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Blaze Martin charges to Parts Plus USCS Asphalt Thunder Tour Championship

From Pete Walton

Atlanta, GA – Blaze Martin from Tampa, Florida charged to the Championship in the 2009 Parts Plus United Sprint Car Series Asphalt Thunder Tour. Martin won three of the series four paved track races held this season. Martin who finished in the runner-up spot in the only race he didn’t win, beat defending pavement series Champion, Terry Gray from Bartlett, Tennessee by sixteen points in the final 2009 point standings.

Martin won the series opener at Watermelon Capital Speedway on March 29th. He then had back-to-back wins at Ace Speedway on April 17th and at Florence Motor Speedway on Saturday April 18th.

Martin finished in the runner-up spot in the series final race at Hickory
Motor Speedway on October 3rd, won by veteran Terry Gray. Martin also set fast time at three of the four events (Watermelon Capital Speedway, Ace Speedway and Hickory Motor Speedway). Johnny Bridges from Cherryville, North Carolina had the fastest lap at Florence Motor Speedway to keep Martin from a perfect record in the time trial qualifying portion of the series.

Terry Gray finished in the runner-up spot in the 2009 Asphalt Thunder Tour final standings with 601 points. Gray won the series finale at Hickory Motor Speedway on October 3rd. He also had a second and third place in two other events.

2008 USCS National Rookie of the Year, Anthony Nicholson also from Bartlett, Tennessee finished six points behind Gray in third place in the standings with 595 points. Nicholson showed great promise on pavement while finishing in second place at Florence, third place in the finale at Hickory and in fourth place at Ace Speedway. In his March pavement debut at WCS he was eighth.

2009 USCS National Rookie of the Year, eighteen year-old Justin Carver from Drummonds, Tennessee followed Nicholson just six points back with 589 points. Carver finished in the runner-up position in the National point
standings. During the series paved track events he finished in the sixth
position three times and had a fourth place finish at Florence Motor
Speedway on April 17th.

The 2008 USCS Southern Thunder Tour region Rookie of the Year, Jake McLain from Indian Trail, North Carolina rounded out the top five drivers in the Parts Plus USCS Asphalt Thunder Tour 2009 point standings with 537 Championship points.

The 2008 USCS Asphalt Thunder Tour Rookie of the Year, Adam Jackson from Timmonsville, South Carolina led the next group pf drivers in sixth place with 448 points. Jackson Had three finishes in the top three positions. Brad Wickham from Rutherfordton, North Carolina with two top ten and one top five finish followed behind Jackson in seventh place with 420 points. Former series Champion, Johnny Bridges from Cherryville, North Carolina placed eighth in the standings with 412 points. Just a scant one point behind Bridges was another pavement rookie driver Brian Carter from Concord, North Carolina with 411 points.

Veteran David Thorman from Greenville, South Carolina rounded out the top ten drivers in the mini-series standings with 394 Championship points.

Justin Carver tallied the most points of any rookie driver in the National,
Mid-South Thunder, Southern Thunder and Asphalt Thunder Tour series and will be crowned with title of Parts Plus USCS National Rookie of the Year at the series banquet in January. For his outstanding performances, rookie driver Brandon Rekow will be honored as the Parts Plus USCS Southern Thunder Tour regional series Rookie of the Year.

Thirty-three different drivers competed in the four Parts Plus USCS Asphalt Thunder Tour events held at four different tracks in three states.

The 13th annual Parts Plus USCS Asphalt Thunder Tour kicked off on Sunday, March 29th at Watermelon Capital Speedway and ended on Saturday, October 3rd at Hickory Motor Speedway. The Parts Plus USCS Asphalt Thunder Tour series competes in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and East Tennessee. For complete and archived results from these events please visit the series Official website at www.uscsracing.com . For series info call, 770-460-7223
or 404-886-5913.

The United Sprint Car Series thanks its’ 2009 Asphalt Thunder Tour sponsors including: Parts Plus, Bar’s Leaks, DSR Fuel Systems, Dynotech, Engler Machine and Tool, FSR Racing Products, JE Pistons, Hoosier Race Tire, K&N Filters, Lunati, KSE Racing Products, Pro Shocks, Raceceiver,
R.E.Technologies, Rislone, Schoenfeld Headers and Simpson.