By: Richie Murray – USAC Media
Speedway, Indiana (January 20, 2022)………One year after setting an all-time record by starting all 93 USAC National feature events, Justin Grant is at it again with a busy 2022 in the plans to compete in all 99 scheduled events between Silver Crown, AMSOIL National Sprint Car and NOS Energy Drink National Midget competition.
The Ione, Calif. drive will gun for the coveted USAC Triple Crown in the new year as he takes on 51 USAC National Sprint Car events in the TOPP Motorsports No. 4, all 37 USAC National Midget showdowns in the RMS Racing No. 2J and the full 11-race slate in the Hemelgarn Racing No. 91 USAC Silver Crown car.
Grant returns to all three of the same teams for the 2022 campaign following a successful 2021 season in which he finished third in all three USAC National series. He also completed a season in which he scored a total of 12 USAC National feature victories, tied for most in the series alongside Tanner Thorson.
JG’s presence at the forefront of USAC competition was evidenced by the fact that he was one of just three drivers to win races in all three divisions in 2021, as did Logan Seavey and Tyler Courtney.
The perennial success is a long way from the humble beginnings Grant lived after venturing to the Midwest, then onto the National scene, more than a decade ago as he fought his way tooth-and-nail up the ranks to become one of the premier drivers of today.
The footprint he’s traveled is one he hasn’t forgotten.
“At one point, at best, I was hoping I might get to drive a sprint car at some point,” Grant recalled. “Then, I kind of found my way into some rides and thought, ‘man, it’d sure be cool to make a USAC race at some point.’ Then, we made a couple USAC races, and I started thinking, ‘man, it would be pretty cool to win a USAC race. Then, we were able to end up doing that. It kept progressing into new situations with different cars and different teams.”
Drivers are nomadic by nature and are prone to migrate to find the perfect combination. It’s part of the game for many. However, Grant has found a home with all three teams he competes for and brings a rare air of continuity that so many seek but have not found. Grant has that right now.
“I never imagined I’d be where I am now,” Grant admitted. “But I’m so fortunate to have not only the opportunities I have currently, but also the opportunities that got me to this point. I’ve had a lot of things work out timing wise that narrowly could have not happened, and I’m just really fortunate.”
In addition to the adulation and importance of winning three USAC national championships in a single season are the rewards that go along with it.
Any driver who can capture all three USAC National driving championships in 2022 – Silver Crown, AMSOIL National Sprint Car and NOS Energy Drink National Midget – will earn a staggering $300,000 with the inclusion of their base payout.
Any driver who can score two of the three titles in 2022, that’ll put $150,000 in their pocket at season’s end.
After collecting the 2020 USAC Silver Crown driving title, Grant is hungry for more as he looks to grab hold of a unique opportunity to join an elite crew of drivers that have won all three USAC national championships in one season: Tony Stewart (1995) and J.J. Yeley (2013).
Count on JG to be among those who have the best shot at accomplishing the feat in the coming year.
Grant’s season begins with the Winter Dirt Games XIII USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget openers on February 11-12 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. The following week, at the same venue, the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Cars are on prowl at Ocala for three nights on February 17-18-19. The USAC Silver Crown season opener takes place on May 1 at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track.