Eric Riggins Jr. USCS Photo

By Roby Helm
GASTONIA, NC – April 5, 2024 – Eric Riggins Jr. of Charlotte, NC traded the lead early with 2023 Daytona 500 winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. of Olive Branch, MS to post his 21st United Sprint Car Series career win on Friday night at Carolina Speedway. After leading the first five laps of the race, “The Carolina Kid” made the winning pass on lap 19, and pulled away from Stenhouse for the win.

Riggins became the ninth different winner in the first ten United Sprint Car Series Presented By K&N Filter races of the 2024 season. Stenhouse finished second, followed by Ryan Roberts of Aurora, NE in third, Lance Moss of Cherryville, NC in fourth, and Johnny Bridges of Cherryville, NC taking the fifth spot.

The defending 15-time USCS National Champion and National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Inductee Terry Gray of Bartlett, TN was sixth, with Ricky Peterson of Rawson, OH finishing seventh. Bradon Grubaugh of Ocala, FL took the eighth spot. Jeff Oliver of Pendergrass, GA was ninth.

The 2021 USCS National Champion and National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Inductee Danny Smith of Chillicothe, OH started 20th and rounded out the top ten to earn the Wilwood Brakes Hard Charger of the Race Award.

Riggins made it a Clean-Sweep of the event by winning the six-lap Hoosier Racing Tire Speed Dash to earn the pole position for the 25-lap Main Event, and winning the eight-lap Westhold Third Heat Race. In other preliminary action, Stenhouse won the eight-lap Engler Machine & Tool First Heat Race, and Moss won the eight-lap Butlerbuilt Racing Products Second Heat Race.

Riggins grabbed the lead at the start of the race followed by Stenhouse, Moss, Gray and Roberts. Stenhouse drove by Riggins for the lead on lap six, and a caution flag slowed the field on lap seven. On the restart, Roberts passed Gray for the fourth spot. Stenhouse battled with Riggins for the lead, while Bridges worked up to the top five with a pass on Gray during the 11th tour.

By lap 15, Stenhouse had pulled out to a 1.139 second lead over Riggins, but as the leader worked lapped traffic, Riggins closed to within .104 seconds on lap 18, and took the lead on the next lap. The second and final caution flag came out on lap 20, which bunched the field up for a six-lap dash to the finish.

Riggins led Stenhouse, Roberts, Moss and Bridges down for the restart, and with two laps to go, Riggins had pulled out to a one second lead over Stenhouse. Riggins took the checkered flag on lap 25 with a 1.442 second margin of victory over Stenhouse, The 25 laps were completed in 13 minutes and 20.324 seconds.

The United Sprint Cars Series Presented By K&N Filters will travel to Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, SC for action on Saturday night. For more information visit the USCS website at uscsracing.com and the series Facebook page, or call the series office at 770-865-6097.

United Sprint Car Series Marketing Partners are K&N Filters, Engler Machine & Tool, Hoosier Racing Tire, Huggins Cams, Hero Graphics, DMI/Bulldog, J&J Supply of NC, Racing Electronics, JE Pistons, DHR Suspension, Wilwood Disc Brakes, KSE Racing Products, PRO Shocks, Schoenfeld Headers, and Arizona Sport Shirts.


FEATURE RACE – 25 Laps: 1. 47 Eric Riggins Jr., Charlotte, NC (1); 2. 17jr Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Olive Branch, MS (2); 3. 23r Ryan Roberts, Aurora, NE, (6); 4. 23 Lance Moss, Cherryville, NC (3); 5. 07 Johnny Bridges, Cherryville, NC (9); 6. 10 Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN (4); 7. 2 Ricky Peterson, Rawson, OH (12); 8. G6 Brandon Grubaugh, Ocala, FL (8); 9. 29 Jeff Oliver, Pendergrass, GA (17); 10. 4 Danny Smith, Ocala, FL (20); 11. 96 Brandon Simpson, Mesa, AZ (11); 12. 41 Luke Hill, Odessa, FL (10); 13. B5 Brianna Lawson, Southern Pines, NC (7); 14. 33 Joe Larkin, Suwanee, GA (14); 15. 28 Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS (15); 16. 83 Bob Auld, Largo, FL (16); 17. 9 C.J. Miller, Mooresville, NC (5); 18. 17 Biscuit Williams, Mooresville, NC (21); 19. 30 Matt Luck, Lancaster, SC (18); 20. 7 Camden Jackson, Cherryville, NC (19); 21. X Kevin Heavner, Charlotte, NC (13).

HOOSIER RACING TIRE SPEED DASH – 6 Laps: 1. Riggins; 2. Stenhouse; 3. Moss; 4. Gray; 5. Miller; 6. Roberts.

HEAT RACES – 8 Laps:

ENGLER MACHINE & TOOL HEAT 1: 1. Stenhouse; 2. Lawson; 3. Bridges; 4. Grubaugh; 5. Peterson; 6. Oliver; 7. Williams.

BUTLERBUILT RACING PRODUCTS HEAT 2: 1. Moss; 2. Roberts; 3. Hill; 4. Sampson; 5. Willingham; 6. Auld; 7. Luck.

WESTHOLD HEAT 3: 1. Riggins; 2. Miller; 3. Gray; 4. Larkin; 5. Heavner; 6. Jackson; 7. Smith.