West Memphis, AR — (July 2, 2016) — Zach Pringle of Bryant, AR picked up his first career United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour Presented By K&N Filters win in a race Saturday night at Riverside International Speedway that saw not only fireworks in the air, but also sprint cars flying skyward. Pringle races on a shoestring budget and his victory was a popular one.
The second of three races for the USCS Summer Sizzler Tour saw five cars flip in an event shortened from 40 to 30 laps. But at the end of the night, all was good, as most every driver in the race made a visit to Victory Lane to offer their congratulations to Pringle.
Pringle inherited the lead on lap 20 after early race leader Cody Gardner of Benton, AR gave up the point by pitting under a red flag. After the fifth red flag of the race on lap 22, Pringle stacked the top of the can and checked out for the win.
“This win has been a long time coming and we finally got it done, so it will be a fun ride home tonight,” Pringle said. “The car was great tonight. It was easy to drive and it was easy on me, especially through traffic. Once I got out front, I just tried to hit my marks and not make a mistake. To have all of these drivers come over here and congratulate me means a lot to me. This is just awesome!”
For the second straight night, Derek Hagar of Marion, AR finished second and Jordon Mallett of Greenbrier, AR was third. A.G. Raines of West Memphis, AR took the fourth spot, and Curt Terrell of Bartlett, TN finished fifth. Brandon Hinkle of Cabot, AR was sixth, and Andy McElhannon of Hernando, MS claimed the seventh spot.
Friday night’s winner in Paragould, AR, Marshall Skinner of Marion, AR finished eighth on Saturday night at the track affectionately known as “The Ditch,” and Casey Rowland of Nesbit, MS took the ninth spot. Multi-time USCS National Champion Terry Gray of Bartlett, TN rounded out the top ten.
Jeff Willingham of Ripley, MS started 23rd and finished 13th to earn the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award. In preliminary action, Hagar won the Hoosier Tire Speed Dash. Raines won the Engler Tool and Machine 1st Heat Race, and Gray won the Brown and Miller Racing Solutions 2nd Heat Race. Pringle won the Schoenfeld Headers 3rd Heat Race, and Anthony Nicholson of Millington, TN won the DHR Suspensions B-Main Race.
When the field took the green flag to start the race, Gardner made a big move from his fourth starting position to take the lead followed by Hagar, K&N Filters Pole Award Winner Raines, Pringle and Gray. Just when the field seemed to be settling in to a fast and tacky race track, the first of five red flags was waved over the field when Brad Bowdon of Hernando, MS flipped in turn two.
Bowdon climbed out and walked away under his own power uninjured. Gardner led Hagar, Raines, Pringle, McElhannon, Gray, Mallett, Hinkle, Tim Crawley of Benton, AR, and Ronny Howard of Olive Branch, MS down for the restart, but just as soon as the starter flicked on the green button, he was hunting for the red one for a second time when Nicholson flipped Ricky Stenhouse Sr.’s machine in turn two.
Nicholson was O.K. after his wing crusher in calamity corner, aka turn two at The Ditch. After a clean restart, Pringle drove around Raines on lap 13 to take over the third spot. Crawley brought out the yellow flag on lap 14 when the suspension collapsed under his race car. The restart saw Gardner leading Hagar, Pringle, Raines, McElhannon, Gray, Mallett, Howard and Terrell.
Gardner pulled away from the field when the green bulb was lit for go time, but behind the leader, Hagar and Pringle were waging war for second like a pair of pants and a potato chip. Pringle crunched his way by Hagar for second on lap 19, a move that would prove to be a big one.
The field was stopped by the third red flag of the race on lap 20 when Howard flipped in turn four. Howard was O.K., but Joe Miller of Monticello, AR wasn’t, as his car caught fire on the backstretch under red. Miller was treated at the track for some burns on his feet and ankles. Race leader Gardner suffered his own misfortune during the red, as he gave up the point and headed for the pit area.
Gardner returned to the battle as the last car on the lead lap and restarted in the 11th spot. After all of that, Pringle found himself leading the field down for the restart followed by Hagar, Raines, McElhannon, Mallett, Hinkle, Terrell, Gray, Skinner, and Roland. Gardner’s charge to the front didn’t last long, as turn two tossed him through the air and on his lid on lap 21 for red flag number four.
The turn two demons were not done yet. Lap 22 saw Brandon Taylor of Cumming, GA flip, taking some of the turn two catch fencing with him. Another delay in the action forced officials to cut the race to 30 laps. The race went clean and green the rest of the way, as Pringle stacked his chips, packed his can, turned in the key and checked out on the field for the win.
The third and final leg of the Summer Sizzler Tour for the United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour Presented By K&N Filters will take the traveling road show to Diamond Park Speedway in Nashville, AR on Sunday night.
For rules and updated schedule information about the United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour, please visit www.uscsracing.com or call the series office at 770-460-7223 or 770-865-6097. You can also like the United Sprint Car Series Facebook page at USCS Racing.
FEATURE RACE – 30 LAPS:
POS START CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN
1. 5 8z Zach Pringle Bryant, AR
2. 2 9jr Derek Hagar Marion, AR
3. 6 14 Jordon Mallett Greenbrier, AR
4. 1 3 A.G. Raines West Memphis, AR
5. 13 27 Curt Terrell Bartlett, TN
6. 9 21b Brandon Hinkle Cabot, AR
7. 8 42 Andy McElhannon Hernando, MS
8. 10 26 Marshall Skinner Marion, AR
9. 11 4 Casey Roland Nesbit, MS
10. 3 10 Terry Gray Bartlett, TN
11. 16 91 Ernie Ainsworth Bartlett, TN
12. 20 10m Morgan Turpen Cordova, TN
13. 23 28 Jeff Willingham Ripley, MS
14. 17 07 Brandon Taylor Cumming, GA
15. 22 Zone Kevin Hinkle Cabot, AR
16. 4 88r Cody Gardner Benton, AR
17. 7 44 Ronny Howard Olive Branch, MS
18. 21 2 Brandon Kilpatrick Calhoun, MS
19. 19 51 Joe Miller Monticello, AR
20. 14 88 Tim Crawley Benton, AR
21. 12 39 Brad Bowdon Hernando, MS
22. 15 40 Anthony Nicholson Millington, TN
23. 18 25 Ray Bugg Iuka, MS