TUCSON, Ariz. – official series release — Wide Open Racing Media photo —
Justin Grant opened the USAC Southwest Sprint Car Series and USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series portion of the Western World Championships on Thursday night at USA Raceway with his first-career win with the two collaborating series.
The Ione, Calif., driver capitalized on the misfortune of early runaway leader Stevie Sussex, racing past Gary Taylor for the lead on lap 21 en route to the victory aboard the Baldwin Brothers Racing – Fox Paving No. 5 DRC/Claxton Mopar.
“The Baldwin No. 5 car was bad fast tonight. I’m not sure what we ever could have done with Sussex, as good as he looked as he was driving away, but I felt like we were good enough to get by Taylor. We were just a little tight; we haven’t done much 360 racing, so we didn’t quite know what to do. This helped things a bit after having problems with the 410 car. Dave Baumgartner loaned us a great engine, and Jeff Claxton did a great job putting it together,” Grant said.
Sussex jumped from the front row to a huge lead early in the race, but he slowed down the backstretch on lap 13, handing the lead to Taylor. With Taylor and Grant battling, Nick Aiuto jumped to the high side and roared to the lead, poised for a huge win in his home state. He jumped the cushion just after leading lap 18, handing the point back to Taylor.
That was short-lived, however, as Grant tracked him down and then walked away from the field.
Brady Bacon came on late in the 30-lapper to take second ahead of Taylor. 13th-starting Bryan Clauson came home fourth, and Brody Roa came from 15th to round out the top-five.
RESULTS: USAC Southwest and West Coast Sprint Car Series; Western World Championships; USA Raceway’ Nov. 19, 2015
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Justin Grant, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Gary Taylor, 4. Bryan Clauson, 5. Brody Roa, 6. Nick Aiuto, 7. Charles Davis Jr., 8. C.J. Leary, 9. D.J. Johnson, 10. Chris Windon, 11. R.J. Johnson, 12. Danny Faria, Jr., 13. Rick Ziehl, 14. Matt Rossi, 15. Trey Marcham, 16. Chad Boespflug, 17. Mike Martin, 18. Terry Schank, Jr., 19. Stevie Sussex, 20. Brian Hosford, 21. Andy Reinbold, 22. Josh Shipley.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-12 Sussex, Laps 13-17 Taylor, Lap 18 Aiuto, Laps 19-20 Taylor, Laps 21-30 Grant.
CREDIT: USAC Racing