PHENIX CITY, AL – June 18, 2016 - Derek Hagar from Marion, AR just might become an honorary member of the Helton Family of Georgia after he picked up his fourth 27-lap Randy Helton Memorial Race victory for the United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by K&N Filters 18th USCS Alabama Sprint Car Nationals on Saturday night at East Alabama Motor Speedway. The victory was Hagar’s fourth stop of the season in the www.RockAuto.com USCS Victory Lane. It was also the 2006 USCS Rookie of the Years’ 40th USCS career win.
Hagar came from the fourth starting spot to take the lead from 5-time 2015 USCS feature winner, Eric Riggins Jr. of Charlotte, NC on lap 11, and then checked out on the field to take the win. Riggins held off a late-race challenge from past series Champion Marshall Skinner of Marion, AR to finish second. Skinner had to settle for the K&JN Filters Podium Award in the third position. 11-time series National Champion Terry Gray of Barlett, TN came home in the fourth spot, and 3-time 2016 USCS winner, Danny Martin Jr. of Sarasota, FL was fifth.
The defending USCS Outlaw Tour National Champion Morgan Turpen of Cordova, TN finished sixth, Lance Moss of Cherryville, NC took the seventh spot, and Shawn Murray of Jacksonville, FL was eighth. Jake McLain of Indian Trail, NC finished ninth and Greg Smyre of Hickory, NC rounded out the top ten.
“This is a special race and it means a lot to not only win it once, but to also win it four times,” Hagar said. “From the start of the race, I kept pulling the wing back until we got the balance right in the car. Once we got in the clean air after we took the lead, we could pull away.”
Hagar was also complimentary of the standing-room-only crowd that squeezed into East Alabama Motor Speedway on Saturday night after enduring some bad weather on Friday night of what was to be a two-day show that included the 8th Annual Randy Helton Memorial 27-lap race. The race was run for a distance of 27 laps, as that was Randy Helton’s car number when he competed with USCS. East Alabama Motor Speedway was Helton’s favorite track that the series competed at. The event is held each and every season at EAMS.
“I want to thank the fans for having to go through the bad weather last night to come back tonight and pack this place tonight,” Hagar said. “We were looking forward to giving them two great nights of racing, but we were able to pack it all into one night and we thank them for coming out to see it.”
Riggins took the lead at the start of the race from his outside front row starting spot, but the caution flag came out on the opening tour of the race when Bob Auld of Largo, FL and Clint Weiss of Jesup, GA tangled in turn one to necessitate a complete restart. Riggins again took the point on the restart followed by Gray and Hagar.
The second caution flag of the race came out on lap four when Tanner Witherspoon of Jacksonville, FL spun in turn four. Riggins led the field down for the single-file restart followed by Gray, Hagar, Skinner and Smyre.
Things got busy behind the leader when the green bulb came on, as Moss bolted up to the fourth spot, but on lap four, Skinner reclaimed the fourth position and Martin followed him into the fifth spot. By lap ten, Skinner had sailed around Gray to move up to the third spot, while Hagar began to challenge Riggins for the lead.
Hagar set up for an outside move around Riggins in turn two on lap 12 to take the lead, and then began to pull away. Skinner closed in on Riggins to battle for second while Gray and Martin settled into the fourth and fifth spots respectively. The field was slowed by caution for a third time on lap 14 when Darren Orth of Jacksonville, FL spun in turn two.
When the field went back to green flag action, it didn’t take Hagar long to pull away into another zip code. By lap 17, Hagar had a half straightaway lead on Riggins, but that advantage went away when Anthony Nicholson reportedly had a stuck throttle going into turn three and sailed off the outside of racing surface and into the darkness of the evening.
Nicholson’s car them barrel-rolled before coming to a stop upside-down on an access road from the overflow pit area outside turn four. All of the required safety equipment did its job, as Nicholson walked away from the accident scene uninjured.
When the field went back to green flag action, the remaining 12 laps were caution free and Hagar went on to the checkered flag unchallenged. Riggins was able to hold off the strong late-race challenge from Skinner to finish second.
In preliminary action, Gray won the Hoosier Speed Dash and Skinner won the Engler Machine and Tool 1st Heat Race. Hagar won the Brown and Miller Racing Solutions (BMRS) 2nd Heat Race, and Martin was the winner of the Schoenfeld Headers 3rd Heat Race.
The most spectacular incident of the evening took place during the start of the ButlerBuilt Seats 2nd Heat Race when 2015 Rookie of the Year Nick Snyder of Marco Island, FL made contact with a car to his inside, hit the front straightaway wall, and got airborne. After executing a series of end-over-end flips, Snyder’s car landed on its wheels in turn one. Once again the required safety equipment worked as designed, as he walked away uninjured.
Bobby Zaiontz of Columbus, GA won the 20-lap www/Rock Auto.com USCS 600 Sprint Car Series mini sprint feature by passing David Hall of Tampa, FL with two laps to go. Matt McCullough of Snellville, GA, Dirk Miller of Tampa, FL, and Robby Hoffman of Tampa, FL finished third through fifth respectively. McCullough won the series Hoosier Speed Dash and the Engler Machine and Tools First Heat Race.
The United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Tour presented by K&N Filters moves next to the State of Arkansas for its next three events over the July 4th Holiday Weekend. The event will be on Friday night, July 1 at Crowley’s Ridge Raceway in Paragould, AR. Riverside International Raceway in West Memphis, AR will host the series on Saturday night, July 2, and Sunday night, July 3 will wrap up the swing at Diamond Park Speedway in Murfreesboro, AR.
