2022 Eastern Storm USAC Sprints at Grandview Speedway

2022 USAC Eastern Storm Review: Seavey Bolts To The Series Title

2022 USAC Eastern Storm Review: Seavey Bolts To The Series Title

Two feature wins helped California's Logan Seavey to the 2022 Eastern Storm title.

Jun 21, 2022 by FloRacing Staff
2022 USAC Eastern Storm Review: Seavey Bolts To The Series Title

Throughout his first five career USAC Eastern Storm feature starts between 2021 and the first race of 2022, Logan Seavey had yet to experience a finishing position in the top-half of the field.

Seavey's Eastern Storm result sheet was uncharacteristically abysmal, for lack of a better term. The list included a pair of 13th-place finishes, plus a 14th and a 20th in 2021, followed by another 13th during Tuesday night's opener at Grandview Speedway.

However, that might've been the turning point. 

In 2021, Seavey and his Baldwin-Fox Racing/Fox Paving - AMSOIL/DRC/Claxton Chevy were stuck mid to back of the pack. At Grandview, Seavey was running as high as fourth with 13 laps to go, when he had a tire pop.

Though the Grandview result didn't show the full story, the Sutter, California, driver knew the limitless potential they possessed for the remainder of the week. Consequently, he put that prowess on full display over the final four events of the five-race series.

A late surge past Briggs Danner (Allentown, Pennsylvania) with three laps to go Wednesday night resulted in Seavey's first USAC victory of any kind this season. It came at New Jersey's Bridgeport Motorsports Park.

Following a rain out on Thursday at Selinsgrove (Pennsylvania) Speedway, Seavey carried the momentum into fellow Pennsylvania half-mile dirt oval, Williams Grove Speedway, on Friday. 

Running second late in the race, Seavey gave up that spot on the final restart. Anticipating moisture to be prevalent in the middle of Turns 1 and 2, he drifted back to third, yet remained pleased with their speed amid a solid podium finish.

On to Saturday's event at the big, fast and scenic Port Royal (Pennsylvania) Speedway, Seavey finished his first career appearance at Port Royal with his first trip to victory lane in a 5.407 second stomping and romping at the finish line, which pushed him to the top of the Eastern Storm standings entering Sunday night's finale at Bloomsburg (Pennsylvania) Fair Raceway.

At Bloomsburg, Seavey wasn't sure what to expect due to his less-than-ideal results in his previous two appearances there in both a sprint car and midget a year earlier. 

After struggling in his heat race, crew chief Ronnie Gardner provided a great car for Seavey to operate in the feature. 

Seavey was on the hunt to figure out where he needed to be on the 3/8-mile dirt oval and was able to get by Chase Stockon (Fort Branch, Indiana) for third place at the halfway mark, knowing he needed a little bit of a buffer to be safe and sound in the pursuit of his first Eastern Storm crown.

Seavey practically captured the Eastern Storm title by two positions, holding onto a five-point margin in the final tally over Brady Bacon, making it the fourth-closest title race in the series' 15-year history, behind only Robert Ballou winning by one over Bacon in 2021, Bryan Clauson by one over Dave Darland in 2013 and Chris Windom by four over Kevin Thomas Jr. in 2013.

Both Seavey and Bacon won twice during the week, making it the first time in Eastern Storm history multiple drivers won multiple races in a year.

Bacon's six career victories have him tied as the winningest Eastern Storm driver of all-time, alongside Clauson, Levi Jones and Windom.

Seavey's two victories were his first in Eastern Storm action, while Justin Grant added a victory to raise his Eastern Storm total to three wins. He is the only driver to win features during Eastern Storm in each of the last two seasons (2021 and 2022).

Bacon became just the third driver to win both the first and last feature in a single Eastern Storm week, joining Jones (2007) and Ballou (2015).

Bacon led all drivers with 70 laps led during Eastern Storm 2022, leading all 40 at Grandview and all 30 at Bloomsburg. He also was the lone driver to win multiple heat races throughout Eastern Storm, doing so three times in five tries.

Three drivers earned top-5 finishes in four of the five Eastern Storm races, with Bacon equaled in that regard by fellow feature winners Grant and Seavey. Only two drivers finished inside the top 10 in all five races - Bacon and Danner.

C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Indiana) was the fastest qualifier in three of the five events, while Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) collected the other two.

