Dale Howard claims USCS Mid-South Thunder Tour regional series Championship in 2020

Dale Howard USCS photo

By Pete Walton
Atlanta, GA – November 24, 2020 – Six-time 2020 United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by K&N Filters feature winner, Dale Howard from Byhalia, Mississippi claimed the USCS Mid-South Thunder Tour regional series title during the 2020 and 24th anniversary season. The title is Howard’s first ever USCS regional series Championship and should be noted that this title is for the Championship of the tough USCS Mid-South regional series where Howard secured five of his six 2020 season wins.

The Byhalia, Mississippi driver bested 107different drivers after 20 events that averaged 26 driver entries who competed throughout the season in USCS Mid-South Thunder Tour events during the 2020 season for the regional series title. Dale Howard also finished in seventh place in the USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour National point standings, although competing on a somewhat limited basis not allowing himself to compete for the National title. In a year that saw 11 different winners, Howard’s six trips to the www.rockauto.com USCS Victory Lane were the second most serries wins for the 2020 season behind the series wins leader Mark Smith’s fourteen 2020 season USCS wins.

Two-time USCS National Champion and two-time and defending USCS Mid-South Thunder regional series Champion Morgan Turpen from Somerville, Tennessee claimed the runner-up spot in the Mid-South standings just 62 points back. The title chase was not decided until the final points event during the USCS Flip Flop 50 at Riverside International Speedway on November 7th.the USCS. She (Turpen) finished in the eight position in the USCS National point standings after, like Dale Howard running less than the full National title schedule.

The13-time and 2020 USCS National Champion Terry Gray from Bartlett, Tennessee finished 76 points behind Dale Howard in third place in the final Mid-South region standings and was just 14 points behind Turpen who is his team-mate in the 2020 USCS Mid-South final point standings. Gray clinched the National title(his 13th) during the final weekend of USCS competition at Southern Raceway in Milton, Florida.

The 2020 USCS National Rookie of the Year and USCS Southern Thunder regional series Champion, 16-year-old Conner Leoffler from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina finished in fourth position in the Mid-South region final standings. Leoffler also garnered a second-place finish in the final USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by K&N Filters National Championship standings just 4 points behind 2020 National Champion, Terry Gray. Leoffler was also a three-time USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour feature winner. The first Rookie USCS competitor to ever win multiple main events in their first season competing in the series.

Mark Smith who competed in 15 of the 20 USCS Mid-South regional series and had eight of his fourteen USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour wins in USCS Mid-South regional series competition. That was good enough to finish in the fifth position in the final USCS Mid-South Thunder Tour regional series point standings. Mark Smith also finished in ninth place in the other USCS regional sprint car series, the USCS Southern Thunder Tour where he won the first six events and then added two more on Labor Day weekend that were dual region points awarded events. He also garnered a sixth-place finish in the USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour National standings while competing in 29 of the 36 National events.

The sixth positions in the USCS Mid-South regional series standings was earned by Mallie Shuster, both from Newville, Pennsylvania who competed in every 2020 USCS season event regionally and Nationally. In the Southern Thunder Tour regional series Mallie Shuster finished in fourth place. Mallie Shuster also finished in fourth position after 36 completed events Nationally.

Mallie Shuster’s team-mate, Jim Shuster, also from Newville, Pennsylvania finished in the seventh position in the USCS Mid-South regional series. Jim Shuster also finished in fifth place in the USCS Southern Thunder regional series. He had his best United Sprint Car Series effort in the USCS National point standings finishing in the third position competing in all after 36 races.

The “Ripley Rooster”, Jeff Willingham from Ripley, Mississippi, who was the 2012 USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour “Rookie of the Year”, finished in the eighth position during the 2020 season in the USCS Mid-South regional series final standings. Willingham also garnered a fifth-place finish in the 2020 USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by K&N Filters National point standings and finished sixth in the USCS Southern Thunder regional series.
USCS Rookie of the Year contender Landon Britt from Atoka, Tennessee finished ninth in the highly competitive USCS Mid-South regional series standings. Landon Britt who previously competed in the Winged 305 Sprint Car division at Riverside International Speedway had seven top ten finishes in USCS Mid-South regional series action. Britt’s efforts were good enough to garner the USCS Mid-South Thunder regional series Rookie of the Year award.
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Another 2020 USCS Rookie of the Year contender, Eric Gunderson from Canton, Georgia completed the top ten in the USCS Mid-South Thunder Tour point standings. Gunderson who had no sprint car experience prior to running just a few races in 2019, showed marked improvement throughout the 2020 season and was impressive at the USCS Flip Flop event at Riverside International Speedway on November 6th and 7th. . He finished just out of the top ten in the USCS Southern Thunder regional series and in the National standings, where he was just out of the top ten in the 11th place in both standings.

Mark Smith from Sunbury, Pennsylvania led the wins column in the USCS Mid-South Thunder region with eight wins during 2002 in the series. He was followed by Dale Howard with five 2020 wins in second place. The 2013 USCS National Champion, Derek Hagar from Marion, Arkansas was third during 2020 with three victories. Howard Moore from Memphis, Tennessee won twice in USCS Mid-South competition and 2020 USCS rookie of the Year, Conner Leoffler from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Hayden Martin from Olive Branch, Mississippi both won one USCS Mid-South Thunder Tour even during 2020t.

