Grayson Keaton celebrates first Bowman Gray win
Published 11:48 am Thursday, May 25, 2017
Grayson Keaton of Mocksville seems destined for a long and productive racing career.
No. 1, he grew up watching his dad, Jason, race at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem. Jason was an 11-time winner in the Stadium Stock Series before quitting as a driver following the 2015 season.
No. 2, Grayson is only 16 years old and he’s already just 10 wins from catching his father.
“I’ve retired to help Grayson race and learn the sport,” Jason said.
Grayson began his racing career last summer, competing in two Stadium Stock races. He finished fourth in his debut. In his second outing, he finished eighth. “I was trying to pass a guy for second. I wrecked and finished eighth,” Grayson said.
In the 2017 opener, Grayson finished fourth. Then came a 14th. “I got in a wreck in lap two,” he said.
The third race of 2017 was the charm. In the second Stadium Stock race on May 13, Grayson started in the third spot, grabbed the lead around lap three (out of 15) and took the checkered flag. Wesley Thompson of Mocksville came in fifth.
“I was thinking: ‘I really did this,’” Grayson said. “I was so pumped and couldn’t believe it. (Jason) has taught me everything I know.”
In the first Stadium Stock race on May 13, Chris Allison of Mocksville won in a photo finish with Stephen Sanders of Midway. In was a memorable night for the Keatons for another reason – Allison is driving Jason’s car this year.
Grayson is not the youngest driver to win in Bowman Gray’s long and storied history. But he’s one of the youngest, according to Loren Pinilis of Bowman Gray public relations.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have great records on drivers’ ages at the time of winning,” Pinilis said. “I can tell you that we’ve had younger winners. You can start racing at 14 now.”
Mocksville drivers swept the Stadium Stock races on May 20, with A.J. Sanders winning the first race (15 laps) and Thompson claiming the second 15-lapper. Keaton was fifth in the first race, and Allison was second in the second race.
In the Street Stock race (20 laps), Kevin Gilbert of Mocksville was fourth.