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Starks Wins USCS Feature at Cherokee Speedway

From Pete Walton

GAFFNEY, SC (October 1, 2016) – Trey Starks of Puyallup, WA made a statement Saturday night in the 20th Anniversary United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour Presented by K&N Filters race at Cherokee Speedway by coming from the 20th and last starting spot to take the lead on lap 18 of the 30 lap race. He then charged the final 12 laps to park his Jeff McCall owned #23 in the USCS Victory Lane after his second straight USCS win. The victory was the 20-year driver’s career fifth USCS feature win.

Starks was the apparent winner of the Engler Machine and Tool First ten-lap Heat Race, but he failed to report to the scales for the post-race weigh in, and he was disqualified. That put him on the tail of the 20-car starting line-up for the 30-lap main event. That’s a long way to go, and a short time to get there!

“This team is awesome because they never gave up,” Starks said. “I just tried to keep moving forward, keep my head down and pass as many cars as I could. I really love coming down here to race with these guys. I really love the tracks down here because we just have little quarter-mile bull rings in Washington state.”

National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Inductee Danny Smith of Chillicothe, OH finished in second place after a late race battle for that spot with 11-time USCS National Champion Terry Gray of Bartlett, TN, took the third spot. The defending USCS National Champion Morgan Turpen of Cordova, TN was fourth and Troy Betts of Newark, DE finished fifth.

Terry Witherspoon of Jacksonville, FL drove home to the sixth spot, and seventh went to Tony Agin of Naples, FL. Mitch Brown of Brantford, ON Canada was eighth, with the McLain boys of Indian Trail, NC rounding out the top ten with 2014 USCS Rookie of the Year, Brandon McLain taking the ninth spot, and his brother Jake McLain in tenth place.

In preliminary action, Lance Moss of Cherryville, NC won the six-lap USCS Hoosier Tire Speed Dash and the six-lap Mystery Dash was won by the “Ripley Rooster” Jeff Willingham of Ripley, MS. The winners of the two ten-lap Heat Races were Tony Agin of Naples, FL in the Brown in the Engler Machine and Tool First Heat, and Eric Riggins Jr. of Charlotte, NC in the Brown and Miller Racing Solutions Second Heat.

Lance Moss took the lead at the start of the 30-lap main event after winning the K&N Filters Pole Award. Following Moss to complete lap one were Riggins, Gray, Smith, and Agin. Starks made a bold statement in the opening tour of Cherokee Speedway, as he went from 20th to 10th. Turpen joined the top five on lap four, and Starks moved up to seventh.

Starks just kept moving forward through the field, as he was fifth by lap six, and fourth by lap 11. Lap 13 saw Starks pass Smith for the third spot. The only thing that slowed him down was the caution flag that came out on lap 13 when Tim Perry of Mooresville, NC stalled on the race track. Riggins gave up the second spot on lap 14 when he slowed on the race track with mechanical issues.

The restart had Moss leading Starks, Smith, Gray, Turpen, Agin, Witherspoon, Betts, Brandon McLain, and Brian Thomas of Pendergrass, GA in tow behind him. When the field went back to green flag action, Starks found his hardest car to pass of the night in the leader Moss. The caution flag came out on lap 18 when Greg Smyre of Hickory, NC stalled on the front straightaway.

During the caution period, Moss suddenly turned down pit road and retired his race car for the evening. That put Starks in the lead as he looked for his second straight win in as many nights. Starks had no challengers in the 12 remaining laps and he put the exclamation point on a successful weekend with the USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour Presented by K&N Filters.

The next stop for the 20th Anniversary United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour Presented by K&N Filters will be on October 8 at “The Hornet’s Nest,” Talladega Short Track in Eastaboga, AL.

In USCS 600 Mini Sprint action, Dirk Miller of Tampa, FL took the win, leading all 20 laps of the main event. He previous night’s winner at Carolina Speedway, Jim Young of Johnstown, PA finished second after starting sixth in the main event. David Hall of Tampa, FL took the K&N Filters Podium Award third spot. Matt McCullough of Atlanta, GA was fourth. Jordan Howell of Columbia, MO. Was fifth.

Matt Carr of Fayetteville, NC finished sixth, and seventh went to defending series Champion Remeno Loyal of Snellville, GA. Conner Morrell of Bradenton, FL was eighth, and Tim Nye of Charlotte, NC took the ninth spot. John Kahl of Ocala, FL rounded out the top ten. In preliminary action, Matt Carr won the five-lap USCS Hoosier Tire Speed Dash. Jim Young won the Engler Machine and Tool First Heat for the mini sprints and Eddie Moss of Jacksonville, FL won the Second Heat. Jim Yong was the top passing points earner, but, when a six came up in the K&N Filters Pole Award dice roll, Dirk Miller was awarded the pole position.

For rules and updated schedule information about the United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour, or the USCS 600 Sprint Car Series winged mini sprints, 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.



1. 20 23s Trey Starks Puyallup, WA
2. 4 4 Danny Smith Chillicothe, OH
3. 3 10 Terry Gray Bartlett, TN
4. 7 10m Morgan Turpen Cordova, TN
5. 8 22b Troy Betts Newark, DE
6. 6 43 Terry Witherspoon Jacksonville, FL
7. 5 38 Tony Agin Naples, FL
8. 13 10b Mitch Brown Brantford, ON, Canada
9. 9 21b Brandon McLain Indian Trail, NC
10. 10 67m Jake McLain Indian Trail, NC
11. 12 67t Brian Thomas Pendergrass, GA
12. 15 22m Shawn Murray Jacksonville, FL
13. 14 36 Tim Perry Mooresville, NC
14. 18 24d Danny Sams III Englewood, FL
15. 11 33 Joe Larkin Suwanee, GA
16. 17 28 Jeff Willingham Ripley, MS
17. 19 21k Greg Smyre Hickory, NC
18. 1 23m Lance Moss Cherryville, NC
19. 2 47 Eric Riggins Jr. Charlotte, NC
20. 16 4m Jimmy Mabe Fayetteville, NC