Sprint Car News

Brady Bacon Outduels Gravel for Second Straight Tri-State Victory

The Macho Man swaps the top spot multiple times with David Gravel before driving away to win

HAUBSTADT, IN (April 20, 2024) – Brady Bacon has Tri-State Speedway figured out.

Last year “The Macho Man” finally broke through at the Haubstadt, IN bullring. After countless near misses and cases of heartbreak with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars at Tri-State, he made the elusive trip to Victory Lane for his first Series win in 2023. And he came back for an encore in 2024.

The Broken Arrow, OK native started third in Saturday night’s Feature, had a fierce battle with David Gravel for the top spot, and then drove expertly through lapped traffic to go back-to-back at the “Hoosier State” facility.

The Haubstadt crowd that’s grown to love Bacon throughout his endless wingless success in the state of Indiana welcomed him to Victory Lane with a massive roar.

“I had a really good car on the bottom,” Bacon said. “It was going to be hard to pass him (Gravel) just in open track, but I could move around a little bit more than him, I think. And then once we got out front with those yellows, I just couldn’t make mistakes on those restarts. He got close to me on one of them. I thought we had a really good car in open air, so I was liking those yellows at the end, but we could still maneuver in traffic.”

Last year Bacon’s win made him the 150th driver to win a World of Outlaws race. Saturday’s victory made him the 101st with at least two. He became only the fifth driver to top consecutive World of Outlaws race at Tri-State Speedway, joining Doug Wolfgang, Andy Hillenburg, Paul McMahan, and Carson Macedo.

The 40-lap main event was led to green by David Gravel and Logan Schuchart. Gravel darted ahead to secure the early lead while the third-starting Bacon slipped under Schuchart for second.

The game of cat and mouse began as Bacon locked his sights on the Big Game Motorsports #2. The battle intensified when traffic became a factor. Bacon quickly closed in aboard the TKH Motorsports #21H.

On Lap 9 Bacon rolled under Gravel to grab the lead and ignite a war for the top spot. The next lap Gravel launched a slide job to snag the spot back. Bacon promptly returned the favor by sliding Gravel in Turn 1. Down the back straightaway Gravel crossed over and drove back ahead entering Turn 3 and pulled ahead to calm the battle for a little while.

It didn’t take long to heat back up as Bacon reeled him back in as they worked through more traffic. Bacon looked low in Turns 1 and 2 on Lap 16 to pull alongside Gravel but couldn’t quite clear him. In the next set of corners, “The Macho Man” mustered the strength he needed to power ahead on the bottom and lead the 16th circuit. And this time he had no intentions of letting Gravel back by.

Over the second half of the race, Bacon delivered a masterclass in working through traffic. He moved wherever he needed to on the quarter mile. He sliced through cars on the top and the bottom of Tri-State Speedway. By the time the checkered flag flew, Bacon had lapped up to 11th as he secured his second straight Haubstadt victory with The Greatest Show on Dirt.

Bacon had so much fun on Saturday night, it had him itching to strap the wing on more often.

“A lot of people come together to make this happen,” Bacon said. “If we could a little more help, we could probably do this wing stuff a little more often, so anyone can give us a call.”

After leading early, Gravel held on for the runner-up spot. The result served as an encouraging bounce back after a crash on Friday at Paducah. He and the Big Game Motorsports crew are already up to a Series-leading eight podiums in 2024. Saturday also allowed him to extend his lead atop the standings to 34 markers ahead of Donny Schatz.

“I thought we were maybe equally as good early, but once the fuel load came off he (Bacon) was superior,” Gravel said. “I thought I got through lapped traffic really, really good, and I saw him underneath me, and I did an aggressive move in lapped traffic, and that’s how he got the lead from me. Man, he just diced through lapped traffic there in the last 10 laps. Obviously, he was the best car last year and the best car this year.”

Rounding out the top three for the third straight race was Michael “Buddy” Kofoid in the Roth Motorsports #83. The Californian us up to four consecutive podiums as he and his team continue to build momentum amid Kofoid’s rookie year.

“It’s funny at a track like this, running winged Sprint Cars you’re always trying to drive straight and everything, and here you throw all that out the window and get her backed in,” Kofoid said. “We just tried to get that feeling more comfortable and getting stuck like that here is huge. We made great improvements from the Dash to the Feature. I feel like I could move around a lot more and turn down and not get too free and make speed off the bottom, which is something I’ve struggled with here even in Midgets.”

Carson Macedo and Logan Schuchart completed the top five.

A 17th to 11th run gave Donny Schatz the KSE Racing Hard Charger.

David Gravel picked up his second Simpson Quick Time of the year and the 112th of his career.

NOS Energy Drink Heats One, Three, and Four went to David Gravel (249th Heat Race win of career), Danny Sams III (first of career), Sheldon Haudenschild (105th of career). Milton Hershey School Heat Two belonged to Carson Macedo (118th of career).

David Gravel won the Toyota Racing Dash.

Brock Zearfoss won the Micro-Lite Last Chance Showdown.

For more information, visit worldofoutlaws.com/sprintcars/.