PLYMOUTH, IN – When Justin Grant rolled through Plymouth Speedway last year to become the first two-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car winner at the northern Indiana 3/8-mile dirt oval, he was classified as “red hot.”
Granted, some of that had to do with the extensive sunburn he was sporting after a recent kayaking trip, but for the Ione, Calif. native, the Plymouth win provided him, at the time, his third series win in his four most recent starts.
Entering this Thursday night’s USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car event on July 1 at Plymouth, Grant has the opportunity to achieve something similar – three out of five with the series – after winning twice during mid-June’s Eastern Storm tour at Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania’s Grandview Speedway and Selinsgrove (Pa.) Speedway.
Grant found instant success in the series’ inaugural visit to Plymouth in 2017, leading all 30 caution-free laps wire-to-wire and, in the process, established the 30-lap track record of 7:36.34. He’s been a solid citizen at Plymouth in all five of his previous USAC visits, winning again in 2020, and was 8th in May 2018, a 4th in July 2018 and a 3rd in 2019.
Grant is one of three past Plymouth USAC National Sprint Car winners who’ll be in Thursday night’s field along with Kevin Thomas Jr. and Brady Bacon.
Kevin Thomas Jr. owns a pair of USAC National Sprint track records at Plymouth. The 10-lap mark of 2:12.03 from May 2018 belongs to the Cullman, Ala. driver as does the 12-lap standard from July 2018 at 2:43.81. KTJ swept the night in May 2018 by setting fast qualifying time, winning his heat race and putting the cherry on top with a feature win, leading the last eight laps in a race that was ultimately decided on a last lap battle for the victory with Robert Ballou. Additionally, Thomas has added a 6th in 2020, a 10th in 2017 and a 9th in July 2018. Also, of note, KTJ won his first career USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget feature at Plymouth in 2015.
While Brady Bacon’s 9th place finish at Plymouth doesn’t look like a whole lot at first glance on paper. As it turned out, it was one of the most defining moments of the 2020 championship season for the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma driver and his Dynamics, Inc. crew, led by 2020 USAC Chief Mechanic of the Year, Matt Hummel. The team endured a massive flip on lap four of the main event, thrashed during the scant few minutes of downtime that were available in the pit area, repaired the car and got back on track where they charged from the tail and into the top-ten. Bacon won comfortably at Plymouth in July of 2018, while also adding a 5th in May 2018 and was 4th in 2019.
Tanner Thorson (Minden, Nev.) captured a USAC Midwest Regional Midget feature win at Plymouth in 2016. Just last year, Plymouth marked the 2016 USAC National Midget champion’s first career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car start where he impressed mightily, winning his heat race and setting a new eight-lap track record in the process at 1:53.920. Thorson then finished 2nd in the feature after starting 8th, turning in one of the most impressive debuts in series history.
Chase Stockon (Fort Branch, Ind.) has led laps in three of his five Plymouth starts. He led two in May 2018 in finishing 4th. In July of that same year, he led the first 15 before dropping back to 7th in the final rundown, then led the opening lap and finished 8th in 2019. In what was his record 300th consecutive USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car start at Plymouth in 2020, Stockon equaled his best at the track with a 4th. In his first visit to Plymouth in 2017, Stockon set quick time during qualifying and finished 6th in the main.
Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) has been a consistent contender at Plymouth in USAC Sprint Cars. The career USAC Triple Crown champion and 2017 USAC National Sprint Car titlist took 8th at Plymouth in 2017, earned a heat race victory in May 2018, finished a best of 2nd in the July 2018 feature, and led 11 laps and finished 6th in 2019.
C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) is a past winner in a Sprint Car at Plymouth, winning the unsanctioned Tony Elliott Classic there in 2016. He also holds claim to the USAC one-lap track record around Plymouth at 12.996, set in July 2018. The 2019 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion has finished inside the top-three in each of his last two Plymouth USAC Sprint starts with a 2nd in 2019 and a 3rd in 2020. He also scored a 10th in May 2018 and an 8th in July 2018.
Recent Eastern Storm champion and 2015 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car titlist Robert Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.) nearly won Plymouth’s USAC Sprint round in May 2018, holding the lead going into turn three on the final lap, ultimately finishing 3rd after getting sideways in turn four, his best result at the track thus far.
Shane Cottle (Kansas, Ill.) took 7th as his best USAC Sprint result at Plymouth in 2017. Kyle Cummins (Princeton, Ind.) was 9th in 2019; Pleasant Hill, Ohio’s Matt Westfall was 11th in 2019; Auburn, Illinois’ Mario Clouser was 12th in 2020 after starting 23rd and finished 3rd at Plymouth in a non-sanctioned show back in May 2021; Terre Haute, Indiana’s Brandon Mattox was 14th with USAC in 2020.
A handful-plus of drivers aiming to make their first career USAC National Sprint Car starts at Plymouth include 2018 USAC National Midget champion Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.), 2017 USAC West Coast Sprint Car champion Jake Swanson (Anaheim, Calif.), 2019 MOWA Sprint Car titlist Paul Nienhiser (Chapin, Ill.) and Cole Bodine (Rossville, Ind.), a 4th place finisher there for a local show in June of 2021, as well as recent first-time USAC National Sprint Car starter Alex Banales (Lafayette, Ind.).
Three-time USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget feature winner, and a victor on the local level at Bloomington (Ind.) Speedway in June, Cannon McIntosh (Bixby, Okla.), is set to make his first career USAC National Sprint Car start of any kind Thursday night at Plymouth for Daigh-Phillips Motorsports.
The USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship will be joined by the Non-Wing Micros at Plymouth. Pits open at 3pm EDT, front gates open at 4pm and hot laps at 6pm, with qualifying and racing immediately following. General admission tickets are $30, kids 6-12 are $10 while children 5 and under are free. Pit passes are $35 apiece.
FloRacing will provide live coverage of Thursday night’s USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car event at https://bit.ly/3dgONXz.
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Brady Bacon-1121, 2-Justin Grant-1050, 3-Kevin Thomas Jr.-1032, 4-Robert Ballou-1005, 5-Chris Windom-930, 6-C.J. Leary-917, 7-Tanner Thorson-886, 8-Jake Swanson-859, 9-Chase Stockon-649, 10-Paul Nienhiser-612.
USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WINS AT PLYMOUTH SPEEDWAY:
1-Brady Bacon, Tyler Courtney & Kevin Thomas Jr.
USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WINNERS AT PLYMOUTH SPEEDWAY:
2017: Justin Grant (4/21)
2018: Kevin Thomas Jr. (5/5) & Brady Bacon (7/20)
2019: Tyler Courtney (7/19)
2020: Justin Grant (6/26)
TRACK RECORDS – USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CARS AT PLYMOUTH SPEEDWAY:
1 Lap: 7/20/2018 – C.J. Leary – 12.996
8 Laps: 6/26/2020 – Tanner Thorson – 1:53.920
10 Laps: 5/5/2018 – Kevin Thomas Jr. – 2:12.03
12 Laps: 7/20/2018 – Kevin Thomas Jr. – 2:43.81
30 Laps: 4/21/2017 – Justin Grant – 7:36.34
PAST USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT CAR RESULTS AT PLYMOUTH SPEEDWAY:
APRIL 2017 FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Justin Grant, 2. Tyler Courtney, 3. Chad Boespflug, 4. Thomas Meseraull, 5. Stevie Sussex, 6. Chase Stockon, 7. Shane Cottle, 8. Chris Windom, 9. Jon Stanbrough, 10. Kevin Thomas Jr., 11. Brady Short, 12. Colten Cottle, 13. Landon Simon, 14. Kyle Robbins, 15. Jarett Andretti, 16. Dave Darland, 17. Aaron Pierce, 18. C.J. Leary, 19. Tyler Hewitt, 20. Aaron Farney, 21. Isaac Chapple, 22. Josh Spencer. 7:36.34
MAY 2018 FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (6), 2. Tyler Courtney (3), 3. Robert Ballou (11), 4. Chase Stockon (4), 5. Brady Bacon (7), 6. Dave Darland (2), 7. Carson Short (5), 8. Justin Grant (9), 9. Chad Boespflug (8), 10. C.J. Leary (10), 11. Chris Windom (15), 12. Shane Cottle (17), 13. Jarett Andretti (1), 14. Kyle Cummins (16), 15. Tony DiMattia (12), 16. Clinton Boyles (13), 17. Johnny Petrozelle (19), 18. Robert Bell (20), 19. Isaac Chapple (14), 20. Daylan Chambers (18), 21. Aric Gentry (21), 22. Joe Stornetta (22). NT
JULY 2018 FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Brady Bacon (4), 2. Chris Windom (5), 3. Dave Darland (8), 4. Justin Grant (3), 5. Tyler Courtney (12), 6. Carson Short (9), 7. Chase Stockon (2), 8. C.J. Leary (6), 9. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (7), 10. Thomas Meseraull (13), 11. Isaac Chapple (1), 12. Tyler Thomas (11), 13. Brody Roa (18), 14. Josh Hodges (15), 15. Jarett Andretti (10), 16. Timmy Buckwalter (16), 17. Joe Stornetta (14), 18. Robert Ballou (22), 19. Chad Boespflug (19), 20. Kody Swanson (20), 21. Matt Westfall (17), 22. Shane Cottle (21), 23. Tony DiMattia (23). NT
JULY 2019 FEATURE: (30 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Tyler Courtney (6), 2. C.J. Leary (7), 3. Justin Grant (9), 4. Brady Bacon (3), 5. Jason McDougal (4), 6. Chris Windom (1), 7. Dakota Jackson (13), 8. Chase Stockon (2), 9. Kyle Cummins (15), 10. Josh Hodges (8), 11. Matt Westfall (19), 12. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (11), 13. Max Adams (10), 14. Carson Short (18), 15. Mitchell Davis (16), 16. Isaac Chapple (23), 17. Dustin Ingle (5), 18. Jarett Andretti (22), 19. Thomas Meseraull (17), 20. Zane Hendricks (20), 21. Clinton Boyles (21), 22. Brandon Mattox (14), 23. Terry Richards (12), 24. Dustin Clark (24). NT
JUNE 2020 FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Justin Grant (1), 2. Tanner Thorson (8), 3. C.J. Leary (6), 4. Chase Stockon (3), 5. Dave Darland (2), 6. Kevin Thomas Jr. (7), 7. Carson Short (11), 8. Max Adams (10), 9. Brady Bacon (4), 10. Anton Hernandez (9), 11. Chris Windom (5), 12. Mario Clouser (23), 13. Matt Westfall (17), 14. Brandon Mattox (14), 15. Brandon Long (19), 16. Dustin Smith (18), 17. Anthony D’Alessio (12), 18. Blake Vermillion (20), 19. Jesse Vermillion (21), 20. Steve Irwin (16), 21. Kurt Gross (22), 22. Tye Mihocko (15), 23. Chris Phillips (13). NT