USAC National Sprint Cars return to Williams Grove David Nearpass Photo

By Richie Murray

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania (June 14, 2022)………When it comes to USAC racing history in Pennsylvania, Williams Grove Speedway is second to none.

The Mechanicsburg, Pa. dirt oval held a prominent presence on the series schedule in USAC’s inaugural 1956 season with victories turned in by Johnny Thomson and 1955 Indianapolis 500 victor Pat Flaherty and remains a fixture on the racing landscape to this day.

This Friday night, June 17, that fixture returns to the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship fold for the 34th time overall, and for the first time since 2018, for USAC Eastern Storm round four.

A pair of drivers have found their Williams Grove success in other types of racing machinery, but plan to etch their first “W” into the win column with the USAC National Sprint Cars on Friday night.

Four-time USAC National Sprint Car champion Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) notched a USAC Eastern Midget victory in 2017 as well as USAC Silver Crown score there in 2019. In two USAC Sprint Car appearances at The Grove, he’s recorded two top-fives, a 2nd in 2018 and a 5th in 2017.

Shane Cockrum (Benton, Ill.) delivered a USAC Silver Crown victory at Williams Grove in 2021 and will make his first foray to the half-mile dirt oval for Sprint Car action this weekend.

Chase Stockon (Fort Branch, Ind.) has been a solid citizen in his only two USAC Sprint Car feature starts at Williams Grove, taking a runner-up finish in 2017 followed by a 7th in 2018. Two-time Eastern Storm champ Robert Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.) corralled a 3rd in 2018. Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) notched a 4th in 2017 and a 9th in 2018 while also collecting a Silver Crown quick time award in 2019. Local hot shoe Timmy Buckwalter (Douglassville, Pa.) achieved his best USAC National Sprint Car result of 5th in 2018.

The USAC East Coast contingent is strong and the three most successful drivers in its history have all been winners at Williams Grove and all three will be shooting for their first USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car victories on Friday night. Three-time USAC East Coast champ Steven Drevicki (Reading, Pa.) won there once each in 2020 and 2021. Reigning USAC EC champ Alex Bright (Collegeville, Pa.) won at The Grove less than two weeks ago while current point leader Briggs Danner (Allentown, Pa.) won there in April.

Shane Cottle (Kansas, Ill.) ran second with the Silver Crown car at Williams Grove in 2021. Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, Calif.) earned 7th and 11th place results during Eastern Storm at Williams Grove in 2017 and 2018, respectively. C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.), the 2019 Eastern Storm titlist, scored a 10th during Eastern Storm in 2018 and was the Silver Crown fast qualifier in 2016.

Carmen Perigo (Stoystown, Pa.) put together top-10 performances at Williams Grove in both a USAC National Sprint Car and Silver Crown car in his career, taking a 10th during Eastern Storm’s sprint car feature in 2017 and 7th with the Silver Crown series in 2021. Fellow Keystone stater Mark Smith (Sunbury, Pa.) has, likewise, performed in both at the track, taking 6th with Silver Crown in 2016 and 18th with the USAC Sprints in 2017.

The USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Champion of 2018, Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.), notched a 20th in his Silver Crown performance at Williams Grove, which was not indicative of his performance after leading 22 laps in the first half of the event and was leading when mechanical trouble befell his ride.

Pennsylvanian USAC East Coast Sprint Car pilots Joey Amantea (Mount Pocono, Pa.) was 6th with the series this past April while Kenny Miller III (Morgantown, Pa.) took an 8th. Dallas Hewitt (Troy, Ohio) made his initial Williams Grove run with the Silver Crown series in 2019, finishing 14th, while BOSS Sprint titlist Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio) was a 17th place runner back in 2018, and 2018 USAC Southwest Sprint Car champ Charles Davis Jr. (Buckeye, Ariz.) made a Silver Crown start in 2021, finishing 21st.

Looking to make their initial stamp at Williams Grove are two-time 2022 USAC National Sprint Car winner Emerson Axsom (Franklin, Ind.), 2021 USAC National Most Improved Driver Jake Swanson (Anaheim, Calif.), 2020 USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Jadon Rogers (Worthington, Ind.), 2020 USAC National Most Improved Driver Brandon Mattox (Terre Haute, Ind.), USAC National Sprint Car Rookie Alex Banales (Lafayette, Ind.), Korbyn Hayslett (Troy, Ohio) and late model/modified standout Brian Ruhlman (Clarklake, Mich.)

Friday’s Eastern Storm event at Williams Grove features the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and Winged 410 c.i. Sprint Cars. Pits open at 4:30pm Eastern with grandstands opening at 5:30pm, the drivers meeting at 6pm and hot laps at 6:30pm. Adult admission tickets are $30, ages 13 to 20 are $10 and kids age 12 and under are free.

