West Memphis, Arkansas…….Brady Bacon of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma came out on top of a wild 40-lap Feature on Saturday night at Riverside International Speedway, notching his first AMSOIL National Sprint Car win of the year aboard the Hoffman Auto Racing #69. It was the third win of the year for the Mean Green – Oxydol Triple X/Stanton Mopar for the series’ all-time winningest team.
The event got off to a very slow start. After two separate cars stopped before the race could go green, three separate red flags in the first six laps slowed the action. From there, things picked up as cars attacked an extremely heavy quarter-mile soaked by overnight rains.
Hunter Schuerenberg led from the start, but business picked up as local driver Anthony Nicholson jumped to the outside and passed Bacon and Zach Pringle to take third. From there, Bacon jumped behind him and the front four pulled away as Dave Darland hounded Schuerenberg for the lead.
Over the race’s mid-section, the leaders diced for the top spot as Bacon moved by Nicholson for third. From there, he sailed around the rim to take second, but Schuerenberg was a tough out. Finally, Bacon hit the outside perfectly on lap 23 to grab the lead for good.
Schuerenberg moved back in on Bacon in traffic, but it was Bryan Clauson who made noise over the final few laps. After going to the tail as the result of his involvement in a lap-six red, Clauson stormed back through the field using every inch of the track. With just seven to go, he cleared Schuerenberg for second and took off after the lead. He tracked Bacon down and appeared as though he would have a shot at the win as Bacon caught a lapped car, but Clauson couldn’t negotiate the traffic and had to settle for second.
It was Bacon’s third career win, with the last coming in 2011 at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa.
“I was struggling to go anywhere on the bottom, and then Anthony Nicholson just drove by us on the top. I moved up there, and that was when we really got rolling. I had to work on Hunter for a while and got by him. In lapped traffic, not being able to be on the gas when you need to be to keep the tires spinning, it made us bounce around a few times. We’ve only run together a couple times, but we’ve been really fast, so it’s good to get the Hoffmans a win,” Bacon said.
Clauson finished off a crazy night with another podium finish, pulling himself to within sixty points of new point-leader Darland in the Curb Records – R&B Trucker’s #7 Maxim/Fisher.
“We salvaged another good night. I got hit in the head when the guy flipped in turn-one, so I was just glad to get that one over with. We were really going good at the end. I don’t really know what I would have done with Brady if I had a chance to get him, but I would have liked a shot. It was another good points night for us, too,” Clauson said.
Schuerenberg held on for third in the Fatheadz Eyewear – R&B Trucker’s #35 Mach-1/Rider.
“I thought I needed to protect the bottom with those guys showing me a nose down there. We were back and forth on where we thought we needed to be running. After they got by, we jumped up top and it was just fast. We weren’t in lapped traffic long enough to get anything going there, either. I wanted to win here really bad, but we’ll take a good night,” Schuerenberg said.
Nicholson ended up fifth in the Larry Stevens Auto Body – R.E. Technologies #16 Maxim/Dynotech, while Robert Ballou rounded out the top-five in the MPHG Promotions – J.C. Plew #81 Maxim/Ott.
AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS: September 8, 2012 – West Memphis, AR – Riverside International Speedway
QUALIFYING: 1. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-12.289; 2. Chris Windom, 20, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian-12.540; 3. Dave Darland, 11, Walker-12.586; 4. Bobby East, 5E, East-12.613; 5. Bryan Clauson, 7, CTR/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-12.669; 6. Zach Pringle, 14z, Mobbs-12.696; 7. Hunter Schuerenberg, 35, Byram-12.732; 8. Jon Stanbrough, 21x, Roberts/Tate-12.793; 9. Anthony Nicholson, 16, Nicholson-12.862; 10. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-12.907; 11. Jerry Coons, Jr., 21, Pollock-12.934; 12. Jordon Mallett, 14, Mallett-12.942; 13. Chase Stockon, 32, Stockon-12.949; 14. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 9K, BlackJack-12.965; 15. Wes McIntyre, 5, Baldwin-12.973; 16. Robert Ballou, 81, MPHG-12.995; 17. Dale Howard, 47, Howard-13.059; 18. Jerod Roller, 5R, Roller-13.120; 19. Tim Crawley, 88, Ward-13.230; 20. Casey Rowland, c4, Rowland-13.253; 21. Damion Gardner, 71, DG-13.265; 22. Brad Bowden, 39, Bowden-13.299; 23. Wade Oliver, 58, Pyles-13.325; 24. Cody Brewer, 96, Brewer-13.336; 25. Ernie Ainsworth, 40, Chambliss-13.576; 26. Richard Harris, 92H, Harris-13.580; 27. Jeremy Newkirk, 01, Newkirk-13.866; 28. Bubba Jones, 22, Jones-13.898; 29. Jan Howard, 46, Howard-14.009; 30. Cody Howard, 61, Howard-NT; 31. Greg Merritt, 12M, Merritt-NT.
FIRST HEAT:: (10 laps) 1. D. Howard, 2. Nicholson, 3. Clauson, 4. Bacon, 5. Gardner, 6. Stockon, 7. Ainsworth, 8. J. Howard. 2:13.66
SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Roller, 2. Thomas, 3. Hines, 4. Pringle, 5. Windom, 6. Bowden, 7. Harris, 8. C. Howard. 2:14.82
THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Crawley, 2. Oliver, 3. Schuerenberg, 4. Coons, 5. Darland, 6. McIntyre, 7. Merritt, 8. Newkirk. 2:13.55
FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Brewer, 2. Mallett, 3. East, 4. Ballou, 5. Rowland, 6. Stanbrough, 7. Jones. 2:15.62
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Darland, 2. Stockon, 3. Windom, 4. McIntyre, 5. Stanbrough, 6. Bowden, 7. Ainsworth, 8. Newkirk, 9. Merritt, 10. Jones, 11. Rowland, 12. Gardner, 13. C. Howard. NT
FEATURE: (40 laps) 1. Brady Bacon, 2. Bryan Clauson, 3. Hunter Schuerenberg, 4. Anthony Nicholson, 5. Robert Ballou, 6. Zach Pringle, 7. Chase Stockon, 8. Jerry Coons, Jr., 9. Tim Crawley, 10. Dave Darland, 11. Chris Windom, 12. Damion Gardner, 13. Brad Bowden, 14. Jerod Roller, 15. Cody Brewer, 16. Dale Howard, 17. Wade Oliver, 18. Jordon Mallett, 19. Tracy Hines, 20. Bobby East, 21. Jon Stanbrough, 22. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 23. Wes McIntyre. NT
**Gardner & Rowland flipped during the Semi. Kevin Thomas, Jr. flipped on Lap 1 of the Feature. Tracy Hines flipped on Lap 4 of the Feature. Mallett flipped on Lap 6 of the Feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-22 Schuerenberg, Laps 23-40 Bacon.