Brady Bacon has won big races in his career, but none of them compared to his victory on Thursday night – or Friday morning to be exact. The Oklahoma native won the first ever USAC dirt feature at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With eight laps remaining in the feature, Bacon took over the lead in the Driven2SaveLives “BC39” presented by NOS Energy Drink, and claimed his first win of the year. In addition to the $15,000 winnings, Bacon got to kiss the mud-covered bricks.
Mother Nature caused a lengthy delay in getting things started on Thursday, as hot laps finally got underway more than three hours after originally scheduled. The 39-lap A-Main began just after midnight, where Kevin Thomas Jr looked strong after starting from pole position. Lap 14 saw a six-car pileup that took out many contenders.
“This is definitely up at the top,” Bacon said. “It’s a first-year event, but it’s the first win on the dirt track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and no one can ever take that away. Obviously, there’s a lot of things that make it special for me, the team, Bob East, Brad Noffsinger and Frank Manafort. As many years as those guys have been together and to still be winning, it’s an honor to work with guys like that. To still want to work this hard takes a lot to be at the top. They’ve done all the work, made the investment in me and still think I’m at the top. This one’s probably going to take a while to sink in.”
Chad Boat finished runner-up to Bacon, after starting the A-Main in 10th place. Thomas Jr, Tyler Courtney, and Christopher Bell rounded out the Top Five on Thursday night. Bell, the Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR Xfinity Series driver, earned the KSE Racing Products/ProSource Hard Charger for his finish after starting from 17th position.
The rest of the Top Ten included Alex Bright, Justin Grant, Holly Shelton, Jerry Coons Jr, and Ryan Robinson. Ricky Stenhouse Jr started 11th, and finished 11th, while Chris Windom was 12th, and points leader Logan Seavey came home 13th. Zeb Wise won the Stoops Pursuit race on Wednesday night, and finished 14th in the feature on Thursday.
Legendary Dave Darland didn’t have the opportunity to even complete a lap in the A-Main, finishing 26th. Robert Dalby was transported to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis for non-life-threatening injuries following his horrific accident during the fourth qualifying race, flipping high in the air on the front stretch.
There were plenty of other drivers with name recognition as the talented field included more than 110 cars for the event. Drivers like JJ Yeley, Sam Johnson, Jason McDougal, Landon Cassill, Dillon Welch, Tracy Hines, Kyle O’Gara, Shane Cockrum, Chase Briscoe, and Conor Daly all failed to advance to the A-Main feature.
NBC Sports Network will have a one-hour program at 6 PM ET on Friday recapping the two-day event.
The next USAC Midget National race is September 22 at Eldora Speedway – the 37th Annual 4-Crown Nationals.