AMSOIL Sprints
Wednesday, 2 October 2019


Brady Bacon on the gas in the Hoffman No. 69 at Lawrenceburg Speedway. Brady Bacon on the gas in the Hoffman No. 69 at Lawrenceburg Speedway. Rich Forman Photo


By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Lawrenceburg, Indiana (October 2, 2019)………This Saturday’s Fall Nationals at Indiana’s Lawrenceburg Speedway will mark a tribute to Richard Hoffman, the venerable car owner from the winningest USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car team of all-time, Hoffman Auto Racing, who passed away this past April at the age of 76.

Hoffman Auto Racing, and later, Dynamics, Inc., notched 11 career USAC National Sprint Car owner titles in 1989, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2014 and 2016 with drivers Rich Vogler, Robbie Stanley, Dave Darland, Tracy Hines, Jerry Coons, Jr. and Brady Bacon, who continues the legacy of the famed team to this day aboard the Mean Green No. 69.

Bacon and Richard immediately clicked and quickly found that each had the same desire and ethic required to win races and championships.  It’s a desire that led to Bacon becoming the team’s winningest and longest-tenured driver in the nine-decade history of Hoffman Auto Racing, scoring the team’s two most recent series championships and 19 USAC National Sprint Car wins, including one of the team’s six USAC wins at Lawrenceburg.

“We had a great relationship over the years,” Bacon said of Hoffman.  “He gave me my entrance back into non-wing sprint car racing in 2013.  We raced a few times before that, and I think we just got along really well.  The Hoffmans, in general, are intense.  They want to win, and they want to see someone put in as much effort and have as much drive in winning as they do.  That was never an issue for us.  We had our struggles at times and it’s hard to get out of those slumps, but we were always able to do that and got two championships, which was awesome.”

Along the way, lessons were learned by Bacon, many of which he applied to his own career as a car owner and driver.

“I just appreciate that I was taught things on what to spend your money on and what not to spend your money on,” Bacon explained.  “Obviously, their truck and trailer weren’t on the top of the priority list.  They always had good engines, always had good tires, always had fresh equipment and things like that.  Their priorities were right, in my opinion.  That’s helped me now that I’m running some things on my own with my own equipment.  It was a good run with Richard, and still being involved with the Hoffman’s definitely created a unique friendship with the whole family.  I’m definitely disappointed that he’s not here with us anymore.”

For Hoffman Auto Racing’s VP of Marketing and Public Relations, Tim Waechter, he found once you’re with the Hoffmans, you’re forever a member of an exclusive group and create everlasting friendships, the kind he had with Richard.

“If you’re part of the Hoffman team, you’re part of the Hoffman team forever,” Waechter said.  “Richard was my best friend in life for the past 20 years.  He was just such a competitor and we had so much time together as roommates on the road, talking about what happened that night and other things.  He was just a great person, a very intelligent person and a competitor.  Second just wasn’t good enough; any driver can tell you that.  Even up until the very end, he was so full of energy and passion for the sport like no other you ever seen.”

Richard, of Milford, Ohio, began his racing career working for father Gus Hoffman’s team in the initial season of USAC racing in 1956.  Throughout the past six decades, Gus, Richard and, eventually, his son Rob, and Dynamics, Inc. would accumulate 120 USAC victories, dating back to Eddie Sachs’ midget win at Ohio's Dayton Speedway in 1956 to Brady Bacon’s four Sprint Car scores in 2019 at Indiana’s Bloomington Speedway, Pennsylvania’s Grandview Speedway and twice at Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway.

In addition to those listed above, a who’s who list of the top drivers of the era won USAC Sprint car features in top-flight Hoffman sprinters, including Jim Hemmings, Larry Cannon, Steve Butler, Cary Faas, Kenny Irwin, Jr., Andy Michner, Brian Tyler, Jon Stanbrough, Daron Clayton, Kyle Larson, Darren Hagen, Chad Boespflug and Kevin Thomas, Jr.

Whether it was on pavement on dirt, Hoffman cars are tough to beat from the paved high banks of Winchester and Salem, to the dirt tracks of Eldora and Terre Haute, Manzanita and Perris.  All of which were conquered by Hoffman racecars.

Richard, a 2013 inductee of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, was also an author of seven career USAC Silver Crown wins as a team owner, with Johnny Parsons, Pat Abold and Brian Tyler.  With Tyler, the team claimed victory in the 1999 Copper World Classic at Phoenix International Raceway.

Hoffman/Dynamics, Inc. also competed on the USAC Championship trail during the 1970s and 80s, making six starts with Larry Cannon (1974-76), Joe Saldana (1978-79), Jerry Sneva (1982) and Spike Gehlhausen (1984).

Pits open Saturday at Lawrenceburg at 3pm Eastern, spectator gates open at 5pm, drivers meeting at 5:30pm and cars on track at 6pm.  General admission tickets are $25 for ages 13 and up, $7 for ages 7-12 and free for children age 6 and under.  Pit passes are $30 apiece for all ages.

The Fall Nationals can be watched LIVE and on-demand on FloRacing, listened to via live audio on the USAC app as well as live timing and scoring on both the USAC app and the Race-Monitor app.