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  • Series News Release

ISW: Brady Bacon is 2023 Indiana Sprint Week Champion


2023 USAC Indiana Sprint Week Champion Brady Bacon. (File Photo. Courtesy USAC Media)

Series News Release - USAC Media


Speedway, Indiana (July 30, 2023) - If there’s one thing that this past week of racing reminded us, it’s that when the chips are down, Brady Bacon is on the rise.


The Broken Arrow, Okla. native’s second career USAC NOS Energy Drink Indiana Sprint Week Presented By Honest Abe Roofing championship came without a win throughout the seven-race series, but instead, was rooted in consistency and thriving through circumstances that would’ve derailed many others in their quest.


In round three at Lawrenceburg, he was light at the scales in tech inspection after qualifying, which forced him to start from the tail in all proceeding events throughout the evening. In the feature, he managed to make the biggest charge of the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship season when he advanced from his 22nd starting position to finish third.


At Terre Haute, during round five of the series, with five laps remaining, his car had flipped just about 80 percent of the way over while running third, riding solely on his right front wheel for a brief moment before miraculously landing on all four wheels. Within the blink of an eye, he had fallen back to eighth, but quickly gathered himself and hustled back to a fourth-place finish.


In what turned out to be the series finale at Bloomington, Bacon raced to a seemingly smooth fourth place finish without any qualms and without a hitch – no pun intended. However, after the race when it was time to load up for the night, Bacon’s merchandise trailer dislodged from the hitch and rolled down the turn four hillside.


Just as all of Indiana Sprint Week seemed to go for Bacon, misfortune soon turned into good fortune. The trailer glided to a stop at the bottom of the hillside without touching anything, and pretty much nothing fell out of place on the inside with everything secure and still in its place.


What did fall into place was another championship run for Bacon, making him the 11th driver to achieve multiple Indiana Sprint Week titles after he corralled his first back in 2016. He joins a group which includes Chuck Amati, Kevin Thomas, J.J. Yeley, Dave Darland, Levi Jones, Cory Kruseman, Jon Stanbrough, Chris Windom, Bryan Clauson and Kevin Thomas Jr.


In all, Bacon totaled six top-five results in seven starts throughout Indiana Sprint Week, buoyed by a third in the Gas City opener, a second at Kokomo, another third at Lawrenceburg, a fourth at Terre Haute, a third at Lincoln Park and a fourth at Bloomington. Bacon’s only aberration of the week was a 16th at Circle City in which he clipped an infield tire while running second with eight laps to go.


Bacon assumed the top spot in the points just in time after Bloomington before rain forced cancellation of the scheduled finale the following night at Tri-State Speedway. In the end, Bacon was eight points better than Grant. While Grant attained four more points than Bacon in the seven feature events, it was the prelim points which pushed Bacon to the forefront, most notably a pair of fast qualifying efforts at Lincoln Park and Bloomington, which boosted him with six points apiece.


Bacon earned $10,000 as the 2023 Indiana Sprint Week champion, the third for the Dynamics, Inc. team who had previously won the title with driver Dave Darland in 1998 and with Bacon in 2016.


“It was a long and grueling week, as it always is, and it takes a huge number of people to make it possible for not only my team, but all of the teams and tracks involved,” Bacon stated. “I would first like to thank my wife, Xia Xianna, and my family for giving me the support I need to compete at this level and being there all the time.”


“My crew was amazing all week and worked their butts off,” Bacon continued. “Matt Hummel gave me a car that should have been on the podium every night. Kaleb did a great job all week and is getting better each night. Another addition I have to thank is Lacey Doyle, who jumped right in and stepped up huge.”


Unique in Bacon’s effort throughout ISW was his rotating series of sponsors, which was launched in a “sponsor raffle” for individuals, fans and businesses to purchase tickets to help sponsor Bacon’s Sprint Week effort along with Longworth Properties, Mays-Shedd and Apex Spa Services, which all adorned the side of Bacon’s Triple X/Rider Chevy during the week.


Bacon’s total earnings throughout Indiana Sprint Week equaled $25,350 with all his winnings combined, and also earned a new helmet wrap courtesy of Hurricane Designs.


Furthermore, the top-eight in the final Indiana Sprint Week standings received point fund money: Justin Grant ($4,000), Robert Ballou ($2,500), Kyle Cummins ($2,000), Emerson Axsom ($1,500), C.J. Leary ($1,250), Kevin Thomas Jr. ($1,000) and Shane Cottle ($750) in addition to their nightly feature finishing earnings and bonuses.


Outside of Bacon, several top-notch performances were turned in by a number of teams and drivers who reached new heights across the 36th annual event, which began in 1988.


In the opener at Gas City, Justin Grant earned a victory in the second closest finish in Indiana Sprint Week history when he passed Robert Ballou on the final lap to win by .005 of a second. In fact, Grant won three times throughout the week, coming up just short of becoming the first repeat ISW champion since Bryan Clauson in 2013-14.


Grant also was victorious in subsequent barnburners at Lawrenceburg and Terre Haute, which moved him into the top-five all-time in terms of Indiana Sprint Week feature victories with nine.


