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Bacon Fries ‘Em Again!

[b Makes it Two Sprint Bandits TNT Wins in a Row with Oklahoma City Score]

[i Lonnie Wheatley, OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (August 19, 2009)]

Brady Bacon picked off his second Sprint Bandits Tour ‘N Topless feature win in as many nights of action this week by racing to victory lane in Wednesday night’s 30-lap feature atop the 3/8-mile State Fair Speedway clay oval.

Bacon used the top side of the track to charge past race-long leader Josh Wise on the 17th circuit en route to not only his second win of the week, but also his second consecutive TNT score atop the historic Oklahoma City Fairgrounds oval after capturing his first career 410-ci wingless win on the same track last year.

After taking Monday night’s opener by racing from seven rows deep, Bacon only had to drive Mike and Megan Eubanks’ Wesmar-powered Tel-Star Communication No. 99 Triple-X from inside the fourth row on Wednesday night.

But, the 19-year-old Broken Arrow, OK, racer wasn’t entirely sure at the outset.

“I really didn’t know if we could get there or not, not on this track and with the cars that were up there,” Bacon commented.

But, mired in sixth in the early stages as pole starter Wise and fourth-starter R.J. Johnson slipped away from the field, an inadvertent tip from Matt Mitchell while dicing for position proved beneficial for Bacon.

“The 81m (Mitchell) showed me the outside,” Bacon explained. “I wasn’t real sure we could make it work up there, but I went up there and we were able to move to the front.”

That’s precisely what Bacon did, moving to the top side after ten circuits and then disposing of first Robert Ballou, then Andy Shouse and then Joe Wood, Jr., in rapid-fire order to snare third by the time the caution flew two laps later with twelve rounds in the books for Matt Sherrell’s off-track excursion.

Back under way, Bacon quickly took second away from Johnson and then reeled in Wise, dashing by on the top side of the backstretch to take command on the 17th round.

From there, Bacon breezed through lapped traffic with ease over the final rounds to take his fifth career Sprint Bandits TNT triumph with a comfortable straightaway advantage at Will Hale’s checkered flag.

Riverside, CA, native Wise drove the Indiana Underground No. 37 entry to the runner-up position for the second time in a row, with Robert Ballou moving Dallas Mulvaney’s MPHG Promotions No. 81 into the show position in the final rounds.

Arizona’s R.J. Johnson posted a strong fourth-place run, with Dave Darland rebounding from an early slip off the track to round out the top five in Scott Benic’s No. 2b machine.

New York’s Coleman Gulick raced from 13th to sixth, with Jesse Hockett charging from 17th to seventh. Mitchell crossed the stripe eighth, with Darren Hagen and Bryan Clauson completing the top ten.

Mitchell, Wise and Ballou topped heat race action for Wednesday night’s 29-car field, with Hagen, Levi Jones and Shouse winning the qualifying races. Hockett won the 10-lap “B” Main.

Casey Shuman crossed the stripe first in the night’s second heat race but was disqualified when he failed to report directly to the scales. After racing his way into the “A” Main, Shuman was collected in a turn two scramble on the second round and turned over. While uninjured, Shuman was done for the night.

Turn three claimed both Justin Grant and Dustin Morgan in qualifying race action, while Arizona’s Jody Wirth took a wild ride exiting turn four in the “B” Main. While all three mounts suffered extensive damage, the drivers all walked away unharmed. Morgan was leading his qualifying race when his bone-jarring incident occurred.

This year’s edition of Sprint Bandits Tour ‘N Topless continues Thursday night at Creek County Speedway in Sapulpa, OK, before moving on to Kansas City’s Lakeside Speedway for the $10,000-to-win Ron Shuman Classic on Friday and Saturday.

Sprint Bandits Tour ‘N Topless State Fair Speedway Results:

Heat Races:

First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 81m-Matt Mitchell, 2. 2b-Dave Darland, 3. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 4. 14-Coleman Gulick, 5. 98-J.C. Bland, 6. 12-Darren Hagen, 7. 38-Levi Jones, 8. 0c-Preston Peebles II, 9. 15k-Kerry McAlister, 10. 5x-Jody Wirth.

Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 37-Josh Wise, 2. 15-R.J. Johnson, 3. 10-Hud Cone, 4.. 99-Brady Bacon, 5. 11d-Caleb Armstrong, 6. 35-Matt Sherrell, 7. 45-Martin Edwards, 8. 1-Justin Grant, 9. 22-Koby Barksdale, 10. 21x-Casey Shuman (Disqualified; failed to report to scales after finishing first).

Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 81-Robert Ballou, 2. 27-Andy Shouse, 3. 11-Bryan Clauson, 4. 13-Jesse Hockett, 5. 93-Dustin Morgan, 6. 17r-Kyle Robbins, 7. 1j-Danny Jennings, 8. 37r-Casey Riggs, 9. 32-Mike Martin.

Qualifying Races (Top 16 in Combined Points from Heats and Qualifiers to “A” Main; Balance to “B” Main):

First Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. 12-Darren Hagen, 2. 11-Bryan Clauson, 3. 37-Josh Wise, 4. 81-Robert Ballou, 5. 17r-Kyle Robbins, 6. 13-Jesse Hockett, 7. 10-Hud Cone, 8. 22-Koby Barksdale, 9. 0c-Preston Peebles II, 10. 1-Justin Grant.

Second Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. 38-Levi Jones, 2. 11d-Caleb Armstrong, 3. 99-Brady Bacon, 4. 14-Coleman Gulick, 5. 2b-Dave Darland, 6. 81m-Matt Mitchell, 7. 21x-Casey Shuman, 8. 45-Martin Edwards, 9. 15k-Kerry McAlister, 10. 37r-Casey Riggs.

Third Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. 27-Andy Shouse, 2. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 3. 15-R.J. Johnson, 4. 98-J.C. Bland, 5. 1j-Danny Jennings, 6. 35-Matt Sherrell, 7. 32-Mike Martin, 8. 5x-Jody Wirth, 9. 93-Dustin Morgan.

“B” Main (Top Six Advance to “A” Main):

“B” Main (10 Laps): 1. 13-Jesse Hockett, 2. 21x-Casey Shuman, 3. 35-Matt Sherrell, 4. 98-J.C. Bland, 5. 45-Martin Edwards, 6. 32-Mike Martin, 7. 22-Koby Barksdale, 8. 0c-Preston Peebles II, 9. 15k-Kerry McAlister, 10. 37r-Casey Riggs, 11. 5x-Jody Wirth. DNS: 93-Dustin Morgan, 1-Justin Grant.

Sprint Bandits TNT State Fair Speedway “A” Main

“A” Main (30 Laps): 1. 99-Brady Bacon, 2. 37-Josh Wise, 3. 81-Robert Ballou, 4. 15-R.J. Johnson, 5. 2b-Dave Darland, 6. 14-Coleman Gulick, 7. 13-Jesse Hockett, 8. 81m-Matt Mitchell, 9. 12-Darren Hagen, 10. 11-Bryan Clauson, 11. 38-Levi Jones, 12. 27-Andy Shouse, 13. 11d-Caleb Armstrong, 14. 17r-Kyle Robbins, 15. 32-Mike Martin, 16. 10-Hud Cone, 17. 98-J.C. Bland, 18. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 19. 35-Matt Sherrell, 20. 1j-Danny Jennings, 21. 45-Martin Edwards, 22. 21x-Casey Shuman.

Lap Leaders: Josh Wise 1-16, Brady Bacon 17-30.

Sprint Bandits TNT Points (Top 10): 1. Brady Bacon 300, 2. Josh Wise 292, 3. (tie) Dave Darland and Robert Ballou 284, 5. Coleman Gulick 274, 6. (tie) Levi Jones and Jesse Hockett 270, 8. Bryan Clauson 268, 9. (tie) Matt Mitchell and R.J. Johnson 264.