After an Interesting Night at Perris, Sexton Gatlin Racing Heads to Cocopah Saturday

After what was a very interesting night when the Avanti Windows and Doors USAC/CRA Sprint Cars visited Perris Auto Speedway last weekend, Sexton Gatlin Racing drivers Brent and Grant Sexton are headed to Arizona’s Cocopah Speedway Saturday night, March 23rd. The race will be round number three of the 2024 campaign for the top traditional sprint car series west of the Mississippi.

Last Saturday had a dream start for 2023 USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year Grant Sexton. The 19-year-old, who was the POWRi Southwest Lightning Sprint Car Series champion in 2021, flashed some of his talent on several occasions in 2023. However, last Saturday, he seemed to put it all together in one night. He was the first car on the track to qualify. A lightning-quick surface greeted the 24 cars on hand and produced the best times for several drivers including a nearly new track record. Grant led off the session with a career-best 16.258. That ended up being the third fastest time of the night. In addition, it was his fastest-ever qualifying lap at The PAS.

Brent qualified later in the order. Like his offspring, the 50-year-old had his best qualifying lap on the famous track, a 17.575. It was his first time in the 17s at the track that is located 72 miles east of Los Angeles.

Brent started eighth in the second heat and finished fifth. Grant started sixth in his heat, and like his dad, he finished better than where he started when he came home in fourth. That was important for Grant as the finish put him in the inversion and he started fourth in the 30-lap main. It was his best starting position in a USAC/CRA main event. Had he finished fifth or farther back in the heat, he would have started seventh in the feature.

Once the race began, Grant was giving a good account of himself early on by trading sliders to stay in the top five. The key word was early on. To be precise, the first three laps. In turn four on the third circuit, contact with another car launched him into orbit and a resulting thud high on the catch fence. The incident destroyed his beautiful #22 car.

When the car came back down to earth, Grant climbed out under his own power. The young driver was uninjured but let his feelings be known that he was not happy with the incident.

Once the crash scene was cleaned up, the race resumed and Brent was still in it. In fact, he was in it 28 laps later when the checkered flag flew. In between lap 2 and 30, the race was plagued by yellow and red flags due to numerous crashes. Even though he was one of three rookies in the race, he managed to avoid the chaos and finished 13th after starting 21st.

The morning after the race at the team’s Lakeside, California headquarters, the crew was busy building a new car for this Saturday’s show at Cocopah.

“Highs and lows,” Brent Sexton commented when asked how last Saturday went for him. “Obviously, it was great sitting in the car and watching Grant go out first for qualifying and setting the third fastest time of the night. It was his best qualifying effort in USAC. So, we were stoked about that. And then I qualified faster than I ever had at Perris getting into the 17s. All around it was our best qualifying effort as a team.”

“Watching our buddy Braden (rookie Braden Chiaramonte who went to the hospital after a crash, but who is doing fine) being carted out in his heat race was kind of disheartening. The same with Grant being one of the first ones out in the main in the crash. I did not see it as they were too far ahead of me. I was at the tail end.”

The front gate will open at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday at Cocopah with the first race at 6:00. Adult tickets are $20.00. Seniors and military with id get in for $18.00. For students 13-17 it is only $10.00 and children 12 & under are free. The track is located at 3450 W. County 15th Street in Somerton, Arizona (85350). The track website is and the office phone number is 602-292-7607.

Sexton Gatlin Racing would like to thank the following companies for making the 2024 season possible. East County Electric Works, Keys Brothers, BR Motorsports, Maxima Oil, Automated Interiors, Sexton Fire Protection, BK Wings, Troy Dirt.

If you or your company are interested in becoming a marketing partner with Sexton Gatlin Racing in 2024, please call (619) 454-6945 or E-mail mailto:[email protected] or mailto:[email protected].