Two veteran racers returned to Indiana Sprint Week victory lane in 2023 with Kyle Cummins (Princeton, Ind.) taking round four to become the first multi-time USAC National Sprint Car winner at Circle City, both of which have come this year.


After a crash at Gas City destroyed his primary ride, C.J. Leary went back to the shop and rolled out a three-year-old car that had never been run, and promptly put it in victory lane during its first outing in round two at Kokomo.


Meanwhile, two more drivers added their names as first-time Indiana Sprint Week victors. In what became a familiar story during the week, Jake Swanson totaled his ride in a flip at Terre Haute while running third. The very next night, with another car his Team AZ crew had put together, the Anaheim, Calif. racer posted a “W” at Lincoln Park.


That same night at Lincoln Park, Emerson Axsom missed out on transferring to the feature, requiring the use of a provisional. By rule, provisional starters do not receive Indiana Sprint Week points, effectively ending Axsom’s shot at an ISW title after entering the night 23 points out of the lead in third. One night later at Bloomington, he parked his Clauson Marshall Newman No. 47BC in the winner’s circle.


As far as other notes of interest, the 58-car entry list for the opener at Gas City was the largest field for an Indiana Sprint Week round since 2005, right at the same spot at Gas City.


Ninety-five drivers participated in Indiana Sprint Week, with drivers hailing from 12 different United States: Indiana (50), California (11), Ohio (9), Arizona (6), Texas (4), Illinois (3), Pennsylvania (3), Alabama (1), Colorado (1), Kentucky (1), Michigan (1) and Missouri (1), plus four more from Australia.


Fourteen drivers started all seven feature events. Only nine of those drivers started every feature without the aid of a provisional: Brady Bacon, Robert Ballou, Shane Cottle, Kyle Cummins, Carson Garrett, Justin Grant, C.J. Leary, Mitchel Moles and Kevin Thomas Jr.


Several drivers earned their best career USAC National Sprint Car finishes during Indiana Sprint Week. Briggs Danner (Allentown, Pa.) led 14 laps and finished second at Bloomington, tying his previous best series result while also becoming just the third Pennsylvanian to finish inside the top-five during ISW after Frankie Kerr (4th at Bloomington in 1991) and Steve Surniak (5th at Paragon in 1998).


Carson Garrett (Littleton, Colo.) led six laps near the midway point at Kokomo en route to 3rd place result. Xavier Doney (Odessa, Mo.) led a race-high 17 laps and finished with his first career top-five at Circle City. Joey Amantea (Mount Pocono, Pa.) charged up through the field to finish 7th at Lawrenceburg after starting 18th.


Charles Davis Jr.’s 8th place run at Lincoln Park was the Buckeye, Ariz. native’s first top-ten result during Indiana Sprint Week since 2004, 19 years earlier when he took sixth at Lawrenceburg.


Perhaps the most talked about achievement of the week was Shane Cottle’s passing prowess. In seven starts, the Kansas, Ill. driver passed a grand total of 82 cars combined in heat races, semi-feature and feature events. To put it all into perspective, Brady Bacon passed the second most cars throughout the week – 49. That achievement earned Cottle the Indiana Sprint Week ProSource Passing Master award for the second consecutive year.


Incredibly, Cottle was the J & J Trucking Hard Charger in five of his seven starts this week: 22nd to 11th at Gas City; 20th to 8th at Kokomo; 12th to 3rd at Circle City, 17th to 7th at Terre Haute; and 22nd to 13th at Bloomington.



2023 USAC INDIANA SPRINT WEEK STAT LEADERS


Champion: Brady Bacon


Most Wins: 3-Justin Grant


Most Laps Led: 78-Justin Grant


Most Top-Fives: 6-Brady Bacon


Most Top-Tens: 6-Emerson Axsom, Brady Bacon, Robert Ballou & Justin Grant


Most Fast Qualifying Times: 2-Brady Bacon & C.J. Leary


Most Heat Race Wins: 3-Robert Ballou, Carson Garrett, Mitchel Moles & Kevin Thomas Jr.


Most Feature Starts: 7-Emerson Axsom, Brady Bacon, Robert Ballou, Shane Cottle, Kyle Cummins, Carson Garrett, Justin Grant, C.J. Leary, Mitchel Moles, Logan Seavey, Chase Stockon, Jake Swanson, Kevin Thomas Jr. & Matt Westfall


Biggest Charge: July 23: Lawrenceburg Speedway – Brady Bacon (22nd to 3rd)


2023 USAC INDIANA SPRINT WEEK POINT STANDINGS


POS. PTS. DRIVER, HOMETOWN


1. 474 Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, Okla.


2 466 Justin Grant, Ione, Calif.


3 418 Robert Ballou, Rocklin, Calif.


4 403 Kyle Cummins, Princeton, Ind.


5 399 Emerson Axsom, Franklin, Ind.


6 371 C.J. Leary, Greenfield, Ind.


7 366 Kevin Thomas Jr., Cullman, Ala.


8 346 Shane Cottle, Kansas, Ill.


9 342 Jake Swanson, Anaheim, Calif.


10 340 Carson Garrett, Littleton, Colo.


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