Joliet, Illinois (April 20, 2022)………Armed with experience in hopes of capturing its first ever USAC Silver Crown National Championship race victory, Joliet, Illinois-based Five Three Motorsports has tabbed Brady Bacon and A.J. Fike as its two drivers for the 2022 season.
Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.), a two-time Silver Crown winner, will return for a second season with the team in 2022, but in a different capacity than 2021 due to scheduling conflicts. Bacon will pilot the car on all three of the dirt half-mile track events, starting May 1 at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track followed by June 18 at Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway and on September 24 at Rossburg, Ohio’s Eldora Speedway.
In four starts for the team in 2021, Bacon never finished outside the top-eight, scoring a best finish of 4th at both Pennsylvania’s Williams Grove Speedway and at Eldora. The four-time USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National champion looks to up his game even more on the Silver Crown trail at a trio of venues that he’s been victorious at, in a sprint car, in recent years.
“I’m looking forward to racing with Five Three Motorsports again this year and building on our consistent speed and performance,” Bacon said. “The half-mile dirt tracks suit my driving style and I believe, with their equipment and preparation, we will be a threat to win every time we hit the track.”
With scheduling conflicts limiting Bacon to just the half-mile events, that left a vacancy in the cockpit for the pair of races on the two famed Illinois one-mile dirt tracks. For the miles of the Illinois State Fairgrounds on August 20 and the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds on September 3, FTM has added seasoned veteran and Illinois native A.J. Fike to pilot the number 53 Maxim.
Fike comes with an impressive résumé, which includes wins at the Illinois State Fairgrounds’ Springfield Mile in both the USAC Silver Crown series (2012 & 2013) as well as the ARCA Stock Car series (2015). Along with those wins, Fike has found speed and consistency at those tracks, earning himself an average top-10 finish over the course of his career. Emotions are high for the three-time Silver Crown winner and 103-time starter who will return to the series for the first time since 2019.
“I am beyond excited to get back with the Silver Crown series, especially with FTM at both Illinois miles,” Fike stated. “I saw my first race at Springfield in 1989 and it is a special place for me. I have seen FTM grow into a team over the past two or three seasons, and they’re always up front and contending for wins and podiums, which says a lot about their equipment and preparation.”
The 2022 USAC Silver Crown National Championship season begins with the 19th running of the Sumar Classic on Sunday, May 1, at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track.