By Pete Walton
Toccoa, GA – April 14, 2012 – The 2008 United Sprint Car Series presented by Goodyear, Mid South Thunder regional series Champion, Tim Crawley from Benton, Arkansas captured his first USCS presented by Goodyear win of the young 2012 season by racing from his sixth starting position into the www.RockAuto.com USCS victory lane before a record crowd in attendance at Toccoa Speedway on Saturday night. Crawley bested a strong field of USCS winged sprint car contenders from six states with the impressive win in the 30-lap main event driving the #88 Ward Racing Lucas Oil sponsored sprint car.
Sixteen year-old 2010 Southern Thunder regional series Rookie of the Year, Eric Riggins, Jr., from Charlotte, North Carolina who started tenth in the main event, chased Crawley across the finish line in the runner-up spot with his Alpha Canvas and Awning #47 J&J Auto Racing car. Ten-time USCS National Champion Terry Gray from Bartlett, Tennessee who also started deep in the field in ninth position next to Riggins, Jr., finished in the K&N Filters Podium Position third position in his familiar black #10 Rislone sponsored J&J Auto Racing car with Wesmar power.
Gray was followed by his eighteen-year-old team-mate, Morgan Turpen from Oakland, Tennessee in fourth place in the Casey’s Lawn Service #80 J&J Auto Racing also powered by a Wesmar Chevy. The popular Turpen who was the 2010 USCS National Rookie of the Year and who garnered the runner-up spot in the National point standings the past two seasons, was the only female driver in the sprint car field. The 2009 USCS Rookie of the Year, Justin Carver from Drummonds, Tennessee rounded out the top five finishers in his Roush-Yates Ford powered #87 Donnie Goodwin “Naughty Boys” Racing sprint car.
Danny Martin, Jr. from Sarasota, Florida led the next group to the line with a sixth place finish. The 2008 USCS Rookie of the Year, Anthony Nicholson from Bartlett, Tennessee followed Martin in seventh place and the previous night’s feature winner eighteen year-old, Jordon Mallett from Greenbrier, Arkansas who was the 2011 USCS Rookie of the Year, finished in eighth place. Johnny Bridges from Cherryville, North Carolina who originally started in the K&N Filters Pole Position finished in ninth place and veteran sprint car racer Matt Linder from Hoschton, Georgia rounded out the top ten.
Tim Crawley charged into third place on lap two of the thirty-lap contest behind Danny Martin, Jr. from Sarasota, Florida and past USCS regional series Champion, Johnny Bridges from Cherryville, North Carolina. He then passed Bridges on lap three to move into the runner-up spot. Crawley chased Martin, Jr. for two more laps before surging into the lead exiting turn four of lap five.
Martin, Jr. and Bridges continued to chase Crawley who was extending his lead on every lap with Morgan Turpen applying pressure to them from fourth place and the previous night’s winner 2011 USCS Rookie of the Year, Jordan “The Jet” Mallett comprising the top five on lap six. Mallett moved into fourth position behind them on lap seven. On lap nine, Turpen traded places with Mallett for fourth place. On lap ten Eric Riggins, Jr. replaced Mallett in the top five.
A caution flag flew on lap eleven when Rookie Stacy Mashburn from Newnan, Georgia spun low in turn two. . After the re-start the yellow appeared again for Nick DeFeo’s stalled mount two laps later on the back stretch. After DeFeo pushed off again, the race went green for the next fourteen laps. On lap fourteen Terry Gray moved past team-mate Morgan Turpen into fifth place in the running order with Crawley still leading over Martin, Jr., Bridges and Riggins, Jr., and Gray.
On lap twenty-four Riggins, Jr. moved past Bridges into the top three. On Lap twenty-six Gray moved into fourth place. On lap twenty-seven a five car tangle in turn two collected fifth running Johnny Bridges and 2008 USCS Rookie of the Year, Anthony Nicholson from Bartlett, Tennessee who was running in sixth place at the time. The wreck also involved Brian Thomas from Pendergrass, Georgia and Stacy Mashburn.
