SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. — Brady Bacon collected his fifth Western World victory Saturday night, topping the NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series portion of the 52nd annual event at Arizona Speedway.
Bacon, who led all 30 laps, said a last-minute decision was the key to victory.
“The guys gave me a good car,” Bacon praised. “We made a last-minute decision there in staging. I was checking everybody else’s tires out and I’m like, I got to make a change here because they didn’t quite do as much track work as we were expecting. Western World has always been good to me at several different racetracks. It was good to me again tonight.”
Bacon launched from the outside of the front row in his FMR Racing/TRD – Black Watch Farms – Mobil 1/Beast/Speedway Toyota, taking the lead on the opening lap while a scramble for position ensued among the balance of the top five.
Outside second row starter Logan Seavey slotted into second on the first lap and engaged in his race-long pursuit of Bacon. Seavey trekked through the middle in one and two and the top side of three and four in his chase toward Bacon.
Seavey attempted to slide Bacon multiple times in turn one during the first third of the race to no avail as Bacon smoothly rode the cushion to fend off the Seavey challenge.
Just before midway, the top-four of Bacon, Seavey, Zeb Wise and Tyler Courtney ran in close-quarters nose-to-tail when a series of accidents slowed the action.
Rookie Jesse Colwell was the first to take a tumble in turn two on the 15th lap. On the restart, Colwell’s Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian teammate Tucker Klaasmeyer was the next to find trouble, flipping in the same area of the second turn.
Rookie Karsyn Elledge took the most serious spill of the event, flipping high and violently down the front straightway several times on the 17th lap.
The cushion was building up, and the path to victory was narrowing with rubber on the entry into the corners. Seavey consistently cut through the middle and was able to steer his car up to the cushion where it worked just as well. Seavey was able to drive up right to the tail of Bacon but was unable to faze the two-time USAC National Sprint Car champion.
“We biked up a couple times,” Bacon recalled. “That cushion was getting really big. It was so slick up to it, you could hit it really easy, then I almost didn’t catch the rubber there at the end. I moved down, I think, just in time. I don’t know how close he was getting to me, but if he found it first, he was probably catching me pretty quickly.”
Seavey needed either a really good run into the corner or needed Bacon to make a mistake, both of which seemed to be just out of reach. Bacon held smooth and steady and closed out his first series victory of the year to become just the second driver in 2019 to win main events in all three of USAC’s National series, joining Tyler Courtney.
Bacon triumphed with a 0.482 second margin at the checkered over Seavey, Wise, Courtney and KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Rico Abreu who started 18th.
To see full results, turn to the next page.