Bridges races to win in USCS Sprints @ East Lincoln
STANLEY, N.C. - July 24, 2015 - The ‘Wild Child’ made his return to the top of the United Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters field after 15 long months on Friday night at East Lincoln Motor Speedway. 1998 series Rookie of the Year Johnny Bridges, from Cherryville, N.C. inherited the lead under a lap five caution during the 30-lap “Friday Fever” A-main, after early race leader C.J. Miller headed to the work area with front suspension problems.
Bridges then held off rookie points leader Nick Snyder, and ultimately, 11-time series champion Terry Gray over a series of restarts in the second half of the event to pick up his first win of the season and his 15th career USCS victory in the series’ inaugural visit to the tight North Carolina bullring. The trip to www.rockauto.com USCS Victory Lane was Bridges’ first since April 25, 2014 at Anderson (S.C.) Motor Speedway and made for an emotional victory lane celebration.
“[Wow], that felt good,” Bridges said after climbing on top of his No. 07 Ford-powered sprinter in celebration. “I didn’t know if I had anything for C.J. but I thought maybe I did. I hated to see him break so early on there but it was a huge break for us.”
Bridges had to survive two attempts at a green-white-checkered finish, set up after two multi-car crashes on the frontstretch shuffled the running order late in the going.
“We set the car up real tight to start and it just kept coming in. There at the end it might have been a little too loose on those late restarts. I did not want to see those cautions at all. I knew Terry was behind me at the very end and that’s the last thing you want is to have to hold him off. We did it though. It’s been a long time coming.”
Gray tried to chase Bridges down on the final two-lap sprint to the finish, but the veteran from Bartlett, Tenn. had nothing for Bridges and settled for second at the twin checkers. The 11-time champion also reclaimed the points lead by three markers over teammate Morgan Turpen, who rounded out the podium in third.
Bridges’ cousin and fellow Cherryville, N.C. native Lance Moss finished fourth and Pendergrass, Georgia’s Brian Thomas rebounded from a broken torsion bar to round out the top five.
Marco Island, Fla. rookie Snyder rallied after spinning out of second position with two laps remaining to finish sixth, with Eric Riggins Jr. coming home seventh after being collected off turn four when Snyder looped his machine. Brad Wickham, from Rutherfordton, N.C. was eighth and fellow Tar Heel State driver Shawn Mott was the last car running at the checkered flag in ninth, two laps down to the leaders.
Brandon McLain was credited with tenth at the checkered flag, after flipping on the opening start in turn one and re-firing to complete every lap until the final green-white-checkered restart. The race-deciding dash was brought on after McLain and Wickham made contact on the front stretch, leading to McLain spinning backwards and tagging the inside wall.
In all, six cautions and one red flag flew during the 30-lap feature, the most slowdowns in any single USCS main event this season.
Bridges kicked off the evening’s racing action by winning the Hoosier Tire Speed Dash, and C.J. Miller scored the win in the Engler Machine and Tools First Heat. Terry Gray rolled to the victory in the Butlerbuilt Second Heat.
Gray was the provisional pole-starter after scoring the most passing points in heat race action, but after a six was rolled on the K&N Filters Inversion Die, Nick Snyder received the K&N Filters Pole Award. Morgan Turpen passed the most cars in the A-main (eight) to grab the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award.
The United Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters continues their 2015 schedule on Saturday night, July 25 with the Summer Speed Xplosion at the Fayetteville Motor Speedway in Fayetteville, N.C. The stop is the first for the series at the four-tenths mile track since 2010, when Sport Allen picked up the victory.
The event will also be the conclusion to the five-race USCS Southern Speedweek mini-series. Terry Gray leads Eric Riggins Jr. by two points and his teammate Morgan Turpen by four points heading into the Speedweek finale.
For rules and updated schedule information about the United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour, please visit www.uscsracing.com or call the series office at 770-460-7223 or 770-865-6097.
RESULTS: USCS Sprint Car Series “Summer Speed Xpolsion” at East Lincoln Motor Speedway; July 24, 2015
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: Johnny Bridges, Terry Gray, Eric Riggins Jr., Morgan Turpen, Jay Dunham, and Brandon McLain.
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: C.J. Miller, Johnny Bridges, Nick Snyder, Lance Moss, Eric Riggins Jr., Morgan Turpen, Greg Smyre, Brad Wickham.
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: Terry Gray, Gary Troutman, Bobby Komisarski, Brandon McLain, Jay Dunham, Joe Larkin, Brian Thomas, Shawn Mott.
USCS Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N Glen Francis Memorial Cup A-main: 30-laps
1. #07 – Johnny Bridges, Cherryville, NC
2. #10 – Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN
3. #10M – Morgan Turpen, Cordova, TN
4. #23 – Lance Moss, Cherryville, NC
5. #67 – Brian Thomas, Pendergrass, GA
6. #116 – Nick Snyder, Marco Island, FL
7. #47 – Eric Riggins Jr., Charlotte, NC
8. #6T – Brad Wickham, Rutherfordton, NC
9. #5M – Shawn Mott, Rockwell, NC
10. #21B – Brandon McLain, Indian Trail, NC
11. #21K – Greg Smyre, Hickory, NC
12. #44 – Gary Troutman, Vale, NC
13. #33 – Joe Larkin, Suwanee, GA
14. #9 – C.J. Miller, Mooresville, NC
15. #17 – Bobby Komisarski, Lake Wylie, SC
16. #51 – Jay Dunham, Grovetown, GA
USCS Sprint Car Series Race Awards:
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: #07 – Johnny Bridges
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: #9 – C.J. Miller
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: #10 – Terry Gray
K&N Filters Pole Award: #116 – Nick Snyder
JE Pistons Top Guns Award: #10 – Terry Gray (2nd place)
Bell Helmets Focus Award: #10 – Terry Gray
K&N Filters Podium (3rd place) Award: #10M – Morgan Turpen
Brown and Miller Racing Solutions Fourth Place Award: #23 – Lance Moss
Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award: #10M – Morgan Turpen
Keizer Aluminum Wheels Top Five Award: #67 – Brian Thomas
Saldana Racing Products Super Sixth Award: #116 – Nick Snyder
Pyrotect Racing Cells Lucky Seven Award: #47 – Eric Riggins Jr.
DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends Top Ten Award: #21B – Brandon McLain
The United Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters would like to gratefully thank its sponsoring partners for their involvement in the 2015 and 19th anniversary USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour: K&N Filters, www.rockauto.com,Engler Machine and Tool, Butlerbuilt, Wilwood Disc Brakes, Saldana Racing Products, Pyrotect Racing Cells, DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends. Bell Racing USA, KSE Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, DSR Fuel Systems, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions.
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