For rules and updated schedule information about the United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by K&N Filters, please visit www.uscsracing.com or call the series office at 770-460-7223 or 770-865-6097. You can also like the United Sprint Car Series Facebook page at USCS Racing.
OFFICIAL RESULTS OF THE 8TH ANNUAL RANDY HELTON MEMORIAL RACE AT EAST ALABAMA MOTOR SPEEDWAY IN PHENIX CITY, AL ON 6/18/16:
FEATURE RACE – 27 LAPS:
POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN
1. 4 9jr Derek Hagar Marion, AR
2. 2 47 Eric Riggins Jr. Charlotte, NC
3. 3 26 Marshall Skinner Marion, AR
4. 1 10 Terry Gray Bartlett, TN
5. 7 24 Danny Martin Jr. Sarasota, FL
6. 5 10m Morgan Turpen Cordova, TN
7. 8 23 Lance Moss Cherryville, NC
8. 6 22 Shawn Murray Jacksonville, FL
9. 18 67 Jake McLain Indian Trail, NC
10. 14 21k Greg Smyre Hickory, NC
11. 12 28 Jeff Willingham Ripley, MS
12. 15 0x Clint Weiss Jesup, GA
13. 17 38 Tony Agin Ft. Myers, FL
14. 24 43m J.D. McCleary Jacksonville, FL
15. 9 16 Anthony Nicholson Millington, TN
16. 19 83 Bob Auld Largo, FL
17. 23 34 Darren Orth Jacksonville, FL
18. 13 99 Tanner Witherspoon Jacksonville, FL
19. 22 33 Joe Larkin Suwanee, GA
20. 20 51 Jay Dunham Grovetown, GA
21. 10 43 Terry Witherspoon Jacksonville, FL
22. 11 25 Ray Bugg Iuka, MS
23. 16 07 Brandon Taylor Cumming, GA
24. 21 116 Nick Snyder Marco Island, FL (DNS)
USCS SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE AWARDS:
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: Terry Gray
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: Marshall Skinner
Brown and Miller Racing Solutions Second Heat: Danny Martin, Jr.
Schoenfeld Headers Third Heat: Lance Moss
K&N Filters Pole Award: Terry Gray
JE Pistons Top Guns Award: (3rd place) Marshall Skinner
K&N Filters Podium (3rd place) Award: Marshall Skinner
Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award: J.D. McCleary (started 24th and finished 14th)
Keizer Aluminum Wheels Top Five Award: Danny Martin, Jr.
Saldana Racing Products Super Sixth Award: Morgan Turpen
Pyrotect Racing Cells Lucky Seven Award: Lance Moss
DHR Suspension 8th-Place Award: Shawn Murray
DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends Top Ten Award: Greg Smyre
UNITED SPRINT CAR SERIES PRELIMINARY RACE RESULTS:
USCS Hoosier Speed Dash - (6 Laps): 1. Gray; 2. Hagar; 3. Skinner; 4. Nicholson; 5. Turpin; 6. Riggins.
Engler Machine & Tool Heat 1 - (8 Laps): 1. Skinner: 2. Riggins; 3. Gray; 4. Willingham; 5. Tanner Witherspoon; 6. Weiss; 7. Auld; 8. Larkin.
ButlerBuilt Seats Heat 2- (8 Laps): 1. Martin; 2. Hagar; 3. Turpen; 4. Te. Witherspoon; 5. Again; 6. Dunham; 7. Snyder.
Schoenfeld Headers Heat 3 - (8 Laps): 1. Moss; 2. Nicholson; 3. Murray; 4. Bugg; 5. Smyre; 6. Taylor; 7. McCleary.
www.RockAuto.com USCS 600 Sprint Car Series MINI SPRINT RESULTS:
FEATURE RACE – 20 LAPS:
POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN
1. 6 1 Bobby Zaiontz Columbus, MS
2. 3 67 David Hall Tampa, FL
3. 5 14 Matt McCullough Snellville, GA
4. 4 68 Dirk Miller Tampa, FL
5. 1 66 Robby Hoffman Tampa, FL
6. 2 2x Remeno Loyal Snellville, GA
7. 7 28 Conner Morrell Bradenton, FL
8. 8 21b Mike Barton Castillion Springs, TN
USCS HOOSIER 600 MINI SPRINT PRELIMINARY RESULTS:
USCS Hoosier Speed Dash (Mini Sprints) – (5 Laps): 1. McCullough; 2. Hall; 3. Miller; 4. Loyal; 5. Morrell; 6. Barton.
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat – (8 Laps): 1. McCullough; 2. Zaiontz; 3. Miller; 4. Hall; 5. Loyal; 6. Hoffman; 7. Morrell; 8. Barton.
The United Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters would like to gratefully thank its sponsoring partners for their involvement in the 2016 and 20th anniversary USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour: K&N Filters, www.rockauto.com, Hoosier Race Tires, Engler Machine and Tool, Wilwood Disc Brakes, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Saldana Racing Products, Pyrotect Racing Cells, DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends. Hero Graphics, KSE Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, DSR Fuel Systems, Butlerbuilt and DHR Suspensions.
United Sprint Car Series News Release: Contact – PETE WALTON – (770) 865-6097 Email :