CORDELE, GA – Pavement open wheel ace Brian Gingras from Lakeland, Florida raced to a career-first United Sprint Car Series win at Watermelon Capital Speedway on Saturday night. Gingras bested ten-time USCS National Champion, Terry Gray from Bartlett, Tennessee by five car lengths for his win. Gingras took the lead from Gray just after a lap three caution period. He then held off Gray and seven time 2013 USCS feature winner, Derek Hagar from Marion, Arkansas over the final five laps after a lap thirty caution. The only female racer in the field, Morgan Turpen from Cordova, Tennessee chased the trio across the finish line in fourth place and Anthony Nicholson from Bartlett, Tennessee rounded out the top five.
Ageless and timeless veteran sprint car driver Ray Bugg from Iuka, Mississippi who was competing in his first pavement race since 1967 charged home in sixth place. Fourteen year-old rookie driver Garrett Green from Valrico, Florida earlier in the evening set fast time around the D-Shaped 4/10 mile paved oval. Green who is Brian Gingras' team-mate then finished seventh in the main event. Veteran Jim Blenkarn from Murfreesboro, Tennessee followed in eighth place. Lee Moore from Tuscaloosa, Alabama finished in ninth place and Dave Baumgartner from Ottawa Lake, Michigan rounded out the top ten drivers.
The top ten finishers in this event at the track known as "The Melon" were guaranteed a provisional starting position in the Atlanta Motor Speedway USCS Sprint Car Shootout to be held on Friday, August 30th during the Atlanta Motor Speedway NASCAR Sprint Cup Labor Day 2-13 Weekend events. The United Sprint Car Series will contest a 50-lap main event immediately following the Friday night (8/30/13) NASCAR Sprint Cup pole qualifying session at approximately 9:00 pm on the ¼ mile paved "Thunder Ring" oval on the front stretch of Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Ten-time USCS National Champion, Terry Gray from Bartlett, Tennessee followed Riggins across the line in fourth place and Matt Kurtz from Jacksonville, Florida rounded out the top five drivers. Lance Moss from Cherryville, North Carolina finished ahead of the next group in sixth place. Ageless veteran Ray Bugg from Iuka, Mississippi followed in seventh place. Joe Larkin from Suwannee, Georgia finished in eighth place followed by Terry Witherspoon from Jacksonville, Florida who drove his #43 home in the ninth finishing position. Rookie, Jay Dunham from Augusta, Georgia rounded out the top ten.
As previously mentioned fourteen year-old rookie sprint car ace, Garrett Green from Valrico, Florida drove set fast time around the 4/10 mile D-Shaped paved oval in a near track record 13.75 seconds (13.64 TR) on his second lap during the two-lap time trials to claim fast time honors. The 2010 USCS Rookie of the Year, Morgan Turpen then kicked of the evening's wheel-to-wheel competition with a win in the Hoosier Tire Speed Dash. After setting fast time, Garrett Green then won the Engler Machine and Tool First Heat. Terry Gray won the Butlerbuilt Second Heat. Gray was then awarded the K&N Filters Pole Award after fast qualifier Garrett Green drew a four in the K&N Filters Pole Award inversion drawling. Veteran Ray Bugg advanced the most positions to earn the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hardcharger Award.
USCS and track officials battled weather all afternoon and evening. They shuffled the scheduled to get the entire racing card that included the USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour winged sprint cars, NVRA Vintage cars and stock car and go-kart racing in seven divisions. Fortunately the rain that loomed just outside the area never fell at the speedway and all divisions completed their main events.
USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour Main Event – Watermelon Capital Speedway - Saturday, July 20, 2013
Hoosier Speed Dash 6-laps: Morgan Turpen, Anthony Nicholson, Terry Gray, Derek Hagar, Ray Bugg and Joe Larkin.
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: Garrett Green, Derek Hagar, Anthony Nicholson, Morgan Turpen, Ray Bugg, Kurt Taylor and Joe Larkin.
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: Terry Gray, Brian Gingras, Dave Baumgartner, Lee Moore, Jim Blenkarn and Randy Dilling.
USCS Filtercharged by K&N Filters main event 35-laps:
Pos. Car # Driver/Hometown:
1. 1 Brian Gingras, Lakeland, FL
2. 10 Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN
3. 9Jr Derek Hagar, Marion, AR
4. 10m Morgan Turpen,Cordova, TN
5. 16 Anthony Nicholson, Bartlett, TN
6. 25 Ray Bugg, Iuka, MS
7. 3 Garrett Green, Valrico, FL
8. 46 Jim Blenkarn, Murfreesboro, TN
9. 1A Lee Moore, Tuscaloosa, AL
10. 38 Dave Baumgartner, Ottowa Lake, MI
11. 8 Kurt Taylor, Brandon, FL
12. 33 Joe Larkin, Suwannee, GA
13. 5 Randy Dilling, Simpsonville, SC - DNS
USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour Race Awards:
Hoosier USCS Sprint Speed Dash: 10m Morgan Turpen
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: 3 Garrett Green
Butlerbuilt Second Heat Award: 10 Terry Gray
K&N Filters Pole Award: 10 Terry Gray
K&N Filters Podium (3rd place) Award: 9Jr. Derek Hagar
Wilwood Disc Brakes Hardcharger Award: 25 Ray Bugg
Keizer Aluminum Wheels Top Five Award: 9x Anthony Nicholson
DMI/Bulldog rear Ends top Ten Award: 38 Dave Baumgartner