From Pete Walton
Atlanta, GA – The United Sprint Car Series presented by Goodyear returns to the dirt track portion of its 2010 Southern Thunder Tour on Friday June 18th with the USCS “Thunder at Carolina” event at the Carolina Speedway in Gastonia, North Carolina. The event is loaded with action-packed racing featuring a full program of winged outlaw style sprint car racing plus racing in four of Carolina Speedway’s weekly divisions. Friday night’s USCS race will award USCS Southern Thunder presented by Goodyear Championship points and additionally award USCS “Outlaw Thunder” Tour National Championship points.
The USCS Southern Thunder Tour presented by Goodyear regional series includes races scheduled in North and South Carolina plus Georgia and East Tennessee. All of those events will award points toward series’ 14th National Championship. This weekend’s of dirt track events will bring a number of drivers seeking the United Sprint Car Series “Outlaw Thunder” National and regional Championships roaring into the fast 4/10-mile clay oval. The USCS drivers will also race on paved ovals ten times during the 40+-race 2010 season. The USCS is the only winged outlaw sprint series in the World that races on both dirt and pavement.
The Carolina Speedway event is expected to bring top winged outlaw sprint car drivers from at least six states to the track from as far away as Florida and West Tennessee . The exotic fire breathing, alcohol burning, 700 horsepower open-wheeled USCS sprint cars weight just 1,300 pounds, and are pound for pound the World’s most powerful short track race cars. The cars will literally fly around the track surface at speeds well over 125 M.P.H. It is not uncommon to see the USCS sprint cars popping “wheelies” or doing wheel stands because of the brute force of their engines and their huge 18-inch wide Goodyear Eagle rear tires.
Friday night’s Outlaw sprint car action will feature a full program of racing that includes test and tune hot laps. The evening’s first sprint car race will be the Goodyear Speed Dash that will showcase the top six cars from the previous event in an edge-of-your-seat six-lap shootout. Next up will be the qualifying heat races that determine the starting positions before the 30-lap “Thunder at Carolina” finale. In between the sprint car racing elements, four of the Speedway’s weekly racing divisions will keep the action rolling on Friday night’s racing card. Those racing divisions include the NDRA Crate Late Models, Bea’s Gift Basket Open Wheel Modifieds, Tilley Harley Davidson Renegades and the Q2U BBQ Pit Four Cylinders.
Seven-time and defending USCS National Champion, Terry Gray from Bartlett, Tennessee, who was ranked in the top ten drivers in the Nation, by the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame pollsters at the end of the 2009 season heads the entry list for the event. Gray, who is also among the top twenty-five drivers in the Nation in feature wins over the past five years with over eighty-five feature wins was the winner of the main event during the April 23, 2010 USCS visit to Carolina Speedway. Gray has won four USCS sprint car main events in a row at Carolina Speedway dating back to April 24, 2009. Gray currently leads the USCS National and Southern Thunder regional series point standings.
Other notable entries include: The 1998 USCS Rookie of the Year and 2004 USCS/AOAS Champion Johnny Bridges from Cherryville, North Carolina is entered. Bridges won the June 27, 2008 Carolina Speedway USCS main event. Bridges won four times in 2008 USCS competition but went winless at his “hometrack” (Carolina Speedway) in 2009. Bridges will be piloting the Biobased USA (Farm Products) Roush-Yates J&J Auto Racing familiar #07 car.
Seventeen-year old female sprint car hot-shoe and current USCS rookie point’s leader, Morgan Turpen from Bartlett, Tennessee leads a strong contingent of talented young drivers into Carolina Speedway. Turpen has been very impressive thus far in 2010. She is in second place in the National standings behind the defending Champion Terry Gray in the National standings and won the USCS Goodyear Speed Dash during the April 24th USCS race event.
Additional out of state entries expected are the May 15, 2010 Lavonia Speedway USCS Feature winner Matt Linder from Hoschton, Georgia, and USCS sprint car veterans, Brian Thomas from Pendergrass, Georgia, Joe Larkin from Suwannee, Georgia and David Thorman from Greenville, South Carolina. From Florida multi-time Eastbay Raceway track Champions, Sport Allen from Pinellas Park, Florida and Brian Maddox from Tampa, Florida are both entered. Also entered is yung gun Matt Kurtz from Jacksonville, Florida. Kurtz finished in the top five in April’s main event. He was the runner-up in the October 2, 2009, USCS Thunder Nationals, 30-lap Championship main event held at Carolina Speedway.
In addition to Morgan Turpen and Matt Kurtz, the young gun’s entry list includes, 2008 USCS Southern Thunder Rookie of the Year, Jake McLain from Indian Trail, North Carolina and nineteen year-old New York transplant Nick Bashford from China Grove, North Carolina. To give the event some International flavor, former road-racer and European stock car star, twenty-three year-old Adam Jackson from Birmingham, England who presently resides in Timmonsville, South Carolina is entered. Jackson was named as the 2008 USCS Asphalt Thunder Tour rookie of the Year.
Additional young drivers include Rookie of the Year candidate, Eric Riggins from Charlotte, North Carolina and twenty-one year old, 2009 USC Southern Thunder Rookie of the Year Brandon Rekow from Mooresville, North Carolina.
Other expected in-state entries include: Coby Adams from Mooresville, Brandon McLain from Indian Trail, Brian Carter from Concord, North Carolina, C.J. Miller from Denver and Tim Perry from China Grove.
Carolina Speedway is located at 6335 Union Rd., Gastonia, NC 28054. The race track phone number is: (704) 869-0313. The track’s website is www.carolinaspeedway.net For USCS info visit the USCS web site at www.uscsracing.comUSCS presented by Goodyear at Carolina Speedway
Pre-entry entry list for Carolina Speedway on Friday 6.18.10
1.. 1x – Matt Linder, Hoschton, GA
2.. 3x – Brian Maddox, Tampa, FL
3.. 3s – Sport Allen, Tampa, FL
4.. 5 – David Thorman, Greenville, SC
5.. 6c – Brian Carter, Concord, NC
6.. 07 – Johnny Bridges, Cherryville, NC
7.. 9 – C.J. Miller, Denver, NC
8.. 10 – Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN – 8 time – USCS National Champion
9.. 11 – Troy Severin, Ashland, VA
10.. 21b – Brandon McLain, Indian Trail, NC
11.. 24 – Nick Bashford, China Grove, NC
12.. 28 – Coby Adams, Mooresville, NC
13.. 29 – TBA
14.. 33 – Joe Larkin, Suwannee, GA
15.. 36 – Tim Perry, China Groove, NC
16.. 46 – Adam Jackson, Birmingham, ENG.
17.. 47 – Eric Riggins, Charlotte, NC
18.. 67 – Jake McLain, Indian Trail, NC
19.. 67 – Brian Thomas, Pendergrass, GA
20.. 69 – Brandon Rekow, Mooresville, NC
21.. 80 – Morgan Turpen, Bartlett, TN – Rookie points leader
22.. 92 – Matt Kurtz, Jacksonville, FL
23.. 96d – Nick DeFeo, Marietta, GA
24.. 880 – Ryan Price, Ashland, VA