By Richie Murray
Speedway, Indiana (December 1, 2021)………Justin Grant’s $20,000 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget feature victory at California’s Placerville Speedway in November paid off in more ways than one.
The Ione, California native charged from seventh to first en route to his victory that night, which moved him to the top of the board for good in the ProSource Passing Master standings.
Grant kept a tight grip throughout the following three races to earn the Passing Master title with a total of 230 combined positions advanced throughout all 93 USAC National features run during the 2021 season in his Hemelgarn Racing Silver Crown car, TOPP Motorsports Sprint Car and RMS Racing Midget.
The 2020 USAC Silver Crown champion scored the top prize worth $2,500 from ProSource which rewarded the USAC licensed driver who passed the most total cars during feature events throughout USAC’s Silver Crown, AMSOIL National Sprint Car and NOS Energy Drink National Midget series.
“It’s cool to be the one to pass the most cars, but I think it mostly means I need to work on my qualifying,” Grant said with a laugh. “We didn’t qualify as good as we normally do this year that I feel like, but we raced better than we usually do. In the end, I think that was a net gain for us.”
Buck Rice from ProSource has been a longtime supporter of USAC and its racers, and 2021 marked the second year of the yearlong Passing Master Award, a gift which Grant is thankful for – an opportunity for drivers to make some extra dough after putting some extra work by consistently charging up through the field.
“Any time I get passing money, Buck says he wishes he wasn’t giving it to me because he doesn’t want me to have to work that hard,” Grant said. “But it’s awesome of Buck and ProSource to put up an award like that for us. It benefits guys like me who’ve had to dig out of some holes throughout the year.”
Inaugural ProSource Passing Master champion Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) and Tanner Thorson (Minden, Nev.) tied for second place with 209 positions advanced while Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, Calif.) and Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) were knotted up for fourth 177 passes apiece.
FINAL 2021 USAC PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER STANDINGS:
209-Tanner Thorson & Chris Windom
177-Thomas Meseraull & Logan Seavey
166-Kevin Thomas Jr.
126-Robert Ballou & Buddy Kofoid
78-Cannon McIntosh & Chase Stockon
59-Jadon Rogers & Bryant Wiedeman
45-Jerry Coons Jr.
42-Shane Cockrum & Paul Nienhiser
38-Tanner Carrick & Carmen Perigo
34-Brian Carber, Hayden Reinbold & Kody Swanson
30-Cole Bodine & Isaac Chapple
27-Patrick Lawson & Ethan Mitchell
22-Nick Bilbee & Kyle Jones
20-Charles Davis Jr. & Eric Gordon
18-Jake Day, Kyle Robbins, Mark Smith & Brian Tyler
17-Annie Breidinger, Trey Gropp & Kyle O’Gara
14-Dave Berkheimer, Tyler Courtney, Briggs Danner & Travis Welpott
13-Jake Neuman & Taylor Reimer
12-Austin Barnhill & Chris Phillips
10-Chase Johnson, Davey Ray & Tyler Thomas
9-Corey Day, Noah Gass, Davey Hamilton Jr., Sam Johnson, Kyle Steffens & Scotty Weir
7-Nathan Byrd & Chris Fetter
6-Casey Buckman, Jacob Denney, Carson Garrett & Brandon Morin
5-Clinton Boyles, Sterling Cling, Kenney Johnson, Tyler Roahrig & Steven Russell
4-Travis Buckley & Tanner Swanson
3-Jade Avedisian, Brent Beauchamp, Robert Bell, Derek Bischak, Timmy Buckwalter, Braydon Cromwell, Dave Darland, Taylor Ferns, Erik Karlsen, Ricky Lewis & Jonathan Shafer
2-Bobby Santos & Kent Schmidt
1-Brayden Fox, Russ Gamester, Riley Kreisel, Critter Malone, Mike McVetta, Stephen Schnapf & Ken Schrader