TRAVELERS REST, S.C. – Audio and recap by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio, Race Chaser Online and USCS Racing – Dawn Snyder photo –
Once in a while it only takes a single statement victory to make a young driver’s career. Saturday night at Traveler’s Rest Speedway, 16-year-old rookie Nick Snyder found out how true that statement really is.
Snyder, from Marco Island, Fla., used a well-timed run to the inside of recent college graduate Morgan Turpen in turn three of the opening lap of Friday night’s 30-lap feature to take the lead, a position he would never relinquish the rest of the distance to score his first-career United Sprint Car Series (USCS) filtercharged by K&N victory, his first win ever in a 360ci winged sprint car.
Despite the dominating look of the box score, Snyder had to work through lapped traffic, as well as hold off a determined run by eleven-time series champion Terry Gray in the final five laps, before scoring the wire-to-wire victory.
“I saw him [show his nose] there a couple of times, and I knew I had to drive it in deep to chop him off a little bit and kill his momentum,” Snyder said in www.rockauto.com USCS Victory Lane. “I got nervous there in lapped traffic coming to the white – he got a run and I thought we were done at that point, but somehow I managed to use [Brandon McLain’s] car in turn three to get back through on the high side.”
“I’m thrilled that I’m standing here right now. This is a surreal feeling in our first full-time season, we’ve had so much bad luck before now that to have done this is a moment I’ll never forget.”
Gray finished second after his final run to the line came up about two feet short, but said he had another opportunity in traffic earlier in the race that he just couldn’t capitalize on.
“We were working through the field there about halfway, and he and I went three-wide on the 6T [of Brad Wickham] and both Brad and I just got loose and made contact,” Gray said. “For a while, I actually thought I had a right rear tire going flat, but once I figured out we were good there I was able to make one last run and it just wasn’t quite enough.”
“I’m not making excuses tonight, I got outdrove and that kid deserves this win. He drove a great race.”
Gray’s teammate Turpen, who is missing her college graduation ceremony to compete this weekend, crossed the line in third, while Mooresville, N.C. driver C.J. Miller finished fourth after a scary flip in hot laps that nearly demolished his No. 9 entry. Former USCS winner Lance Moss, out of Cherryville, N.C. rounded out the top five.
The event ran caution-free and took just over seven minutes to complete.
A two-time winner already in 2015, Charlotte, N.C. young gun Eric Riggins Jr. led the next set of drivers with a sixth place finish. Johnny Petrozelle, hailing from Denton, N.C. was seventh and 1998 series Rookie of the Year Johnny Bridges, out of Cherryville, N.C., crossed the line eighth. Another Tar Heel State native, Indian Trail’s Brandon McLain, finished ninth and Grovetown, Ga. pilot Jay Dunham rounded out the top ten.
Gray kicked off the evening’s racing action by winning the Hoosier Tire Speed Dash, and Lance Moss scored the win in the Engler Machine and Tool First Heat. Gray then followed up his dash win with a victory in the Butlerbuilt Second Heat.
Moss was the provisional polesitter after scoring the most passing points in heat race action, but after a six came up in the K&N Filters Inversion Draw, Turpen received the K&N Filters Pole Award. Eric Riggins Jr. passed the most cars in the A-main (four) to grab the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award.
The United Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N continues their 2015 schedule on Saturday night, May 9 with a visit to the North Georgia Speedway in Chatsworth, Ga, the first time for the series at the track in over a decade.
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.
Audio with race winner Nick Snyder:
Audio with runner-up Terry Gray:
RESULTS: USCS Sprint Car Series “Sprint Car Wars”; Travelers Rest Speedway; May 8, 2015
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: Terry Gray, Eric Riggins Jr., Morgan Turpen, Johnny Bridges, Nick Snyder, Lance Moss.
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: Lance Moss, Nick Snyder, Johnny Petrozelle, Morgan Turpen, Brandon McLain, Bob Auld, Joe Larkin, Sonny Stroud, Gary Troutman (DNS).
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: Terry Gray, Johnny Bridges, Jeff Willingham, C.J. Miller, Eric Riggins Jr., Brad Wickham, Jay Dunham, Bobby Komisarski.
USCS Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N Sprint Car Wars A-main: 30-laps
- #116 – Nick Snyder, Marco Island, FL
- #10 – Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN
- #10M – Morgan Turpen, Cordova, TN
- #9 – C.J. Miller, Mooresville, NC
- #23 – Lance Moss, Cherryville, NC
- #47 – Eric Riggins Jr., Charlotte, NC
- #59III – Johnny Petrozelle, Denton, NC
- #07 – Johnny Bridges, Cherryville, NC
- #21B – Brandon McLain, Indian Trail, NC
- #51 – Jay Dunham, Grovetown, GA
- #6T – Brad Wickham, Rutherfordton, NC
- #83 – Bob Auld, Largo, FL
- #28 – Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS
- #33 – Joe Larkin, Suwanee, GA
- #5S – Sonny Stroud, Marietta, SC (DNS)
- #44 – Gary Troutman, Vale, NC (DNS)
- #17 – Bobby Komisarski, Lake Wylie, SC (DNS)
USCS Sprint Car Series Race Awards:
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: #10 – Terry Gray
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: #23 – Lance Moss
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: #10 – Terry Gray
K&N Filters Pole Award: #10M – Morgan Turpen
JE Pistons Top Guns Award: #9 – C.J. Miller (4th place)
Bell Helmets Focus Award: #10 – Terry Gray
K&N Filters Podium (3rd place) Award: #10M – Morgan Turpen
Brown and Miller Racing Solutions Fourth Place Award: #9 – C.J. Miller
Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award: #47 – Eric Riggins Jr.
Keizer Aluminum Wheels Top Five Award: #23 – Lance Moss
Saldana Racing Products Super Sixth Award: #47 – Eric Riggins Jr.
Pyrotect Racing Cells Lucky Seven Award: #59III – Johnny Petrozelle
DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends Top Ten Award: #51 – Jay Dunham