Macon SpeedwayPress ReleaseUSAC

Moles Repeats at Macon for First USAC Sprint Win of ‘24

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Macon, Illinois (June 28, 2024)………Mitchel Moles’ first USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship feature victory in 37 races came at the same exact place he captured his most recent series win nearly a full season ago.

One year after becoming the first ever USAC National Sprint Car winner at Illinois’ Macon Speedway, the Raisin City, California native became the first ever repeat series winner at the 1/5-mile dirt oval during Friday night’s Top Gun Weekend opener.

In his first start since racing to a USAC Eastern Storm championship earlier this month, Moles continued his roll into Macon, leading all 40 laps from his outside front row starting position aboard the Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports/AME Electrical – Mesilla Valley Transportation/Spike/Stanton Chevy.

After notching a single top-five result in his first 17 series starts of 2024, Moles has now responded with six consecutive top-five performances, which includes his fourth career triumph on Friday night at Macon.

“It’s just more momentum than anything,” Moles explained. “It’s no secret in this deal that when you get beat down, it’s hard to overcome that. But when you have good people around you, you keep telling yourself that you’ll get it, and you’ll figure it out.”

Whereas Moles’ winning performance at Macon in 2023 came in dramatic fashion via a pass for the lead with two laps remaining and a photo finish victory by a mere 0.093 seconds, there were no such theatrics this time around. Moles sprinted away and was never seriously threatened from the get-go.

Despite Moles’ dominance, there were a share of movers and shakers in the field making hay when the opportunities presented themselves. Fourth starting Brady Bacon advanced to third, driving under Carson Garrett in turn three for the spot on the lap six restart following a spin and stop on the front straightaway by 17th running Joey Amantea.

The second of two cautions occurred when 20th running Hayden Harvey tagged the back straightaway wall with a wallop on the eighth lap, prematurely ending his first career USAC start.

On the ensuing restart, Bacon stepped up to second place as he scootered under Leary for the runner-up spot to slot in behind race leader Moles. Now, the only two drivers to win a USAC National Sprint Car race at Macon Speedway were running one-two at the front of the field.

Nonetheless, Moles still maintained a six car length edge, which translated to a 1.6 second interval by the halfway mark on lap 20. By lap 24, Justin Grant surged to third after Garrett’s car became tight between turns one and two. Grant slipped under Garrett, then instigated his pursuit of Bacon for second.

On lap 29, Grant took over the runner-up spot when Bacon ramped over the right rear tire of the lapped car of Brandon Mattox in turn one, opening the door for Grant to shuffle onward via the low side. All the jockeying from second on back certainly helped appease any sort of pressure on Moles who extended his lead to a full straightaway more than 3.5 seconds ahead using the high line.

“It was cowboy up there,” Moles exclaimed. “I don’t know how far of a lead I had there, but I feel like I was getting through traffic pretty good. (The crew) made some swings there at the end and (crewman) Dylan (Cook) gave me a little pep talk before we went out, which sealed the deal for me.”

However, at the head of the field, Moles was head of the class as he sheared his way through every piece of traffic to put his stamp on a long-awaited USAC victory by a 2.253 second margin with Justin Grant, Brady Bacon, Carson Garrett and Honest Abe Roofing Fast Qualifier Daison Pursley rounding out the top-five.

Interestingly enough, Macon served as Moles’ most recent USAC victory 37 races ago. It was a 34-race winless streak that Moles ended one year ago at Macon. Furthermore, with his Macon victory, he became the first driver ever to win his first start after scoring the USAC Eastern Storm title, which dates back to 2007.

Following a tumultuous first two appearances with the USAC Sprint Cars at Macon in 2023, Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) returned by advancing six positions to a fine second place performance in his TOPP Motorsports/NOS Energy Drink – Bow Foundation – TOPP Industries/Maxim/Kistler Chevy. For Grant, it was his sixth consecutive series finish inside the top-eight.

In his first Macon start since winning one year ago, Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) posted a third-place result in his Dynamics, Inc./Next Level Metal – Davis Bros. Trucking – Hutson John Deere/Triple X/Rider Chevy. In his past 12 series starts this year, Bacon has now finished on the podium on nine occasions.

Kyle Cummins (Princeton, Ind.) was forced to go to a backup car after a crash in his heat race broke the frame of his chassis. With the backup, which had formerly been his primary machine, by rule, Cummins was forced to start at the tail of the field in the 22nd position. From there, he picked off seven to finish 15th, thus earning hard charger honors for the evening.

