Fan Favorite USAC Sprint Eastern Storm Unleashed at Grandview

By: Richie Murray
SPEEDWAY, IN- One single point.
That was the difference between winning a championship and coming up short during the 14th edition of Eastern Storm one year ago in 2021.
Once again this year, every point, every race and every moment can make the difference as the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship makes its annual trek eastbound for the 15th annual Eastern Storm series.
Six races in six nights lie ahead, making it the most rigorous six-night stretch of USAC National Sprint Car racing in 2022.
First, it’s onto the most frequented stop on the tour, where Eastern Storm began back in 2007, Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa. on Tuesday night, June 14. The series then crosses over into New Jersey on Wednesday night, June 15, at Bridgeport Motorsports Park in Swedesboro.
On Thursday night, June 16, it’s back across the border line into the Keystone State for a three-race stretch at three half-mile dirt ovals in Pennsylvania, beginning Thursday, June 16, at Selinsgrove Speedway; then Friday, June 17, at Williams Grove Speedway; and on Saturday, June 18, at Port Royal Speedway, which will feature a USAC doubleheader that also sees the USAC Silver Crown National Championship on hand for a 50-lap main event.  Eastern Storm closes the door on Sunday night, June 19, at Pennsylvania’s newest returning racetrack, Bloomsburg Fair Raceway.
We’re coming off a final tally during 2021 Eastern Storm that ranked among the most classic weeks of the series ever with Robert Ballou edging Brady Bacon a solitary marker, equaling Bryan Clauson’s one-point victory over Dave Darland in 2013.
Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.) never once finished outside the top-five until the final night, taking sixth, while Bacon occupied the top-five each night. The difference came in the win column with Ballou winning once at New Jersey’s Bridgeport Motorsports Park while Bacon missed out on a feature win during the week.
Eight points per night can be collected by virtue of winning a heat race, and Ballou did just that by capturing heat wins at all four stops in Grandview, Bridgeport, Selinsgrove and Bloomsburg. Four races. Four heat race wins. All of it added up to a second Eastern Storm title for Ballou and his first since 2015.
In nine of its previous 14 years, the Eastern Storm champion has gone on to win that year’s USAC AMSOIL National Sprint car championship: Levi Jones (2007-10-11), Bryan Clauson (2012-13), Brady Bacon (2014), Robert Ballou (2015), Chris Windom (2017) and C.J. Leary (2019).
Three in that group are headed east this year with Ballou in his Ballou Motorsports No. 12 being joined by Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Brady Bacon (2014) for Dynamics, Inc. and Greenfield, Indiana’s C.J. Leary (2019) for Michael Motorsports.
Six past Eastern Storm winners are loaded up for a tour duty in Eastern Storm with Ballou, Bacon and Leary – all USAC National Sprint Car champs – joined by San Jose, California’s Thomas Meseraull in Chris Dyson’s No. 20m, plus Kansas’ Illinois Shane Cottle in Tim Hogue’s No. 39 and Ione, California’s Justin Grant in his trusty TOPP Motorsports No. 4, with which he won twice during 2021 Eastern Storm at Grandview and Selinsgrove. Grant currently leads the overall USAC National Sprint Car point standings entering Eastern Storm 2022.
USAC National Sprint Car feature winners Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.), Jake Swanson (Anaheim, Calif.), Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio) and Emerson Axsom (Franklin, Ind.) are all making their way to Eastern Storm. For Axsom, a two-time winner already this season, it will be his debut on the east coast tracks.
Speaking of the East Coast, the heavy hitters from the USAC East Coast Sprint Car series will try to defend their home “turf” during Eastern Storm while simultaneously eying a first career USAC National Sprint Car feature win. That includes 2018-19-20 series champ Steven Drevicki (Reading, Pa.), plus 2021 titlist Alex Bright (Collegeville, Pa.) and 2022 series point leader Briggs Danner (Allentown, Pa.).
USAC’s 2020 AMSOIL National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Jadon Rogers (Worthington, Ind.) will make his first foray to Eastern Storm this June while 2020 USAC National Most Improved Driver Brandon Mattox (Terre Haute, Ind.) returns once again along with the ever-popular 2018 USAC Southwest Sprint Car king, Charles Davis Jr. (Buckeye, Ariz.). Alex Banales (Lafayette, Ind.) will make his second trip out while Korbyn Hayslett (Troy, Ohio) is among the Eastern Storm series’ Rookie class in 2022.
