SENOIA, Ga. – Audio and recap by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio, Race Chaser Online and USCS Racing – Chris Seelman photo – Friday night at New Senoia Raceway, Eric Riggins Jr. proved it doesn’t matter how many laps you lead, just that you lead the final one.
Riggins, the 2010 United Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N Southern Thunder regional Rookie of the Year from Charlotte, North Carolina, used a three-wide maneuver to shoot to the inside of ten-time USCS National champion Terry Gray coming to two laps to go in Saturday’s Senoia Summer Nationals preliminary A-main and pulled away down the final stretch, notching his second USCS victory of the season and first career win at the high-speed three-eighths mile dirt oval.
The victory was Riggins’ seventh career USCS triumph and second win in the last four USCS races.
Riggins closed up on Gray’s back bumper following a lap 11 caution, which flew when Brandon McLain looped his car in turn one and backed it into the wall. That yellow, Riggins said, gave him the shot he needed to take the fight to the race leader.
“I had to work him, I was driving my butt off trying to get him after that yellow and couldn’t for the longest time,” Riggins said in www.rockauto.com Victory Lane. “I could catch him when we got in clean air and couldn’t do anything with him, but once he got cobbed up with a lapped car I was able to get by him. The car was great tonight; you know, it’s kind of hard to pass when you get going as fast as we do here but we did it tonight and I just hope this is the start of a streak for us.”
Bartlett, Tennessee’s Gray, who is the all-time winningest USCS driver at New Senoia, hung on to finish second, but said he had the car to beat had the caution not come out.
“We just caught the lapped car (of Clint Weiss) at the wrong place,” a frustrated Gray said post-race. “I waited too long to try and make a move; I should have been more aggressive. In traffic though, the second place car always has an advantage – we’ll take tonight’s run and improve and come back out tomorrow to try and get another win here.”
Gray’s teammate Morgan Turpen, from Cordova, Tennessee rounded out the podium in third after a hard-fought battle with Brian Thomas near the middle point of the race. Thomas, the Pendergrass, Georgia veteran, finished fourth and Grovetown, Georgia’s Jay Dunham completed the top five.
Dover, Florida veteran Johnny Gilbertson crossed the checkered flag in sixth with fellow Floridian Nick Snyder, out of Marco Island, chasing him in seventh. Montgomery, Alabama’s Kyle Amerson, Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s Lee Moore and Ripley, Mississippi’s Jeff Willingham rounded out the top ten at the finish.
Gray kicked off the evening’s racing action by winning the Hoosier Tire Speed Dash, and Riggins scored the win in the Engler Machine and Tool First Heat. Gray then rolled to the victory in the Butlerbuilt Second Heat.
Turpen was the provisional polesitter after scoring the most passing points in heat race action, but after a four came up in the K&N Inversion Draw, Brian Thomas received the K&N Filters Pole Award. Nick Snyder passed the most cars in the A-main (six) to grab the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award.
The United Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N continues their 2014 schedule tomorrow night with the finale of the Senoia Summer Nationals V at New Senoia Raceway.
For rules and updated schedule information about the United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour, please visit www.uscsracing.com or call the series office at 770-460-7223 or 770-865-6097.
RESULTS: USCS Sprint Car Series “Senoia Summer Nationals V”; New Senoia Raceway; September 19, 2014
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: Terry Gray, Eric Riggins Jr., Collin Cabre, Nick Snyder, Jeff Willingham, Terry Witherspoon.
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: Eric Riggins Jr., Collin Cabre, Jay Dunham, Kyle Amerson, Jeff Willingham, Brandon McLain, Nick Snyder, Clint Weiss.
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: Terry Gray, Morgan Turpen, Brian Thomas, Johnny Gilbertson, Terry Witherspoon, Joe Larkin, Lee Moore, Tanner Witherspoon.
USCS Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N Senoia Summer Nationals V Night #1 A-Main: 20-laps
- #47 – Eric Riggins Jr., Charlotte, N.C.
- #10 – Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN
- #10M – Morgan Turpen, Cordova, TN
- #67 – Brian Thomas – Pendergrass, GA
- #51 – Jay Dunham, Grovetown, GA
- #15 – Johnny Gilbertson, Dover, FL
- #116 – Nick Snyder, Marco Island, FL
- #29 – Kyle Amerson, Montgomery, AL
- #1A – Lee Moore, Tuscaloosa, AL
- #28 – Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS
- #21B – Brandon McLain, Indian Trail, NC
- #0X – Clint Weiss, Jesup, GA
- #33 – Joe Larkin, Suwanee, GA
- #12C – Collin Cabre, Thonotosossa, FL (DNS)
- #43 – Terry Witherspoon, Jacksonville, FL (DNS)
- #99 – Tanner Witherspoon, Jacksonville, FL (DNS)
Audio with race winner Eric Riggins Jr.:
USCS Sprint Car Series Race Awards:
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: #10 – Terry Gray
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: #47 – Eric Riggins Jr.
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: #10 – Terry Gray
K&N Filters Pole Award: #67 – Brian Thomas
JE Pistons Top Guns Award: #10 – Terry Gray (2nd place)
K&N Filters Podium (3rd place) Award: #10M – Morgan Turpen
Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award: #116 – Nick Snyder
Keizer Aluminum Wheels Top Five Award: #51 – Jay Dunham
Saldana Racing Products Super Sixth Award: #15 – Johnny Gilbertson
Pyrotect Racing Cells Lucky Seven Award: #116 – Nick Snyder
DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends Top Ten Award: #28 – Jeff Willingham