even been better, but I didn’t feel confident that I could get it slowed down to run the cushion.”
“The one time we pushed the front end was right after we passed him. It’s unfortunate, but those guys do their homework and prepare a great car to win these races. We’ll figure it out and try to get three wins next weekend.”
Cummins held on to complete the podium in the Rock Steady Racing/Vincennes University No. 3R Mach-1/Cummins.
“I was hoping we could get away from them a little bit in the beginning, but I knew when they went by me so early that we were in trouble,” Cummins said. “I tried to make adjustments and do anything I could to get us better, but that was all we had. I think if we could have gotten to the top, we could have tried to make a run at them, but traffic had it clogged up near the end.”
Brady Short came home fourth after starting 11th and AMSOIL National point leader Chase Stockon, who started 12th, rounded out the top five.
ProSource Fast Qualifier Dave Darland finished seventh, while Carson Short rallied from 21st to finish tenth, garnering the B&W Auto Mart Hard Charger Award.
RESULTS: AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series; Tri-State Speedway; Spring Showdown; Haubstadt, Ind.; April 18, 2015 (co-sanctioned by MSCS)
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Brady Bacon, 2. Robert Ballou, 3. Kyle Cummins, 4. Brady Short, 5. Chase Stockon, 6. Tracy Hines, 7. Dave Darland, 8. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9. C.J. Leary, 10. Carson Short, 11. Chase Briscoe, 12. Aaron Farney, 13. Jon Stanbrough, 14. Logan Jarrett, 15. Ted Hines, 16. Shane Cockrum, 17. Chet Williams, 18. Donny Brackett, 19. Justin Grant, 20. James Lyerla, 21. Jeff Bland Jr., 22. Travis Hery. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 Tracy Hines, Lap 3 Cummins, Laps 4-30 Bacon.