7 “Stormy” Lines for USAC’s Eastern Storm

USAC Eastern Storm has been a premiere event on the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship calendar for several years now.
Since 2007, the anticipation has never subsided, and the excitement for six races in a six-night span is a frenzied affair with it being the lone occasion all year in which Pennsylvania and New Jersey hosts the series.
Historic racetracks are in abundance on the east coast, and this year’s list is tradition-rich with Grandview Speedway on June 13, Bridgeport Motorsports Park on June 14, Big Diamond Speedway on June 15, Williams Grove Speedway on June 16, Port Royal Speedway on June 17 and Action Track USA on June 18.
It’s a gift sent from the racing gods – a six-race USAC invasion of the east coast. Seven if you include the USAC Silver Crown round as part of the doubleheader at Port Royal.
Come take a look at seven storylines to affix your eyes to throughout the 2023 edition of USAC Eastern Storm.
This year’s top headline is the arrival of perhaps the largest contingent of drivers prepared to tackle the full Eastern Storm tour. Twenty-four drivers have indicated their intentions to compete in all six events.
Nineteen come from the national and western camp, including four past Eastern Storm champions: Robert Ballou (2015 & 2021), Logan Seavey (2022), C.J. Leary (2019) and Brady Bacon (2014).
Past Eastern Storm feature winners Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.), Chase Stockon (Fort Branch, Ind.) and Shane Cottle (Kansas, Ill.) will be in the mix along with USAC National Sprint Car feature winners Kyle Cummins (Princeton, Ind.), Jake Swanson (Anaheim, Calif.), Mitchel Moles (Raisin City, Calif.), Emerson Axsom (Franklin, Ind.) and Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio).
Tom Harris (Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK) returns to the Eastern Storm lineup for the first time since 2016. Charles Davis Jr. (Buckeye, Ariz.) has made the cross country visit to tackle Eastern Storm once more.
In addition to Moles, also making first-time Eastern Storm appearances from the national side are Daison Pursley (Locust Grove, Okla.), Carson Garrett (Littleton, Colo.), Matt Mitchell (Yorba Linda, Calif.), Max Adams (Loomis, Calif.) and Anton Hernandez (Arlington, Texas), who has recently taken the reins of the Baldwin-Fox Racing No. 5.
From the east coast, the full-time pursuers of the Eastern Storm crown include USAC Rapid Tire East Coast Sprint Car champs Steven Drevicki (Reading, Pa.), Alex Bright (Collegeville, Pa.), Briggs Danner (Allentown, Pa.), Joey Amantea (Mount Pocono, Pa.) and Jason Cherry (Blandon, Pa.).
Robert Ballou (2021) and Logan Seavey (2022) enter the week as the two most recent Eastern Storm champions. Both pilots would love to get off the schneid and add a first “W” in the win column this year.
Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.), also an Eastern Storm champ in 2015, has led two of the past three features he’s competed in with the series, garnering a season best finish of fifth at Indiana’s Circle City Raceway. He’s second all-time in terms of career Eastern Storm wins with five.
Seavey comes into Eastern Storm having won USAC Indiana Midget Week’s six-race series to kick off the month of June. Seavey won twice during Eastern Storm a year ago en route to the title and will attempt to become the fifth driver to repeat as Eastern Storm champion, following Cole Whitt (2008-09), Levi Jones (2010-11), Bryan Clauson (2012-13) and Chris Windom (2017-18).
Furthermore, Seavey will try to become the second driver to capture the Indiana Midget Week and Eastern Storm titles in the same season (Bryan Clauson in 2016).
Briggs Danner, Alex Bright and Steven Drevicki have practically owned the USAC East Coast Sprint Car series since its inception. In fact, all three drivers own series titles and are an annual staple when Eastern Storm rolls into town.
Both Danner (Allentown, Pa.) and Bright (Collegeville, Pa.) were knocking on the door for a first Eastern Storm victory in 2022. Danner finished as the runner-up during the Grandview opener. That same week, Bright scored back-to-back runner-up finishes with the USAC National series at Williams Grove and Port Royal.
Drevicki (Reading, Pa.), a three-time USAC East Coast titlist, was a fast qualifier during Eastern Storm back in 2021 and ran inside the top-10 a year ago at Port Royal.
Danner, Bright and Drevicki have already tasted victory with USAC East Coast this year. Danner notched a win last weekend at Bedford Speedway, Bright twice at Williams Grove and Drevicki once each at Grandview Speedway and Clinton County Speedway.
The last time Kyle Cummins and the Rock Steady Racing No. 3R ventured out to Eastern Storm, the world was a much younger place. It’s actually only been eight seasons, but it seems like it’s been an eternity since he’s partook with the series.
In 2015, he competed in three Eastern Storm events at New Egypt, Port Royal and Susquehanna, finishing 19th, 15th and 20th, respectively.
The Princeton, Ind. driver has been on a tear this year, finishing eight of his 10 USAC starts inside the top-five to go along with a pair of feature wins, and currently resides second in the series points.
Jake Swanson won the most recent USAC National Sprint Car round at Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway in last lap fashion and has now finished third or better in his five most recent series starts, including two victories in his last three appearances.
No other driver has been on as much of tear of late as the Anaheim, Calif. native who’s climbed all the way to third in series points, just 16 out of the top spot.
Swanson has yet to win an Eastern Storm race but is more than primed and prepared to change that fact, finishing a best of fifth during the series finale in 2022.
A true test of skill is on tap for competitors on Saturday, June 17, at Port Royal Speedway. In addition to a 30-lap USAC National Sprint Car feature is a 50-lap USAC Silver Crown race.
Logan Seavey pulled off a rare feat by winning both ends of last year’s Port Royal meet. This year’s list of double-duty racers will consist of no less than 12 drivers attempting both: Matt Mitchell, C.J. Leary, Brady Bacon, Jake Swanson, Seavey, Emerson Axsom, Chase Stockon, Shane Cottle, Matt Westfall, Justin Grant, Mario Clouser and Mitchel Moles.
In the annals of USAC Eastern Storm’s 16 years of history, four drivers share top billing as the winningest driver in the miniseries: Brady Bacon, Bryan Clauson, Levi Jones and Chris Windom.
Each driver is a USAC National Sprint Car champion, and each possesses six career Eastern Storm victories. With one more, Bacon would stand alone at the top of the chart. Odds are in his favor as he’s won at least one Eastern Storm race in four of the past five seasons and added two a year ago.
Just behind is Robert Ballou, a five-time Eastern Storm feature winner who also aims to join Bryan Clauson as the second driver to win a third series title.
For more information on each event, visit the “Schedule/Results” tab on www.usacracing.com, then click on “Sprint Cars” and “AMSOIL National.” From there, click on “Event Info” next to the corresponding event on the schedule.
The entire week of events can be watched LIVE on FloRacing at https://flosports.link/3Kdc2na.