USAC/CRA Leading Rookie Heading to Arizona for This Week’s Western World Championships

After a weekend away from the track, Sexton Gatlin Racing’s season will hit the top of the homestretch this Friday and Saturday when Grant Sexton contests the Western World Championship at the Cocopah Speedway.  The 19-year-old goes into the weekend with a commanding lead in the USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year chase with just three races to go in 2023.

Sexton opened the 2023 campaign at Cocopah on the last weekend in January.   It ended up being an inauspicious start to the year.  At the Friday opener, a car flipped down the front straightaway and nearly landed on top of Sexton’s beautiful #22.  With that disaster averted, he came out for the main event.  However, when he hit the throttle, the engine did not respond the way he liked, he wisely pulled off the track before the race started.

The next evening, things actually got worse.  The team scrambled to get his backup 360 ready for the night of action.  Even though he was down on horsepower to the 410s in the field, Sexton was ready to rumble. Unfortunately, disaster struck in his heat race. The car directly in front of him spun leaving him nowhere to go. The teen clobbered the spinning car. The thunderous blow broke Sexton’s front axle and ripped out the rear end of his backup car. That signaled the end of a very frustrating weekend.

The Lakeside, California based driver comes into this weekend after competing all season in USAC/CRA, the toughest traditional sprint car series west of the Mississippi.  Since those two races in January, Sexton has been a totally different driver and has amassed four top-10 finishes including a season-best fifth at Bakersfield on June 24th.  Those results have seen him rise to eighth in the season long championship standings.  Coming into the weekend he has a massive 341-point lead in the Rookie of the Year chase.

Sexton’s last race was two weeks ago when he contested the final Southern California Open Competition Sprint Car race of the year at the Imperial Valley Raceway.  On that night, he was the fifth-fastest qualifier and placed fourth in his heat.  In the 20-lap main event, he started seventh and finished fifth.  The prior night was just practice and a six-lap dash for the six fastest drivers.  Sexton qualified for that brief race and ended up fourth at the checkered.

For fans who want to see this Friday and Saturday’s Western World Championships in person, gates at the Cocopah Speedway will open at 4:00 p.m. with racing at 6:00.   Reserved seats are $35.00 and general admission is $25.00.  Students 13-17 are $15.00.  Kids 12 and under get in for free.  The track is located at 3450 W County 15th Streets in Somerton, Arizona (85360). The track website is and the office phone number is (602) 292-7607.  For those who cannot make it to the Arizona speed plant, the race will be shown live on Speed Sport TV.  Ordering or more information is available at

If you or your company are 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.