From Pete Walton
GAFFNEY, S.C. (September 23, 2017) — Lance Moss of Cherryville, NC made a late-race pass for the lead to win the 25-lap United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour Presented By K&N Filters main event in front of a standing-room-only crowd on Saturday night at Cherokee Speedway. Moss made the outside groove of Cherokee Speedway lead him to his second USCS win of the season.
The 11-time USCS National Champion Terry Gray of Bartlett, TN led the first 23 laps of the race, but had to settle for second. It was a good points night for Gray though, who is battling Jordon Mallett of Greenbrier, AR for the 2017 USCS National Championship.
Robbie Stillwaggon of Burlington, NJ fell a couple of spots short of his third USCS win of the season with a third-place showing on Saturday night. K&N Filters Pole Award starter Terry Witherspoon of Jacksonville, FL took the fourth spot and fifth went to past USCS Southern region Rookie of the Year, Jake McLain of Matthews, NC. Current USCS RooNationkie of the Year points leader, Brandon Taylor of Cumming, GA was sixth and USCS National and Southern Thunder regional series point leader Jordon Mallett of Greenbrier, AR finished seventh.
Scott Hunter of Concord, NC started 14th and finished eighth to earn the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award. Jeff Willingham of Ripley, MS drove to a ninth-place finish and Joe Larkin of Suwanee, GA rounded out the top ten. Moss also won the eight-lap Engler Machine and Tool first heat race.
Gray took the lead at the drop of the green flag followed by Witherspoon, Moss, Eric Riggins Jr. of Charlotte, NC, and McLain. Riggins was on the move, taking to the top shelf to pass Moss for the third spot on the opening lap and Witherspoon for second on lap two.
Going into the main event, Riggins was looking for his ninth straight win in USCS competition that included Dashes, Heat Races and A-Main events. Riggins had swept the last two USCS events at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, GA on September 9, and on Friday night at Carolina Speedway in Gastonia, NC, which was the first of two night of the North-South Shootout.
Riggins had won the six-lap Hoosier Racing Tire Speed Dash and the eight-lap Brown and Miller Racing Solutions second heat race earlier in the evening. Riggins was also looking to become the first driver to sweep the North-South Shootout for a second time, after pulling the feat in 2013.
By lap five, Riggins had closed in on Gray to challenge for the lead, but the hopes of continuing the streak for Riggins came to a crashing end on lap seven. Bob Auld of Largo, FL spun in front of the leaders in turn two. Gray was running the inside groove and was able to miss Auld’s car on the high side of the track, but the rim riding Riggins had no place to go and hit Auld’s machine.
Neither driver was injured, but both race cars were done for the evening. Gray led Moss, Witherspoon, McLain, Stillwaggon, Taylor, Tanner Witherspoon of Jacksonville, FL, Mallet, Hunter, and Willingham down for the restart. Moss went right to work, going to the cushion on the high side of Cherokee Speedway to challenge Gray for the lead.
The field was slowed for a second time on lap ten when Tanner Witherspoon spun in turn three. Gray led Moss, Terry Witherspoon, McLain, Stillwaggon, Taylor, Mallett, Hunter, Willingham and Larkin down for the green flag to go back to battle. Gray was able to put a little distance between himself and Moss, while Stillwaggon moved up to battle McLain for fourth.
Stillwaggon went to the top shelf and passed McLain for the fourth spot on lap 16. Gray began to encounter lapped traffic on lap 17 and Moss closed in to challenge for the point. Moss could use his high side momentum to pull alongside Gray entering the turns, but the leader had his own momentum to stay out front coming off the corners.
Moss got a big run on Gray coming off turn two on lap 23, pulled alongside entering turn three, and he took the lead on the high side coming off the fourth turn. Gray tried to make an inside pass through turns one and two on lap 24, but Moss pulled away to seal the deal. Behind the battle for the lead, Stillwaggon was able to pass Terry Witherspoon for third on lap 23.
The next event for the United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour Presented By K&N Filters will be on Saturday night October 7 at Talladega Short Track in Eastaboga, AL, as the final stretch drive begins for the 2017 USCS National Championship.
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.
United Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters Sprint Cars
Saturday September 23, 2017
Heat 1 – Engler Machine & Tool (8 Laps)
1. 23-Lance Moss ; 2. 10-Terry Gray ; 3. 14-Jordon Mallett ; 4. 67-Brian Thomas ; 5. 07-Brandon Taylor ; 6. 33-Joe Larkin ; 7. 1x-Scott Hunter
Heat 2 – BMRS Race Hose & Fittings (8 Laps)
1. 47-Eric Riggins Jr. ; 2. 43-Terry Witherspoon ; 3. 89-Robbie Stillwaggon ; 4. 67m-Jake McLain ; 5. 99-Tanner Witherspoon ; 6. 28-Jeff Willingham ; 7. 83-Bob Auld ; 8. 4-Danny Smith
DASH – Hoosier Racing Tire (6 Laps)
1. 47-Eric Riggins Jr. ; 2. 89-Robbie Stillwaggon ; 3. 10-Terry Gray ; 4. 23-Lance Moss ; 5. 67m-Jake McLain ; 6. 1x-Scott Hunter
A-Main 1 – (25 Laps)
1. 23-Lance Moss ; 2. 10-Terry Gray ; 3. 89-Robbie Stillwaggon ; 4. 43-Terry Witherspoon ; 5. 67m-Jake McLain ; 6. 07-Brandon Taylor ; 7. 14-Jordon Mallett ; 8. 1x-Scott Hunter ; 9. 28-Jeff Willingham ; 10. 33-Joe Larkin ; 11. 99-Tanner Witherspoon ; 12. 47-Eric Riggins Jr. ; 13. 4-Danny Smith ; 14. 83-Bob Auld ; 15. 67-Brian Thomas