After five long months sitting on the sidelines, “Shugah” Shane Sexton returned to action in the USAC/CRA Glenn Howard Classic at Perris Auto Speedway. The young driver started 19th in the 30-lap main and brought the immaculate #74 GAS Chassis sprint car home in 12th.
A multitude of reasons had seen the Warner Springs, California driver on the sidelines and away from the USAC/CRA Series since April. First off was the violent crash on April 15th at Perris when he set the 2023 track aeronautics record for a sprint car. The crash left him with a broken back. In addition, even though his car held up well in the accident, his father, Stan Sexton, decided to build him a new chassis. The driver was healed up and the new car was ready to go for the August 22nd race at Perris. However, that race was canceled due to the remnants of Hurricane Hillary. Thus the Glenn Howard Classic was his first race back in a 410 sprint car. While he did not race his 410 for 5 months, he did get two rides in Mike Schweitzer’s Lightning Sprint Car.
Upon his return to 410 racing, the qualifying session was tight for the fastest 20 cars. Sexton recorded the 20th fastest lap of 17.791. That meant he was only .960 slower than the fastest driver who stopped the clocks at 16.831. After qualifying, he started and finished seventh in the second 10-lap heat race of the night. That set him into the 19th starting spot in the main. From the drop of the green flag, he looked smooth and fast. When the James Cox checkered flag brought an end to the proceedings, “Shugah” Shane had passed seven cars and finished 12th.
“It took just about through the heat races to get really comfortable with myself,” Sexton said of his first 410 race back in the saddle. “In the main event, we just rode around the first 10 laps as normal and let everybody sort themselves out. After that, we decided to pass some cars. I think we moved up seven spots or something like that.”
Being the first time in the brand new GAS Chassis (the GAS Chassis Company is owned by his dad, Stan Sexton, and his grandmother Nita Gatlin), the young driver figured they would have to make a lot of changes once they got on the track. As things turned out, the car performed flawlessly and the crew did not have to do much to it.
“It handled super good right off the blocks,” Sexton enthused. “It was fast and a lot better than I expected. I thought we were going to have a little bit more kinks to work out of the chassis but it did everything as it should. All we had to do was the minor, normal stuff. Tire pressure and spacing the rears.”
“I feel this one is a little bit better because my dad had some more notes on the chassis and we could fine-tune some things,” Sexton answered when asked to compare this car to his first GAS car. “Now that he has built a couple, we were able to change some things to my liking. Everybody likes different stuff. Once we were able to figure that out, it handled better than I imagined. I am excited to finish the season out in it.”
After his performance at the Glenn Howard Classic, Sexton is looking forward to the remainder of the season. It includes four more USAC/CRA races, a two-night open comp show at Imperial Valley, and two lightning sprint car races back in Schweitzer’s #41B. Up next is Mohave Valley on October 14th. You can see his schedule for the remainder of the season at the end of this release.
“I went to Mohave Valley two times last year and got the “Hard Charger” both times,” The friendly driver related. “I love that place. I think it is the atmosphere. The pits are nice and everybody around there is super nice. It makes for good racing around there.”
GAS Chassis PR