||USCS "CHAMPIONS DAY" HONORS GRAY, BRIDGES, TURPEN, RIGGINS AND ROLLER
Atlanta, GA - Over $60,000 in cash and contingencies were awarded as the United Sprint Car Series (www.uscsracing.com ) presented by Goodyear honored drivers from six states during its 2010 and fourteenth anniversary USCS “Champions Awards” Banquet held in the banquet hall at the Andretti Indoor Karting and Games entertainment complex in the Atlanta suburb of Roswell, Georgia on Saturday afternoon. A gathering of sixty people honored the series top winged sprint car drivers including Terry Gray from Bartlett, Tennessee who captured his ninth USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour National Championship and USCS Asphalt Thunder mini-tour Champion, Johnny Bridges from Cherryville, North Carolina with his first series title since 2004. Along with Gray and Bridges, the top ten drivers in the final standings from the USCS National, Asphalt Thunder Tour, Mid South Thunder Tour and Southern Thunder Tour were recognized. Those drivers included the 2010 USCS presented by Goodyear, National Rookie of the Year, female hot-shoe, Morgan Turpen from, Cordova, Tennessee who finished a successful season in the runner-up spot in the National standings. The eighteen year-old Turpen also collected a second place finish in the USCS Southern Thunder division, and finished in third position in both the USCS Mid-South Thunder regional series and USCS Asphalt Thunder Mini-Tour pave track standings.
Also honored was fifteen year-old Eric Riggins, Jr. from Charlotte, North Carolina as the USCS Southern Thunder regional series Rookie of the Year. Riggins finished sixth in the USCS Southern Thunder regional series, but also collected enough National points to finish even higher in the USCS National Championship standings in third place. The USCS Mid South Thunder Tour regional series Rookie of the Year, Jerod Roller from Olive Branch, Mississippi was also recognized for his accomplishments. Roller finished fourth in the tough USCS Mid South Thunder regional point standings and ninth in the USCS National standings.
In addition to his ninth United Sprint Car Series National Championship in ten seasons, Terry Gray drove his Rislone Oil Stabilizer/Engine Treatment /Wendy’s Of Lexington/CnB Mushroom Farms sponsored black #10 /Wesmar Racing Engines powered J&J Auto Racing car to eight USCS feature wins and the Championships in three out of the four USCS divisions during the 2010 season. The other two Championships he collected along the way were in the USCS Mid South Thunder Tour and USCS Southern Thunder Tour regional series.
Gray said," We just had another good year in the USCS this season because of the help I got from my sponsors and from the hard work in assisting my efforts by my team-mate Morgan Turpen. It was not my best season ever stated the veteran, but it wasn’t my worst either. I am just thankful we again were able to finish almost every race and captured the title in three divisions.”
The nine-time series Champion competed in all thirty-five of the USCS events. Gray also garnered the series 2010 Ironman Award for again, completing the most laps of any driver during the season. Gray finished the season ranked eighth in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame North American 360 winged sprint car driver of the year poll. The poll ranks drivers from the over 3000 competitors in winged 360 sprint cars.
Eighteen year-old, female sprint car star, Morgan Turpen from Cordova, Tennessee finished in the runner-up spot in the national point standings. Fifteen year-old USCS Southern Thunder Tour “Rookie of the Year, Eric Riggins from Charlotte, North Carolina had some outstanding runs, especially near the end of his rookie year, to finish in third place in the National standings. Riggins was followed by past series Champion, Marshall Skinner from West Memphis, Arkansas in fourth place and veteran open wheel racer Ray Bugg from Iuka, Mississippi rounded out the top five drivers in the standings.
Three time 2010 feature winner, Matt Linder from Hoschton, Georgia finished in the sixth position in the National standings followed by 2009 USCS Southern Thunder Rookie of the Year, Brandon Rekow from Mooresville, North Carolina in seventh place. Joe Larkin from Suwannee, Georgia gathered enough points to finish eighth in the National standings. USCS Mid-South Thunder Rookie of the Year” and open wheel modified turned sprint car driver Jerod Roller from Olive Branch, Mississippi finished in the ninth position Nationally. The 2010 Asphalt Thunder mini-tour Champion and three-time 2010 USCS feature winner Johnny Bridges from Cherryville, North Carolina rounded out the top ten drivers in the National point standings.
Bridges captured the Championship in the four-race paved track USCS Asphalt Thunder portion of the series thirty-five race 2010 schedule .Gray finished just six points behind Bridges in the paved track title chase that went down to the wire. Bridges won two of five feature race events and Gray won two features.
Sensational USCS Rookie of the Year, Morgan Turpen followed the two veterans in third place in the standings just fourteen points out of the lead. She had two runner-up finishes in her first season of competition on the paved tracks. Veteran racer Jim Blenkarn from Murfreesboro, Tennessee followed that trio into fourth place in the standings and Brandon Rekow from Mooresville, North Carolina rounded out the top five drivers in the four race mini-series standings. Joe Larkin from Suwannee, Georgia led the next group in sixth place with Adam Jackson from Timmonsville, South Carolina in seventh in the paved track standings. These drivers were followed by Jake McLain from Indian Trail, North Carolina in eighth place, Nick Bashford from China Grove, North Carolina finished in ninth and Derek Hagar from Marion, Arkansas rounded out the top ten drivers.
