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Gray gets first 2007 O'Reilly USCS feature win at Southern Raceway PDF Print E-mail

April 7, 2007 

Milton, FL. O'Reilly Auto Parts United Sprint Car Series defending champion, Terry Gray from Bartlett, Tennessee captured his first series feature win of the young season at Southern Raceway on Saturday night.

Gray's good fortunes began after inheriting the pole position when the designated pole starter Kenny Adams from Malabar, Florida pulled a zero in the inversion draw and then, chose to start dead last in the field and race for an extra $5000 bonus. Adams earned the right to choose the pole position or the bonus opportunity after winning the round two race of the three-race 2nd Annual Gulf Coast Challenge event at Mobile International Speedway.

When the 30-lap Gulf Coast Challenge Finale began, Butlerbuilt Second Heat winner and pole-starter Terry Gray raced into the lead in turn one and Bob Auld from Tampa, Florida who started outside of Gray in the front row followed. When, Auld spun exiting turn two, the first of seven cautions appeared. On the complete restart Terry Vidrine from Baton Rouge, Louisiana started outside Gray and chased him across the scoring stripe on lap one. Michael Craddock from Olive Branch, Mississippi left the racing surface on lap two with motor problems.

Nineteen year-old 2004 O'Reilly USCS Rookie of the Year, R.J. Johnson from Zephyrhills, Florida passed Vidrine for the runner-up spot on lap two and started to challenge Gray for the lead. Johnson actually passed Gray for the lead exiting turn four on lap seven only to have his maneuver recalled by a caution flag for a spinning car. After the restart Terry Coddington from Pensacola, Florida moved past Vidrine on lap eight into third place. The last place starter, Kenny Adams had advanced from last place to the sixth position by this time. Adams appeared to be on schedule for an anticipated rendezvous with the race leader by mid-way of the race.

On lap eleven after charging into the top four positions; Adams spun his #4A car in turn one, bringing out the caution flag. He was restarted in thirteenth place at the rear of the field and would have to begin his charge toward the front, all over. On the next lap Adams job got easier as, four cars tangled in turn one including Matt Tiffany from Daytona Beach, Florida, Brian Thomas from Pendergrass, Georgia, Matt Linder from Hoschton, Georgia and rookie driver Matt Reed from Gulfport, Mississippi. After the incident, Brian Thomas left the speedway for the pit area. The others restarted at the rear of the field.

By lap thirteen Kenny Adams had charged back up the slick racing surface into seventh place. On lap fifteen the caution came out for Matt Reed's spin bunching the field behind Gray, Johnson, Coddington, Vidrine and Petal, Mississippi's, Robert Casada. By lap sixteen Adams was again in the top six. On lap seventeen the two-time series champion he was in fifth place. On lap eighteen Adams had scratched his way back into the fourth position and gaining momentum towards the leader.

On lap-nineteen, rookie Matt Reed spun exiting turn four bringing out the caution flag. On the restart of nineteenth lap 2005 O'Reilly USCS Rookie of the Year, Bryn Gohn from Malabar, Florida spun. On the resulting restart, the scoring officials called the hard-charging Adams for passing the third place car of Terry Coddington prior to reaching the start finish line. Adams would again restart at the rear of the field. On the next lap Adams would again spin in turn three, contacting the inside retaining wall. After further inspection of the car and finding a severely bent right rear wheel, he decided to go to the pit area.

Terry Gray lead the final ten caution-free laps home while Johnson and Coddington battled for the runner-up position. Johnson prevailed for his career best series finish in second place. Vidrine held off Matt Tiffany for the fourth position. The seventeen year-old Tiffany, who started twelfth, recovered from the lap twelve four-car incident to charge back into the top five.

Robert Casada from Petal, Mississippi finished in sixth place. Matt Linder from Hoschton, Georgia recovered from an early evening two-car crash in the Lucas Oil Power Dash involving he and Matt Tiffany to finish seventh in the feature. Second year driver Bryan Dyar from Purvis, Mississippi followed in eighth. 2005 O'Reilly USCS Rookie of the Year Bryn Gohn from Malabar, Florida finished ninth and the daring Adams who also leads the current O'Reilly USCS Southern Thunder regional point standings, rounded out the top ten.

