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Gray Wins USCS Feature at Laurens County Speedway


LAURENS, SC – September 3, 2016 – Terry Gray of Bartlett, TN made his 90th career stop as the victor at the USCS Victory Lane on Saturday night at Laurens County Speedway in USCS 20th Anniversary Outlaw Thunder Tour action Presented by K&N Filters. The 11-time USCS National Champion has probably won many of those races in many different ways, but his first win since 2014 was remarkable.

Race leader, after race leader fell by the wayside in the last eight laps of the race. Just when Gray thought he was going to have to settle for a fourth-place finish, he moved up to third through a leader crashing. Then another leader crashed and he was second. Then yet another leader spun with three to go, and Gray found himself in Victory Lane.

“We’ve been getting a lot of second-place finishes here lately, so I was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to get another win, “Gray said. “I hate to see the guys drop out of the lead the way they did because I’d rather be racing them for the wins.”

While Gray felt the thrill of victory on Saturday night, the 2014 USCS Rookie of the Year, Brandon McLain of Indian Trail, NC and Lance Moss of Cherryville, NC felt the agony of defeat. Even Gray’s teammate defending USCS National Champion and current pont’s leader Morgan Turpen from Cordova, TN felt the disappointment of misfortune in the 30-lap race. McLain and Moss crashed while leading, and Turpen had a bleeder fail to let her tire go flat just as a push truck was trying to get her car pushed off after the red flag period for McLain while in fifth.

Johnny Bridges of Cherryville, NC followed up his Friday night USCS win with a second-place effort on Saturday night at Laurens County Speedway. Anthony Nicholson of Millington, TN was third and Brian Thomas of Pendergrass, GA finished fourth. Brad Wickham of Rutherfordton, NC took the fifth spot.

Nick Roberts of Washington Court House, OH started 15th and finished 6th to earn the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award. Jake McLain of Indian Trail, NC took the seventh spot and 2012 USCS Rookie of the Year Jeff Willingham of Ripley, MS was eighth. Joe Larkin of Suwanee, GA finished ninth and Moss came back from his late race spin out the lead to round out the top ten.

In preliminary action, Anthony Nicholson won the six-lap Hoosier Tire Speed Dash. The winners in the three eight-lap Heat Races were eventual feature winner, Gray in the Engler Machine and Tool first heat, Brandon McLain in the Brown and Miller Racing Solutions second heat, and MorganTurpen in the Schoenfeld Headers third heat.

Brandon McLain was the K&N Filters Pole Award Winner, and he led the first lap of the 30-lap feature race followed by Moss, Bridges, Gray and Scott Hunter of Concord, NC. Hunter didn’t stay up front long, as he tattooed the backstretch wall putting his race car out of the action. That moved Turpen into fifth right behind her teammate Gray, who she is also battling for a national title – his 11th, and her second straight.

Brandon McLain stayed out front, holding off all challengers until the field slowed for the second caution flag of the race on lap eight when Jimmy Mabe of Fayetteville, NC stalled on the front straightaway. Brandon McLain led Moss, Bridges, Gray, Turpen, Kevin Roberts of Washington Court House, OH, Nicholson, Thomas, Wickham, and Jake McLain back to the green flag.

Gray made a move on Bridges to move up to the third spot on lap 13, and Nicholson moved into the top five on lap 14. At the halfway point of the race, it was the McLain Boys bookending the top ten, as Brandon McLain led Moss, Gray, Bridges, Nicholson, Turpen, Kevin Roberts, Thomas, Wickham and Jake McLain.

Moss began to put the pressure on Brandon McLain for the lead by lap 20. Moss threw a slide job pass on McLain in turn one by sliding his car to the inside of the leader and then letting his momentum slide up in front of McLain to take the lead on lap 23. McLain tried the crossover move to counter the slide job, but ended up on top of the fence to bring out the red flag.

Moss took control of the race for the seven lap dash to the finish. Moss then pulled away from Gray and Bridges and looked like he was on cruise control to the checkered flag. But fate, and ill fate at that, fell in front of Moss in the form of the lapped car of Sonny Stroud of Marietta, SC that just happened to spin in front of the leader.

Rather than ram the side of Stroud’s car to try and keep going, Moss chose the better part of valor and locked up the brakes to spin his car out of the lead and avoid damage to both race cars and avoid any driver injury. That gave Gray the lead, and he pulled away from Bridges in the final three tours around Laurens County Speedway to take the win.

The 20th Anniversary USCS Outlaw Thunder ToLabor Day weekend on Monday evening at 6{30 pm. For rules and updated schedule information about the United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour, please visit 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.

In 600 USCS Mini Sprint action, Bob Trapino of Alpharetta, GA held off Remeno Loyal of Snellville, GA in a side-by-side finish to pick up his first win of the season in the 15-lap feature race. Following Trapino and Loyal under the checkered flag were Conner Morrell of Bradenton, FL, and David Hall of Tampa, FL. In preliminary action, Loyal won the six-lap Hoosier Speed Dash and Hall won the six-lap heat race.

USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by K&N Filters FEATURE RACE – 30 LAPS:

1. 3 10 Terry Gray Bartlett, TN
2. 4 07 Johnny Bridges Cherryville, NC
3. 9 16 Anthony Nicholson Millington, TN
4. 7 67t Brian Thomas Pendergrass, GA
5. 12 6T Brad Wickham Atlanta, GA
6. 15 12 Nick Roberts Washington Court House, OH
7. 11 67m Jake McLain Indian Trail, NC
8. 17 28 Jeff Willingham Ripley, MS
9. 16 33 Joe Larkin Suwanee, GA
10. 2 23 Lance Moss Cherryville, NC
11. 18 5s Sonny Stroud Marietta, SC
12. 1 21m Brandon McLain Indian Trail, NC
13. 5 10m Morgan Turpen Cordova, TN
14. 8 22 Kevin Roberts Washington Court House, OH
15. 14 24d Danny Sams III Englewood, FL
16. 13 4 Jimmy Mabe Atlanta, GA
17. 10 25 Ray Bugg Iuka, MS
18. 6 1x Scott Hunter Concord, NC
19. 19 47 Eric Riggins Jr. Charlotte, NC DNS