2022 Eastern Storm USAC Sprints at Williams Grove Speedway

Operation Eastern Storm: USAC Sprints Head East

Operation Eastern Storm: USAC Sprints Head East

The USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship is making its annual trek eastbound for the 15th annual Eastern Storm series and will include six races.

Jun 9, 2022 by FloRacing Staff
Operation Eastern Storm: USAC Sprints Head East

One single point.

That was the difference between winning a championship and coming up short during the 14th edition of Eastern Storm one year ago.

Again this year, every point, every race and every moment can make the difference as the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship makes its annual trek eastbound for the 15th annual Eastern Storm series.

Six races in six nights lie ahead, making it the most rigorous six-night stretch of USAC National Sprint Car racing in 2022.

First, it's onto the most frequented stop on the tour, where Eastern Storm began in 2007, Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania, on June 14. The series then crosses over into New Jersey the following night, visiting Bridgeport Motorsports Park in Swedesboro.

On June 16, it's back across the border line into the Keystone State for a three-race stretch at three half-mile dirt ovals in Pennsylvania. 

The action will begin June 16 at Selinsgrove Speedway, stop at Williams Grove Speedway June 17 and conclude June 18 at Port Royal Speedway, which will feature a USAC doubleheader that also sees the USAC Silver Crown National Championship on hand for a 50-lap main event.  

The door closes on Eastern Storm closes on June 19 at Pennsylvania's newest returning racetrack, Bloomsburg Fair Raceway.

We're coming off a final tally during 2021 Eastern Storm that ranked among the most classic weeks in series history, with Robert Ballou edging Brady Bacon by a solitary marker, equaling Bryan Clauson's one-point victory over Dave Darland in 2013.

Ballou (Rocklin, California) never finished outside the top 5 until the final night, taking sixth, while Bacon occupied the top 5 each night. The difference came in the win column with Ballou winning once at New Jersey's Bridgeport Motorsports Park, while Bacon missed out on a feature win during the week.

Eight points per night can be collected by virtue of winning a heat race, and Ballou did just that by capturing heat wins at all four stops in Grandview, Bridgeport, Selinsgrove and Bloomsburg. Four races. Four heat race wins. All of it added up to a second Eastern Storm title for Ballou and his first since 2015.

In nine of its previous 14 years, the Eastern Storm champion has gone on to win that year's USAC AMSOIL National Sprint car championship: Levi Jones (2007, 2010, 2011), Bryan Clauson (2012, 2013), Brady Bacon (2014), Robert Ballou (2015), Chris Windom (2017) and C.J. Leary (2019).

Three in that group are headed east this year with Ballou in his Ballou Motorsports No. 12 being joined by Broken Arrow, Oklahoma's Brady Bacon (2014) for Dynamics, Inc. and Greenfield, Indiana's C.J. Leary (2019) for Michael Motorsports.

Six past Eastern Storm winners are loaded up for a tour duty in Eastern Storm with Ballou, Bacon and Leary - all USAC National Sprint Car champs - joined by San Jose, California's Thomas Meseraull in Chris Dyson's No. 20m, plus Kansas' Illinois Shane Cottle in Tim Hogue's No. 39 and Ione, California's Justin Grant in his trusty TOPP Motorsports No. 4, with which he won twice during 2021 Eastern Storm at Grandview and Selinsgrove. Grant leads the overall USAC National Sprint Car point standings entering Eastern Storm 2022.

USAC National Sprint Car feature winners Logan Seavey (Sutter, California), Jake Swanson (Anaheim, Calififornia), Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio) and Emerson Axsom (Franklin, Indiana) are all making their way to Eastern Storm. For Axsom, a two-time winner already this season, it will be his debut on the east coast tracks.

Speaking of the East Coast, the heavy hitters from the USAC East Coast Sprint Car series will try to defend their home "turf" during Eastern Storm while simultaneously eying a first career USAC National Sprint Car feature win. That includes 2018, 2019 and 2020 series champ Steven Drevicki (Reading, Pennsylvania), plus 2021 titlist Alex Bright (Collegeville, Pennsylvania) and 2022 series point leader Briggs Danner (Allentown, Pennsylvania).

USAC's 2020 AMSOIL National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Jadon Rogers (Worthington, Indiana) will make his first foray to Eastern Storm this June, while 2020 USAC National Most Improved Driver Brandon Mattox (Terre Haute, Indiana) returns once again along with the ever-popular 2018 USAC Southwest Sprint Car king, Charles Davis Jr. (Buckeye, Arizona). Alex Banales (Lafayette, Indiana) will make his second trip out, while Korbyn Hayslett (Troy, Ohio) is among the Eastern Storm series' rookie class in 2022.

Also joining in for major runs at Eastern Storm glory are big block modified and open wheel maestro Timmy Buckwalter (Douglassville, Pennsylvania) and Austin Graby (Lebanon, Pennsylvania), as well as four-time USAC Silver Crown winner Shane Cockrum (Benton, Illinois), East Coast sportsman wizard Carmen Perigo (Stoystown, Pennsylvania), USAC Silver Crown and Sprint vet Dallas Hewitt (Troy, Ohio), modified/late model ace Brian Ruhlman (Clarklake, Michigan) and USAC East Coast frontrunners Kenny Miller III (Morgantown, Pennsylvania) and Joey Amantea (Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania), just to name a few, with more expected.

Tuesday at Grandview is the Jesse Hockett Classic featuring the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and 358 Modifieds.

Wednesday at Bridgeport has the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship joined by 602 Sportsman.

Thursday at Selinsgrove brings the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and winged 410 c.i. Sprint Cars.

Friday's Williams Grove stop has the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and winged 410 c.i. Sprint Cars.

Saturday's Port Royal event is Open Wheel Madness II "USAC Eastern Blast," which brings together the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship, the USAC Silver Crown National Championship and Winged 410 c.i. Sprint Cars

Sunday at Bloomsburg, it's the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship, All Pro SpeedSTRs and the NY Penn IMCA Modifieds Series.