On the re-start Crawley charged the final three laps to the www.RockAuto.com USCS victory lane with Eric Riggins, Jr., Terry Gray, Morgan Turpen, Justin Carver, Danny Martin, Jr., Antony Nicholson, Jordon Mallett, Johnny Bridges, Matt Linder, Brian Thomas, Bob Auld, Joe Larkin, Stacy Mashburn and Nick DFeo following him. Fifteen of the seventeen starters finished the main event. Rookies Jason Day and A.J. Maddox went to the sidelines during the main event. Robbie Stillwagon from Burlington, New Jersey blew an engine during their heat race and was unfortunately unable to start the main event.
Jordon Mallett again kicked off the evenings sprint car action by streaking to his third straight Goodyear Speed Dash win in a row. Morgan Turpen won the Engler Machine and Tool First Heat. Tim Crawley won the Butlerbuilt Second Heat. Gray also collected his second K&N Filters Podium Award for his third place finish in a row. Johnny Bridges was awarded the K&N Filters Pole Position after high-points earning, Tim Crawley drew a six inversion in the K&N Filters inversion draw.
Eric Riggins, Jr. was rewarded for his hard charging efforts with the Wilwood Hard Charger Award for the driver who advances the most positions in the main event for the second night in a row after improving nine positions in the main event. The JE Pistons Top Guns Award that rotates from first through fifth place at each event was earned by Justin Carver. Carver also garnered the Keizer Aluminum Wheels Top Five Award and Matt Linder collected the Diversified Machine/Bulldog Rear Ends Top Ten Award.
The next USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by Goodyear events is the USCS “Thunder in the Smokies” sprint car double-header weekend at two East Tennessee tracks just 25 miles apart. The first night is at Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tennessee on Friday, May 4th followed by the series appearance the following night, Saturday, May 5th at 411 Motor Speedway in Seymour, Tennessee. For more information on these and other USCS Outlaw Thunder events please call 770-460-7223 or visit www.uscsracing.com
United Sprint Car Series presented by Goodyear USCS Southern Thunder results:
Toccoa Speedway – Saturday, April 14, 2012.
Goodyear Speed Dash: Winner = Jordon Mallett, Tim Crawley, Justin Carver, Terry Gray, Anthony Nicholson and Morgan Turpen.
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: Winner = Morgan Turpen, Justin Carver, Johnny Bridges, Jordon Mallett, Matt Linder, Nick DeFeo, Brian Thomas, Joe Larkin and Stacy Mashburn.
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: Winner = Tim Crawley, Danny Martin, Jr., Anthony Nicholson, Robbie Stillwagon, Terry Gray, Eric Riggins, Jr., Bob Auld, Jason Day and A.J. Maddox DNS.
USCS presented by Goodyear results Feature 30 laps Toccoa Speedway April 14, 2012:
1 – 88 Tim Crawley, Benton, AR
2 – 47 Eric Riggins, Jr., Charlotte, NC
3 – 10 Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN
4 – 80 Morgan Turpen, Oakland, TN
5 – 87 Justin Carver, Drummonds, TN
6 – 82 Danny Martin, Jr., Sarasota, FL
7 – 16 Anthony Nicholson, Bartlett, TN
8 – 14 Jordon Mallett, Greenbrier, AR
9 – 07 Johnny Bridges, Cherryville,
10 – 1x Matt Linder, Hoschton, GA
11 – 67 Brian Thomas, Pendergrass, GA
12 – 83 Bob Auld, Sarasota, FL
13 – 33 Joe Larkin, Suwannee, GA NC
14 – 33M Stacy Mashburn, Newnan, GA
15 – 96d Nick DeFeo, Marietta, GA
16 – 4Q Jason Day, Cherryville, NC
17 – 3a A.J. Maddox, Tampa, FL 23
DNS Robbie Stillwagon, Burlington, NC
USCS Sprint Car Race Awards:
Goodyear Speed Dash winner: Jordon Mallett www.racegoodyear.com
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat Award: Morgan Turpen www.englermachine.com
Butlerbuilt Second Heat Award: Tim Crawley www.butlerbuilt.net
K&N Filters Pole Award: Johnny Bridges www.knfilters.com
Wilwood Eng. Hard Charger Award: Eric Riggins (started 10th finished 2nd) www.wildwood.com
JE Pistons Top Guns Award: Justin Carver (5th place) www.jepistons.com
K&N Filters Podium Award: Terry Gray (3rd place) www.knfilters.com
Keizer Wheels Top Five Award: Justin Carver www.keizerwheels.com
Diversified Machine Inc. Top Ten Award: Matt Linder www.diversifiedracing.com