Bacon, Toyota Capture Night Two of the USAC Western Worlds

Brady Bacon took the lead on the opening lap, then held off a hard-charging Logan Seavey late in the race to win the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series’ 52nd annual Western World Championships at Arizona Speedway in a Toyota one-two finish Saturday night.

With the victory, Bacon becomes the 15th different Toyota-powered driver to win a national midget feature in 2019 as the manufacturer set a new program-best for wins in a season with 41.

Starting on the outside of the front row, Bacon would overtake pole-sitter Zeb Wise on the opening lap with Seavey climbing into second, followed by Wise, Tyler Courtney and Jesse Colwell. A lap later, Courtney would climb into third.

The leaders would hold their positions through much of the first half of the race before a red flag waved on lap 15, as POWRi champion Jesse Colwell got upside down after getting caught up behind a spinning car.  

Before the field could finish a lap on the restart, another red flag would wave, this time for a trio of Keith Kunz Motorsports entries as Buddy Kofoid, Rico Abreu and Tucker Klaasmeyer all were involved in an incident that left Klaasmeyer upside down.

When the race went back to green, Bacon continued to lead Seavey, with Wise moving up to third and an on-the-rise Gio Scelzi moved up to fourth, followed by Courtney, Friday night’s winner Kevin Thomas Jr., Jerry Coons Jr. Chris Windom and Karsyn Elledge.

The race would go back to red after just two laps, though, as Elledge went up and over the berm. She would climb out of the car uninjured, but her night was over with 14 laps remaining.

Bacon would shine on the restart as he did throughout the night, pulling out a five-car length lead over Seavey as the two leaders would start to pull away from the rest of the field. Behind them, the driver on the move was Abreu, who came from the tail end of the field after getting caught up in the earlier red to charge into the top 10.

In the closing laps, Seavey started to reel in Bacon, but catching him and passing him would prove to be two different things. Seavey tried a variety of lines, but to no avail. On the final lap, Seavey drove deep into turn three, but Bacon held him off for the victory, with Wise finishing third, Courtney in fourth and Abreu recovering to place fifth.

“Frank Manafort Racing gave me a good car,” said Bacon. “The Western World has always been good to me and it was good to me again tonight. Starting from the front here is pretty important as there’s so many good cars here.”

With the runner-up finish, defending series champion Seavey moved up into second in the series point standings.

“We were right on him (Bacon) the whole race,” said Seavey. “I was really happy with my race car. I was trying something different every lap to try to find something to pass him, but it just wasn’t there.”

Thomas would place sixth, with Coons (eighth), Scelzi (ninth) and Tanner Carrick (tenth) joining Bacon, Seavey and Abreu to give Toyota six of the top-10 finishers. 

The USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series will close out its 2019 campaign with four California races, starting with a Nov. 19-20 double-header in Placerville, before heading to Bakersfield Speedway on Nov. 23 and the season finale at the 79th annual Turkey Night Grand Prix at Ventura Raceway, Nov. 28.