Also joining in for major runs at Eastern Storm glory are big block modified and open wheel maestro Timmy Buckwalter (Douglassville, Pa.) and Austin Graby (Lebanon, Pa.), as well as four-time USAC Silver Crown winner Shane Cockrum (Benton, Ill.), East Coast sportsman wizard Carmen Perigo (Stoystown, Pa.), USAC Silver Crown and Sprint vet Dallas Hewitt (Troy, Ohio), modified/late model ace Brian Ruhlman (Clarklake, Mich.) and USAC East Coast frontrunners Kenny Miller III (Morgantown, Pa.) and Joey Amantea (Mount Pocono, Pa.), just to name a few with more expected!
Tuesday at Grandview is the Jesse Hockett Classic featuring the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and 358 Modifieds.
Wednesday at Bridgeport has the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship joined by 602 Sportsman.
Thursday at Selinsgrove brings the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and winged 410 c.i. Sprint Cars.
Friday’s Williams Grove stop has the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and winged 410 c.i. Sprint Cars.
Saturday’s Port Royal event is Open Wheel Madness II “USAC Eastern Blast” which brings together the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship, the USAC Silver Crown National Championship and Winged 410 c.i. Sprint Cars
Sunday at Bloomsburg, it’s the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship, All Pro SpeedSTRs and the NY Penn IMCA Modifieds Series.
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2022 USAC EASTERN STORM SCHEDULE:
Jun 14: Grandview Speedway | Bechtelsville, PA
Jun 15: Bridgeport Motorsports Park | Swedesboro, NJ
Jun 16: Selinsgrove Speedway | Selinsgrove, PA
Jun 17: Williams Grove Speedway | Mechanicsburg, PA
Jun 18: Port Royal Speedway | Port Royal, PA
Jun 19: Bloomsburg Fair Raceway | Bloomsburg, PA
EASTERN STORM CHAMPIONS (2007-2021)
2007: Levi Jones
2008: Cole Whitt
2009: Cole Whitt
2010: Levi Jones
2011: Levi Jones
2012: Bryan Clauson
2013: Bryan Clauson
2014: Brady Bacon
2015: Robert Ballou
2016: Bryan Clauson
2017: Chris Windom
2018: Chris Windom
2019: C.J. Leary
2020: Not Held
2021: Robert Ballou
EASTERN STORM FEATURE WINS (2007-2021)
6-Bryan Clauson, Levi Jones & Chris Windom
5-Robert Ballou
4-Brady Bacon
3-Kevin Thomas Jr. & Cole Whitt
2-Tyler Courtney, Justin Grant, Thomas Meseraull
1-Chad Boat, Chad Boespflug, Daron Clayton, Shane Cottle, Dave Darland, Bobby East, Damion Gardner, Jesse Hockett, Jason McDougal, Hunter Schuerenberg, Jon Stanbrough, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. & Chase Stockon
**Landon Simon won a non-points, special event Eastern Storm feature at Grandview Speedway in 2016.
CLOSEST EASTERN STORM POINTS RACES: (2007-2021)
2021: Robert Ballou by 1 over Brady Bacon
2013: Bryan Clauson by 1 over Dave Darland
2017: Chris Windom by 4 over Kevin Thomas Jr.
2014: Brady Bacon by 12 over Chase Stockon
2019: C.J. Leary by 13 over Tyler Courtney
2016: Bryan Clauson by 14 over Chris Windom
2018: Chris Windom by 19 over Kevin Thomas Jr.
