Double Trouble for Sexton Gatlin Racing in the Inaugural USCS Race at Bakersfield

The first-ever Ultimate Sprint Car Series race presented by Inland Rigging last Saturday night at the Bakersfield Speedway proved to be a tough one for Sexton Gatlin Racing drivers Brent Sexton and his son Grant as both did not finish the 30-lap main event.  On the brighter side, Brent, a two-time California Lightning Sprint Car Series champion, placed sixth in the CLS main.

After qualifying concluded, 19-year-old Grant was second fastest in his group and third fastest of the 28 cars who turned in laps on the 1/3 mile track.  Brent was matched against Grant in group #1 and was eighth fastest. 

Being in the same group meant they would also square off in the first heat race of the night.  Grant started fourth in the 10-lapper and Brent began in seventh.  Grant advanced one spot forward to finish third. That earned him a direct transfer into the A main.  Brent finished right where he started and had to take a trip to the B main. 

The B main ended up being flagged early with Brent in third place.  He got a ticket to the 30-lapper but unbeknownst to him at the time, he was not going to get a lot of feature laps in.  Early in the going, he slammed the front stretch wall and tore the rear end out of the #44.  He was credited with 25th.

Grant’s fate in the main seemed a lot better.  The 2023 USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year began the race in 10th but drove forward to the fourth-place spot.  In the tight race between the top four, the youngster was all over the second and third-place cars.  However, they were mired in heavy-lapped traffic.  The odds of trouble with the lappers grew with each passing go around but the laps were dwindling fast.  Unfortunately, not fast enough.  Going into turn three on lap 28, the second-place car got into a lapper.  The third-place car had nowhere to go and plowed into what was quickly turning into a mess.  Then the accordion effect swept up Grant and one other car. 

That tangle proved to be the end of the line for Grant on the night.  A top-four finish flew out the window with the crash and he ended up 16th

Not long after the USCS main, Brent started eighth in the 25-lap California Lightning Sprint feature and closed the night with a refreshing sixth-place result.

This Saturday, the father and son team will be in action at Perris Auto Speedway in the Avanti Windows and Doors USAC/CRA Sprint Car race.  Ironically, they are tied for 15th place in the championship standings.  In addition, Brent is currently second in the series Rookie of the Year race. 

For fans who would like to see the Sexton’s racing at Perris, spectator gates will open at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and the first race will take the green flag at 7:00.  Adult tickets for the night of exciting dirt track racing action and clean family fun are $30.00.  Seniors 65 and over get in for $25.00.  For kids 6-12 it is only $5.00, and children 5 and under are admitted free.  Advance tickets are available online at  They can also be ordered by phone at 1-800-595-4849.  For fans who do not wish to purchase tickets in advance, there will be plenty available at the ticket window.  The track is located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds at 18700 Lake Perris Drive in the City of Perris.  The fairgrounds charge $10.00 for parking. 

After Saturday’s race at Perris, the team will take two weeks off from the track.  Brent, who is about to celebrate birthday #52, is jumping on a plane on Sunday morning and heading for a fly fishing expedition in Montana.  Once he returns, he is headed for several days in Mexico.  Up next on the team’s racing schedule will be the USCS race at Bakersfield on May 11th.   Two weeks later it will return to Perris Auto Speedway for the Salute to Indy on May 25th.                                                                                                     

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]