INDIANAPOLIS – Justin Grant and the RAMS Racing team were all set to head west for a host of season-ending races on the West Coast.
That changed when the 80th annual Turkey Night Grand Prix at California’s Ventura Raceway was canceled. Losing such a marquee event tempered the enthusiasm of the RAMS group and left Grant looking at a second option.
It didn’t take long for Grant to find a seat. He has hooked up with Petry Motorsports and will compete in six NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series events in Arizona and California.
“It kind of just came together with losing Turkey Night and some of the other races,” said Grant, the recently-crowned USAC Silver Crown champion. “The big draw for the RAMS guys was Turkey Night and with losing that, they were impartial about going.
“That opened the door, and Scott and I talked a little bit about running their car when I wasn’t running the RAMS stuff. He asked me about going out west, and it just all worked out for everybody.”
It also didn’t hurt that Grant and Scott Petry, who is also fielding cars for Kevin Thomas Jr., Jerry Coons Jr., Emerson Axsom, Chase Randall and Tanner Carrick, paired up for two races during the central Pennsylvania swing earlier this year.
Grant was successful with Petry. He finished fourth at Action Track USA and backed it up with a seventh-place run at Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway.
“I’ve had a lot of fun racing with those guys when I’ve had a chance this year, and they bring great racecars to the track,” Grant said. “Terry does a great job, and we worked well together and worked together a lot.
“I’m looking forward to going out there. They won in Arizona last year, and they were fast all western swing. So, I’m looking forward to doing it with them.”
The six-race stint kicks off at Arizona Speedway Nov. 13-14 before shifting to the Golden State and Bakersfield Speedway Nov. 17. The final three dates will be at Placerville Speedway for the prestigious Hangtown 100, Nov. 19-21.
For Grant, a one-time winner with the USAC midgets already this year, it’s not only a chance to race more in what has been a weird and difficult season, but also to do it with a competitive team that can win.
“I feel my expectations are always high,” Grant said. “I don’t like going to the racetrack if I feel like I’m not going to win. We show up to compete, and that’s what we are there for, so expectations are always high. They are especially high because we’ve been together before, had some speed in the past, and they’ve had some speed there last year. We want to go out there and win a few races.”
“It should be a fun trip, and it gives me the opportunity to go west without having the workload I would taking the RAMS stuff out there,” Grant added. “It worked out for the RAMS guys, for me, and Petry, so everything came together in a tidy way.”