Justin Grant has characterized Lawrenceburg Speedway as a second home to him throughout his racing career.
He’s won numerous races at the 3/8-mile dirt oval, including the first feature victory of his USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship career in 2012, but none have been more lucrative than the $20,000 payday he pocketed on Oct. 7 during the 16th running of the Fall Nationals.
Just as he did that night more than a decade ago, the Ione, California, native capped the evening with a hat shake, saluting the fans while holding his helmet out of the top of the roll cage during his ceremonial victory lap.
On a night in which he became the 10th driver to achieve 400 career USAC National Sprint Car feature starts, Grant raced away to the most dominant score of the 2023 season, lapping all but the top-seven finishers in a 6.756-second shellacking behind the wheel of his TOPP Motorsports/NOS Energy Drink–Bow Foundation–TOPP Industries/Maxim/Kistler Chevy.
His win total on the 2023 USAC National Sprint Car season now stands at 11, the most since Tyler Courtney achieved the same amount during the 2018 season. Grant’s 45th career USAC National Sprint Car victory also moved him into a tie for sixth all-time alongside 1968, 1970 and 1975 series champion Larry Dickson.
It’s been quite a run for Grant over his past 17 USAC National Sprint Car feature starts, winning eight times in that time frame with the series, and the Fall Nationals triumph arrives on the heels of last weekend’s $20,039 Driven2SaveLives BC39 USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship victory at The Dirt Track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Grant’s victory came in the final race of Dave and Kim Rudisell’s 17-year tenure as the promoters of Lawrenceburg Speedway, who on Saturday night, served as the race organizers of their 40th USAC National Sprint Car event at the track, which ranks eighth all-time.
“Thanks to the Rudisells for all they’ve done here,” Grant stated. “This place has been like a second home to me over the years. It’s sad to see them go, but I’m grateful and thankful for everything they’ve done for Indiana non-wing racing. We hate to see them go, but we understand.”
Brownstown holds championships
Brownstown Speedway held its championship night on Oct. 7. It was the final points night for all divisions of racing.
Shelby Miles of Bloomington took the lead late in the Slicker Graphics Super Late Model feature and went on to get his first Super Late Model win of 2023. Miles also has a 2023 win in Pro Late Models.
Miles was followed by Tyler Collins, Jared Bailey, James Rice and David Webb. Bailey’s third place finish secured him the 2023 Slicker Graphics Super Late Model track championship. This is Bailey’s first ever Brownstown championship.
Derek Groomer of Bloomington led flag to flag in the P3 Graphix ILMS Pro Late Model feature. Groomer has four wins in three different divisions at the track for the year (two in Super Stocks, one in Modifieds and one in Pro Late Models). Groomer took the win over Tyler Cain, Tyler Neal, Marty O’Neal and Jug Wethington. Alan Magner of North Vernon, a two-time Super Stock track champion, got his first P3 Graphix ILMS Pro Late Model championship.
Brayden Watson of Bedford continued winning in Signals Driving School Modifieds. Watson recorded his fourth win in a row over Ben Harmon, Brent Lee, Steve Haefke and Zachary Stalker. Watson also scored his first ever track championship, becoming the 2023 Signals Driving School Modified track champion.
Tanner Chastain of Bedford made his move in heavy lapped traffic to take the lead over Zach Sasser with four laps to go and picked up his third win of the year in Pewter Hall Super Stocks. Zach Sasser, Tucker Chastain, Greg Amick and Trey Chastain completed the top five. Tanner Chastain also became a first-time track champion by winning the 2023 Pewter Hall Super Stock track championship.
In All in One Pools Pure Stocks, Brent McMillan of North Vernon fought off challenges from Mickey Hines and Hunter Perry to score his third win out of the last four races. McMillan has four wins on the year. Hunter Perry, Josh Turner, Mickey Hines and Keaton Streeval followed McMillan at the checkers. Josh Hayes of Seymour is the 2023 All in One Pools Pure Stock track champion, his first ever Brownstown championship.
The Haymaker Customs Hornet feature was one of the best features of the night. Michael Brewer, Jeremy Shemwell and Jeremy Ogle waged battle all race to a near photo finish, with Brewer coming out with the win. Shemwell, Ogle, Brian Pollitt and Brandon Crockett followed Brewer at the finish. Brewer has six wins on the year with five wins coming out of the past six races. The 2023 Haymaker Customs Hornet track champion is Shemwell, his first ever Brownstown Speedway track championship.
