Terry Gray races to tenth USCS presented by Goodyear National Championship in 2011


From Pete Walton

Atlanta, GA – December 5, 2011 – Perennial United Sprint Car Series Champion, Terry Gray from Bartlett, Tennessee added his tenth United Sprint Car Series presented by Goodyear National Championship to his legacy during the 2011 season. The “still potent after all the years” veteran sprint car racing legend drove his familiar black #10 Rislone Engine Treatment sponsored, Wesmar powered, J&J Auto Racing car to a season-total four wins. He had 21 top five and 25 top ten finishes. That was good enough to capture his tenth United Sprint Car Series National title. In addition to bringing home this historic total in just eleven seasons, Gray also captured the USCS Mid South Thunder and USCS Southern Thunder Tour regional series Championships.

Gray earned the title in his usual fashion. The cagey veteran goes out to win (and is capable) every single night. If that doesn’t work out, then he just finishes in the top five positions 80% to 90% of the time and the Championships just keep rolling in. Gray, who is almost perfect in his car preparation and race car maintenance, only finished outside the top ten four times. He finished the season with 4191 National points.

Gray beat out his team-mate, sensational 18 year-old female 2010 USCS Rookie of the Year, driver Morgan Turpen from Cordova, Tennessee to capture the National title, his sixth in a row. He also won the Championship in the potent USCS Mid-South Thunder Tour presented by Goodyear regional series. That series had nineteen events with six different winners including Gray. The season long battle for the USCS Mid South crown was a battle between two drivers, Gray and Jerrod Hull from Sikeston, Missouri. Gray prevailed in a contest that was decided by just 8 points at the final race of the season during the 3rd Annual USCS Fall Nationals on November 4th and 5th at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Arkansas.

The veteran (Gray) also captured the Championship in the USCS Southern Thunder presented by Goodyear regional series that contests its’ events primarily in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. His team-mate, Morgan Turpen was his closest competitor in that series points’ battle as well. The USCS Southern Thunder Championship was decided by just 27 points. Gray won three times in the USCS Southern Thunder regional series and Turpen became only the second female to collect a victory in the United Sprint Car Series’ 15-year history when she won her first USCS feature race at East Alabama Motor Speedway in June. She repeated that performance by winning her second career main event at Carolina Speedway on October 1st in the USCS Southern Thunder Tour season finale.

Turpen, who was in only her second full season of competition in winged sprint cars, showed tremendous talent and poise for a teenager while the determined female racer had an impressive ten top-five finishes. She also finished twenty-two times in the top ten positions in USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by Goodyear main events. Turpen finished in the runner-up spot in the National point standings with 3913 Championship points. She also finished the season in second place in the USCS Southern Thunder 2011 final standings just twenty-seven points out of the Championship. She finished in fifth place in the final USCS Mid South points standings.

The 2010 United Sprint Car Series Southern Thunder regional series Rookie of the Year, Eric Riggins, Jr. from Charlotte, North Carolina followed Turpen in third place in the National point standings with 3429 points. Riggins had his own great second full season in winged sprint cars with two feature wins. His career first feature win came at the famed Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Georgia on July 16th. He then closed out the season with a second feature win at Carolina Speedway on October 1st in the first of two main events in the 3rd annual Carolina Thunder Nationals. Riggins had six top-five finishes and finished 16 times in the top ten during USCS main events in 2011. He also collected a fourth place finish in the USCS Southern Thunder and ninth position in the USCS Mid South final standings.

The 2008 USCS National Rookie of the Year, Anthony Nicholson from Bartlett, Tennessee traveled frequently to USCS events in the East and competed in all of the USCS Mid South events to finish in the fourth position in the USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour final National standings with 2917 points. Nicholson finished in third place in the USCS Mid South Thunder Tour standings.

The 2008 United Sprint Car Series Mid South Thunder Tour regional series Champion, Tim Crawley from Benton, Arkansas won ten times while competing on a limited basis in USCS presented by Goodyear Outlaw Thunder Tour National events. Crawley gathered up fifteen top-five finishes and sixteen top ten finishes to earn 2544 Championship points. That was enough to finish fifth in the final 2011 USCS National point standings.

Three time 2011 USCS feature winner, Jerrod Hull from Sikeston, Missouri nailed down the sixth position in the National standings with 2522 points while running a limited National schedule. Hull, as previously mentioned, finished just 8 points shy of the USCS Mid South Thunder tour title in the runner-up spot in that regional series. The 2010 USCS Mid South Rookie of the Year, Jerod Roller from Hernando, Mississippi finished seventh in the National standings with 2472 points. Brian Bell from Cordova, Tennessee competed primarily in the USCS Mid South Thunder regional series, but collected enough National points to finish 32 points behind Roller in the point standings in eighth place. Darren Clark from Huntersville, North Carolina collected 2372 National points and finished ninth in the series USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour point final standings. The 2011 USCS presented by Goodyear National Rookie of the Year, Jordon Mallett from Greenbrier, Arkansas rounded out the top ten drivers in the national standings with 2331 points. Mallett tallied the most National points of any rookie driver in the National, Mid-South Thunder, and Southern Thunder series and will be crowned with title of USCS presented by Goodyear National Rookie of the Year at the series banquet in January.

One hundred and six different drivers competed in the twenty-nine USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by Goodyear events held at nineteen different tracks in eight states. Thirteen different drivers won 2011 USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour main events. Those included Tim Crawley who led the series victory column with ten wins in 2011. Crawley was followed by Terry Gray with four wins. Jerrod Hull won three times. Morgan Turpen and Eric Riggins won twice each.

