By Pete Walton
Atlanta, GA – The United Sprint Car Series presented by Goodyear www.uscsracing.com kicks off the Georgia dirt track portion of its 2010 Southern Thunder Tour on Saturday, September with the 2nd annual “Labor Day Weekend Speed Spectacular” event at the Lavonia Speedway in Lavonia, Georgia. The event is loaded with action-packed racing featuring a full “Smorgasbord of Speed” including a full program of winged outlaw style sprint car racing plus racing in the popular Southeastern Limited Late Model Sportsman Touring Series, Fastrak Late Models and five of Lavonia Speedway’s weekly stock car racing divisions. There should be something for everyone who likes to see fast cars go round and round.
Saturday night’s USCS winged Outlaw sprint car race will award USCS Southern Thunder presented by Goodyear Championship points. The race will 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 Northern Georgia and East Tennessee. All of those events will award points toward series’ 14th National Championship.
This event will bring a number of drivers seeking the United Sprint Car Series “Outlaw Thunder” National Championship roaring into the fast 3/8-mile clay oval. The USCS drivers will also race on paved oval six times during the 45-race 2010 season. The USCS is the only winged outlaw sprint series in the World that races on both dirt and paved surfaces.
The Lavonia 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 Virginia, Florida and West Tennessee, . The exotic fire breathing, alcohol burning, 700 horsepower open-wheeled USCS sprint cars weight just 1,300 pounds. They are pound for pound the World’s most powerful short track race cars. The cars will literally fly around the track surface at speeds approaching 130 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 race tires. Those tires are almost twice as wide as the Goodyear Eagles that NASCAR Sprint Cup cars use.
Saturday night’s Outlaw sprint car action will feature a full program of racing that includes test and tune hot laps. The evening’s very 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 for the 30-lap “Salute to American Labor” USCS Championship finale. In between the sprint car racing elements, eight other racing divisions will keep the action rolling non-stop on Saturday night’s racing card. Those include the touring Southeastern Late Model Sportsman Series, Fastrak Late Models plus Modified Street, Stock V-8, Stock 4, Young Guns (Beginner 4) and Front Wheel Drive.
USCS sprint car entries include: Eight-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. Gray was leading last September’s main event and had a U-Joint break in his car and injure his foot. Gray currently leads the USCS National 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 who is always a threat to win, will bring his rare (to sprint car racing) Roush-Yates Ford powered car to Lavonia Speedway. Also entered is twenty three year-old, 2004, 2005 and 2006 USCS National Championship runner-up Danny Martin from Sarasota, Florida. Martin has eighteen career United Sprint Car Series feature wins to his credit and is also capable of winning on any given night..
For the ladies: 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 Lavonia Speedway. Turpen has been very impressive thus far in 2010. She is currently in the runner-up spot in the National standings behind her team-mate and defending Champion Terry Gray. Turpen finished third in last weekend’s USCS main event at Travelers Rest Speedway in South Carolina.
Additionally expected are May 15th USCS Lavonia sprint car feature winner Matt Linder from Hoschton, Georgia who has won twice in the 2010 season. His most recent win came last Saturday night in the Randy Helton Memorial race at New Senoia Raceway in Senoia, Georgia. USCS sprint car veteran, Brian Thomas from Pendergrass, Georgia and Joe Larkin from Suwanne, Georgia are also expected.
In addition to Turpen, expected young guns entries include, 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. Bashford’s #24 will also utilize a Roush-Yates Ford power plant.
Additional young drivers include impressive 15 year-old Rookie of the Year candidate, Eric Riggins, Jr. from Charlotte, North Carolina who has finished in the runner-up position in the last two USCS main events. Two other young entries are 21 year-old 2009 USCS Southern Thunder Rookie of the Year Brandon Rekow from Mooresville, North Carolina and 21 year-old Lee Moore from Tuscumbia, Alabama .
Other expected out of state entries include the following drivers: Mike Hampton from McKenzie,Tennessee, A.J.Maddox from Tampa, Florida and Bob Auld from Largo, Florida. Others include, Brandon McLain from Indian Trail, North Carolina plus C.J. Miller and Coby Adams, both from Mooresville, North Carolina and brothers Darren and David Clark from Huntersville, North Carolina plus Brian Carter from Concord, NC.
Grandstand Adult admission is $20 with children under 12 years-old admitted FREE. Ticket discounts worth $3 off adult admission are available at McDonald’s in Lavonia. Lavonia Speedway is located at 5941 Lavonia Highway, Lavonia, GA, 30553. The race track phone number is: (706) 356-2220. The track’s website is www.lavoniadirttrack.com For USCS info visit the USCS web site at www.uscsracing.com or call770-865-6097.