BECHTELSVILLE — In each of the last two years, Brady Bacon had to use some late-race heroics to win the Jesse Hockett Classic at Grandview Speedway.
Tuesday night, however, was anything but a nail-biter for the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, driver. He led all 40 laps in dominant fashion to collect $10,000 and become the first driver in United States Auto Club Eastern Storm history to win three races at a single track, an achievement which took him just three years to accomplish.
Bacon's 25th career USAC National Sprint Car win moved him into a tie for 18th on the all-time win list with Steve Butler, Jay Drake and Kevin Thomas, Jr.
"This is the first year I actually think we had the best car," Bacon said after the race. "The other couple of years, we managed to sneak to the front and find some stuff to get the wins. This time, I feel like we had a really good car all night."
Bacon's victory at the Berks County track was also special in some personal ways.
"This is the first win since the passing of (car owner) Richard Hoffman and with this being the Jesse Hockett race, I was close friends with him too. That's pretty special," Bacon said.
There was a scary moment during the race when local favorite and 12th-running Timmy Buckwalter of Douglassville slid wide off turn four. He clipped his right rear against the wall and rode out a wild flip down the front straightaway that ripped the tail tank off and displaced the engine from its normal position. Fortunately, the 2018 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Co-Rookie of the Year climbed out and walked away.
C.J. Leary, finished second behind Bacon, followed by Chris Windom, Tyler Courtney and Kevin Thomas, Jr. in the top five. Rounding out the top 10 were Robert Ballou, Chase Stockon, Justin Grant, Jason McDougal and Chad Boespflug.
Wednesday, the USAC sprints are at Bridgeport, New Jersey. Thursday, the USAC drivers come to BAPS Motor Speedway in Newberrytown. Saturday, USAC is at Port Royal. Sunday, it’s off to Weedsport, New York, for the USAC racers.
Information for this story was provided by the United States Auto Club.