Erin Crocker (Evernham) from Huntersville, North Carolina made history by winning at Carolina Speedway on April 16th and becoming the first female driver to reach victory lane in a USCS sprint car main event. The list of one time 2011 United Sprint Car Series feature winners included past regional series Champion, Johnny Bridges from Cherryville, North Carolina won on 5/7 at New Senoia Raceway, and Oklahoma’s Shane Stewart won at Beebe Speedway on 6/2. 2006 USCS Rookie of the Year, Derek Hagar from Marion, Arkansas won the USCS Sprint Speedweek Finale at Moulton Speedway on June 4th. Matt Linder from Hoschton, Georgia won at Carolina Speedway on June 24th.

Brian Bell got his first USCS presented by Goodyear victory lane trip at Clayhill Motorsports on 8/13. Veteran Florida sprint car top gun, Sport Allen from Largo, Florida won at New Senoia Raceway on 8/26. The 2011 Riverside International Speedway Champion, Cody Gardner from little Rock, Arkansas won the season’s final main event at Riverside International Speedway on November 5th.

The fifteenth anniversary USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by Goodyear kicked off on Saturday, March 19th at Malden Speedway and concluded at Riverside Speedway on Saturday, November 5th. For complete and archived results from these events please visit the series Official website at www.uscsracing.com . For series info please call: 770-460-7223 or 770-865-6097.

The United Sprint Car Series thanks the 2011 USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour sponsors including: Goodyear Tire and Rubber, Company and USCS victory lane sponsor www.RockAuto.com plus Bulldog Rear Ends/DMI, DSR Fuel Systems, Engler Machine and Tool, FSR Racing Products, JE Pistons, K&N Filters, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, KSE Racing Products, Pro Shocks, RACEceiver, Schoenfeld Headers, Simpson and Wilwood Engineering.

Final 2011 USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by Goodyear point standings (after 29 events)

Pos. Car# Drive Points

1 10 Terry Gray 4191

2 80 Morgan Turpen 3913

3 47 Eric Riggins, Jr. 3429

4 16 Anthony Nicholson 2917

5 88 Tim Crawley 2544

6 12 Jerrod Hull 2522

7 5 Jerod Roller 2472

8 23 Brian Bell 2440

9 20 Darren Clark 2342

10 14 Jordon Mallett 2331

11 25 Ray Bugg 2118

12 1X Matt Linder 1936

13 21 David Clark 1767

14 23 Lance Moss 1741

15 94 Derek Hagar 1659

16 7 Johnny Bridges 1459

17 2 Alex Pettas 1369

18 28W Jeff Willingham 1306

19 33 Joe Larkin 1255

20 0X Clint Weiss 1204

21 87 Justin Carver 1198

22 20 Mike Hampton 1130

23 10 P Jim Perriconne 1062

24 44 Ronnie Howard 1036

25 67 Brian Thomas 983

26 15 Tony Wilson 974

27 67 Jake McLain 941

28 C4 Casey Rowland 904

29 83 Bob Auld 896

30 51 Lee Sowell 886

31 31 Justin Webb 836

32 1 Eddie Gallagher 790

33 1A Lee Moore 777

34 96D Nick DeFeo 768

35 4 Tim Perry 638

36 5 David Thorman 628

37 16P DeWayne Prince 598

38 99 Jim Davies 588

39 69 Brandon Rekow 510

40 3 AG Raines 499

41 39 Brad Bowden 494

42 1G Cody Gardner 492

43 8Z Zack Pringle 454

44 44C Wesley Shepard 438

45 58 Wade Oliver 428

46 82 Sport Allen 425

47 7 Tony Bruce 384

48 24X Nick Bashford 382

49 21 Aubrey Black 362

50 40 Ernie Ainsworth 360

51 91 Marshall Skinner 316

52 38 Ryan Moore 300

53 28 Jeff Swindell 294

54 19 Ray Evernham 293

55 14K Kyle Bellm 283

56 3A A.J. Maddox 274

57 4M Michael Miller 270

58 22 Dustin Barks 262

59 1X Gary Taylor 244

60 7 D Dylan DeJournett 234

61 44W Austin Wheatley 230

62 5H Mason Moore 228

63 3D Marion Jacobs 218

64 8X Chris Williams 212

Tie 7 X David DeJournett 212

66 13X Corey Hall 200

Tie 9 Timmy Thrash 200

Tie 66 Tommy Worley 200

Tie 44C Ty Young 200

70 98 Erin Crocker 150

Tie 57 Shane Stewart 150

72 1 Wayne Johnson 144

73 1 M Jim Moughan 140

74 32 Tim Montgomery 138

75 7 Don Young 136

Tie 51 Mike Hess 136

77 84 Ben Wagoner 132

78 3 B Brad Greer 130

Tie 13 Todd Fayard 130

80 14 T Jimmy Bridgeman 126

Tie 32 Robert Richardson 126

82 21B Brandon McLain 124

Tie 12T Joe Young 124

84 4Q Jason Day 122

Tie 23.5 Steve Gilroy 122

86 44C D.J. Masner 120

Tie 3 Mark Shirshekan 120

88 21 Brian Brown 114

89 4 Joey Montgomery 108

90 11 Carl Zaniboni 100

Tie 12D Dalton Davis 100

Tie 00 Ed Lee 100

Tie 88 Jason Evans 100

Tie 6K Jerod Kelley 100

Tie 3X Steve Hall 100