Super Late Model Feature Results: Shelby Miles, Tyler Collins, Jared Bailey, James Rice, David Webb, Daniel Adam, Quentin White, Jim Couch, Lee Williams, Brad Barrow, Casey White, Joey Cochran, Jordan Wever, Devin Gilpin, Mike Hildebrand.
Crate Late Model Feature Results: Derek Groomer, Tyler Cain, Tyler Neal, Marty O’Neal, Jug Wethington, Alan Magner, Zack Burton, Rohn Moon, Robert Rainey, Caleb Schryer, Keaton Streeval, Conner Mertens, Elliott Despain, Brian Wilhite, Dalton Fleenor, Houston Roark, Nolan Wells, Josh Reed, Patrick Shumaker, James Huff-DNS.
Modified Feature Results: Brayden Watson, Ben Harmon, Brent Lee, Steve Haefke, Zachary Stalker, David Winters Jr., Jeremy Helton, Blake Davis-DNS.
Super Stock Feature Results: Tanner Chastain, Zach Sasser, Tucker Chastain, Greg Amick, Trey Chastain, Rick Gumm, Branden Carr, Blake Hull, J.T. Huffman, Isaiah Sasser, Jack Roberts, Sam Wray, Bryson Clark, Chris Batchelor, Brian Sims, Sam Lee, Danny Hupp, Chip Stitsworth, Trent Adams, Mike King, Skyler Cohee, Jenna Boknecht, Robert White.
Pure Stock Feature Results: Brent McMillan, Hunter Perry, Josh Turner, Mickey Hines, Keaton Streeval, Josh Hayes, Tommy Fleenor, Buddy Stearns, Vern Albertson, Donnie Wilson, Ronnie Pardue, Cody Ellison, Tanner Short, Kevin Bloom, Randy Shipley, Preston Carr, Edgar Godsey, Patrick Weber-DNS
Hornet Feature Results: Michael Brewer, Jeremy Shemwell, Jeremy Ogle, Brian Pollitt, Brandon Crockett, Matt Miller, Davey Waggoner, Blake Durbin, Brett Barger, Landon Hayes, Scott Smith, John Smith, Ben Carnell, Marshall Claycamp, Matthew Christian, Trent Sutton, Chase Holton, Levi Hayes, Eli Crockett, Phillip Fields, Logan Garner-DNS, Tyler Blythe-DNS.
Chapple wins Paragon finale
Isaac Chapple of Fort Branch closed out the 2023 racing season at Paragon Speedway winning the sprint car feature race. Tye Mihocko was second, followed by Seth Parker, Brandon Spencer and Zack Pretorious.
Justin Litton of Paragon won the super stock feature over Reece Novak, Cale Kern, Douglas McCullough and Jeff Allen. Juan Asbury of Mitchell won the bomber feature over Katie Grigsby, Jason trader, Brad Davis and Kenrick Neal. Johnson Ginger of Olney, Illinois, won the MMSA mini-sprint feature over Mike Larrison, Elijah Knoke, Eric Webber and Cody Knieriem.
This week in racing history
From 70 years ago in 1953 at Columbus Speedway, Crowbar Taylor won the feature race.
Upcoming local racing schedule
Today: Columbus Go-Kart Racing, Tony Stewart Speedway, Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds — points race for go-karts and mod-lites, drivers meeting at 1 p.m.
Today: Brownstown Speedway – Fun Fest – crate late models, super late models, pure stocks, bombers, modifieds, super stocks, crown vics, hornets and powder puff races. For more information, visit brownstownspeedway.com
Today: Tri-State Speedway, Haubstadt – Harvest Cup – MSCS Sprints and MMSA Mini-Sprints. For more information, visit tristatespeedway.com
Today: Circle City Raceway, Indianapolis – sprints, modifieds, super stocks, and TQ midgets. For more information, visit circlecityraceway.com
Thursday: Eldora Speedway, Rossburg, Ohio – Eldora super stocks and modifieds.
Friday: Eldora Speedway, Rossburg, Ohio – Lucas Oil Late Models Dirt Series, steel block late models and modifieds.
Oct. 21: Eldora Speedway, Rossburg, Ohio — 43 rd Annual Dirt Track World Championship Race-$100,000 to win – Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series plus steel block late model feature. For more information on tickets and camping, go to eldoraspeedway.com
James Essex writes a motorsports notebook for The Republic. Send comments to [email protected]