2015: Robert Ballou by 21 over Jon Stanbrough
2011: Levi Jones by 26 over Robert Ballou
2010: Levi Jones by 26 over Chris Windom
2012: Bryan Clauson by 28 over Levi Jones
2009: Unknown
2008: Unknown
2007: Unknown
PAST EASTERN STORM FEATURE WINNERS:
2007 EASTERN STORM
DATE | LOCATION | TRACK | WINNING DRIVER | WINNING TEAM | DISTANCE
6/6: Bechtelsville, PA | Grandview Speedway | Levi Jones | Tony Stewart Racing #20 | 30 L
6/7: Pottsville, PA | Big Diamond Speedway | Ricky Stenhouse Jr. | Tony Stewart Racing #21 | 30 L
6/9: Hagerstown, MD | Hagerstown Speedway | Levi Jones | Tony Stewart Racing #20 | 30 L
2008 EASTERN STORM
DATE | LOCATION | TRACK | WINNING DRIVER | WINNING TEAM | DISTANCE
6/5: Minersville, PA | Big Diamond Speedway | Cole Whitt | Keith Kunz Motorsports #67K | 30 L
6/7: Hagerstown, MD | Hagerstown Speedway | Chad Boat | Billy Boat Motorsports #30 | 30 L
2009 EASTERN STORM
DATE | LOCATION | TRACK | WINNING DRIVER | WINNING TEAM | DISTANCE
6/2: Bechtelsville, PA | Grandview Speedway | Jesse Hockett | Tom Buch/VKCC #13 | 50 L
6/4: Minersville, PA | Big Diamond Speedway | Cole Whitt | Keith Kunz Motorsports #67K | 30 L
6/6: Mercer, PA | Mercer Raceway Park | Cole Whitt | Keith Kunz Motorsports #67K | 30 L
2010 EASTERN STORM
DATE | LOCATION | TRACK | WINNING DRIVER | WINNING TEAM | DISTANCE
6/1: Bechtelsville, PA | Grandview Speedway | Levi Jones | Tony Stewart Racing #20 | 40 L
6/2: Abbottstown, PA | Lincoln Speedway | Levi Jones | Tony Stewart Racing #20 | 40 L
6/3: New Egypt, NJ | New Egypt Speedway | Levi Jones | Tony Stewart Racing #20 | 40 L
6/4: Minersville, PA | Big Diamond Speedway | Chris Windom | Jeff Walker Racing #11 | 40 L
2011 EASTERN STORM
DATE | LOCATION | TRACK | WINNING DRIVER | WINNING TEAM | DISTANCE
5/30: Sarver, PA | Lernerville Speedway | Jon Stanbrough | Foxco Racing #53 | 30 L
5/31: Bechtelsville, PA | Grandview Speedway | Bobby East | Terry Klatt #5 | 40 L
6/1: Abbottstown, PA | Lincoln Speedway | Levi Jones | Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing #20 | 40 L
6/2: New Egypt, NJ | New Egypt Speedway | Hunter Schuerenberg | Rock Steady Racing #35 | 40 L
2012 EASTERN STORM
DATE | LOCATION | TRACK | WINNING DRIVER | WINNING TEAM | DISTANCE
6/5: Bechtelsville, PA | Grandview Speedway | Bryan Clauson | Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian #7 | 40 L
6/7: New Egypt, NJ | New Egypt Speedway | Bryan Clauson | Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian #7 | 40 L
6/8: Minersville, PA | Big Diamond Speedway | Chris Windom | Baldwin Brothers Racing #5 | 40 L
6/9: Port Royal, PA | Port Royal Speedway | Damion Gardner | DG Racing #71 | 30 L
2013 EASTERN STORM
DATE | LOCATION | TRACK | WINNING DRIVER | WINNING TEAM | DISTANCE
6/5: Bechtelsville, PA | Grandview Speedway | Daron Clayton | Daron Clayton #92 | 40 L
6/8: Port Royal, PA | Port Royal Speedway | Dave Darland | Phillips Motorsports #71p | 30 L
6/9: York Haven, PA | Susquehanna Speedway Park | Shane Cottle | Gene Franckowiak #65 | 30 L
2014 EASTERN STORM
DATE | LOCATION | TRACK | WINNING DRIVER | WINNING TEAM | DISTANCE
6/3: Bechtelsville, PA | Grandview Speedway | Chase Stockon | 32 TBI Racing #32 | 40 L
