T-Mac Claims Carolina Speedway Glory; Wins Night One of North-South Shootout
GASTONIA, N.C. – October 30, 2015 - Chris Seelman photo - After a 14-year absence, Altoona, Iowa veteran Terry McCarl made his return to the United Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters a winning one Friday night at Carolina Speedway.
In his first attempt at the four-tenths mile oval, McCarl started from the K&N Filters pole position and weathered both traffic and a crash-riddled A-main to take the victory on night one of the rescheduled third annual North/South Shootout, leading every lap in his No. 24 Country Builders Construction/Snow Plow Snow Pushers machine and driving away from 19-year-old Trey Starks on a final five lap dash to the checkered flag.
|The win in the 30-lap event was McCarl’s third-career USCS feature win, first in the series since Oct. 27, 2001 at Volusia Speedway Park and his first-ever win in the state of North Carolina.
“Track position is always important, but in a field of cars like this you’ve also got to have a great car and a great engine,” McCarl said inwww.rockauto.com Victory Lane. “My guys were on it tonight, they did such a great job dialing this piece in – it’s the same motor we won the 360 Knoxville Nationals with this year, so she’s got a pretty good track record.”
“I had a great time tonight; this was the first time we were here and it was important to us to come down here and add another state to my feature wins list – I’m up to 21 or 22 now, so we’re really proud of that.”
On the eve of Halloween, three wild flips were among the four incidents that slowed the pace, beginning at lap three when Florida native Terry Witherspoon got together with Bill Moore at the entrance to turn three, sending Moore’s car into a series of tumbles before it came to rest and putting both cars out of the action for the night.
The drama continued a lap later after the race resumed, with four-time Carolina Speedway winner and Cherryville, N.C. native Johnny Bridges going for his own wild ride in turn two after 70 quote him, he “hooked a rut” and nearly climbed over the right rear tire of 11-time series champion Terry Gray.
“I was trying to get Terry on the outside there, for position,” said Bridges, whose top wing flew over the turn two wall before he came to rest. “My car was really good on the bottom, but I went up top and just got in those ruts – it was a ride after that.”
“I love this place, but man, she’s torn up quite a few of my race cars too over the years. Tonight wasn’t our night, but we’ll get the car fixed and be back at it one more time tomorrow.”
The final rollover of the night came on lap 25 and set up the race-deciding restart, when Shawn Mott went for what he called a “gentle flip” in turn two. In all three cases, the drivers involved walked away under their own power.
In front of all that, Puyallup, Washington’s Starks chased McCarl every step of the way – but simply came up short in his bid for back-to-back USCS victories. The teenager now has an average finish of 1.67 in his three USCS starts – finishing second again Friday night.
“I think we were a little bit quicker than Terry, but I just could never find a way around him,” Starks admitted. “This track was wicked fast tonight. It was tough to pass. I got to him in traffic a couple of times, but a guy like Terry – you can only show him your nose once before he figures out what you’re doing and uses it to his advantage.”
“Still a good night for us though, we’ll go on to South Carolina and try to win one there.”
Four-time UNOH All-Stars champion Chad Kemenah, from Findlay, Ohio, motored home in the third spot at the checkered flag and was chased by USCS national points leader Morgan Turpen, who extended her margin atop the standings with a fourth-place result. 2012 URC Sprint Series titlist Robbie Stillwaggon, making the haul from Burlington, N.J., rounded out the top five.
Cherryville, N.C. veteran Lance Moss led the next group of drivers home with a sixth-place effort and National Sprint League regular Dusty Zomer, from Sioux Falls, S.D. was seventh. Gray rebounded from his close call in the Bridges incident to post an eighth place finish ahead of Newark, Delaware. hot-shoe Troy Betts in ninth place. Jacksonville, Fla. pilot Shawn Murray capped off the top 10, making a strong resurgence just two weeks after destroying his race car in a crash at Bubba Raceway Park in Florida.
The USCS Southern Thunder regional title tilt took a drastic turn as well, with points leader Eric Riggins Jr. having one of his worst nights at Carolina Speedway in recent memory. The Charlotte, North Carolina young gun – a four-time winner at his home track – slowed to a stop on the front stretch at lap 13 and dropped to the tail of the lead lap after his crew made quick repairs in the work area. He returned to the track, but ultimately went a lap down before the finish and came home in 12th.
As a result, Riggins’ point lead – which stood at 14 points entering the night and climbed to 18 markers before the main event due to preliminary action – stands at just two markers, or one position on the race track, entering Saturday night’s regional series finale at Cherokee (S.C.) Speedway.
With Riggins ineligible to compete in the Saturday Hoosier Tire Speed Dash, he will have to come from behind to win the title – with the points gap set to be between three and eight points in favor of Turpen when the 30-lap “Speed Spooktacular” main event kicks off.
