Justin Grant won the Hangtown 100 USAC National Midget race at Placerville, Calif. Speedway in a race that also included the last two NASCAR Cup champions, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott.
The $ 20,000 salary, the most lucrative of Grant’s time driving a midget, was the third win of the season and the eighth of his USAC Midget career – and it came after a top-down effort in the Thursday and Friday evening preliminaries.
Grant, who finished third on the first night of the three-day show and 11th on Night 2, had to overcome a seventh place start and a challenge from Buddy Kofoid to take the ladies. Both riders had to come farther into the field than they would like after Kofoid clinched the sixth starting position.
– USAC races (@USACNation) 22 November 2021
With Grant’s victory, he tied Kofoid for 80th on the USAC Midget’s all-time winning list, along with Tony Bettenhausen, Merle Bettenhausen, Brady Bacon, Kenny Irwin, Jr. and others.
“The track was really based on the momentum there,” Grant said in the release of a series. “You had a long race, and it was getting harder and harder to capitalize on as a guy could pick up his pace. Buddy was killing us early on departures, but this car really came late. I kind of figured out in (turns) 1 and 2 that I could get in a little outside of his right rear and not lose steam and have a better upward angle compared to 2 and then stay in moisture along the back stretch.
MORE: Joey Logano third in Modified debut; Chase Elliott 16th at USAC
Grant took the lead with 14 laps to go after passing Kofoid, who led a record 66 laps. Logan Seavey completes the podium.
Further in the peloton, it was a disappointing night for NASCAR stars Larson and Elliott.
Suffering from a bad draw, Larson started deep on the pitch after his son Owen Larson shot the 12 pill. While cruising through traffic, Larson’s first incident occurred on lap 12 when he was resulted in an accident triggered by Brenham Crouch and Tanner Carrick. After retreating into the working area, Larson restarted at the back of the field and charged forward when disaster struck again.
Larson was up to sixth place on lap 67 with a winning shot before jumping the pad and rolling over the bank. Remarkably, after another trip to the work area, he was able to join the fray and finished 18th in the 28-car field.
Larson won the 30-lap Main on the second night of the Hangtown 100 weekend and was sixth on the first night.
The event was less exciting for Elliott, but he did manage to gain a little more midget experience. Placed in the peloton via a promoter option, he started 28th and finished 20th.