RUTHERFORDTON, N.C. – Audio and recap by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio, Race Chaser Online and USCS Racing – Chris Seelman photo – The entire 2014 season for 18-year-old Eric Riggins Jr. has been a story of “coulda, woulda, shoulda”. Saturday night, after many close calls and missed opportunities, the hometown favorite got it done.
Riggins, from nearby Charlotte, North Carolina, slipped around K&N pole-sitter Lance Moss on lap six of Saturday’s “Sprint Car Wars” 30-lap A-main at Harris Speedway and powered away from the field, slicing through lapped traffic in a caution-free feature en route to his first United Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N victory since October of 2013 at Cherokee Speedway.
The win was Riggins’ sixth career USCS feature victory and the fifth for the Carolina-area racer in front of his hometown fans.
“This feels good, it’s been a long time coming this year,” a jubilant Riggins said in www.rockauto.com Victory Lane. “We’ve only run about 15 times this year but we’ve had about six of these races we should have won and just couldn’t seal it for one reason or another. To finally break through tonight in front of the Carolina crowd; I love winning at home and I hope we can get a few more of them now that we finally got this monkey off our back.”
Ten-time series champion Terry Gray chased Riggins through traffic but got loose in turn 3 just before halfway while battling with Johnny Gilbertson and could never recover, finishing second after a hard battle with Anthony Nicholson. Nicholson, the Bartlett, Tennessee driver and 2008 Rookie of the Year rounded out the podium in third. “Hollywood” Michael Miller, from Ocean Springs, Mississippi crossed the checkered in fourth and Jacksonville, Florida’s Terry Witherspoon rounded out the top five.
Newly-crowned USCS Asphalt Thunder champion and Cordova, Tennessee pilot Morgan Turpen finished sixth being chased by Montgomery, Alabama’s Kyle Amerson, who came home seventh. Local favorite Johnny Petrozelle, from Denton, ran eighth and Tipp City, Ohio’s Kent Wolters was ninth. 2014 USCS Rookie of the Year contender Brandon McLain, from Indian Trail, North Carolina completed the top ten.
Brian Thomas kicked off the evening’s racing action by winning the Hoosier Tire Speed Dash, and Kyle Amerson scored the win in the Engler Machine and Tool First Heat. Eric Riggins Jr. rolled to the victory in the Butlerbuilt Second Heat, and Lance Moss netted the Schoenfeld Headers Third Heat win.
Terry Gray 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, Moss received the K&N Filters Pole Award. Kris Davis passed the most cars in the A-main (eight) to grab the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award.
The United Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N continues their 2014 schedule Sunday night, August 31st with their next event, the “Sunday of Speed” at Toccoa Speedway in Toccoa, Georgia. The series concludes the holiday weekend on Labor Day Monday, September 1st, with an event at Ray Cook’s Tri-County Race Track in Brasstown, North Carolina.
Audio with race winner Eric Riggins Jr.:
RESULTS: USCS Sprint Car Series “Sprint Car Wars”; Harris Speedway; August 30, 2014
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: Brian Thomas, Brandon McLain, Anthony Nicholson, Terry Gray, Eric Riggins Jr., Morgan Turpen.
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: Kyle Amerson, Anthony Nicholson, Michael Miller, Morgan Turpen, Collin Cabre, Brandon McLain, Sonny Stroud, Brian Thomas, Tim Perry.
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: Eric Riggins Jr., Terry Gray, Kent Wolters, Jake McLain, Matt Hope, Jeff Willingham, Nick Snyder, Brad Wickham (DNS).
Schoenfeld Headers Third Heat: Lance Moss, Brian Smits, Johnny Petrozelle, Terry Witherspoon, Johnny Gilbertson, Bob Auld, Kris Davis, Dave Thorman.
USCS Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N Sprint Car Wars A-main: 30-laps
- #47 – Eric Riggins Jr., Charlotte, N.C.
- #10 – Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN
- #16 – Anthony Nicholson, Bartlett, TN
- #4M – Michael Miller, Ocean Springs, MS
- #43 – Terry Witherspoon, Jacksonville, FL
- #10M – Morgan Turpen, Cordova, TN
- #29 – Kyle Amerson, Montgomery, AL
- #59III – Johnny Petrozelle, Denton, NC
- #12H – Kent Wolters, Tipp City, OH
- #21B – Brandon McLain, Indian Trail, NC
- #12 – Kris Davis, Burbank, OH
- #15 – Johnny Gilbertson, Dover, FL
- #67 – Jake McLain, Indian Trail, NC
- #83 – Bob Auld, Largo, FL
- #28 – Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS
- #12C – Collin Cabre, Thonotosossa, FL
- #28H – Matt Hope, York, SC
- #67T – Brian Thomas, Pendergrass, GA
- #116 – Nick Snyder, Marco Island, FL
- #5S – Sonny Stroud, Marietta, SC
- #23 – Lance Moss, Cherryville, NC
- #11 – Brian Smits, Mooresville, NC
- #5 – Dave Thorman, Greenville, SC
Did Not Start A-main:
#36 – Tim Perry, Mooresville, NC
#6W – Brad Wickham, Rutherfordton, NC
USCS Sprint Car Series Race Awards:
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: #67 – Brian Thomas
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: #29 – Kyle Amerson
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: #47 – Eric Riggins Jr.
Schoenfeld Headers Third Heat: #23 – Lance Moss
K&N Filters Pole Award: #23 – Lance Moss
JE Pistons Top Guns Award: #16 – Anthony Nicholson (3rd place)
K&N Filters Podium (3rd place) Award: #16 – Anthony Nicholson
Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award: #12 – Kris Davis
Keizer Aluminum Wheels Top Five Award: #43 – Terry Witherspoon
Saldana Racing Products Super Sixth Award: #10M – Morgan Turpen
Pyrotect Racing Cells Lucky Seven Award: #29 – Kyle Amerson
DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends Top Ten Award: #21B – Brandon McLain