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Riggins and Turpen star in USCS Carolina Thunder Nationals 2011 Finales PDF Print E-mail
Gastonia, NC - October 1, 2011 – Sixteen year-old young gun Eric Riggins, Jr. from Charlotte, North Carolina and eighteen year-old female sprint car star, Morgan Turpen from Cordova, Tennessee both scored their second United Sprint Car Series presented by Goodyear victories of the 2011 season in the twin feature “Flip Flop 40” at Carolina Speedway on Saturday night. Riggins was the first to reach the USCS www.RockAuto.com victory lane in the first 20-lap contest that started straight-up from qualifying. Turpen got her second visit of the year to the USCS www.RockAuto.com victory lane in the second main event that started fully inverted from the finish of the first 20-lap contest. She started in the ninth position in the inverted 20 lap contest. Riggins charged back to second place in that second speed contest from his last place starting position.
Eric Riggins, Jr. from Charlotte, NC won the first of twin main events in the Carolina Thundernationals 2011 on Saturday night at Carolina Speedway. He then came roaring back from the rear of the field to finish in the runner-up spot in the second main event. (USCS photo)

THE FIRST MAIN EVENT:
Eric Riggins, Jr. started outside of the front row in the first main event after finishing in the runner-up spot in the K&N Filters Pole Scramble on Saturday night. Johnny Bridges from Cherryville, North Carolina started in the K&N Filters Pole Position in the first main event after winning the six-lap Scramble. The Scramble was used to set the final order for the first three rows in the first feature race. Nine-time USCS National Champion Terry Gray from Bartlett, Tennessee started in third place and Morgan Turpen started fourth. The defending USCS Carolina Thundernationals Champion Matt Linder from Hoschton, Georgia started inside row three and Tim Perry from Mooresville, North Carolina completing the top six starters for main event number one next to Linder.

When the green flag unfurled for the first 20-lap contest Bridges charged into the lead with Riggins, Gray, Turpen and Linder in tow behind him. Riggins chased the early race leader (Bridges) until lap fourteen when he charged past Bridges into the lead. The teenage racer then blasted through lapped traffic to a six car length lead at the finish line. The talented young gun won over Bridges in the runner-up spot and the veteran Terry Gray followed Bridges in third place. That trio was followed by Matt Linder in fourth place. Hard-charging Lance Moss from Cherryville, North Carolina who started back in eleventh position rounded out the top five drivers. The first 20-lap contest went caution-free.

When Riggins reached victory lane, he leaped from his car and climbed the front straight-away fence with the checkered-flag in hand to the pleasure of the crowd on hand on this chilly evening.

Goodyear USCS Carolina Thunder Nationals 2011 presented by K&n Filters at Carolina Speedway on Saturday, October 1, 2011 Official Results:

K&N Filters Pole Scramble (top six cars from qualifying on Friday):
Johnny Bridges, Eric Riggins, Jr., Terry Gray, Morgan Turpen, Matt Linder and Tim Perry.

Goodyear “Flip Flop 40” First Feature Race (20-laps) results:

POS. CAR# DRIVER HOMETOWN
1. 47 Eric Riggins, Jr. Charlotte, NC
2. 07 Johnny Bridges Cherryville, NC
3. 10 Terry Gray Bartlett, TN
4. 1x Matt Linder Hoschton, GA
5. 23 Lance Moss Cherryville, NC
6. 80 Morgan Turpen Cordova, TN
7. 04 Tim Perry Mooresville, NC
8. 67 Jake McLain Indian Trail, NC
9. 20 Darren Clark Huntersville, NC
10. 25 Ray Bugg Iuka, MS
11. 67T Brian Thomas Pendergrass, GA
12. 96d Nick DeFeo Marietta, G
13 83 Bob Auld Largo, FL
14. 33 Joe Larkin Suwannee, GA
15. 23 ½ Steve Gilroy Lincolnton, NC
16. 2 Speedy McCall Cherryville, NC

Goodyear presented by K&N Filters Pole Scramble: Winner: Johnny Bridges
K &N Filters POLE AWARD: Johnny Bridges
Wilwood Hard Charger Award: Lance Moss
Goodyear YOUNG GUN OF THE RACE: Eric Riggins (Top finish under 25 years old)
JE Pistons TOP GUNS AWARD: Lance Moss (Fifth place)
K&N Filters PODIUM AWARD: Terry Gray PHOTO/CAPTION #10: Eric Riggins, Jr. from Charlotte, NC won the first of twin main events in the Carolina Thundernationals 2011 on Saturday night at Carolina Speedway. He then came roaring back from the rear of the field to finish in the the runner-up spot in the second main event. (USCS photo)

Butlerbuilt 4TH-PLACE AWARD: Matt Linder
Keizer Aluminum Wheels TOP FIVE AWARD: Lance Moss
DMI/Diverisfied Machine TOP TEN: Ray Bugg

ENTRIES: 16
LEAD CHANGES: One

CAUTIONS: None.