Fourteen drivers started all five Eastern Storm events in 2022: Emerson Axsom (Franklin, Indiana), Bacon, Robert Ballou (Rocklin, California), Alex Bright (Collegeville, Pennsylvania), Danner, Steven Drevicki (Reading, Pennsylvania), Grant, Leary, Brandon Mattox (Terre Haute, Indiana), Jadon Rogers (Worthington, Indiana), Seavey, Stockon, Swanson and Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio).

Alex Bright was the hardest charger on three consecutive nights of Eastern Storm, passing a total of 40 cars throughout the week to lead all drivers in that category. In addition to earning career-best USAC National Sprint Car runner-up finishes on consecutive evenings at Williams Grove and Port Royal, Bright also earned the week's biggest advancement with a 22nd-to-seventh performance at Bridgeport.

Danner finished fourth in the final Eastern Storm standings, marking the first such occasion a Pennsylvania driver finished inside the top 5 of the Eastern Storm points. Danner, the USAC Rapid Tire East Coast Sprint Car point leader, finished second at Grandview for his best career USAC National Sprint Car result.


After going on an undefeated stretch of 4-0 in USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car competition at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania, Brady Bacon was dethroned one year ago when he finished a distant second at the 1/3-mile dirt oval.

Seeing the door closed on his Grandview winning streak, there only was one remedy that could cure his subsequent blues - start a new winning streak.

The Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, native did exactly that Tuesday during the $6,000-to-win Jesse Hockett Classic USAC Eastern Storm opener by leading all 40 laps in nearly wire-to-wire fashion, with the exception of a brief moment when upstart Briggs Danner edged ahead just before the halfway point.

Bacon's third series win of the year also was his 43rd career USAC National Sprint Car feature victory, which moved him ahead of 1974 and 1976 series champion Pancho Carter and into sole possession of sixth on the all-time list. It also vaulted him from fourth to second in the overall series standings, as he pursues his fifth career title aboard the Dynamics, Inc./Fatheadz Eyewear - Gressman Sanitation - DriveWFX.com/Triple X/Rider Chevy.

"I knew we had a good shot starting up front, and I just had to not mess up," Bacon explained. "I did mess up a couple of times, but, luckily, not bad enough for him to get by us."


Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier: C.J. Leary

GSP Quality Driving Performance: Thomas Meseraull

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Charles Davis Jr.

Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: Matt Westfall

Pit Stop USA & Rod End Supply Third Heat Winner: Thomas Meseraull

Dirt Draft Hot Laps Fastest Driver: Logan Seavey

Feature Hard Charger: Emerson Axsom (20th to 10th)

FEATURE: (40 laps, starting positions in parentheses) - 1. Brady Bacon (2), 2. Briggs Danner (4), 3. Chase Stockon (3), 4. Justin Grant (10), 5. Robert Ballou (13), 6. C.J. Leary (6), 7. Thomas Meseraull (7), 8. Jadon Rogers (1), 9. Jake Swanson (16), 10. Emerson Axsom (20), 11. Charles Davis Jr. (9), 12. Matt Westfall (8), 13. Logan Seavey (5), 14. Shane Cottle (17), 15. Brandon Mattox (14), 16. Alex Banales (18), 17. Alex Bright (12), 18. Timmy Buckwalter (11), 19. Korbyn Hayslett (15), 20. Steven Drevicki (19). NT


Logan Seavey's past USAC Eastern Storm results were just that - in the past. They also were not representative of the type of run he could muster when everything aligns, from himself to the team to the setup, plus even the aspect of luck.

All those attributes came together in simultaneous fashion during Wednesday's $6,000-to-win Round 2 of USAC Eastern Storm 2022 at Bridgeport, for the evening ultimately belonged to the driver of the Baldwin-Fox Racing/Fox Paving - AMSOIL/DRC/Claxton Chevy.

While Seavey remained in the hunt throughout, he nearly saved his best for last, when he surged to the front late in the going, taking the lead with a Turn 1 slide job on Briggs Danner, just three laps from the finish, to score his first USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship feature win of the season.

Among the aforementioned results, Seavey's Bridgeport resume was just as much of a puzzling puzzle with 13th-place finishes in both his USAC National Sprint Car and USAC National Midget appearances during the 2021 campaign. On this night, he made it imperative to turn the beat around.

