By Richie Murray
Plymouth, Indiana (June 23, 2020)………Brady Bacon, Justin Grant and Kevin Thomas Jr. are three individuals who’ve found recent success in the seat of a USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car at Plymouth Speedway, and all are amped and vying to become the first two-time USAC winner at the track in this Friday night’s event at the 3/8-mile dirt oval in Plymouth, Ind.
Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) found instant success in the series’ inaugural visit to Plymouth in 2017, leading all 30 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 four of his previous USAC visits, including an 8th in May 2018, a 4th in July 2018 and a 3rd in 2019. He leads the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car standings entering Friday’s event and recently won back-to-back at both 34 Raceway in Iowa and Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Missouri during the first weekend of June.
June 26 Plymouth Speedway USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Race Tickets:
Also a two-time winner in 2020 is Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.), a USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car winner at Plymouth in July 2018. Bacon won consecutive races at Ocala, Florida’s Bubba Raceway Park in February and is third in the standings coming into Friday. He’s also had his share of success at Plymouth with a 5th in May 2018, then won his heat and led the final 15 laps en route to victory in July 2018. He was also 4th in 2019 and led 6 laps mid-race.
Kevin Thomas Jr. owns a pair of USAC National Sprint track records at Plymouth. The 10-lap record 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 won his heat in 2017 and has added another pair of top-10 runs, a 10th in 2017 and a 9th in July 2018. And we won’t forget that KTJ won his first career USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget feature at Plymouth in 2015.
Robert Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.) has been strong since his return from a near one-year absence from USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car racing due to injury, notching a 7th at 34 Raceway, a 3rd at I-55 and a 2nd in the most recent race at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind. behind first-time series winner Stephen Schnapf. At Plymouth, he briefly led a final lap scramble with Kevin Thomas Jr. in May 2018 and wound up finishing 3rd after blitzing through the field to earn hard charger honors after starting 11th.
In each of the last three USAC Sprint races at Plymouth, Chase Stockon (Fort Branch, Ind.) has led laps in all three. He led two in May 2018 in finishing 4th. In July of that same year, the 2019 Jason Leffler Memorial Award winner won his heat and led the first 15 laps before dropping back to 7th in the final rundown. Stockon, who aims to make his 299th consecutive USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car start this Friday, led the opening lap in 2019 and finished 8th. In his first visit to Plymouth in 2017, Stockon set quick time during qualifying, won his heat race and took home a 6th place finish in the feature.
Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) runs second overall in the series standings, 15 behind Grant, and is still seeking his first win in the division for 2020. He’s already won twice in USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget action and he leads the points there. He’s been a consistent contender at Plymouth in USAC Sprint Cars as well with an 8th in 2017, a heat race victory in May 2018, a 2nd in July 2018, and in the most recent trip in 2019, led 11 laps and finished 6th.
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 seen progressively improved results in recent Plymouth events, finishing 10th in May 2018, 8th in July 2018 and finishing runner-up to Tyler Courtney in 2019.
Carson Short (Marion, Ill.), fresh off a first career World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car win at Tri-State last weekend, has had a pair of solid results in recent times at Plymouth under the USAC Sprint banner, finishing 7th in May 2018 and upping it to a best of 6th in July 2018.
Dave Darland (Lincoln, Ind.) recently moved to second on the USAC National Sprint Car division’s fast qualifier list with the 61st of his career at Tri-State, four behind Tom Bigelow’s 65. He does own a series record 62 wins and would like nothing better than to win a 63rd Friday at Plymouth where he led a lap in May 2018 and ran 6th, then won his heat and finished 3rd in July 2018.
Anton Hernandez (Arlington, Texas) continues to learn the ropes of the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car circuit and has shown great speed with a pair of top-ten finishes during the first five races of the campaign, a pair of 8th place finishes at Ocala and I-55. Coming into the season, Hernandez had never competed in a USAC National Sprint Car event. The series’ top Rookie thus far, stands 11th in the points coming in, and makes his USAC debut at Plymouth Friday.
Friday at Plymouth, the grandstands open at 4pm Eastern with hot laps set for 6pm. Along with the Sprint Cars, the event card also features 600cc non-wing micros and 4 Cylinders.
Tickets are available for the event exclusively on www.usactickets.com. Adult grandstand admission tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for children ages 6-12 and free for kids age 5 and under. Pit passes are $35 for apiece.
The event at Plymouth will be held with the capacity held at 50 percent. You must order tickets in advance from www.usactickets.com. Please bring your QR code receipt to be scanned at the gate. The receipt can be either printed or displayed on your phone.
All USAC National events can be seen LIVE exclusively on FloRacing.
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Justin Grant-368, 2-Chris Windom-353, 3-Brady Bacon-344, 4-C.J. Leary-320, 5-Kevin Thomas Jr.-291, 6-Chase Stockon-283, 7-Carson Short-270, 8-Logan Seavey-253, 9-Dave Darland-234, 10-Robert Ballou-207.
USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WINS AT PLYMOUTH SPEEDWAY:
1-Brady Bacon, Tyler Courtney, Justin Grant & 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)
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
TRACK RECORDS – USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CARS AT PLYMOUTH SPEEDWAY:
1 Lap: 7/20/2018 – C.J. Leary – 12.996
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