Leoffler Wins USCS Feature at Southern Raceway

Connor Leoffler. (USCS Photo)

From PEte Walton

MILTON, FLa. (May 15, 2021) — The 2020 USCS Rookie of the Year and defending USCS Southern Thunder regional series Champion, 16-year-old Conner Leoffler from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina passed K&N Filters Pole Position starter the “Peruvian Outlaw” Mark Ruel, Jr. from Jacksonville, Florida exiting turn two on the final lap of the 30-lap USCS Battle at the Beach 21′ round two finale at Southern Raceway on Saturday night to snatch the victory from the Florida driver who was looking to clinch a career-first USCS win after leading the first 29 laps of the contest. It was the young gun’s (Leoffler) career-fourth USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour opportunity to park in the www.RockAuto.com USCS Victory Lane.

Ruel, Jr., who worked lapped traffic to perfection until the final circuit when a group just ahead of the lead duo allowed Leoffler to slide under Ruel, Jr. and drive away down the back stretch. Ruel crossed the finish line just three car lengths back of the winner in the runner-up spot. Biloxi, Mississippi’s Brandon Blendon followed Ruel, Jr. in the final podium spot in third place for his career best USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour finish. The previous night’s USCS sprint car feature winner and two-time series Champion, Jordon Mallett from Greenbrier, Arkansas, followed Blendon in fourth place. Hayden Campbell from Montverde, Florida rounded out the top five finishers.

The USCS National points leader, veteran Sprint Car Hall of Famer, Danny Smith from Chillicothe, Ohio led the next group of drivers to the checkers in sixth place followed by Marco Island, Florida’s Nick Snyder in seventh. Another Floridian, Matt Kurtz from Jacksonville was eighth followed by another past Southern Raceway feature winner, Kyle Amerson from Montgomery, Alabama was ninth and thirteen-time National Champion, Terry Gray from Bartlett, Tennessee rounded out the top ten.

The previous night’s winner, Jordon Mallett kicked of the evening’s action by winning the USCS Hoosier Speed Dash for the top six cars from the last USCS event. The 2020 USCS Mid-South regional series Rookie of the Year, Landon Britt from Atoka, Tennessee won the Engler Machine and Tool First Heat. Conner Leoffler reached the checkers first in the Brown and Miller Racing Solution Second Heat and 2015 Rookie of the Year, Nick Snyder closed out the preliminary qualifying events with a win in the JJ Supply of N.C. Third Heat Race. Terry Gray garnered the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger award for advancing the most positions in the main event (six) after starting sixteenth and finishing in the top ten.

The next seven stops for the USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by K&N Filters will be for the 16th Annual USCS Sprint Car Speedweek mini-series. The USCS Sprint Speedweek 2021 kicks off at Greenville Speedway in Greenville, Mississippi on Friday, May 28th.

USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by K&N Filters
Southern Raceway
Milton , Florida
Saturday. May 15, 2021

Engler Heat Race #1 (8 Laps)
1. 10L-Landon Britt[2]
2. 92-Matt Kurtz[1]
3. 88-Brandon Blenden[4]
4. 29-Kyle Amerson[3]
5. 43-Terry Witherspoon[5]
6. 10-Terry Gray[7]
7. 4M-Michael Miller[6]

BMRS Heat Race #2 (8 Laps)
1. 22-Connor Leoffler[1]
2. 14-Jordon Mallett[2]
3. 5-Hayden Campbell[3]
4. 4B-Billy Boyd Jr[4]
5. 67-Brian Thomas[6]
6. 83-Bob Auld[5]

JJ Supply Heat Race #3 (8 Laps)
1. 116-Nick Snyder[1]
2. 83R-Mark Ruel Jr[4]
3. 4-Danny Smith[5]
4. 28-Jeff Willingham[6]
5. 7E-Eric Gunderson[7]
6. 77-Jeff Smith[3]
DNS: 17-Stefen Oakes

Hoosier Speed Dash (6 Laps)
1. 14-Jordon Mallett[1]
2. 4-Danny Smith[3]
3. 29-Kyle Amerson[4]
4. 116-Nick Snyder[6]
DNS: 22-Connor Leoffler
DNS: 5-Hayden Campbell

Feature (30 Laps)
1. 22-Connor Leoffler[3]
2. 83R-Mark Ruel Jr[1]
3. 88-Brandon Blenden[7]
4. 14-Jordon Mallett[5]
5. 5-Hayden Campbell[9]
6. 4-Danny Smith[8]
7. 116-Nick Snyder[2]
8. 92-Matt Kurtz[6]
9. 29-Kyle Amerson[12]
10. 10-Terry Gray[16]
11. 43-Terry Witherspoon[15]
12. 7E-Eric Gunderson[14]
13. 28-Jeff Willingham[10]
14. 4B-Billy Boyd Jr[11]
15. 83-Bob Auld[17]
16. 77-Jeff Smith[18]
17. 4M-Michael Miller[19]
18. 67-Brian Thomas[13]
DNS: 10L-Landon Britt
DNS: 17-Stefen Oakes