2022 Eastern Storm USAC Sprints at Bloomsburg Fair Raceway

Grand Opening: Grandview Speedway Launches Eastern Storm Tuesday

Grand Opening: Grandview Speedway Launches Eastern Storm Tuesday

The USAC AMSOIL Sprint National Championship's Eastern Storm opens at the Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday night.

Jun 13, 2022 by FloRacing Staff
Grand Opening: Grandview Speedway Launches Eastern Storm Tuesday

Homeward bound to Eastern Storm's origins.

The USAC AMSOIL Sprint National Championship's Eastern Storm opens at the Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday night, as the 15th running of the six-race tour opens where it all began a decade-and-a-half ago.

Grandview's 40-lap, $6,000-to-win Jesse Hockett Classic pays homage to the racer known as "Rocket," who captured the victory in the 2009 USAC Eastern Storm main event at Grandview.

USAC Eastern Storm was organized in 2007, when Bruce Rogers and Bob Miller approached USAC about a return to Berks County.

Levi Jones won the inaugural Eastern Storm that marked the first USAC event in Berks County since Paul Pitzer took the USAC win at the Reading (Pennsylvania) Fairgrounds in April 1979. Since 2007, Grandview has opened the Eastern Storm annually, presenting 14 events.

The on-track action gets spicy with the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Cars hustling around Grandview's 1/3-mile dirt oval. No inch is given, and it often takes a brand of bravery and machismo, as well as a slide job or several, to work your way to the front.

The storyline heading into Grandview will have all eyes on Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Oklahoma), who won four consecutive USAC National Sprint Car features at Grandview between 2017-2021, only to have Justin Grant rip the rug out for his own first career victory in the June 2021 Eastern Storm return, with Bacon running second.

Bacon, a four-time USAC National Sprint Car champ, has not finished outside of the top 10 in any of his nine Grandview USAC Sprint starts, with a runner-up finish in 2021, fifth place results in 2007 and 2014, eighth in 2016 and ninth in 2013.

Grant (Ione, California) has earned three career USAC National Sprint Car top-5 finishes at Grandview, with a victory during the 2021 Eastern Storm round, in addition to fourth place in 2014 and fifth in 2017. The 2020 USAC Silver Crown champ was eighth in his Grandview appearance during 2019 and 10th in 2018.

Robert Ballou (Rocklin, California) enters Grandview as the defending Eastern Storm champ. 

The two-time Eastern Strom titlist (2015 and 2021) comes in owning a string of seven-straight top-8 finishes, including a personal-best of third and a fifth-place effort in 2021, plus three sixth-place finishes in that span (2016, 2017, 2019) and eighth-place results in 2014 and 2018. 

In 12 Grandview USAC Sprint Car starts, the 2015 USAC National Sprint Car champion has finished inside the top 10 in 10 of them, finishing sixth in the series' debut at the track in 2007, ninth in 2012 and third in 2011.

C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Indiana) possesses just three top-5 finishes at Grandview, but they were both impressive performances. The 2019 USAC National Sprint Car champ finished second behind Bacon at Grandview in both 2017 and 2019. The 2019 Eastern Storm champ took sixth with a solid run in April 2021.

Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, California) will compete in the Chris Dyson-owned No. 20, a familiar winning ride during Eastern Storm. Meseraull finished a best of fourth at Grandview in 2016 and ninth in 2018.

Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio) has made five starts in USAC National Sprint Car competition at Grandview over the past decade. His first and his most recent, have been his best thus far, finishing 10th in both 2013 and 2021.

There's a boatload of strong local contenders who will be vying for a first USAC National Sprint Car victory, and they'll be testing themselves versus the veterans of the sport, as well as the USAC national series top-rookie, two-time February Ocala feature winner Emerson Axsom (Franklin, Indiana), plus 2020 USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Jadon Rogers (Worthington, Indiana) and Korbyn Hayslett (Troy, Ohio), all of whom are making their Eastern Storm debuts.

Representing the East Coast's top dawgs, Steven Drevicki (Reading, Pennsylvania) captured the championship for the Rapid Tire USAC East Coast Sprint Cars presented by Capitol Custom Trailers in three consecutive seasons between 2018-2020. He's finished a best of 13th with the USAC National Sprint Cars at Grandview in 2019.

Reigning USAC East Coast Sprint Car champion Alex Bright (Collegeville, Pennsylvania) finished eighth and ninth in his two USAC National Sprint Car attempts at Grandview in 2021. 

Meanwhile, current USAC East Coast point leader Briggs Danner (Allentown, Pennsylvania) was the fastest qualifier in April 2021, while finishing ninth and sixth, respectively, in his two Grandview visits. Danner also scored the victory in the USAC East Coast round at Grandview in May 2021.

Timmy Buckwalter (Douglassville, Pennsylvania) was victorious with the USAC East Coast Sprint Cars at Grandview in May 2019. He earned personal-best USAC National Sprint Car results at Grandview in 2021 with eighth and ninth place. He's been a frequent winner in the 358 modifieds at Grandview and will be pulling double-duty in both divisions Tuesday night.

They'll be facing off with USAC National Sprint Car winners Shane Cottle (Kansas, Illinois), sixth at Grandview in 2013; Logan Seavey (Sutter, California), 13th in June 2021 at Grandview; plus Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California), a fifth-place finisher in his Grandview debut of 2021.

The 2020 USAC National Most Improved Driver Brandon Mattox (Terre Haute, Indiana), 11th in his first Grandview start that same night, is making a comeback to the east, as is Charles Davis Jr. (Buckeye, Arizona), the 2018 USAC Southwest Sprint Car champion, who returned to Pennsylvania after a nearly three-decade hiatus last year to finish 14th at Grandview's Eastern Storm round. He'll be back again in 2021. 

Alex Banales (Lafayette, Indiana), a rookie on the USAC National Sprint Car trail, is aiming to crack his first Grandview feature starting field Tuesday night, along with several more.

Joining USAC's national Stars are the 358 modifieds, which take part in qualifying leading up to the $3,000-to-win 30-lap feature that is part of the Tri-Track Series. On race night, the gates will open at 5 p.m. Eastern, with racing slated to begin at 7:30 p.m.

Adult admission tickets are $30, children 6-11 are $10 and children 5 and under will be admitted free. Pit passes are $35 for members and $40 for non-members.

Advance tickets are available by calling (443) 513-4456. Tickets may be paid for and picked up at the WILL CALL window on race night. Advance ticket holders may enter the grandstands at 4:30 p.m. 

Advance tickets orders can be processed up to the day before the race. Advance tickets will NOT be available on race day. Bring exact change when purchasing your advance tickets, general admission tickets and pit passes.

All Eastern Storm events will be streamed live here on FloRacing.