Familiar name takes USAC Eastern Storm opener, $6,000 top prize at central Pa. track

Brady Bacon, left, leads challenger Briggs Danner en route to victory during Tuesday night's United States Auto Club Eastern Storm opener at Grandview Speedway in Berks County.

The United States Auto Club Eastern Storm began its 2022 swing through the region on Tuesday night.

Brady Bacon, from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, started off the swing for the wingless 410 sprint cars with a victory at Grandview Speedway in Berks County.

He earned $6,000 for the victory in the Jesse Hockett Classic at the central Pennsylvania facility.

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Bacon has now won five of the last six USAC races at Grandview.

He led all 40 laps in nearly wire-to-wire fashion, with the exception of a brief moment when upstart young driver Briggs Danner edged ahead just before the halfway point.

Bacon’s third series win of the year was also 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, which also vaulted him from fourth to second in the overall series standings as he pursues his fifth career title.

Danner, from Allentown, turned in his most impressive performance yet by scoring a career-best runner-up result. He came up just one spot short becoming the first Pennsylvania driver to win a USAC National Sprint Car feature since Frankie Kerr in 1999 at the Terre Haute (Indiana) Action Track.

Grandview’s 2014 Eastern Storm winner, Chase Stockon (Fort Branch, Indiana), came home in third place, equaling his best USAC National Sprint Car result of the season.

Justin Grant took fourth and Robert Ballou was fifth.

Rounding out the top top 10 were C.J. Leary, Thomas Meseraull, Jadon Rogers, Jake Swanson and Emerson Axsom.

Grant leads the season-long point standings at 607, followed by Bacon (588) and Ballou (584).

The Eastern Storm is at Bridgeport, New Jersey, on Wednesday, followed by races at Selinsgrove Speedway in Snyder County on Thursday, at Williams Grove Speedway in Cumberland County on Friday, at Port Royal Speedway in Juniata County on Saturday and at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds in Columbia County on Sunday.

Tire issues at Grove: After being notified by Hoosier Tire officials that the company cannot provide an adequate supply of tires for the Friday 410 sprint racing program at Williams Grove Speedway, the oval has decided to make an adjustment to its point structure for the event.

All Lawrence Chevrolet 410 sprint drivers that compete in the Friday racing program will receive 200 appearance points only.

The track released a statement that read: "Given the situation, the speedway recognizes the need to soften the blow being dealt to teams and drivers and not potentially further penalize any of our regular race teams."

The speedway remains hopeful that the tire shortage currently being experienced will be rectified before the Friday, June 24, racing program.

The Grove will host the USAC Eastern Storm Series sprint cars and the regular 410 sprint cars on Friday at 7:30 pm. 

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @ydsports. USAC provided