(Lakeside, CA, November 26, 2022) Lakeside, California-based Sexton Gatlin Racing had a rare tough night at the “6th Annual Western States Lightning Sprints Championship” at the Bakersfield Speedway. Hopes were high for SGR as Grant won a thrilling main event there on March 25th that was seen worldwide on the World of Outlaws Dirt Vision Network. This time, things didn’t pan out nearly as well.
SGR fielded two cars for the last race of the year at Bakersfield with Brent and Grant Sexton in their familiar #44 and #3 rides. On the warm November night, they were greeted by 21 other cars that showed up at the track, which is known as “The West’s Fastest 1/3 Mile High Banked Clay Oval.” Recent high school graduate Grant was the ninth fastest of the two SGR team cars when he stopped the clocks at 14.569. Brent ended up 22nd fastest with a lap of 15.149. Brent was up first for the team in heat race action. The 50-year-old Tennessee native started seventh in the eight-lapper and finished in the exact same spot on a track that was proving to be hard to pass on early on.
Grant, 18, came out for the second heat race at the show that was being streamed around the world on Flo Racing. At the teen’s last appearance at the track in March, he earned the accolades of the near-sellout crowd when he dared to challenge the big outside cushion that propelled him to only lead six feet in the race. However, they were the most important six feet as they came at the checkered flag. For his heat race this time around, the charismatic kid picked up right where he left off the last time he was at the track in the city known as “Nashville West.” This time he was starting on the outside of the front row. As soon as the green flag waved, the teen left the competition behind. By the end of the second circuit, he was a full straight ahead of his nearest competitor. He advanced that lead throughout the race and by the time the white flag came out, he was a ½ track ahead. But a not-so-funny thing happened in the middle of turns three and four on the last lap. The pretty white #3 that Sexton drives slowed drastically. He coasted across the line with room to spare for the victory but immediately pulled it to the inside of the racetrack. He had blown an engine and was done for the night.
With young Grant out of the competition, that meant the patriarch of the family, Brent, was going to have to fly the team flag in the main that was co-sanctioned by the California Lightning Sprint Car Series and Northern California’s Bay Cities Racing Association. And that is just what he did. Due to his uncharacteristic slow lap in qualifying, the veteran driver started the race near the back in the 19th spot. Once the race got going, he began to put on a show. The recently crowned POWRi Southwest Lightning Sprint Car Series champion and two-time California Lightning Sprint Car Series champ, raced by cars early on and by lap six, he was up to ninth. Two laps later he had advanced two more spots to seventh. That was as high up as he got in the standings. Near the end, he slipped back two spots and placed ninth.
When the race ended, the team packed up their equipment and hit the road driving 316 miles north for the “Hangtown 100” on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Once they get there, the first order of business will be to put a new engine in Grant’s #3.
Joining SGR for the three-night show in Placerville will be Brent’s oldest son Dalton and San Diego racing star, AJ Bender. Last year at the Hangtown 100, Bender also drove a car for SGR. To say the least, he was impressive as he finished second in the main event on all three nights. He looks forward to bettering that great showing by winning some main this year on the quarter-mile banked red clay Oval.
Sexton/Gatlin Racing would like to thank the following companies for making the 2022 season possible. Sexton Fire Protection, BK Wings, Johnny Motorhead, Troy Dirt, Victory Graphix, Swift Powdercoat, Maxima Oil, Automated Interior, and an extra special thanks to Scotty and Jimmy Keys. If you or your business wants to partner up with the most visible lightning sprint team on the West Coast for the 2023 season, please call (619) 454-6945. You can also E-mail mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or mailto:email@example.com.
Sexton Gatlin Racing 2022 Schedule
March 5 Imperial Valley Raceway POWRi Wingless – Dalton 1st – Brent 7th – Grant 15th
March 6 Imperial Valley Raceway POWRi Wingless – Brent 1st – Dalton 3rd – Grant 4th
March 25 Bakersfield Speedway CLS Winged – Grant 1st – Brent 8th – Dalton 17th
April 16 Ventura Raceway VRA Sprints – Grant 1st
April 23 Imperial Valley Raceway POWRi Wingless – Bezio 3rd – Brent 4th – Dalton 5th
April 30 Barona Speedway POWRi Winged – Grant 1st – Brent 4th – Dalton 5th
May 14 Barona Speedway POWRi Wingless – Dalton 1st – Bezio 2nd – Brent 3rd
May 28 Perris Auto Speedway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars – Grant DNS
June 11 Barona Speedway POWRi Winged – Grant 1st – Brent 2nd – Dalton 11th
June 25 Barona Speedway POWRi Winged – Dalton 1st – Brent 2nd – Grant 3rd
July 9 Barona Speedway POWRi Wingless – Brent 1st – Grant 2nd – Dalton 6th
August 6 Santa Maria Raceway CLS Winged – Brent 1st – Dalton 15th
August 6th Santa Maria Raceway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars – Grant 11th B Main
August 11 Norman County Speedway Minkota Nationals Winged – Dalton 8th – Brent 13th – Grant 25th
August 12 River Cities Raceway Minkota Nationals Winged – Brent 1st – Grant 9th – Dalton 11th
August 13 Greenbush Race Park Minkota Nationals Winged – Grant 6th – Brent 11th – Dalton 13th
August 14 Minkota Nationals Minkota Nationals Winged – Grant 1st – Dalton 15th – Brent DNS
Sept. 17 Perris Auto Speedway POWRi Winged – Chiaramonte 1st – Brent 4th – Dalton 18th
October 1 Barona Speedway POWRi Winged – Grant 1st – Dalton 4th – Brent DNS
October 8 Mojave Valley Raceway POWRi/CLS Winged – Brent 1st – A.J. Bender 2nd – Dalton 3rd
October 8 Mohave Valley Raceway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars – Grant DNS
October 21 Imperial Valley Raceway POWRi Winged – Dalton 3rd – Grant 4th – Brent Horn 8th
October 22 Imperial Valley Raceway POWRi Wingless – Brent 1st – Horn 8th – Dalton 14th
October 22 Imperial Valley Raceway Open Comp. Sprint Cars – Grant 3rd
Nov. 15 Bakersfield Speedway BCRA/CLS Winged Winged – Brent 9th – Grant DNS
Nov. 17 Placerville Speedway BCRA/CLS Wingless
Nov. 18 Placerville Speedway BCRA/CLS Wingless
Nov. 19 Placerville Speedway BCRA/CLS Wingless