Lonnie Wheatley, KOKOMO, Ind. (August 25, 2022) – Justin Grant continued his winning ways at Kokomo Speedway by leading wire-to-wire in Thursday night’s 30-lap “Kokomo Sprint Car Smackdown” preliminary feature event.
Grant gunned into the lead from the front row outside and led throughout en route to his fifth USAC National Sprint Car win of the season aboard the TOPP Motorsports Nos Energy Drink No. 4 Sprint Car.
“We’ve still got some work to do,” Grant explained in victory lane. “The big rework kind of helped us, it was pretty much wide open around the middle. Tonight things fell our way, I’ll take ‘em any way we can get ‘em.”
While Grant was in command all the way, it was Kyle Cummins that stole the show with a dazzling rally from the tail of the field to capture runner-up honors.
Cummins established the early standard with a quick time of 12.617 seconds in qualifying and then raced from sixth to win the night’s opening heat race.
But, slated to start the feature in sixth, Cummins was forced to the pit area with a downed right rear tire before the field got into formation.
“I’m not sure if we cut a tire or if a bleeder went bad,” Cummins said afterward.
Undeterred, Cummins wasted little time slicing his way through the field aboard the Rock Steady Racing Ultimate Predator Boats No. 3r entry.
While Grant paced the field in the early going ahead of fellow front row starter Robert Ballou and Jason McDougal, Cummins made his way all the way up to seventh by the time the race’s only caution flew at the midway point when fourth-runner Brady Bacon slowed with a flattening right rear tire.
With Grant still controlling the pace, Cummins wasn’t done yet as he continued his march forward by ultimately disposing of Ballou for second as the white flag flew and then fell just a pair of car lengths short of Grant at the checkered flag.
“I wish I would have had a couple more laps,” Cummins commented. “It was pretty cool to come from the tail, it shows we have a pretty good car.”
Ballou settled for the show position behind Grant and Cummins to fill out the podium as McDougal and tenth-starter Emerson Axsom rounded out the top five.
Jadon Rogers crossed the stripe sixth with C.J. Leary, 16th-starter Thomas Meseraull, Chase Stockon and Mitchel Moles completing the top ten. Bacon rebounded from his mid-race woes to salvage an 11th-place finish.
After Cummins set the night’s quick time and won the opening heat, Anton Hernandez, Rogers and Leary topped ensuing heat races with Carson Garrett best in the “C” Main and Axsom topping the “B” Main.
Texas shoe Dalton Stevens took a turn three tumble in qualifying while Alex Banales took a hard ride in turn one in “C” Main action. Both drivers walked away without injury.
USAC Sprint Cars
Kokomo Speedway – Kokomo, IN
Thursday, August 25, 2022 – “Kokomo Sprint Car Smackdown 11” Preliminary One of Two
FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING: 1. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-12.617; 2. Emerson Axsom, 47BC, Clauson Marshall Newman-12.648; 3. Mitchel Moles, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-12.649; 4. Jason McDougal, 5m, KO-12.652; 5. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-12.666; 6. Chase Stockon, 5s, KO-12.712; 7. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-12.718; 8. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-12.731; 9. Dave Darland, 36D, Darland/Curb-Agajanian-12.747; 10. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-12.757; 11. Logan Seavey, 5, Baldwin/Fox-12.758; 12. C.J. Leary, 77m, Michael-12.770; 13. Kevin Thomas Jr., 15K, BGE Dougherty-12.794; 14. Thomas Meseraull, 2E, Epperson-12.816; 15. Tim Creech, 2c, Creech-12.896; 16. Jake Swanson, 21AZ, Team AZ-12.916; 17. Mario Clouser, 6, EZR-12.927; 18. Anton Hernandez, 2B, 2B Racing-12.951; 19. Jadon Rogers, 14, Engler-12.967; 20. Cole Bodine, 57B, DCT/Crow/Bodine-12.987; 21. Tom Harris, 84, Harris-13.018; 22. Max Adams, 17GP, Dutcher-13.052; 23. Jack Hoyer, 11, Hoyer-13.079; 24. Scotty Weir, 4p, Pedersen-13.153; 25. Riley Kreisel, 2, Yeley/Petty-13.158; 26. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-13.159; 27. Parker Frederickson, 34F, Frederickson-13.217; 28. Tyler Hewitt, 57, Hazen-13.253; 29. Sterling Cling, 34, Cling-13.272; 30. Corey Smith, 66s, CS-13.332; 31. Dustin Clark, 75, Clark-13.369; 32. Alex Banales, 5x, Baldwin/Fox-13.382; 33. Tayte Williamson, 20T, Williamson-13.410; 34. Dalton Stevens, 99x, Stevens-13.424; 35. Larry Kingseed Jr., 59, Powell-13.451; 36. Carson Garrett, 15, BGE Dougherty-13.472; 37. Alex Bright, 20, Hummer-13.535; 38. Korbyn Hayslett, 1H, Hayslett-13.622; 39. Cooper Welch, 2w, Welch-13.849; 40. Jack James, 99, James-13.915; 41. Paul White, 1, White-NT (Time of 13.535 disallowed to an illegal right rear tire).