USCS Founder and President, Pete Walton said ‘We are proud to announce that Dale Howard was able to capture his first USCS title in a USCS series after having a great 2020 season. He proved he is not only one of the Mid-South’s, but, one of the Nation’s top 360 winged sprint car drivers.

The complete season schedule 2020 USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by K&N Filters with winners can be found at www.uscsracing.com For rules and other info please visit www.uscsracing.com or call the series office 770-865-6097. We invite you to please follow USCS Racing on Facebook and Twitter as well @uscsracing

Photo/Caption car #47: Dale Howard from Byhalia, Mississippi claimed his first USCS Mid-South Thunder regional series and career-first USCS title during 2020. (USCS file photo)

USCS Mid-South Thunder Regional series 2020 Final Point Standing after 20 events:

Pos. Car# Driver Point
1 47 Dale Howard 2810
2 10m Morgan Turpen 2752
3 10 Terry Gray 2738
4 22 Connor Leoffler 2621
5 M1 Mark Smith 2475
6 20 Jim Shuster 2327
7 49 Mallie Shuster 2307
8 28 Jeff Willingham 2244
9 10L Landon Britt 1942
10 7E Eric Gunderson 1572
11 29 Kyle Amerson 1504
12 4 Danny Smith 1497
13 14 Jordon Mallett 1345
14 13 Chase Howard 1199
15 29 Jeff Oliver 1182
16 44 Ronny Howard 1156
17 3 Howard Moore 1148
18 67 Hayden Martin 1132
19 17 Alex Lyles 1030
20 10k Dewayne White 910
21 5M Max Stambaugh 846
22 97 Dale Day 782
23 g6 Cody Gardner 774
24 21 Spencer Meredith 762
25 93 Jake Knight 750
26 6 Dustin Gates 700
27 26 Marshall Skinner 695
28 12 Luke Hall 578
29 2H Tommy Hall 574
30 17b Shelby Brown 540
31 2 Brad Bowden 539
Tie 4s Carson Short 539
33 43 Terry Witherspoon 528
34 187 Landon Crawley 502
35 99 Blake Jenkins 472
36 72k Rick Kahler 466
37 w20 Greg Wilson 457
38 3B Chris Banja 444
39 7 Brandon Taylor 440
Tie 9jr Derek Hagar 440
41 17H Hud Horton 439
42 24 Jeffrey West Jr 434
43 14 Tony Stewart 429
44 27J Joseph Poe Jr 422
Tie 16 Koty Adams 422
46 95 Asa Swindell 418
47 91A Ernie Ainsworth 408
48 7c Phil Gressman 404
49 23 Lance Moss 392
50 4m Michael Miller 384
51 93 Chris Sweeney 370
Tie 18J RJ Jacobs 370
53 61 Cody Howard 358
54 14R Sean Rayhall 354
55 7J Gregg Jones 348
56 1A Lee Moore 334
57 2 Josh Grimes 332
58 17jr Ricky Stenhouse Jr 303
59 83 Lynton Jeffrey 292
60 17G Channin Tankersley 278
Tie 4G Eddie Gallagher 278
62 22M Dan McCarron 268
63 24 Kobe Allison 256
64 8A Alan Myers 250
65 83A Austin Miller 238
66 17 Jared Horstman 234
67 3 Paxton Gregory 230
68 1x Tim Crawley 226
69 12m Greg Merritt 220
70 83 Bob Auld 210
Tie 5 Richard Reynolds 210
72 17L Jeff Leach 200
73 24 Danny Martin Jr 148
Tie 94 Jeff Swindell 148
75 24 Terry McCarl 142
76 88 Brandon Blenden 138
77 15J Jeremy Middleton 136
78 1 Shane Morgan 134
79 21B Brandon McLain 128
80 57c Chris Schmelzle 126
81 45B Casey Burkham 124
Tie 15jr Geoff Styner 124
83 15 Danny Burke 120
84 B52 Bill Mason 118
Tie 92 Cody Hays 118
Tie 9 Edward Guidry 118
Tie 11B Tyler Horn 118
88 8x Tony Higgins 116
89 28 Davie Franek 114
90 10H Dustin Homan 108
91 17 Seth Bergman 106
Tie 22s Slater Helt 106
93 65 Brandon Lovelace 104
94 21m Adam Cruea 100
Tie 21 Aubrey Black 100
Tie 29 Chad Jones 100
Tie 66 Chase Dunham 100
Tie 12 Corbin Gurley 100
Tie 21 Corey Bailey 100
Tie 27 Curt Terrell 100
Tie 7D Dylan DeJournett 100
Tie 121 Jan Howard 100
Tie 21k Kevin Hinkle 100
Tie 2 Ricky Peterson 100
Tie 17x Trapper Brown 100
Tie 74 Tucker Boulton 100
Tie 16 Wesley Shepard 100