It’s All Bacon For 20 Grand At Knoxville

Brady Bacon dominated the Corn Belt Nationals Saturday at Knoxville Raceway. (Ken Berry photo)
Brady Bacon dominated the Corn Belt Nationals Saturday at Knoxville Raceway. (Ken Berry photo)

KNOXVILLE, Iowa — Brady Bacon dominated the Brandt Professional Agriculture Corn Belt Nationals Saturday night at the Knoxville Raceway.

The Broken Arrow, Okla., native led all 30 laps to take home the top prize of $20,000 aboard the Hoffman Racing No. 69.

Bacon, who won the preliminary event here Friday night, led the 24-car USAC National Sprint Car/POWRi WAR field from the outset ahead of C.J. Leary, Justin Grant and Tyler Courtney.  Kevin Thomas Jr. entered the top five on lap four, but was under pressure from Chase Stockon in a good battle for fifth.

By lap 10, Bacon opened up an advantage of 4.5 seconds running the cushion, and entered lapped traffic on lap 14. With 10 laps to go, his lead had eclipsed seven seconds and his margin of victory was 8.286 seconds at the checkers.

Behind him, good battles from positions two through six had the fans’ attention.  Courtney shot by both Grant and Leary to climb to second with nine to go. Leary went back by for the spot a lap later, and Courtney returned the favor again on lap 23.

When Courtney jumped the cushion with two to go, Leary grabbed the runner-up spot for good.  Courtney, Thomas and Chris Windom followed.

This was Bacon’s third career win here under the USAC sanction.

“I was like ‘Doug (Clark), Doug, throw the white, let’s go, I’m done with this,” said an excited Bacon.  “I was having some trouble with those lapped cars and it was getting treacherous. Obviously, you don’t know how good you are. The competition with USAC is so good. We picked up some momentum in Eastern Storm and we carried it on here. My guys have been working hard. It’s obviously awesome to win here at Knoxville. A big check makes it a lot better! Hopefully, we can come back and do this again.”

Leary finished second.

“The No. 19az was pretty fast all weekend,” said Leary. “Last night, we had a lifter that got stuck, and had the pushrod run out. We were running on seven cylinders all night. Tonight, the racetrack kind of fooled us. We got too tight. There was a soft spot coming off four and coming off two.  It about bit me, and let Tyler catch up.  It bit him too, and let me get back to second. A $12,000 payday is a good night for us.”

Courtney came home third.

“We were way too tight,” said Courtney. “Our hat’s off to Brady.  He got two big wins this weekend.  It was a great event, and hopefully, we can come back next year. Hopefully, we can come back and get a couple more spots on the podium. We’ll go on to the next race and go from there.”

To see full results, turn to the next page.