(Lakeside, CA, December 2, 2022) Nine months after it opened the season at the Imperial Valley Raceway, Sexton Gatlin Racing brought the curtain down on its 2022 campaign when Grant Sexton competed in the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series portion of the 81st Turkey Night Grand Prix at the Ventura Raceway. The historic race was contested in front of a near-sellout crowd and watched by others around the world on the Flo Racing Network.

Dating back to 1934, the Turkey Night Grand Prix is the third oldest race in the United States, trailing only the Indianapolis 500 and the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. Some of the biggest names in USA racing have won Turkey Night including A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Tony Bettenhausen, Tony Stewart, and Kyle Larson. Just to say that a driver has competed in the Turkey Night Grand Prix is a feather in the racer’s cap and an honor. Sexton’s participation in the sprint car portion of this year’s race adds the SGR driver’s name to the long list of racers who have competed in the coveted event.

The Lakeside, California native’s first TNGP action came on Friday in a 10-lap heat. Starting on the outside of the front row, Sexton was third entering turn one on the first lap. He slipped back to fourth at the end of the opening circuit but racing on the track where he won the main event in his first-ever sprint car start, he raced back to third before the checkered flag. Not long thereafter, the 18-year-old came back onto the track known as “The Best Little Dirt Track In America” for his 12-lap qualifier. In that race, he started sixth. The 2021 POWRi Southwest Lightning Sprint Car champion advanced one spot forward to fifth on the second lap. He drove a smooth race the rest of the way and was still in fifth at the end.

The teenage racer gave a good account of himself all night by racing fast and smoothly against his more experienced sprint car competitors. More importantly, he stayed out of trouble on a night when it seemed like there was carnage every other lap.

Saturday saw the cars line up based on points accumulated on Friday. Sexton’s good performance saw him start on the inside of row three in one of the 12-lap B mains. All he had to do was finish in the top six to earn his ticket into the 30-lap Turkey Night Grand Prix main event. Early on, the teen was shuffled back as far as seventh but an aggressive move on lap two saw him move all the way back up to fourth. After a restart on lap three, he got sideways in turn four and got punted by another car. A quick recovery meant that he only lost one position back to fifth. He stayed in fifth until there were two laps to go and it looked like he was going to transfer into the main event. However, just in front of him in turn three, two cars tangled leaving the young driver with nowhere to go. Try as he might, he could not miss the mess, and he became involved in it. Unfortunately, the pretty #22 car suffered enough damage to prevent it from restarting. So, what looked like a sure transfer to the A main ended up with a frustrating 13th-place finish. It also brought an end to SGR’s 2022 season.

The Turkey Night Grand Prix closed the books on a highly successful season for Sexton Gatlin Racing. Patriarch Brent Sexton won the POWRi Southwest Lightning Sprint Car Series championship. In addition, in 29 races, the team racked up an astounding 19 main event victories. That kind of success does not come easy, and SGR is ready to begin the hard work for another successful year in 2023. If you or your company is interested in becoming a partner with this front-running team, please call (619) 454-6945 or E-mail or

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.

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 Brent 9th – Grant DNS

Nov. 17 Placerville Speedway BCRA/CLS Wingless AJ Bender 1st – Grant 2nd – Brent 12th – Dalton 15th

Nov. 18 Placerville Speedway BCRA/CLS Wingless AJ Bender 1st – Brent 5th – Grant 6th – Dalton 10th

Nov. 19 Placerville Speedway q CRA/CLS Wingless Grant 1st – AJ Bender 2nd – Dalton 12th – Brent 20th

Nov. 25 Ventura Raceway Turkey Night G.P. USAC West Coast Sprint Cars Grant 6th in Qualifier

Nov. 26 Ventura Raceway Turkey Night G.P. USAC West Coast Sprint Cars Grant 13th B Main

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

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