OAKWOOD — The first-ever Kickapoo Klash at the Vermilion County Speedway on Sunday was at times a war of attrition.
For Justin Grant, the only option in a non-wing sprint car feature race with six cars leaving by accidents was to keep cool. Grant took the lead early from Nick Bilbee before the first big accident of the race saw Brandon Mattox and Mitch Wissmiller knocked out.
Grant would continue to hold off Billbee and Jon Stanbrough through most of the race, but had to deal with two more red flags and a caution yellow before finally winning the race.
“We had some great drivers and it was a tough race and in those situations, you can’t get wrapped up in everything,” the veteran from Ione, Calif. said. “I have faced and beaten Stanbrough before but he is a great racer.”
For Grant, it is his first win at VCS since 2010 and was his second win of the weekend after winning the Dick Gaines Memorial in Lawrenceburg, Ind.
Stanbrough, who has also won races at VCS in the past, ended up second while Billbee was third, Blake Fitzpatrick was fourth and Chris Gurley took fifth.
Sunday was also the last day of the USAC’s Ignite Midget Week which saw Ohio City, Ohio’s Cooper Clouse win the final night of the three-race series with a close win over John Heydenreich.
“I learned a lesson from him during the heat race,” Clouse said. “He taught me when you go ahead and find your line on the rack, you go ahead and get aggressive and that is what I did.”
Clouse, who is tops in the Midwest Pavement class in the USAC, said that this win came at the right time.
“We have had some bad luck as of late, so this was a good way to get back into things,” Clouse said.