Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

March 26, 2014

BOWMAN: Grant, Hery back together

Grant has his sights set on Kokomo's season title

After a season that saw them go different directions, Justin Grant and Mark Hery have reunited for the 2014 season.

In the first event of the season over a month ago at the Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla., Grant put the Claxton Race Engines/Hery Motorsports No. 40 on the podium, finishing second to two-time USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series champion Bryan Clauson in the season opener for the series.

Coming off a broken neck suffered in a passenger car late in the 2012 season, Grant began the 2013 campaign piloting Jeff Walker’s always potent No. 11W.

However, as many will attest, wheeling a machine for a team the caliber of Walker’s comes with lofty expectations. Those expectations as well as lingering doubt regarding his injury saw Grant begin the season with a pedestrian start.

Not long into the season Grant and Walker opted to go different directions. He piloted Bill Elson’s No. 27 as well as the Pollock No. 21 during the season and even jumped back into Walker’s car late in the season, capturing a feature win at Kokomo.

“The injury was in the back of my mind,” Grant said after returning to his Avon home following the opening weekend in Florida. “I was thinking too much and overdriving. I wasn’t letting the car do what it’s supposed to do and it showed.”

Some advice from veteran Tracy Hines, who overcame a serious off-track injury himself a few years ago, helped Grant turn things around.

“Tracy just told me to go out and drive,” he recalled. “He told me he could tell that I wasn’t driving like I usually do and that I was thinking too much. I figured since he had come back from his injuries, he was a good person to listen to. I think that once I had a wreck and realized I was going to be all right, that helped me quite a bit. I was in the Pollock car at Terre Haute and had a crash and had no pain and that turned things around.”

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