USAC Sprint Car Stars Target Plymouth Speedway

USAC Sprint Car Stars
Plymouth Speedway will welcome the USAC National Sprint Car Series on Friday night. (Dave Dellinger photo)

PLYMOUTH, Ind. – Brady Bacon, Justin Grant and Kevin Thomas Jr. are three individuals who have found recent AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series success at Plymouth Speedway.

All three are amped up and vying to become the first two-time USAC winner at the track in Friday night’s event at the three-eighths-mile dirt oval in Plymouth, Ind.

Grant, from Ione, Calif., found instant success in the series’ inaugural visit to Plymouth in 2017, leading all 30 laps wire-to-wire. In the process, he established the 30-lap track record of 7:36.34.

Grant has been a solid citizen at Plymouth in all four of his previous USAC visits, including an eighth in May 2018, a fourth in July 2018 and a third in 2019. He leads the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car standings entering Friday’s event.

Of note, Grant recently won back to back at both 34 Raceway in Iowa and Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Missouri during the first weekend of June.

Also a two-time winner in 2020 is Brady Bacon, a USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car winner at Plymouth in July 2018.

Bacon won consecutive races at Florida’s Bubba Raceway Park in February and is third in the standings coming into Friday.

He’s also had his share of success at Plymouth with a fifth in May 2018, then won his heat and led the final 15 laps en route to victory in July 2018.

Bacon was also fourth in 2019 and led six laps mid-race.

Thomas owns a pair of USAC National Sprint Car track records at Plymouth. The 10-lap record of 2:12.03 from May 2018 belongs to the Cullman, Ala., driver, as does the 12-lap standard from July 2018 at 2:43.81.

He swept the night in May 2018 by setting fast qualifying time, winning his heat race and putting the cherry on top with a feature win, leading the last eight laps in a race that was ultimately decided on a last lap battle for the victory with Robert Ballou.

Additionally, Thomas won his heat in 2017 and has added another pair of top-10 runs, a 10th in 2017 and a ninth in July 2018. Thomas also won his first career NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series feature at Plymouth back in 2015.

Ballou has been strong since his return from a near one-year absence from AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car racing due to injury, notching a seventh at 34 Raceway, a third at I-55 and a second in the most recent race at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind. behind first-time series winner Stephen Schnapf.

At Plymouth, Ballou briefly led the aforementioned final-lap scramble with Thomas in 2018 and wound up finishing third after blitzing through the field to earn hard charger honors from 11th.

In each of the last three USAC sprint races at Plymouth, Chase Stockon has led laps. He led two in May 2018 in finishing fourth. In July of that same year, the 2019 Jason Leffler Memorial Award winner won his heat and led the first 15 laps before dropping back to seventh in the final rundown.

Stockon, who aims to make his 300th consecutive AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car start on Friday, led the opening lap in 2019 and finished eighth.

In his first visit to Plymouth in 2017, Stockon set quick time during qualifying, won his heat race and took home a sixth-place finish in the feature.

Chris Windom runs second overall in the series standings, 15 behind Grant, and is still seeking his first win in the division for 2020. He’s already won twice in NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget action and he leads the points there.

Windom has been a consistent contender at Plymouth in USAC sprint cars as well, with an eighth in 2017, a heat race victory in May 2018, a second in July 2018, and in the most recent trip in 2019, led 11 laps and finished sixth.

C.J. Leary is a past winner in a sprint car at Plymouth, winning the unsanctioned Tony Elliott Classic there in 2016. He also holds claim to the one-lap USAC track record around Plymouth at 12.996, set in July 2018.

The 2019 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion has seen progressively improved results in recent Plymouth events, finishing 10th in May 2018, eighth in July 2018 and finishing runner-up to Tyler Courtney in 2019.

Carson Short, fresh off his first career World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series win at Tri-State Speedway last weekend, has had a pair of solid results in recent times at Plymouth under the USAC banner, finishing seventh in May 2018 and upping it to a best of sixth in July 2018.

Dave Darland recently moved to second on the USAC National Sprint Car division’s fast qualifier list with the 61st of his career at Tri-State, four behind Tom Bigelow’s 65.

He does own a series record 62 wins and would like nothing better than to win a 63rd Friday at Plymouth, where he led a lap in May 2018 and ran sixth, then won his heat and finished third in July 2018.

Anton Hernandez continues to learn the ropes of the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car circuit and has shown great speed, with a pair of top-10 finishes during the first five races of the campaign, a pair of eighth place finishes at Ocala and I-55.

Coming into the season, Hernandez had never competed in a USAC National Sprint Car event. The series’ top rookie thus far, Hernandez stands 11th in the points coming in and makes his USAC debut at Plymouth Friday.

Friday at Plymouth, the grandstands open at 4 p.m. ET, with hot laps set for 6 p.m. Along with the sprint cars, the event card also features 600cc non-wing micros and 4 Cylinders.