In today’s racing world, you need the full package in order to climb the ranks to one of NASCAR’s top three national touring series. Grant Thompson, a 13-year-old racer from Mobile, Alabama, is showing at a young age that he has the personality, maturity, and talent to put together the full package on his way to becoming a future racing star.
Thompson enjoyed a breakout year in the Pro Truck ranks during the 2019 season. The driver dubbed “The Mobile Missile” visited Mobile International Speedway twice on his way to a track title, while also earning a win and a third-place points result just down I-10 at Five Flags Speedway
It was a year that put Thompson’s name on the map in the southeast.
“It was a very good year at Mobile International Speedway, our crew did an amazing job working on the truck, making it fast. I believe we won two out of the eight races, so we had a pretty phenomenal year,” Thompson told Speed51.com. “The races weren’t right beside each other, they were spread out, so the points were really close. We had a really good year at Mobile.”
Thompson’s racing season ended with an impressive performance in the Pro Trucks at the Snowball Derby, qualifying third and crossing the finish line second in a caution-free affair. Ultimately, he was one of three drivers that were disqualified in post-race tech, though not for anything of the team’s doing.
Despite the final result, the performance left Thompson proud of what they had done.
“We went through practice, and we were at the top of the board all day. Then we went into qualifying and qualified third,” said the well-spoken 13-year-old. “The first couple laps of the race we were trying to see what we could do. We ended up running second to Cody Haskins in the first couple laps and we just ran with him the whole race. As we went, the tires started to die down so he started to pull away from me a little bit. We crossed the finish line second, so we were super proud of it, I was super proud of my team, my sponsors, everything that I had done.”
The Southeast wasn’t the only place that saw Thompson have success behind the wheel. He received an opportunity to head west to Madera Speedway (CA) for Junior Late Model Challenge Camp, making the most of it and winning it. The win in the camp earned him a start in a televised Junior Late Model race at the California track with Naake-Klauer Motorsports, finishing just outside the top five in his debut.
“We won the Junior Late Model Challenge Camp, we got a call to go out there out of twelve kids, we got picked out of 500 of them. To go up there and win that camp, it was just awesome. We went to the next race at Madera to do a club race, that was really fun. Then we went to the Junior Late Model race and ended up finishing sixth.”
Coming off a highly-successful 2019, Thompson is hoping 2020 will be even bigger. He has ambitious plans for the new year, which includes the possibility of making a big leap to compete with some of the best short track racers in the country.
“Hopefully we can get us a sponsor to pay for our ride for next year in the Madera series and down here at Five Flags to run the Southern Super Series or the Blizzard Series, that would be a phenomenal experience.”
Regardless of where he ends up in 2020, keep an eye on Grant Thompson as one of the rising stars in the sport of short track racing.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Grant Thompson Racing Facebook