Riggins started Friday evening’s racing action in a much better position, by winning the Hoosier Tire Speed Dash and picking up $100 in bonus money for his efforts. Lance Moss scored the win in the Engler Machine and Tools First Heat, and Trey Starks rolled to the victory in the Butlerbuilt Second Heat. Terry Gray took the victory in the Schoenfeld Headers Third Heat.
Terry McCarl was the provisional pole-sitter after scoring the most passing points in heat race action, and after a zero was rolled on the K&N Inversion Die, he received the K&N Filters Pole Award. Darren Orth from Jacksonville, Florida passed the most cars in the A-main (six) to grab the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award.
The United Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N continues their 2015 schedule on Halloween night, Oct. 31 with the USCS Speed Spooktacular at the Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, South Carolina www.cherokeespeedwaysc.com
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; “Third Annual North-South Shootout: Night One”; Carolina Speedway; Oct. 30, 2015
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: Eric Riggins Jr., Brandon McLain, Trey Starks, Nick Snyder, Morgan Turpen, Joe Larkin.
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: Lance Moss, Dusty Zomer, Troy Betts, Shawn Murray, Nick Snyder, Johnny Bridges, Tanner Witherspoon, Joe Larkin, Bill Moore.
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: Trey Starks, Chad Kemenah, Terry McCarl, Mitch Brown, Terry Witherspoon, Shawn Mott, Darren Orth, Tim Perry, Bob Auld.
Schoenfeld Headers Third Heat: Terry Gray, Morgan Turpen, Robbie Stillwaggon, Eric Riggins Jr., Brad Wickham, Brandon McLain, Greg Smyre, Jake McLain.
www.rockauto.com B-Main: 12-laps (8 transfer)
1. #6T – Brad Wickham, Rutherford, NC
2. #5M – Shawn Mott, Rockwell, NC
3. #34 – Darren Orth, Jacksonville, FL
4. #21K – Greg Smyre, Hickory, NC
5. #36 – Tim Perry, Mooresville, NC
6. #83 – Bob Auld, Largo, FL
7. #33 – Joe Larkin, Suwannee, GA
8. #43JR – Tanner Witherspoon, Jacksonville, FL
9. #06 – Bill Moore, Ulla, NC
10. #43 – Terry Witherspoon, Jacksonville, FL
11. #21B – Brandon McLain, Indian Trail, NC
12. #67 – Jake McLain, Indian Trail, NC
USCS Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N North-South Shootout A-main: 30-laps
1. #24 – Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA
2. #23T – Trey Starks, Puyallup, WA
3. #10H – Chad Kemenah, Findlay, OH
4. #10M – Morgan Turpen, Cordova, TN
5. #89 – Robbie Stillwaggon, Burlington, NJ
6. #23 – Lance Moss, Cherryville, NC
7. #82 – Dusty Zomer, Sioux Falls, SD
8. #10 – Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN
9. #22B – Troy Betts, Newark, DE
10. #22 – Shawn Murray, Jacksonville, FL
11. #34 – Darren Orth, Jacksonville, FL
12. #47 – Eric Riggins Jr., Charlotte, NC
13. #116 – Nick Snyder, Marco Island, FL
14. #36 – Tim Perry, Mooresville, NC
15. #10B – Mitch Brown, Brantford, Ont., Canada
16. #5M – Shawn Mott, Rockwell, NC
17. #43JR – Tanner Witherspoon, Jacksonville, FL
18. #33 – Joe Larkin, Suwanee, GA
19. #6T – Brad Wickham, Rutherfordton, NC
20. #07 – Johnny Bridges, Cherryville, NC
21. #83 – Bob Auld, Largo, FL
22. #43 – Terry Witherspoon, Jacksonville, FL
23. #06 – Bill Moore, Mt. Ulla, NC
24. #21K – Greg Smyre, Hickory, NC (DNS)
#21B – Brandon McLain, Indian Trail, NC
#67 – Jake McLain, Indian Trail, NC
USCS Sprint Car Series Race Awards:
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: #47 – Eric Riggins Jr.
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: #23 – Lance Moss
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: #23T – Trey Starks
Schoenfeld Headers Third Heat: #10 – Terry Gray
K&N Filters Pole Award: #24 – Terry McCarl
JE Pistons Top Guns Award: (__ place)
Bell Helmets Focus Award: #23T – Trey Starks
K&N Filters Podium (3rd place) Award: #10H – Chad Kemenah
Brown and Miller Racing Solutions Fourth Place Award: #10M – Morgan Turpen
Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award: #34 – Darren Orth
Keizer Aluminum Wheels Top Five Award: #89 – Robbie Stillwaggon
Saldana Racing Products Super Sixth Award: #23 – Lance Moss
Pyrotect Racing Cells Lucky Seven Award: #82 – Dusty Zomer
DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends Top Ten Award: #22 – Shawn Murray
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 and Safety-Kleen.
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