Kenny Adams won the six cars, six laps Lucas Oil Power Dash and then followed that up by winning the eight-lap Engler Machine and Tool First Heat Race. Terry Gray won the eight-lap Butlerbuilt Second Heat Race. Matt Tiffany garnered the Huggins Cams Hard charger Award after advancing seven positions in the A-Main to finish fifth. Terry Gray received the K&N Pole award after first heat race winner Kenny Adams drew a zero and then made his choice to start last and race for the bonus. The JE Pistons Top Guns Award, which rotates from first through third positions in the A-Main, also went to the winner Gray. The Hoosier Tire Young Gun of the Race award went to the nineteen year-old RJ Johnson for his highest career O'Reilly USCS finish.

The O'Reilly USCS returns to action on Friday, April 20th at Malden Speedway in Malden, Missouri with an O'Reilly USCS Mid-South Thunder regional points event. Malden Speedway is located by traveling one mile north of Malden on Hwy. 25. Then, travel two miles west of Hwy. 25 on CR 102 (Thunder Road) to the track. For additional info visit .or call 573-276-6265. For O'Reilly USCS info please visit or call 404-886-5913.
O'Reilly USCS OFFICIAL RESULTS Southern RacewayMilton, FL 4/07/07:PS ST CR# DRIVER HOMETOWN LAPS1 1 10 Terry Gray Bartlett, TN 302 3 00 R.J. Johnson Zephyrhills, FL 303 5 4 Terry Coddington Pensacola, FL 304 4 68 Terry Vidrine Baton Rouge, LA 305 12 19T Matt Tiffany Daytona Beach, FL 306 10 K9 Robert Casada Petal, MS 307 7 1x Matt Linder Hoschton, GA 308 6 23 Bryan Dyer Purvis, MS 309 9 4b Bryn Gohn Malabar, FL 2010 14 4a Kenny Adams Malabar, FL 1911 2 59 Bob Auld Tampa, FL 1912 6 00 Matt Reed Gulfport, MS 1813 11 67 Brian Thomas Pendergrass, GA 1214 13 31 Michael Craddock Olive Branch, MS 215 DNS 09 Timmy Thrash Gulfport, MS DNSLUCAS OIL POWER DASH WINNER: Kenny AdamsK & N FILTERS POLE AWARD: Terry GrayHUGGINS CAMS HARD CHARGER: Matt TiffanyHOOSIER TIRE YOUNG GUN OF THE RACE: R.J. Johnson(Top finisher under 25 years old)ROBISON RACING PRODUCTS ROOKIE OF THE RACE: Matt ReedJE PISTONS TOP GUNS AWARD: Terry Gray (3rd place)K&N FILTERS 3RD-PLACE AWARD: Terry CoddingtonBUTLERBUILT 4TH-PLACE AWARD: Terry VidrineOUTLAW DISC BRAKES TOP FIVE AWARD: Bryn GohnSIMPSON SAFETY PRODUCTS 6TH-PLACE AWARD: Robert CasadaFSR RACING PRODUCTS-7 TH-PLACE AWARD: Matt LinderAIR FLOW RESEARCH 9TH-PLACE AWARD: Bryn GohnFSR TOP 10 AWARD: Kenny AdamsWELD RACING HARD LUCK AWARD: Timmy ThrashENTRIES: 15PROVISIONAL: noneLEAD CHANGES: NoneLAP LEADERS: Terry Gray, #1-30CAUTIONS: NoneLUCAS OIL POWER DASH - 6 Laps - 1. Kenny Adams; 2. Terry Gray; 3.; RJ Johnson; 4. Bryn Gohn; 5. Matt Tiffany; 6. Matt LinderHEAT RACES:ENGLER MACHINE AND TOOL 1ST HEAT: 8 laps: 1. Kenny Adams; 2. Bob Auld; 3. Terry Vidrine: 4. Bryan Dyer; 5. Matt Reed; 6. Timmy Thrash; 7. Matt Tiffany DNS; Michael Craddock DNSBUTLERBUILT 2ND HEAT: 8 laps 1. Terry Gray; 2. RJ Johnson; 3. Terry Coddington;4. Matt Linder; 5. Bryn Gohn; 6. Robert Casada; 7. Brian Thomas.
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