Alabama Teen Impresses in SLM Debut in Wisconsin

While Casey Johnson drove through the field to open his TUNDRA Super Late Model Series title defense with a win at Wisconsin International Raceway, perhaps the biggest story coming out of Kaukauna was Grant Thompson’s strong performance in his Super Late Model debut.


The 15-year-old started on the pole after the invert and quickly made his name known in the 60-lap event.  He led over half the race and battled with two of Wisconsin’s best in former TUNDRA and ARCA Midwest Tour champions Johnson and Dalton Zehr before finishing second.



Looking back on his performance following the checkered flag, he couldn’t have asked for a much better debut in a Super Late Model.


“It couldn’t have been better.  Casey is one hell of a driver and I was doing everything I could to hold Dalton (Zehr) off,” Thompson said on the Speed51.TV broadcast.  “I can’t thank Casey Johnson Racing and his whole crew enough.  It was a great race and a tricky track, rough really fast.  It was a different track for my debut but I can’t be more proud of this team.”


Thompson made his first laps in an Apex Motorsports Super Late Model the weekend before Saturday’s TUNDRA opener during an open test at WIR.  It took little time for him to get accustomed to the Super, and it showed Saturday during the main event.


“You have to drive it different.  We came here for practice last week and it didn’t take us long to get the hang of it.  We kept working on it and improving every time we went out.  It came to the finale and I think we were alright.”


He entered Saturday’s TUNDRA race with just one goal – to earn the respect of his competitors.  With a runner-up effort at WIR, Thompson is well on his way to doing just that.


“We always want a good finish and to earn these guys’ trust and respect.  I can’t believe it, what a race.”


His car owner was quick to point out Thompson’s run while he himself was celebrating his fourth-career TUNDRA win in his first start with Larson Motorsports.  Johnson left the track proud after a 1-2 effort between himself and his driver.


“How about that kid there in second?  Holy cow, Grant Thompson, 15 years old driving our other car,” said Johnson.  “That’s awesome.”


-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3

-Photo Credit: Speed51/Mojo Photos

Alabama Teen Impresses in SLM Debut in Wisconsin