Starks streaks to 2nd USCS Sprint win in two weeks at Cherokee Speedway
GAFFNEY, S.C. – October 31, 2015 – Photo by Madison Mabry - “I could get used to Saturday night lights!” Those were the enthusiastic words of 19-year-old Puyallup, Wash. young gun Trey Starks, who powered away from the K&N Filters Pole Position and led Saturday night’s 30-lap USCS “Speed Spooktacular” flag-to-flag to capture his second United Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters win of the 2015 season in dominating fashion.
For Starks, the feature win capped off a nearly perfect weekend and improved his average finish in USCS competition to a stunning 1.5 in four starts for veteran car owner Jeff McCall.
The second stop in the www.rockauto.com USCS Victory Lane of Starks’ career came after he finished second to Altoona, Iowa veteran Terry McCarl on Friday night at Carolina Speedway, setting up a role reversal when McCarl ran second to Starks in a battle of two drivers who had never run either track before.
“This is just amazing,” Starks said in www.rockauto.com Victory Lane. “To come over here and be able to run the way we did this weekend against this kind of competition is just great.”
“These tracks here in the south are awesome. With drivers like Terry McCarl and all the other really quality racers, you really have to work hard. I can’t thank Jeff McCall and this entire team enough for all the effort and support. This gives us some really good momentum going into the World Finals at Charlotte Motor Speedway next weekend.”
The race was the final event for the 2015 USCS Southern Thunder Regiona, and the regional championship points battle went right down to the wire. Ultimately, Morgan Turpen from Cordova, Tenn., unofficially became the first female USCS regional dirt series champion, defeating young Eric Riggins, Jr. of Charlotte, N.C. for the crown.
Riggins suffered a flat tire with six laps to go in the feature, and although his “Fast 47” team was able to make the change and get “The Carolina Kid” out at the back of the field in 12th, he was not able to get back in front of Turpen, who went into the 30-lap A-Main with an eight point advantage.
The results of the Southern Thunder regional championship are unofficial pending final tabulation and adjustment of bonus races.
Two yellow flags slowed the lightning-quick event. The first caution took place on lap 19 when Tanner Witherspoon brought his No. 43JR to a stop on the back straightaway, ending his evening. The second occurred when Riggins’ left rear tire went flat and forced him to a stop on the front straightway.
When the checkered flag was waved, it was Starks enjoying the spoils of victory lane while McCarl crossed the finish line unchallenged in second. Four-time UNOH All-Stars champion Chad Kemenah of Findlay, Ohio, parked his Hunter Racing No. 10H in third place for the second night in a row, and fourth went to “The Cherryville Bandit” Lance Moss, who drove a smooth and steady race with his No. 23M. Rounding out the top five was the only Canadian competitor in the field, “Downtown” Mitch Brown from Brantford, Ontario in his No. 10B.
Positions sixth through tenth saw competitors dicing back and forth for much of the event, including the two championship contenders. The No. 22 of Newark, Delaware veteran Troy Betts managed to stake his claim at the top of this group with a sixth place finish at the stripe, while unofficial champion Morgan Turpen fought hard to finish seventh with her No. 10M. Coming across the line in eighth was the Buffalo Wild Wings sponsored No. 82 of Sioux Falls, S.D. native Dusty Zomer, who started 17th on the grid. Former URC Sprint Series champion Robbie Stillwaggon, from Burlington, N.J. was ninth and 2015 USCS Rookie of the Year Nick Snyder, out of Marco Island, Fla. rounded out the top 10.
Turpen kicked off the evening’s racing action by winning the Hoosier Tire Speed Dash, changing the complexion of the point standings in the Southern region and setting her up for the championship run in the “A” Main. McCarl scored the win in the Engler Machine and Tools First Heat, while Kemenah rolled to the victory in the Butlerbuilt Second Heat.
Starks was the provisional pole starter after scoring the most passing points in heat race action, and after a “zero” was rolled on the K&N Inversion Die, he also received the K&N Filters Pole Award. Dusty Zomer passed the most cars in the A-main (nine) to grab the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award.
For rules and updated schedule information about the United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour, please visitwww.uscsracing.com or call the series office at or .
RESULTS: USCS Sprint Car Series “Speed Spooktacular”; Cherokee Speedway; Gaffney, S.C.; October 31st, 2015
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: Morgan Turpen, Robbie Stillwagon, Trey Starks, Lance Moss, Dusty Zomer, Chad Kemenah.
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: Terry McCarl, Mitch Brown, Lance Moss, Nick Snyder, Eric Riggins, Jr., Morgan Turpen, Terry Gray, Robbie Stillwagon, Dusty Zomer, Shawn Mott.
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: Chad Kemenah, Trey Starks, Shawn Murray, Troy Betts, Tanner Witherspoon, Darren Orth, Tim Perry, Johnny Bridges, Garrett Jacobs.
USCS Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N North-South Shootout finale A-main: 30-laps
1. #23- Trey Starks, Puyallup, WA
2. #24 – Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA
3. #10H – Chad Kemanah, Findlay, OH
4. #23M – Lance Moss, Cherryville, NC
5. #10B – Mitch Brown, Brantford, ONT
6. #22 – Troy Betts, Newark DE
7. #10M – Morgan Turpen, Cordova, TN
8. #82 – Dusty Zomer, Sioux Falls, SD
9. #89 – Robbie Stillwagon, Burlington, NJ
10. #116 – Nick Snyder, Marco Island, FL
11. #47 – Eric Riggins, Jr., Charlotte, NC
12. #22M – Shawn Murray, Jacksonville, FL
13. #34 – Darren Orth, Jacksonville, FL
14. #5M – Shawn Mott, Rockville, NC
15. #10 – Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN
16. #43JR – Tanner Witherspoon, Jacksonville, FL
17. #33 – Joe Larkin, Suwannee, GA
Did Not Start A-main:
#36 – Tim Perry, Mooresville, N.C.
#07 – Johnny Bridges, Cherryville, N.C.
#51 – Garrett Jacobs, Augusta, GA
USCS Sprint Car Series Race Awards:
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: #10M – Morgan Turpen
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: #24 – Terry McCarl
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: #10H – Chad Kemenah
K&N Filters Pole Award: #23 – Trey Starks
JE Pistons Top Guns Award: #10B – Mitch Brown (5th place)
Bell Helmets Focus Award: #24 – Terry McCarl
K&N Filters Podium (3rd place) Award: #10H – Chad Kemenah
Brown and Miller Racing Solutions Fourth Place Award: #23 – Lance Moss
Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award: #82 – Dusty Zomer
Keizer Aluminum Wheels Top Five Award: #10B – Mitch Brown
Saldana Racing Products Super Sixth Award: #23 – Lance Moss
Pyrotect Racing Cells Lucky Seven Award: #10M – Morgan Turpen
DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends Top Ten Award: #116 – Nick Snyder
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,EnglerMachine 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.
-- Story by Tom Baker
Speed77 Motorsports Radio, Founder/Producer
RaceChaserOnline.com, Managing Editor
Performance Motorsports Network, Radio Co-Host
National Speed Sport News, Staff Writer
United Sprint Car Series, Series Announcer