Martin wins USCS feature at Ocala

Danny Martin, Jr. following his victory on Friday at Bubba Raceway Park. (Chris Seelman Photo)

Danny Martin, Jr. following his victory on Friday at Bubba Raceway Park. (Chris Seelman Photo)
Danny Martin, Jr. following his victory on Friday at Bubba Raceway Park. (Chris Seelman Photo)
From Jacob Seelman

Ocala, FL — (October 16, 2015) — In the United Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters’ debut on the dirt at Bubba Raceway Park, it was home state driver Danny Martin Jr. carrying the victory laurels Friday night.

Martin, a three-time USCS national championship runner-up from Sarasota, Fla., charged past Charlotte, N.C. young gun and K&N Filters polesitter Eric Riggins Jr. on lap four of the 25-lap Florida State Championship preliminary night A-main and held the lead for the remainder of the distance, darting in and out of traffic and away from the field to score his third USCS feature win of the 2015 season.

The trip to Victory Lane came despite a restart with nine laps to go, where Martin drove down the banking exiting turn four to get a run and leave Riggins in his tire tracks down the stretch.

“I don’t know what the difference was, honestly – I was just hoping for a good [restart] so I could pull away,” Martin said of his 23rd career USCS win. “I didn’t know if I should go low and try to block a slider or stay high and run my groove. I decided to just rail it around the top in the end there – I figured if anyone could pull a slider on me they had just better hope I didn’t drive back under them down the straightaway (laughs).”

“It’s a great night, though. I have to thank my car owner, Doug Shaw – we couldn’t do this without him.”

The first 16 laps of the main event ran green without incident, but a lengthy stoppage came with nine laps to go when Floridians Tony Agin and A.J. Maddox got together in turns one and two, with Maddox flipping wildly after heavy contact with the outside guardrail at the exit of turn two.

Maddox was uninjured in the crash.

When the race resumed, it was Martin who paced the remainder of the distance, with 19-year-old Trey Starks weaving his way through the chaos of lapped traffic to grab the runner-up position from Riggins.

Starks, the reigning Western Sprint Tour champion from Puyallup, Wash., would hold the spot from lap 18 onward, with Riggins crossing the line third at the checkered flag.

The “Jacksonville Jack,” Matt Kurtz, came home right where he started in fourth and Ocean Springs, Miss. veteran Michael Miller came from 13th to round out the top five.

Former Little 500 Rookie of the Year and 17-year-old Valrico, Fla. driver Garrett Green finished sixth in his USCS dirt debut, followed closely by national points leader Morgan Turpen, out of Cordova, Tenn. in seventh. Tampa, Fla. veteran Gene Lasker brought his No. 02 sprinter home in eighth and Jacksonville’s Mark Ruel Jr. finished ninth. 11-time USCS national champion Terry Gray, from Bartlett, Tenn., capped off the top 10.

The story of the night was Ocala local Tyler Clem, who at 13 years old was the youngest driver in the field. The son of Bubba Raceway Park promoter Bubba Clem came from the second to last row on the grid (21st starting spot) to finish just behind Gray in 11th.

Riggins kicked off the evening’s racing action by winning the Hoosier Tire Speed Dash, and Martin scored the win in the Engler Machine and Tools First Heat. Riggins followed up his dash win by claiming the checkers in the Butlerbuilt Second Heat, and Kurtz took the victory in the Schoenfeld Headers Third Heat.

Kurtz was the provisional polesitter after scoring the most passing points in heat race action, but after a four was rolled on the K&N Inversion Die, Riggins received the K&N Filters Pole Award. Clem passed the most cars in the A-main (10) to grab the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award.

The United Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N continues their 2015 schedule on Saturday night, Oct. 17 with the finale of the USCS Florida State Championships at Bubba Raceway Park.

For rules and updated schedule information about the United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour, please visit or call the series office at 770-460-7223 or 770-865-6097.

RESULTS: USCS Sprint Car Series “Florida State Championship”; Bubba Raceway Park; Oct. 16, 2015

Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: Eric Riggins Jr., Terry Gray, Michael Miller, Nick Snyder, Jeff Willingham, Morgan Turpen

Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: Danny Martin Jr., Garrett Green, Brandon McLain, Tony Agin, Michael Miller, Terry Witherspoon, Darren Orth, Danny Sams III.

Butlerbuilt Second Heat: Matt Kurtz, Trey Starks, A.J. Maddox, Nick Snyder, Jeff Willingham, Joe Larkin, Clint Weiss, Tanner Witherspoon (DNS).

Schoenfeld Headers Third Heat: Eric Riggins Jr., Terry Gray, Morgan Turpen, Gene Lasker, Mark Ruel Jr., Shawn Murray, Tyler Clem, Brandon Grubaugh.

USCS Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N Florida State Championship preliminary A-main: 25-laps

1. #24 – Danny Martin Jr., Sarasota, FL
2. #23 – Trey Starks, Puyallup, WA
3. #47 – Eric Riggins Jr., Charlotte, NC
4. #82 – Matt Kurtz, Jacksonville, FL
5. #4M – Michael Miller, Ocean Springs, MS
6. #28G – Garrett Green, Valrico, FL
7. #10M – Morgan Turpen, Cordova, TN
8. #02 – Gene Lasker, Tampa, FL
9. #83 – Mark Ruel Jr., Jacksonville, FL
10. #10 – Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN
11. #14 – Tyler Clem, Ocala, FL
12. #22 – Shawn Murray, Jacksonville, FL
13. #116 – Nick Snyder, Marco Island, FL
14. #G6 – Brandon Grubaugh, Ocala, FL
15. #43T – Tanner Witherspoon, Jacksonville, FL
16. #3 – Tony Agin, Ft. Myers, FL
17. #43 – Terry Witherspoon, Jacksonville, FL
18. #24D – Danny Sams III, Georgetown, KY
19. #28 – Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS
20. #33 – Joe Larkin, Suwanee, GA
21. #21B – Brandon McLain, Indian Trail, NC
22. #3A – A.J. Maddox, Brandon, FL
23. #34 – Darren Orth, Jacksonville, FL
24. #0X – Clint Weiss, Jesup, GA