In the USCS presented by Goodyear Mid South Thunder Tour regional series Terry Gray bested 2010 Speedweek Champion, Marshall Skinner from West Memphis, Arkansas for the Championship. Top rookie driver Morgan Turpen, finished in the third position. The 2010 USCS Mid South Thunder Rookie of the Year driver, Jerod Roller from Olive Branch, Mississippi finished in the fourth position and young gun Lee Sowell from Nesbit, Mississippi finished in fifth place in the regional series point standings.
Tim Crawley who won eight times in USCS Mid South Thunder Tour presented by Goodyear competition in 2010, but did not run the full Mid-South schedule. He led the next group in sixth place. Ageless and timeless veteran, Ray Bugg finished in the seventh position. The 2009 USCS Rookie of the Year, sprint car racer, Justin Carver from Drummonds, Tennessee totaled enough points to finish eighth. Veteran driver, Ronny Howard from Nesbit, Mississippi finished in the ninth position and 2005 USCS Rookie of the Year Derek Hagar from Marion, Arkansas rounded out the top ten drivers in the standings.
Jerod Roller from Olive Branch, Mississippi was honored as the USCS Mid South Thunder Rookie of the Year after a top four finish in the regional series points standings. USCS Mid South Thunder “Crew Chief of the Year” honors went to Velma Bugg from Iuka, Mississippi for her work on the #25 car driven by Ray Bugg.
Gray again dominated the point standings and the wins column in the USCS presented by Goodyear Southern Thunder Tour regional series. Gray garnered eight victories and never finished worse than fourth place in the eighteen events contested while competing on paved and dirt surfaces. Gray beat out rookie team-mate Morgan Turpen for the title by 122 points. The 2009 USCS Southern Thunder Rookie of the Year, Brandon Rekow finished in the third position. Joe Larkin from Suwannee, Georgia used a perfect attendance record and persistence to finish in fourth place in the standings. Matt Linder, who did not compete in the paved track events in 2010, tallied enough points via top runs including, three feature wins to finish fifth in the regional standings.
The USCS Southern Thunder Tour 2010 Rookie of the Year, Eric Riggins from Charlotte, North Carolina had four runner-up finishes in the last seven USCS Southern Thunder Tour dirt track events. Riggins completed a year that earned him enough points to finish sixth in the regional series standings while not competing in the pavement events. Johnny Bridges from Cherryville, North Carolina who collected three 2010 feature ins and the paved track Asphalt Thunder four race mini-tour title in 2010 finished in the seventh position in the Southern Thunder presented by Goodyear regional series standings. The 2008 USCS Southern Thunder Rookie of the Year, sprint car racer, Jake McLain from Indian Trail, North Carolina totaled enough points to finish eighth in this season’s standings. Racing brothers David and Darren Clark from Huntersville, North Carolina finished in the ninth and tenth positions respectively in the final 2010 USCS Southern Thunder rankings.
Eric Riggins was honored as the USCS Southern Thunder Rookie of the Year. USCS Southern Thunder “Crew Chief of the Year” honors went to Sprint Car Hall of Famer and former sprint car Champion, from Lawrenceville, Georgia for his work on the #1x car driven by his son, Matt Linder.
The series confirmed the continuation of the multi-year marketing partnership with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. That partnership includes the use of specification tires supplied by Goodyear Racing Tire at USCS dirt track events during the 2011 season. Goodyear sprint car racing tires are required on both rear wheel positions at USCS sprint car events.
The series released a forty-five plus schedule of National events all scheduled on dirt tracks. Additionally the twenty-eight night 2011 United Sprint Car Series Mid South Thunder Tour presented by Goodyear and a twenty-five race USCS Southern Thunder Tour presented by Goodyear schedule of events was distributed.
Highlights on the schedule included the six race 5th annual USCS Sprint Speedweek 2011. A four-race Independence Day weekend schedule of events starting on Thursday, June 30th at a track to be announced through Sunday, July 3rd at Camden Speedway. Additional special events include the Carolina Thunder Nationals at Carolina Speedway on September 30th and October 1st. Additionally, the series announced the USCS season finale, the 3rd annual $50,000 USCS Fall Nationals featuring the $10,000 Flip Flop 50 is scheduled for November 4th through 5th at Riverside International Speedway.
Next weekend on Friday and Saturday, February 4th and 5th the United Sprint Car Series will participate in the Southern Connection Motorsports Expo in Tupelo, Mississippi. Several United Speed Contest Sanction/USCS drivers from three USCS divisions will have their cars on display. Those drivers include: veteran sprint car driver Ray Bugg from Iuka, Mississippi, USCS Modified Touring Series Champion, Murray Vaughn from Hernando, Mississippi and Bobby “Z” Zaiontz from Columbus, Mississippi will display his winged 600cc Mini/Micro Sprint that he intends to campaign in the new USCS 600 Sprint Car Series. For further information USCS series, rules and schedules please visit www.uscsracing.com or call the USCS office at 770-460-7223.