6/5: New Egypt, NJ | New Egypt Speedway | Bryan Clauson | Tony Stewart Racing/Curb-Agajanian #20 | 30 L
6/7: Port Royal, PA | Port Royal Speedway | Brady Bacon | Dynamics, Inc. #69 | 30 L
2015 EASTERN STORM
DATE | LOCATION | TRACK | WINNING DRIVER | WINNING TEAM | DISTANCE
6/4: New Egypt, NJ | New Egypt Speedway | Robert Ballou | Ballou Motorsports #12 | 30 L
6/6: Port Royal, PA | Port Royal Speedway | Robert Ballou | Ballou Motorsports #12 | 30 L
6/7: York Haven, PA | Susquehanna Speedway Park | Robert Ballou | Ballou Motorsports #12 | 30 L
2016 EASTERN STORM
DATE | LOCATION | TRACK | WINNING DRIVER | WINNING TEAM | DISTANCE
6/7: Bechtelsville, PA | Grandview Speedway | Bryan Clauson | Dooling-Hayward Motorsports #63 | 40 L
6/8: Abbottstown, PA | Lincoln Speedway | Bryan Clauson | Dooling-Hayward Motorsports #63 | 30 L
6/9: New Egypt, NJ | New Egypt Speedway | Chad Boespflug | NineEight-EZR #98E | 30 L
6/11: Port Royal, PA | Port Royal Speedway | Bryan Clauson | Dooling-Hayward Racing #63 | 30 L
6/12: York Haven, PA | Susquehanna Speedway | Chris Windom | Baldwin Brothers Racing #5 | 30 L
2017 EASTERN STORM
DATE | LOCATION | TRACK | WINNING DRIVER | WINNING TEAM | DISTANCE
6/13: Bechtelsville, PA | Grandview Speedway | Brady Bacon | Dooling-Hayward Motorsports #63 | 40 L
6/14: Abbottstown, PA | Lincoln Speedway | Thomas Meseraull | Heffner Racing #27 | 30 L
6/15: Mechanicsburg, PA | Williams Grove Speedway | Kevin Thomas Jr. | Pace Brothers Racing #44 | 30 L
6/17: Port Royal, PA | Port Royal Speedway | Chris Windom | Baldwin Brothers Racing #5 | 30 L
6/18: York Haven, PA | Susquehanna Speedway | Tyler Courtney | TOPP Motorsports #23c | 30 L
2018 EASTERN STORM
DATE | LOCATION | TRACK | WINNING DRIVER | WINNING TEAM | DISTANCE
6/14: Bechtelsville, PA | Grandview Speedway | Brady Bacon | Brady Bacon Racing #99 | 40 L
6/15: Mechanicsburg, PA | Williams Grove Speedway | Chris Windom | Baldwin Brothers Racing #5 | 30 L
6/16: Port Royal, PA | Port Royal Speedway | Chris Windom | Baldwin Brothers Racing #5 | 30 L
6/17: York Haven, PA | BAPS Motor Speedway | Robert Ballou | Ballou Motorsports #12 | 30 L
6/18: Swedesboro, NJ | Bridgeport Speedway | Kevin Thomas Jr. | Dynamics, Inc. #69 | 30 L
6/19: Weedsport, NY | Weedsport Speedway | Thomas Meseraull | Chris Dyson Racing #20 | 30 L
2019 EASTERN STORM
DATE | LOCATION | TRACK | WINNING DRIVER | WINNING TEAM | DISTANCE
6/11: Bechtelsville, PA | Grandview Speedway | Brady Bacon | Dynamics, Inc. #69 | 40 L
6/12: Swedesboro, NJ | Bridgeport Speedway | Jason McDougal | Daigh-Phillips Motorsports #71p | 30 L
6/15: Port Royal, PA | Port Royal Speedway | Tyler Courtney | Clauson Marshall Newman Racing #7BC | 30 L
2020 EASTERN STORM
Not Held
2021 EASTERN STORM
DATE | LOCATION | TRACK | WINNING DRIVER | WINNING TEAM | DISTANCE
6/15: Bechtelsville, PA | Grandview Speedway | Justin Grant | TOPP Motorsports #4 | 40 L
6/16: Swedesboro, NJ | Bridgeport Motorsports Park | Robert Ballou | Ballou Motorsports #12 | 30 L
6/17: Selinsgrove, PA | Selinsgrove Speedway | Justin Grant | TOPP Motorsports #4 | 30 L
6/20: Bloomsburg, PA | Bloomsburg Fair Raceway | Kevin Thomas Jr. | KT Motorsports #9K | 30 L