All Eastern Storm events will be streamed live on FloRacing at



June 14: Grandview Speedway | Bechtelsville, PA

June 15: Bridgeport Motorsports Park | Swedesboro, NJ

June 16: Selinsgrove Speedway | Selinsgrove, PA

June 17: Williams Grove Speedway | Mechanicsburg, PA

June 18: Port Royal Speedway | Port Royal, PA

June 19: Bloomsburg Fair Raceway | Bloomsburg, PA


1 Lap – 6/15/2018 – Kevin Thomas Jr. – 19.509

6 Laps – 9/13/1996 – Len Thompson – 2:12.23

8 Laps – 6/15/2018 – Jerry Coons Jr. – 2:42.81

10 Laps – 9/22/1973 – Jan Opperman – 4:01.77

12 Laps – 9/22/1973 – Tom Bigelow – 4:51.11

30 Laps – 6/30/1962 – Jiggs Peters – 12:55.09

40 Laps – 9/23/1972 – Lee Kunzman – 16:11.81

50 Laps – 10/8/1961 – Parnelli Jones – 20:56.40


4-A.J. Foyt

3-Van Johnson

2-Tommy Hinnershitz, Roger McCluskey, Jan Opperman, Mitch Smith & Johnny Thomson

1-Don Branson, Cotton Farmer, Pat Flaherty, Elmer George, Parnelli Jones, Lee Kunzman, Ralph Liguori, Jim McWithey, Charlie Musselman, Billy Pauch, Jiggs Peters, Eddie Sachs, Kevin Thomas Jr., Dick Tobias, Bruce Walkup & Chris Windom


1956: Johnny Thomson (6/17), Pat Flaherty (6/17), Charlie Musselman (8/12) & Van Johnson (10/21)

1957: Van Johnson (4/7) & Van Johnson (10/20)

1958: Johnny Thomson (4/13), Elmer George (7/27) & Eddie Sachs (10/19)

1959: Jim McWithey (6/13), Tommy Hinnershitz (9/13) & Tommy Hinnershitz (10/11)

1960: A.J. Foyt (10/9)

1961: Roger McCluskey (4/23) & Parnelli Jones (10/8)

1962: Jiggs Peters (6/30) & Cotton Farmer (10/14)

1963: Don Branson (3/31), Roger McCluskey (7/7) & A.J. Foyt (10/5)

1964: A.J. Foyt (4/12) & A.J. Foyt (7/18)

1970: Dick Tobias (7/11) & Ralph Liguori (9/26)

1971: Mitch Smith (6/19) & Mitch Smith (9/25)

1972: Lee Kunzman (9/23)

1973: Jan Opperman (6/24) & Jan Opperman (9/22)

1974: Bruce Walkup (7/6)

1996: Billy Pauch (9/13)

2017: Kevin Thomas Jr. (6/15)

2018: Chris Windom (6/15)


2017 FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Chase Stockon, 3. Chris Windom, 4. Justin Grant, 5. Brady Bacon, 6. Shane Golobic, 7. Thomas Meseraull, 8. Jarett Andretti, 9. Jerry Coons Jr., 10. Carmen Perigo, 11. Aaron Farney, 12. Kyle Moody, 13. Danny Dietrich, 14. Isaac Chapple, 15. Chad Boespflug, 16. Joey Biasi, 17. Tyler Courtney, 18. Mark Smith 19. Dave Darland, 20. C.J. Leary, 21. Stevie Sussex, 22. Trevor Kobylarz, 23. Robert Ballou, 24. Kyle Robbins. NT

2018 FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Chris Windom (5), 2. Brady Bacon (4), 3. Robert Ballou, (2), 4. Kevin Thomas Jr. (6), 5. Timmy Buckwalter (3), 6. Dave Darland (11), 7. Chase Stockon (7), 8. Tyler Courtney (9), 9. Justin Grant (10), 10. C.J. Leary (1), 11. Thomas Meseraull (8), 12. Jerry Coons Jr. (14), 13. Isaac Chapple (20), 14. Chad Boespflug (19), 15. Kyle Moody (13), 16. Joey Biasi (17), 17. Matt Westfall (21), 18. Jarett Andretti (15), 19. Trevor Kobylarz (12), 20. Carmen Perigo (18), 21. Zach Daum (16), 22. Tony DiMattia (22), 23. Robert Bell (23). NT


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


6-Bryan Clauson, Levi Jones & Chris Windom

5-Brady Bacon & Robert Ballou

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