"I've kind of struggled here in the past in the sprint car and the midget," Seavey acknowledged. "I'm just so proud of (crew chief) Ronnie Gardner. We've been so fast every race. To come out to Pennsylvania, where I've struggled, and to now get a win here, is really cool."


Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier: C.J. Leary

GSP Quality Driving Performance: Briggs Danner

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Robert Ballou

Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: Jadon Rogers

Pit Stop USA & Rod End Supply Third Heat Winner: Brady Bacon

Dirt Draft Hot Laps Fastest Driver: Briggs Danner

Feature Hard Charger: Alex Bright (22nd to 7th)

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) - 1. Logan Seavey (4), 2. Chase Stockon (12), 3. C.J. Leary (6), 4. Briggs Danner (3), 5. Robert Ballou (9), 6. Jadon Rogers (7), 7. Alex Bright (22), 8. Thomas Meseraull (1), 9. Matt Westfall (14), 10. Brady Bacon (8), 11. Joey Amantea (19), 12. Timmy Buckwalter (16), 13. Jake Swanson (10), 14. Brandon Mattox (15), 15. Justin Grant (5), 16. Shane Cottle (13), 17. Charles Davis Jr. (18), 18. Korbyn Hayslett (20), 19. Steven Drevicki (17), 20. Michael Markey (21), 21. Alex Banales (11), 22. Emerson Axsom (2). NT


"Sprint car racing is supposed to be gnarly. Races are supposed to be won on the fence. We love big curbs and rough racetracks. The more exciting it is for the fans, the more we like it and the better it is."

Henry David Thoreau, T.S. Eliot and Lord Byron have nothing on Justin Grant when it comes to the manner of weaving words into a rich tapestry of linguistic expression to accurately describe the pure excitement of sprint car racing.

Then again, they've never endured the type of ride Grant partook during the final laps of Friday's $6,000-to-win USAC Eastern Storm third round at Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania's Williams Grove Speedway.

Grant authored a relatively flawless driving performance until the latter half of the 30-lap main event on the famed half-mile, on which the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship first visited exactly 66 years ago to the day, back in 1956.

En route to taking the white flag and holding a seemingly comfortable lead of more than 2 seconds as he encountered the Turn 3 cushion, Grant ran up over the curb, nearly tagged the wall and pulled a reverse wheel stand with both rear tires kicking sky high like a bucking bronco, leaving the right front tire as the lone piece of Grant's car still making contact with the track surface.

Nonetheless, Grant dug his way out of it and carried on through Turn 4 and the front straightway, taking the signal for one lap to go from the flag stand. Turns 1 and 2 were as smooth as can be, as was his final trip beneath the famed landmark bridge that overhangs the back straightaway.

But, as Grant tiptoed through Turn 3 on the bottom, he slid up and tagged the cushion in Turn 4 with his right rear tire. 

Grant stabbed the gas and wriggled his way free like he was caught in a Chinese finger trap. As he shook loose and saw the checkered flag in the distance, smoke began to billow out of the headers of Grant's ride. He chugged to the finish line just three car lengths ahead of the rapidly closing Alex Bright.

"I told some of the guys in the pits that I'm setting up to go bang the fence down," Grant remembered. "I'm not running the bottom, I don't care. We're either going to win on the fence or run 20th on the fence."


Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier: Jake Swanson

GSP Quality Driving Performance: Justin Grant

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Brady Bacon

Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: Steven Drevicki

Pit Stop USA & Rod End Supply Third Heat Winner: Justin Grant

Dirt Draft Hot Laps Fastest Driver: C.J. Leary

Feature Hard Charger: Alex Bright (13th to 2nd)

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) - 1. Justin Grant (1), 2. Alex Bright (13), 3. Logan Seavey (4), 4. Brady Bacon (7), 5. Matt Westfall (2), 6. Thomas Meseraull (9), 7. Timmy Buckwalter (11), 8. Briggs Danner (10), 9. C.J. Leary (5), 10. Steven Drevicki (8), 11. Jadon Rogers (16), 12. Robert Ballou (3), 13. Emerson Axsom (12), 14. Chase Stockon (15), 15. Shane Cottle (17), 16. Mark Smith (18), 17. Jake Swanson (6), 18. Brandon Mattox (19), 19. Joey Amantea (22), 20. Charles Davis Jr. (14), 21. Carmen Perigo (20), 22. Dallas Hewitt (21). NT


This is exactly what Logan Seavey pictured when he first became aware of Pennsylvania's Port Royal Speedway.