Morgan Turpen from Cordova, TN captured her second USCS main event of the 2011 season in the Carolina Thundernationals 2011 second feature race on Saturday night at Carolina Speedway. (USCS photo)

SECOND MAIN EVENT: The second main event starting order was set by completely inverting the sixteen car field’s finish in the first “Flip Flop 40” main event. This placed the #33 of Suwannee, Georgia sprint car racer Joe Larkin in the K&N Filters Pole Position for the 20-lap main event with sprint car veteran, Bob Auld from Largo, Florida aligned outside the front row next to K&N Filters Pole Award recipient (Larkin). The second row included young gun Nick DeFeo from Marietta, Georgia in the third starting position and USCS veteran Brian Thomas from Pendergrass, Georgia in fourth position for the start. In the third row was the 2008 USCS Southern Thunder regional series Rookie of the Year, Jake McLain from Indian Trail, North Carolina starting fifth with Darren Clark from Huntersville, North Carolina starting sixth in the evening’s finale.

When the green flag flew for the finale, Auld charged past Larkin entering turn one and led lap one before Nick DeFeo’s lap two spin brought out the caution for a single file restart. With Auld on the point, the cars of Brian Thomas and Jake McLain followed him to the green on the re-start. Darren Clark and Morgan Turpen from Cordova, Tennessee followed in fourth and fifth place.

Auld continued to lead the next fourteen caution-free laps while drivers who finished in the front of the first 20-lap main event worked their way through the field to the front of this second contest. The 2010 USCS National Rookie of the Year, Morgan Turpen moved past Brian Thomas into the runner-up spot with five laps to go on lap fifteen. Auld still seemed to have things under control for his first USCS presented by Goodyear feature win at that point.

On lap seventeen Turpen made her move to be the spoiler and grabbed the lead from the Florida sprint car veteran (Auld). On the same lap Auld and a hard charging Eric Riggins, Jr., who started dead last in the field after winning the first half of the twin main events both made contact with a car they were attempting to lap, causing Auld to stop on the race track while Riggins continued on past them. This brought out the yellow flag with Morgan Turpen leading the race leader with Eric Riggins on her rear bumper for the re-start. Riggins was trying to win both halves of the main event double and collect a $1000 posted bonus for winning the second race from the rear.

For the re-start, Brian Thomas in third position, Terry Gray and Matt Linder followed the two young guns to the green flag for the final three lap dash. Turpen gunned off turn four and kept a four to five car length margin between her and the young Charlotte driver (Riggins) all of the way to the www.RockAuto finish line and victory lane, spoiling Riggins gallant attempt at the “Flip Flop 40” double win. Linder, Thomas and Gray followed the teenage duo across the finish line. Turpen’s win was very popular with the loudly cheering crowd. She celebrated her second USCS feature win in the www.RockAuto.com victory lane by climbing to the top of her car and walking on the top wing, while waving the checkered flag.


Goodyear USCS Carolina Thundernationals 2011 presented by K&N Filters Saturday, October 1, 2011 at Carolina Speedway, Gastonia, NC

Goodyear “Flip Flop 40” Feature Race Number Two (20-laps) results:

POS. CAR# DRIVER HOMETOWN
1. 80 Morgan Turpen Cordova, TN
2. 47 Eric Riggins, Jr. Charlotte, NC
3. 1x Matt Linder Hoschton, GA
4. 67T Brian Thomas Pendergrass, GA
5. 10 Terry Gray Bartlett, TN
6. 23 Lance Moss Cherryville, NC
7. 07 Johnny Bridges Cherryville, NC
8. 67 Jake McLain Indian Trail, NC
9. 04 Tim Perry Mooresville NC
10. 96d Nick DeFeo Marietta, GA
11. 83 Bob Auld Largo, FL
12. 33 Joe Larkin Suwannee, GA
13 20 Darren Clark Huntersville, NC
14. 25 Ray Bugg Iuka, MS
15. 23 ½ Steve Gilroy Lincolnton, NC
DNS 2 Speedy McCall Cherryville, NC

K &N Filters POLE AWARD: Joe Larkin
Wilwood Hard Charger Award: Eric Riggins, Jr.
Goodyear YOUNG GUN OF THE RACE: Morgan Turpen (Top Driver under 25 years old)
JE Pistons TOP GUNS AWARD: Morgan Turpen (First place)
K&N Filters PODIUM AWARD: Matt Linder
Butlerbuilt 4TH-PLACE AWARD: Brian Thomas
Keizer Aluminum Wheels TOP FIVE AWARD: Terry Gray
DMI/Diverisfied Machine TOP TEN: Nick DeFeo

ENTRIES: 15
LEAD CHANGES: One

CAUTIONS: Two

The USCS competes next as part of the USCS Clayhill Nationals 2011 at Clayhill Motorsports in Atwood, Tennessee on Saturday, October 15th. For more info and directions to Clayhill Motorsports please visit their official website at www.clayillmotorsports.com For more series info and a full schedule of remaining 2011 United Sprint Car Series events please visit www.uscsracing.com or call 770-460-7223.
 
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