Grant Sexton Snares First Usac/Cra Top Five Finish at the Bakersfield Speedway

Teenage sensation Grant Sexton turned in another stellar performance and scored the first top-five USAC/CRA main event finish of his career last Saturday night at the Bakersfield Speedway.  Not only was it his first top-five finish, but he also jumped another spot higher in the series standings and is ranked seventh going into the next race at Perris Auto Speedway on July 15th.

Sexton had finished out of the top 10 in three of his last four races entering Saturday’s show.  The Lakeside, California racer, who will turn 19 on July 16th,  arrived at Bakersfield determined to stem the recent trend.  He had performed well at the track located 111 miles north of Los Angeles in years gone by.  Only 15 months earlier, he scored the win in one of the best main events in California Lightning Sprint Car Series history on the Kern County track.

The personable young driver started the 30-lap main event on the outside of row 4 in the 8th position.  Needless to say, he had a bunch of very fast cars right in front of him.  Sexton used some early moves and began making progress forward.  He was seventh at the end of the first circuit and had moved up another spot on lap two.  By the end of the third go around on “The West’s Fastest 1/3 Mile High Banked Clay Oval” he was in the fifth spot.

While Sexton was up to fifth on lap five, he was in the midst of a crowd-pleasing multi-car battle that see-sawed back and forth.  The fight for position saw him get passed and repass the same drivers in the heat of the action.  For a lap seven restart, the 2021 POWRi Southwest Lightning Sprint Car Series champion was seventh.  He would slip back as far as eighth and then move forward.  The constant action, back-and-forth passing, and the ability to throw safe slide jobs showed the ever-growing confidence the teen has racing against drivers he would not have passed four months ago.

For the last restart with 11 laps to go, he was sixth.  However, he was not done.  Going into turn three on the 26th lap, he shot to the inside and passed the fifth-place driver.  Over the final three laps, he fended off the advances of the same driver and held onto the spot.  Just like that, in only his 11th USAC/CRA main event start, he secured his first series top-five finish. 

Before a big crowd watching the only USAC/CRA race at the track this year, Sexton turned in the eighth-best time in qualifying at 13.315.  In his 10-lap heat race, he started and finished in the fifth spot.

In addition to moving up to seventh in points, Sexton continued to pad his advantage in the Rookie of the Year chase.  He will enter the June 15th Perris race 272 points ahead of his closest pursuer.

Sexton Gatlin Racing was off this week but will be back in action on Saturday, July 8th.

If you or your company is interested in becoming a partner with Sexton Gatlin Racing in 2023, please call (619) 454-6945 or E-mail mailto:[email protected] or mail to.

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.