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Kyle Cummins, 2. Kevin Thomas Jr., 3. Brady Bacon, 4. Mario Clouser, 5. Tom Harris, 6. Dave Darland, 7. Sterling Cling, 8. Alex Bright, 9. Riley Kreisel, 10. Tayte Williamson, 11. Paul White. 2:10.08
COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Anton Hernandez, 2. Max Adams, 3. Thomas Meseraull, 4. Robert Ballou, 5. Chase Stockon, 6. Emerson Axsom, 7. Brandon Mattox, 8. Corey Smith, 9. Korbyn Hayslett. 2:10.96
PIT STOP USA THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Jadon Rogers, 2. Logan Seavey, 3. Mitchel Moles, 4. Justin Grant, 5. Jack Hoyer, 6. Parker Frederickson, 7. Tim Creech, 8. Dustin Clark, 9. Larry Kingseed Jr., 10. Cooper Welch. 2:10.88
ROD END SUPPLY FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. C.J. Leary, 2. Cole Bodine, 3. Jake Swanson, 4. Jason McDougal, 5. Scotty Weir, 6. Matt Westfall, 7. Carson Garrett, 8. Alex Banales, 9. Tyler Hewitt, 10. Jack James. 2:11.97
C-MAIN: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the semi-feature) 1. Carson Garrett, 2. Dustin Clark, 3. Tayte Williamson, 4. Alex Bright, 5. Larry Kingseed Jr., 6. Korbyn Hayslett, 7. Jack James, 8. Paul White, 9. Cooper Welch, 10. Alex Banales, 11. Dalton Stevens. NT
ELLIOTT’S CUSTOM TRAILERS & CARTS SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Emerson Axsom, 2. Chase Stockon, 3. Dave Darland, 4. Matt Westfall, 5. Scotty Weir, 6. Alex Bright, 7. Brandon Mattox, 8. Jack Hoyer, 9. Carson Garrett, 10. Parker Frederickson, 11. Tom Harris, 12. Sterling Cling, 13. Corey Smith, 14. Dustin Clark, 15. Tim Creech, 16. Tayte Williamson, 17. Riley Kreisel. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Justin Grant (2), 2. Kyle Cummins (6), 3. Robert Ballou (1), 4. Jason McDougal (4), 5. Emerson Axsom (10), 6. Jadon Rogers (9), 7. C.J. Leary (7), 8. Thomas Meseraull (16), 9. Chase Stockon (11), 10. Mitchel Moles (5), 11. Brady Bacon (3), 12. Jake Swanson (17), 13. Anton Hernandez (8), 14. Scotty Weir (21), 15. Mario Clouser (18), 16. Max Adams (20), 17. Logan Seavey (14), 18. Matt Westfall (12), 19. Dave Darland (13), 20. Cole Bodine (19), 21. Alex Bright (22), 22. Kevin Thomas Jr. (15), 23. Brandon Mattox (23-P). NT
(P) represents a provisional starter.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Justin Grant.