Over the past week, Jake Swanson (Anaheim, Calif.) was busy putting the Daming-Swanson Motorsports team together after he and the 2B Racing team parted ways. Joe Daming, who passed away this past February at the age of 47, had owned Swanson’s local Indiana sprint car, winning 17 times together between 2021-23. On Friday at Macon, Swanson delivered a solid performance with the No. 5T, winning his heat race and finishing ninth in the feature. That earned him the Inferno Armor Fire Move of the Night.

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 28, 2024 – Macon Speedway – Macon, Illinois – 1/5-Mile Dirt Oval – Top Gun Weekend

HONEST ABE ROOFING QUALIFYING: 1. Daison Pursley, 21AZ, Team AZ-10.335; 2. Logan Seavey, 57, Abacus-10.388; 3. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-10.389; 4. Carson Garrett, 15, BGE Dougherty-10.431; 5. Mitchel Moles, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-10.482; 6. Nic Harris, N2, Harris-10.483; 7. C.J. Leary, 15x, BGE Dougherty-10.497; 8. Wesley Smith, 2B, 2B Racing-10.580; 9. Anton Hernandez, 5, Baldwin/Fox-10.600; 10. Jake Swanson, 5T, Daming/Swanson-10.640; 11. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-10.686; 12. Kevin Thomas Jr., 3R, Rock Steady-10.758; 13. Shane Cottle, 2E, Epperson-10.812; 14. Mario Clouser, 6, Clouser-10.842; 15. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-10.870; 16. Kyle Cummins, 3p, Petty-10.884; 17. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-10.936; 18. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-10.954; 19. Harley Burns, 16, Burns-10.970; 20. Hunter Maddox, 24m, Maddox-11.004; 21. Jadon Rogers, 17GP, Dutcher-11.072; 22. Joey Amantea, 88J, JPA-11.398; 23. Hayden Harvey, 8, Smith/Robertson-11.425; 24. Colten Cottle, 8D, KCBJ-11.470.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Jake Swanson, 2. Shane Cottle, 3. Daison Pursley, 4. C.J. Leary, 5. Joey Amantea, 6. Carson Garrett, 7. Harley Burns, 8. Kyle Cummins. NT

ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Justin Grant, 2. Logan Seavey, 3. Mario Clouser, 4. Mitchel Moles, 5. Matt Westfall, 6. Wesley Smith, 7. Hayden Harvey, 8. Hunter Maddox.

T.J. FORGED / CAR IQ THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Robert Ballou, 2. Brandon Mattox, 3. Brady Bacon, 4. Jadon Rogers, 5. Colten Cottle, 6. Kevin Thomas Jr., 7. Nic Harris, 8. Anton Hernandez. NT

FEATURE: (40 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Mitchel Moles (2), 2. Justin Grant (8), 3. Brady Bacon (4), 4. Carson Garrett (3), 5. Daison Pursley (6), 6. Robert Ballou (9), 7. Logan Seavey (5), 8. C.J. Leary (1), 9. Jake Swanson (7), 10. Wesley Smith (10), 11. Kevin Thomas Jr. (11), 12. Mario Clouser (15), 13. Nic Harris (13), 14. Jadon Rogers (16), 15. Kyle Cummins (22), 16. Matt Westfall (17), 17. Joey Amantea (18), 18. Hunter Maddox (14), 19. Shane Cottle (12), 20. Brandon Mattox (19), 21. Harley Burns (20), 22. Colten Cottle (21), 23. Hayden Harvey (23). NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-40 Mitchel Moles.

**Anton Hernandez flipped during the third heat.

USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-1470, 2-C.J. Leary-1439, 3-Brady Bacon-1435, 4-Daison Pursley-1399, 5-Kevin Thomas Jr.-1398, 6-Mitchel Moles-1302, 7-Justin Grant-1296, 8-Robert Ballou-1265, 9-Kyle Cummins-1207, 10-Jake Swanson-1119.

USAC NATIONAL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Daison Pursley-110, 2-Robert Ballou-106, 3-Logan Seavey-97, 4-Justin Grant-88, 5-Joey Amantea-87, 6-C.J. Leary-85, 7-Kyle Cummins-75, 8-Brady Bacon-61, 9-Matt Westfall-54, 10-Carson Garrett-52.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: June 29, 2024 – Macon Speedway – Macon, Illinois – 1/5-Mile Dirt Oval – Top Gun Weekend