Grant Sexton’s 2023 Perris Auto Speedway Debut
Southern California teenage racing star Grant Sexton raced his new Triple X Chassis/Shaver 410 racing engine for the first time at Perris Auto Speedway last Saturday night. For the 2021 POWRi Southwest Lightning Sprint Car Series champion, it was his first of eight races on the west coast’s premiere dirt track in 2023.
For Sexton and the other 24 drivers on hand, it was the first series race since the end of January at Arizona’s Cocopah Speedway. A two-night show at the Central Arizona Raceway in mid-February was canceled due to rain. Sexton began the night by recording a lap of 17.321 in qualifying. That was the 22nd fastest in the field. The qualifying time put the 18-year-old racer, who is running for “Rookie of the Year,” in the second eight-lap heat race of the night. When the 10 lapper concluded, he crossed the line in eighth place.
For the main event, the outgoing teenager began the 25-car, 30-lap race in the 22nd spot. He advanced forward three positions to finish 19th.
After three series races in 2023, Sexton is ranked 14th in the championship standings and currently leads the “Rookie of the Year” chase.
The 18-year-old driver, who lives in Lakeside, California, was part of a strong contingent of young drivers not only in the USAC/CRA Series, but also in the track’s Young Gun Sprint Car Class. The influx of youth bodes well for the future of sprint car racing on the west coast.
This weekend, Sexton and the other USAC/CRA drivers were slated to race on Friday at Kings Speedway in Hanford and the Thunder Bowl Raceway in Tulare on Saturday. Unfortunately, the persistent rains that have hammered California throughout the first three months of the year added those two tracks to their victim list and both races were canceled. They were the third and fourth rainouts in the first seven series races in 2023.
After getting this weekend off, Sexton and the SGR #22 will return to the track when the USAC/CRA Series visits Arizona’s Mojave Valley Raceway on Saturday, April 1st.
Sexton Gatlin Racing would like to thank the following companies for making the 2022 season possible. Keys Brothers, East County Electric Works, Maxima Oil, Automated Interiors, Sexton Fire Protection, BK Wings, Troy Dirt, Victory Graphix, and Swift Powdercoat.
Speedway Digest Staff
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