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USCSGrayNat. Trophybanquet2008.jpgMemphis, TN – January 10, 2009 - Over $75,000 in cash and contingencies were awarded as the United Sprint Car Series ( ) honored drivers from six states during its 12th Anniversary O'Reilly USCS Champions Awards Banquet held at the Hilton Memphis Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee on Saturday night. A gathering of 110 people honored seventeen sprint car drivers including Terry Gray from Bartlett, Tennessee who captured his seventh O'Reilly USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour National Championship.

USCSCrawleyNAS5.30.08.jpgThe 2002 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame 360 Sprint Car Driver of the Year, Tim Crawley from Benton, Arkansas was honored for winning his first O'Reilly USCS Mid South Thunder regional series title. Along with Gray and Crawley, the top ten drivers in the final standings from the National and Mid South Thunder Tour were recognized.

In addition to his seventh National Championship in eight seasons, Gray drove his Rislone Oil Stabilizer/Engine Treatment /Wendy’s Of Lexington/CnB Mushroom Farms /B& W Enterprises sponsored black #10 /Wesmar Racing Engines powered J&J Auto Racing car to the Championship in three out of the four O'Reilly USCS divisions. Those other two Championships were in the O'Reilly USCS Asphalt Thunder and the O'Reilly USCS Southern Thunder Tour. The Southern Thunder schedule included races on both dirt and asphalt surfaces. Gray also finished in third place in the tough O’Reilly USCS Mid South Thunder regional series.

Gray also garnered the series 2008 Ironman Award for completing the most laps of any driver during the season. Gray finished the season ranked sixth in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame North American 360 winged sprint car driver of the year poll that ranks drivers from the over 3000 competitors in winged 360 sprint cars.

The phenomenal Crawley raced to eleven wins in eighteen Mid South Thunder events to capture the title. Crawley garnered his first series win in the season opener on April 12th and wrapped up the season with his eleventh win of the season in the finale at Greenville Speedway in the Gumbo Nationals 2008. He was the hottest 360 sprint car driver in the country at season’s end. He finished fourth in the final 2008 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Driver of the Year rankings.

Gray said," We just had another good year in the O'Reilly USCS this season because of the help I got from my sponsors, my Mom and Dad and the help I received from the people involved on my team like Donnie ( “Red” ) Taylor and from my friends at the track. It wasn’t my best season ever, but it was far from my worst. I am thankful we finished almost every race.

USCSTOPTEN2008.jpgGray was the only driver who made it to all 36 points events and amassed a wide margin for the National championship. A past O’Reilly USCS Champion, Marshall Skinner from West Memphis, Arkansas totaled enough points to follow Gray in the national standings in second place. Skinner was followed by the Mid South Champion, Crawley who finished in the third slot. The 2008 “Rookie of the Year”, Anthony Nicholson from Bartlett, Tennessee finished in the fourth position and veteran Ronny Howard from Southaven, Mississippi rounded out the top five positions in the standings. The finish was Howard’s his highest final USCS placement ever.

The 2007 O’Reilly USCS Mid South Thunder Rookie of the Year, Chris Williams from Memphis, Tennessee finished in the sixth position in the National standings followed by Matt Linder from Hoschton, Georgia, in seventh place. Seventeen year-old Justin Carver from Drummonds, Tennessee gathered enough points to finish eighth. Greg Merritt from Nesbit Mississippi finished in the ninth position. US Army Sergeant, Clint Weiss who presently hails from Fort Knox, Kentucky rounded out the top ten.

Donnie “Red’ Taylor who works with Gray on the Rislone Oil Stabilizer #10 car garnered the 2008 National Championship Crew Chief of the Year Award. Tim Crawley’s car owner and former Mid South area sprint car racing legend, Mike Ward from Memphis, Tennessee was awarded the O’Reilly USCS Mid South Thunder Crew Chief of the Year honors for his work on the famed #88.

Anthony Nicholson garnered the coveted 2008 O’Reilly USCS Rookie of the Year National Championship award after finishing fourth in the National standings. Nicholson was additionally honored as the 2008 O’Reilly USCS Mid South Thunder Rookie of the Year award after finishing in fourth place in the regional standings. Terry Nicholson was honored as the National and Mid South Rookie Crew Chief of the Year awards. USCSNicholsonRookie2008.jpgClint Weiss was awarded the O’Reilly USCS Most Improved Driver award after finishing in the top ten in both the National standings and in the O’Reilly Southern thunder Tour regional standings.

In the O’Reilly USCS Mid South Thunder Tour standings, Skinner who had two series wins followed Crawley in the runner-up spot on the standings just sixty-six points behind the Champion. The defending Mid South Champion, Terry Gray finished in third place just three points behind Skinner. The Rookie of the Year, Nicholson finished fourth in the regional standings besting veteran Ronny Howard in fifth place by just twenty-three points for the position.

The next group was led by 2007 Mid South Thunder Tour “Rookie of the Year”, Chris Williams who duplicated his National points finish in sixth place in the regional standings. Seventeen year-old Justin Carver moved up one position and followed Williams in seventh place. Greg Merritt finished in the eighth position.

Third generation racer, Lee Sowell from Nesbit, Mississippi who won the 2008 USCS Speedweek opener at Riverside International Speedway in May totaled enough points to finish the season in the ninth position in the regional standings. Eighteen year-old 2006 USCS Rookie of the Year, Derek Hagar from Marion, Arkansas won the 2008 Speedweek finale at Columbus Speedway on May 31, 2008 and rounded out the top ten in the Mid South Thunder standings. The complete and final point standings for all four series are posted at

The series announced Germantown, Tennessee based national automotive supplier Parts Plus as the new title sponsor of the United Sprint Car Series for the 2009 season. The series release a fifty plus schedule of National events. Additionally the Parts Plus United Sprint Car Series Mid South Thunder Tour of thirty nights of racing was released as well. The first race is set for March 7, 2009 at Central Mississippi Speedway in Winona, Mississippi.

In two weeks on January 24th, the series will host an awards ceremony and pre-season meeting for the USCS Southern Thunder regional series in Mooresville, North Carolina at Fat Boy’s restaurant. Several drivers from the USCS Asphalt Thunder Tour will receive their honors at that time as well. For further information on the Mooresville dinner/awards ceremony and meeting visit or call the USCS office at 770-460-7223.

Media contact:
Pete Walton - Ph. 404-886-5913
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United Sprint Car Series
305 Industrial Way - Suite A
Fayetteville, A 30215

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