PORTAGE, Wis. (May 11, 2021) – In its 10 previous seasons the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series has provided a proving ground for up-and-coming Super Late Model racers. One of the latest additions to the EPYK Media Rookie line up may be the next to hit his stride with the series.
Mobile, Alabama teenager Grant Thompson will be behind the wheel of the Casey Johnson Racing #54 this season. The 15 year old will be mentored by and in competition with the defending and now four-time series Champion all year. With Thompson hoping to advance his careers in Super Late Model racing, Johnson offered TUNDRA as the perfect way to get started.
“Casey told me these guys are real competitive and it’s close racing from lap one to the end of the race,” Thompson said. “Up North it’s a little different than down South. To be able to come up here to Wisconsin is really cool.”
A mutual friend helped forge the relationship between Johnson and Thompson. After a quick conversation at the Snowball Derby – where Thompson dominated the Pro Truck race – a group chat came together to put plans into motion.
“I’m really good friends with John Alverson and he’s really good friends with Casey. We just kind of made a little group chat together and started talking about teaming up,” Thompson said. “Casey said if we wanted to come and race for him that we could. We worked it out and got a car together.”
It didn’t take Thompson long to hammer out the details and complete the deal.
“I’m excited about it. The competition level is very high,” he said. “To have the opportunity to be up here and do this is really cool. Casey is one of the best in this series. I feel grateful.”
The youngster comes with an already-impressive resume. In 2020 he won the Pro Truck Championships at both Five Flags Speedway and Crisp Motorsports Park. Along with the titles he finished Second in points at Five Flags in the Pro Late Models. In 2019 he was the winner of the Jr. Late Model camp at Madera Speedway in California.
With a clear progression path, Super Late Models were clearly on the horizon for 2020. Thompson took the opportunity to participate in a Saturday practice session at Wisconsin International Raceway to learn the ropes last Saturday, one week before making his debut in TUNDRA action.
“I love this track. Casey told me if you can be fast here then you can be fast anywhere,” Thompson said of the D-shaped half-mile. “We’re getting better and better every time we go out and I feel like we’ll have a good shot at it.”
With his debut still to come in Super Late Model action, Thompson has set some modest goals for the 2021 season. What’s most important to him is to learn the ropes from Johnson, who should prove to be a capable mentor. Thompson hopes to prove that his natural talent can shine through and the results will follow while making the jump in divisions.
“We just want to earn these guys trust and respect” Thompson said. “I already respect most of these guys out here. We want to have solid finishes, keep the nose and fenders on the car. We’re hoping to get Top Ten finishes every race if we can, if we’re fast. So far it looks like we’re going to be able to do that.”
Thompson makes his TUNDRA Super Late Model Series debut this Saturday, May 15 in Great Lakes Testing Round One at Wisconsin International Raceway. Qualifying is scheduled for 12:30 pm and racing is slated for 2 pm. TUNDRA will be joined by the Midwest Dash Series, WIR ¼-Mile Late Models, and Wisconsin Sport Trucks.
Wisconsin International Raceway is located past the intersection of Highways 55 and KK just outside of Kaukauna, Wis. For more information visit http://www.wirmotorsports.com