Garrett McCourt won the Demo Cross main event May 20 at Perris Auto Speedway. The Homeland driver passed Shawn Myers during the third lap of the 20-lap race and led for the rest of the competition.
“I’m pretty excited about it,” McCourt said. “That was an awesome race.”
McCourt finished second, behind David Holmes, in the six-lap heat race. McCourt began the main event on the outside of the second row and was third after one lap and took over second place during the second lap when Holmes struggled to maintain his forward momentum. “He just disappeared,” McCourt said. “I didn’t even have to pass him.”
During the third lap McCourt passed Shawn Myers on the far straightaway. The rest of the drivers McCourt passed created a lap differential.
“I’d go inside and get under. I passed a handful of people,” McCourt said.
The question of who was on the lead lap baffled the scoreboard operator, so McCourt wasn’t sure who was immediately behind him. “Every time I looked at the board there was a different number up there in second,” he said. “I didn’t even know who to watch out for. I knew to watch out for the trucks, because they’re heavier than I am.”
McCourt drives a 1970 Nova which was converted into a racecar in 2016.
McCourt felt that he excelled entering the front straightaway. “Turn four I had a pretty decent line going,” he said.
That was true until debris accumulated in that area about three-quarters of the way through the race. “I went for the smallest pile of stuff,” McCourt said.
McCourt also believes that the tear-off plastic strips on his helmet provided him with greater visibility on the half-mile dirt oval. “That’s the first time I’ve ever had tearoffs,” he said.
Dickie Vandermeulen finished second and Ryan Welfle was the third-place finisher. Vandermeulen and Welfle were on the far straightaway when McCourt took the checkered flag.
McCourt moved from Menifee to Homeland in December 2015. His childhood included attendance at Hamilton Middle School in Anza. McCourt was part of Welfle’s crew in 2015 before making his debut as a Perris Auto Speedway driver in 2016.
“I just go out there and press the skinny pedal and hope I make it to the checkered flag,” McCourt said.
McCourt had previously competed in off-road competition. The use of stock cars rather than specialized buggies has made Perris a more attractive racing option for McCourt.
“Racing’s expensive, and this is a nice way to do it cheap,” he said. “I’m smiles per dollar.”
McCourt has received his enjoyment at the less expensive Perris track. “I love it. It’s fun,” he said.