The Sutter, California, native had the intuition that the place was just his style, and that his first visit to the venue could be special.

Port Royal was the track Seavey was most looking forward to competing at on the entire schedule, and how he visualized it would unfold is exactly what occurred Saturday during the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship portion of Open Wheel Madness at the half-mile dirt oval.

Seavey took control for the entire second half of the feature to place a second checkmark into the week's USAC Eastern Storm win column, after previously adding a victory Wednesday at New Jersey's Bridgeport Motorsports Park. 

The success also ascended him to the top of the Eastern Storm standings and into a tie for the Bubby Jones Master of Going Faster Series point lead, alongside Brady Bacon, with four of the 10 races completed thus far.

"Hammering the guardrail at a big, fast half-mile is tough to beat," Seavey exclaimed following his second victory of the season, worth $6,000 in his Baldwin-Fox Racing/Fox Paving - AMSOIL/DRC/Claxton Chevy. "I knew this is a place I'd pick up quickly and I'd enjoy racing at."


Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier: C.J. Leary

GSP Quality Driving Performance: Brady Bacon

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Brady Bacon

Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: Logan Seavey

Pit Stop USA & Rod End Supply Third Heat Winner: Mark Smith

Dirt Draft Hot Laps Fastest Driver: Brady Bacon

Feature Hard Charger: Alex Bright (16th to 2nd)

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) - 1. Logan Seavey (5), 2. Alex Bright (16), 3. Justin Grant (10), 4. Brady Bacon (3), 5. Emerson Axsom (2), 6. Matt Westfall (12), 7. Robert Ballou (9), 8. Chase Stockon (7), 9. Steven Drevicki (18), 10. Briggs Danner (1), 11. Shane Cottle (8), 12. C.J. Leary (6), 13. Brian Ruhlman (20), 14. Brandon Mattox (13), 15. Joey Amantea (15), 16. Dallas Hewitt (14), 17. Jake Swanson (4), 18. Austin Graby (21), 19. Jadon Rogers (19), 20. Mark Smith (11), 21. Charles Davis Jr. (17). NT


Brady Bacon finished what he started in USAC Eastern Storm 2022.

The Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, native opened and closed the five-race mini-series in a much familiar manner, winning last Tuesday's opener at Grandview Speedway in wire-to-wire fashion. 

Bacon ended the busy weekend just the same during Sunday's Eastern Storm finale at Bloomsburg Fair Raceway, rolling to his second triumph of the week, where he led the entire non-stop, caution-free, 30-lap duration from start to finish in his Dynamics, Inc./Fatheadz Eyewear - Gressman Sanitation - DriveWFX.com/Triple X/Rider Chevy.

His superb performance in Bloomsburg's $6,000-to-win feature, however, was not enough to overtake Logan Seavey for the Eastern Storm title. 

Seavey's two victories, and four overall podium finishes in five appearances, secured him his first title in the series by a mere five points over Bacon. Seavey wrapped it up with a solid third-place performance at Bloomsburg.

"Luckily, we got to the front early," Bacon stated. "Stockon poked a nose there, and I stepped it up a little bit. Sometimes, you lose them when you should win them, and we'll take this one tonight. We did a lot of crazy stuff to the car to be tight enough and I think it paid off."


Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier: Jake Swanson

GSP Quality Driving Performance: Briggs Danner

Simpson Race Products/Pit Stop USA First Heat Winner: Briggs Danner

Competition Suspension, Inc./Rod End Supply Second Heat Winner: Timmy Buckwalter

Dirt Draft Hot Laps Fastest Driver: Chase Stockon

Feature Hard Charger: Thomas Meseraull (12th to 9th)

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) - 1. Brady Bacon (2), 2. Justin Grant (3), 3. Logan Seavey (4), 4. Chase Stockon (1), 5. Jake Swanson (6), 6. Briggs Danner (7), 7. Robert Ballou (9), 8. Emerson Axsom (10), 9. Thomas Meseraull (12), 10. C.J. Leary (5), 11. Alex Bright (11), 12. Matt Westfall (13), 13. Joey Amantea (15), 14. Jadon Rogers (16), 15. Steven Drevicki (14), 16. Timmy Buckwalter (8), 17. Brandon Mattox (17). 8:51.95 (New Track Record)