Danny Martin, Jr. Surges to win in USCS Senoia Summer Nationals VI Final
SENOIA, Ga. – August 22, 2015 - Story by Jacob Seelman - Eric Riggins Jr.’s three-race winning streak in the Senoia Summer Nationals came to an end during Saturday night’s finale to the sixth running of the race, after Sarasota, Fla. veteran Danny Martin Jr. drove to the lead with six laps to go and went on to score his first-ever feature victory at the three-eighths mile bullring. The win in the 30-lap main event was Martin’s second USCS feature win of the season and the 22nd of his career.
Martin passed Andy McElhannon’s ailing No. 42 McCord Farms sprinter exiting turn two to claim the top spot, then held off Riggins on the ensuing lap 25 restart after McElhannon came to a stop on the frontstretch with a flat left rear tire to bring out the caution flag.
“I just kept studying [Eric], honestly,” Martin admitted in www.rockauto.com USCS Victory Lane of how he found the line and the bite he needed to make the pass for the win. “He’s really good here. I learned something from the late models too – they kept going in low and making it stick [on the bottom] – and that’s a lot of what Eric and the 42 [of McElhannon] were doing.”
“They had been beating me in two all night but as the laps wore on I knew it was only a matter of time. I got around Eric, and then it’s unfortunate that Andy had the problems he did because he’s a good friend of mine, but we’ll take it however we can get it. This is a great night for us.”
For McElhannon, who passed K&N Filters Pole Position starter Riggins and led laps 11 through 24, the heartbreak was evident in his voice after the main event ended – coming so close to a feature win only to come up empty for the third time in 2015.
“We had a left rear tire let go on us,” McElhannon explained. “It’s really disappointing. I don’t know what happened to it, if it got too hot or what, because there’s no treads left on it to tell. I hate it – I could almost taste that victory tonight – but we’ll keep coming after it. We’ve had a lot of bad luck lately, but sooner or later we’ll put all the pieces together.”
“If it had been a 25 lap feature instead of a 30-lap one we’d have had it tonight, but it just wasn’t meant to be this time.”
Riggins chased Martin for the final five laps after recovering from an oil leak early in the race, but had to settle for second after his Friday night feature win. The 20-year-old said he “just didn’t have the car” to be able to get back to the front after pacing the opening 10 laps of the main.
16-year-old rookie Nick Snyder, from Marco Island, Fla., hung onto a sliding car to score his second podium finish in as many nights – coming up third at the checkered flag. Cordova, Tennessee hot shoe Morgan Turpen finished fourth and A.J. Maddox, out of Brandon, Florisa gave the Sunshine State a third driver in the top five with his fifth place effort.
Montgomery, Alabama’s Kyle Amerson led the next group of drivers with a sixth-place run, followed by reigning series Rookie of the Year Brandon McLain in seventh. The 2013 USCS Rookie f the Year, Curt Terrell, from Bartlett, Tennessee faded to eighth after his third-place run on Friday night and fellow Bartlett native and 11 time series Champion Terry Gray followed in ninth place after a mid race spin to avoid a tangle with a lapped car, while running fifth. Lima, Ohio invader Shawn Dancer rounded out the top 10 finishers.
The caution flag waved twice on the 30-lap main event; once at lap 15 for the spinning Gray in turn one and again with five laps to go for McElhannon’s issues on the frontstretch.
Riggins kicked off the evening’s racing action by winning the Hoosier Tire Speed Dash, Morgan Turpen scored the win in the Engler Machine and Tools First Heat. Kyle Amerson rolled to the victory in the Butlerbuilt Second Heat.
Riggins was the provisional pole-sitter after going from ninth to second and scoring the most passing points in heat race action, and after Turpen rolled a zero on the K&N Inversion Die, Riggins also received the K&N Filters Pole Award. Martin passed the most cars in the A-main (nine) to grab the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award.
The United Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N continues their 2015 schedule on Friday night, September 4 with the first night of a four-day Labor Day weekend swing at the Lavonia Speedway in Lavonia, Ga.
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 “Senoia Summer Nationals VI”; Senoia Raceway; August 22, 2015
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: Eric Riggins Jr., Johnny Bridges, Curt Terrell, Nick Snyder, Andy McElhannon, Shawn Dancer.
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: Morgan Turpen, Eric Riggins Jr., Nick Snyder, Shawn Dancer, A.J. Maddox, Brian Thomas, Col. Lance Hester, Joe Larkin, Jay Dunham.
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: Kyle Amerson, Brandon McLain, Andy McElhannon, Terry Gray, Curt Terrell, Danny Martin Jr., Johnny Bridges, Jeff Willingham, Bob Auld.
USCS Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N Senoia Summer Nationals VI finale A-main: 30-laps
1. #24 – Danny Martin Jr., Sarasota, FL
2. #47 – Eric Riggins Jr., Charlotte, NC
3. #116 – Nick Snyder, Marco Island, FL
4. #10M – Morgan Turpen, Cordova, TN
5. #3A – A.J. Maddox, Brandon, FL
6. #3 – Kyle Amerson, Montgomery, AL
7. #21B – Brandon McLain, Indian Trail, NC
8. #27 – Curt Terrell, Bartlett, TN
9. #10 – Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN
10. #49 – Shawn Dancer, Lima, OH
11. #67 – Brian Thomas, Pendergrass, GA
12. #28 – Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS
13. #83 – Bob Auld, Largo, FL
14. #33 – Joe Larkin, Suwanee, GA
15. #42 – Andy McElhannon, Nesbit, MS
16. #07 – Johnny Bridges, Cherryville, NC
17. #F16 – Col. Lance Hester, Wetumpka, AL
18. #51 – Jay Dunham, Grovetown, GA (DNS)
USCS Sprint Car Series Race Awards:
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: #47 – Eric Riggins Jr.
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: #10M – Morgan Turpen
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: #3 – Kyle Amerson
K&N Filters Pole Award: #47 – Eric Riggins Jr.
JE Pistons Top Guns Award: #47 – Eric Riggins Jr. (2nd place)
Bell Helmets Focus Award: #47 – Eric Riggins Jr.
K&N Filters Podium (3rd place) Award: #116 – Nick Snyder
Brown and Miller Racing Solutions Fourth Place Award: #10M – Morgan Turpen
Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award: #24 – Danny Martin Jr.
Keizer Aluminum Wheels Top Five Award: #3A – A.J. Maddox
Saldana Racing Products Super Sixth Award: #3 – Kyle Amerson
Pyrotect Racing Cells Lucky Seven Award: #21B – Brandon McLain
DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends Top Ten Award: #49 – Shawn Dancer
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.
Photo & Caption #10: #24 Danny Martin, Jr. (pictured with car owner Doug Shaw) won his 22nd career USCS feature at Senoia Raceway on Saturday night. (USCS photo)
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