TUCSON, Ariz. and CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Report by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman —
They say you only have to lead one lap in motorsports — the last one — and Friday night at USA Raceway, that’s exactly what Brady Bacon did.
Bacon slid by Josh Hodges on the final lap of Friday’s 30-lap Copper on Dirt main event for the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series and rolled into victory lane, the first USAC/CRA Series win of the season for the defending USAC National Sprint Car champion.
Dave Darland paced the opening three laps of the feature before Richard Vander Weerd took over and asserted his dominance for the next 24 laps, from circuits four through 27. Vander Weerd, however, flipped prior to the finish, handing the lead to Hodges at lap 28. The veteran, who won the first USAC/CRA race of the season back on March 7, finished 20th.
From there it was Hodges who went on search of his first win of the season before Bacon put a slider on him in the final corner coming to the checkered flag.
“Second has never sucked so bad but [I’m] really proud of our run,” Hodges said following the finish. “Huge thanks to my dad, Dan, and Ray for helping tonight. Congrats [to] Brady on the win. There’s a reason he’s the defending USAC National champ. [I] had a lot of fun racing with him … .”
Darland capped off the podium in third. Defending USAC/CRA champion Damion Gardner finished fourth and Mike Spencer rounded out the top five.
During time trials, Bacon set the quick lap of the 24-car field in his No. 73 Ford-powered entry with a 16.590 second clip. Darland, Matt Rossi and R.J. Johnson won heat races on the night.
The USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series returns to action with night two at USA Raceway tonight, the finale to the Copper on Dirt event.
RESULTS: AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series; Copper on Dirt; USA Raceway; Tucson, Ariz.; March 20, 2015
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Brady Bacon, 2. Josh Hodges, 3. Dave Darland, 4. Damion Gardner, 5. Mike Spencer, 6. Matt Mitchell, 7. Jake Swanson, 8. Bruce St. James, 9. Cody Williams, 10. R.J. Johnson, 11. Logan Williams, 12. Charles Davis Jr., 13. Michael Curtis, 14. Mike Martin, 15. Rick Ziehl, 16. Parker Colston, 17. Matt Rossi, 18. Ronnie Clark, 19. Josh Pelkey, 20. Richard Vander Weerd, 21. Andy Reinbold, 22. Austin Williams, 23. Harli White.
** Vander Weerd flipped during the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-3 Darland, Laps 4-27 Vander Weerd, Laps 28-29 Hodges, Lap 30 Bacon.