Clayton Checks All The Boxes In Pro Truck Debut

MOBILE, Ala. – Jacob Clayton checked off every box on his to-do list at Mobile Int’l Speedway during his debut in a Pro Truck Saturday night at the half-mile paved oval.

Driving for Grant Thompson Racing under the guidance of team owner John Thompson, Clayton qualified and finished inside the top five in his first race in a fendered vehicle, advancing forward from quarter midgets to “big car” competition.

After timing in with the fourth-fastest lap, a 19.986-second tour of the Mobile half mile, Clayton ended up with the pole starting spot after an inversion dice roll flipped the top-four qualifiers in the lineup.

Utilizing the clear track in front of him, Clayton was able to lead the opening circuit of the 30-lap main event, before a slip in turn one on the second lap allowed the field to bunch up behind him as he slid out of the preferred bottom groove.

From there, Clayton hung tough on the outside until being able to settle into the sixth position in line, giving him the remainder of the race to collect his wits and advance back forward.

Clayton steadily picked off positions, making passes on laps 17 and 26, en route to a fourth-place finish behind winner Treyce Caper, Steven Davis, and Okie Mason.


It was a confidence-building performance for the 13-year-old from Smith Station, Ala., who had never competed in anything outside of quarter midgets in his three-year career prior to Saturday.

“All in all, this was an amazing start to my time in Pro Trucks,” the young Clayton said. “I don’t think I could have asked for anything more, to be honest. To have the chance to start on the pole and lead the first lap of our race was a huge deal, something that I’ll remember no matter what happens going forward.

“I wanted to qualify and finish inside the top five, which we were able to do, and starting on the pole was an unexpected bonus,” Clayton continued. “The biggest things that we wanted were to gain respect from our competitors, show that we had speed, and come home with a clean truck, all of which we were able to achieve. Now that I’ve got my first Pro Truck Race under my belt, I couldn’t be more excited about everything that’s yet to come for the rest of our season.”

Clayton would like to thank Grant Thompson Racing, Grant and John Thompson, Supreme Lending Headquarters, Midwest Suspension Co., Race Face Digital, the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, Modern Images, and Swift Springs Elite Performance Industries for their partnership and support.

The next planned race for Clayton and Grant Thompson Racing is April 13 at Mobile Int’l Speedway.

About Jacob Clayton

Jacob Clayton is a 13-year-old, second-generation driver from Smith Station, Ala., who began his racing career in 2021 in quarter midgets and has competed fulltime at the grassroots level over the past three years. His accolades include 15 overall victories, multiple top-10 finishes in national points with the NASCAR Youth Series (formerly the USAC .25 Series), and time in three senior quarter midget classes.

For 2024, Clayton has made the move into full-bodied cars, running a Pro Truck for Grant Thompson Racing at Mobile Int’l Speedway in his home state. The team also has its eyes on competing in races at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla., the home of the famed Snowball Derby super late model classic.

Off the track, Clayton is a staunch supporter of the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation’s fight against pediatric cancer, as well as a soccer lover and avid iRacer as he continues to hone his various skillsets.

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