Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.)
By: Richie Murray – USAC Media
Speedway, Indiana (January 31, 2022)………Brady Bacon is on the brink of history in 2022.
The back-to-back series titlist from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, who rose to the top of the charts in both 2020 and 2021, is pursuing a third-straight crown in the coming year, something which has only been accomplished by three other individuals in 66 years of competition.
Steve Butler was the first to three-peat with successive USAC National Sprintcar trophies in 1986-87-88 followed by Robbie Stanley in 1991-92-93 and Levi Jones in 2009-10-11.
Speaking of Levi, he stands at the top of the heap in all-time USAC National Sprintcar championships with five in total, also adding a couple at the front end of his career in both 2005 and 2007.
Bacon currently stands at four career titles and one more would ascend him to the forefront alongside Jones in that category as the king of championships with the series.
Gazing into the horizon at the possibility of title number five, and the notion of immortality that accompanies it within the record books, may be the sole charge of a driver’s reason to compete. However, Bacon sees it as a sidebar of an incredible ongoing career entering his 17th year of USAC competition. When it comes right down to it for Bacon, it’s getting the chance to live and fulfill a dream he had when he was just getting going in the sport. Right now, he’s in a place he never could’ve imagined all those years ago.
“When you’re young getting things started, you’re just racing to do it, just trying to survive and stay involved, basically, trying to make things happen year-to-year to be able to make a living,” Bacon reflected. “My goal has always been to just make a living driving racecars. Fortunately, we’ve been able to do that up to this point, with a lot of success along the way and some championships to go along with it. I think we still have a pretty good recipe to get some more. Our program is very consistent, which lends itself to winning multiple championships, it seems.”
Bacon’s consistency is paramount to his success. In fact, his 36 top-fives and 41 top-tens in 43 feature starts on the 2021 trail was the most in series history, breaking records that had both been held by Sheldon Kinser for the past 44 years (1977).
The performances turned in by Bacon in 2021 also include a pair of heroic runs after two devastating accidents that would’ve derailed a night, a weekend, and possibly a month or a year, for many. Instead, he, along with crewmen Matt Hummel and DJ Lebow, dusted themselves off and got right back to it, and had another car ready to finish inside the top-five in the feature each time.
When others may freefall through the field on an “off night,” or struggle mightily when mechanical issues or incidents occur, Bacon and the Dynamics, Inc. team remain right in the thick of the hunt, up front, night-after-night. The calm, cool and collected 32-year-old’s personality, and the team surrounding him, is the rudder that steers the ship, and has done so for four series titles in 2014-16-20-21.
“It’s a combination of a lot of things,” Bacon relayed. “My personality is set to just keep plugging away and do the best I can to fix any problems that may arise. It definitely helps that I have team members who buy into that same philosophy and have been with me for several years now; everyone’s on the same page.”
While Bacon takes a humble appreciation of the numbers he’s put up over the years – his 40 wins rank eighth all-time and his 43 fastest qualifying times sit fourth on the sheet – they don’t define him. Bacon remains adamant he should’ve won more than the five series victories he posted a year ago, displaying the fire and desire that still burns greatly within.
Seemingly, with his operation winning races and championships on a consistent basis, Bacon isn’t content to rest at this moment. His hunger is never fully satisfied. He’s got more work to do.
“That might be a dangerous place to put yourself to think you have everything where you want it,” Bacon cautioned. “We definitely try not to be complacent; we try to keep getting better all the time.”
The quest for a third-straight USAC AMSOIL Sprintcar National Championship and a record-tying fifth career series title begins on February 17-18-19 for Winter Dirt Games XIII at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida, a place he’s won at in 2014, 2015 and twice in 2020.