USCS: Sharp Shark; Nicholson Romps to Smoky Mountain Victory

Jacob Seelman Audio, Featured, MidSouth, Other Sprint Cars, Southeast, Sprints & Midgets 0 Comments

May 4, 2014 — story and audio by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio, Race Chaser Online and USCS Racing — Chris Seelman photo — MARYVILLE, TN — Jaws doesn’t have anything on Anthony Nicholson.

The Bartlett, Tennessee native and 2008 United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour filtercharged by K&N Rookie of the Year, also nicknamed “The Shark”, stormed by early race leader and eight-time World of Outlaws feature winner Danny Smith on Lap 3 of Saturday night’s 30-lap USCS main event and took command of the race from there, driving away to his first win of the 2014 season despite a late-race caution with five laps to go.

“Man, this means a lot,” Nicholson said in Victory Lane after the race. “We had an awesome race car tonight, and once we got by Danny there right before the caution, we were cooking. The car was so good out front and it could work through traffic well. What an awesome night.”

Smith, from Chillicothe, Ohio, survived a five-lap duel with ten-time USCS National Champion Terry Gray, also out of Bartlett, Tennessee, just past halfway to claim the runner-up spot after finishing fourth in Friday night’s main event. Gray completed the podium in third place and notched the K&N Filters Podium Award.

Oakland, Tennessee’s Morgan Turpen, the only female racer in Saturday night’s field, charged from 12th to finish fourth in the main event after her car was nearly destroyed in an opening lap crash Friday night at the 411 Motor Speedway. Lance Moss, out of Cherryville, North Carolina completed the top five drivers at the finish.

The Carolina Kid, Eric Riggins Jr. (Charlotte, NC), charged from the back of the field to finish sixth after having a flat tire on lap 3 of the feature. Indian Trail, North Carolina’s Brandon McLain ran home in seventh, with veteran USCS Mid-South region competitor Greg Merritt (Nesbit, MS) coming home in eighth. K&N Filter’s Pole Award winner Terry Witherspoon, from Jacksonville, Florida, finished ninth and Largo, Florida’s Bob Auld rounded out the top ten finishers.

The feature was slowed early by a handful of caution periods, with Terry Witherspoon losing the lead to Danny Smith on lap 2 before looping the car in Turn 4 and stalling at the base of the corner. On the ensuing restart, Nicholson surged to the lead on the high side of Turn 2 before the caution flew for Riggins’ stopped car on the front straightaway. Riggins’ flat tire came while the Charlotte native was running fifth.

Once Riggins’ car was re-fired, the field formed up again and the race’s most serious accident occurred on the backstretch when Morgan Turpen and the #1 of Freddie McCall Jr. made slight contact which sent McCall flipping violently down the backstretch and into the entrance of Turn 3. The force of the crash dislodged the motor from the car, but McCall climbed out of the car under his own power with no injury.

From there, Nicholson blasted away from the field and was unchallenged the rest of the night despite the late-race caution for the stalled car of Shawn Murray in Turn 4.

Danny Smith kicked off the evening’s racing action by winning the six car, six-lap Hoosier Speed Dash. Nicholson then came from sixth to win the Engler Machine and Tool First Heat, while Terry Gray took the checkered flag in the Butlerbuilt Second Heat. After first heat winner Nicholson pulled a four in the inversion draw, Terry Witherspoon grabbed the K&N Filters Pole Position. Morgan Turpen advanced the most positions (eight) in the A-Main to earn the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award.

The next event for the United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour is the kickoff for the 9th Annual USCS Sprint Speedweek at Jackson Motor Speedway in Jackson, Mississippi on Saturday, May 24th. The event will be the first of a string of six races in eight days for the cars and stars of the USCS as they hunt a $1,000 top prize for winning the 2014 Speedweek points championship.

For rules, schedules and more information on the United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour, please visit or call 770-460-7223 or 770-865-6097.


RESULTS: USCS Outlaw Thunder presented by K&N Filters; 411 Motor Speedway; Friday, May 2, 2014: 

Hoosier Speed Dash: Danny Smith, Anthony Nicholson, Terry Gray, Johnny Bridges, Brandon McLain, Bob Auld

Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: Anthony Nicholson, Terry Witherspoon, Lance Moss, Shawn Murray, Johnny Bridges, Nicholas Snyder, Aubrey Black, Lukas Smith, Don Smith, Don Ryder

Butlerbuilt Second Heat: Terry Gray, Brandon McLain, Greg Merritt, Danny Smith, Morgan Turpen, Eric Riggins Jr., Bob Auld, Freddie McCall Jr., Jeff Willingham, Joe Larkin (DNS)


United Sprint Car Series “Thunder in the Smokies” at Smoky Mountain Speedway Main Event: 30-laps

  1. #16 – Anthony Nicholson, Bartlett, TN
  2. #4 – Danny Smith, Chillicothe, OH
  3. #10 – Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN
  4. #10M – Morgan Turpen, Oakland, TN
  5. #23 – Lance Moss, Cherryville, NC
  6. #47 – Eric Riggins Jr., Charlotte, NC
  7. #21B – Brandon McLain, Indian Trail, NC
  8. #12M – Greg Merritt, Nesbit, MS
  9. #43 – Terry Witherspoon, Jacksonville, FL
  10. #83 – Bob Auld, Largo, FL
  11. #21 – Aubrey Black, Lookout Mountain, GA
  12. #26 – Lukas Smith, Lebanon, IN
  13. #28 – Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS
  14. #61 – Don Smith, Lebanon, IN
  15. #22 – Shawn Murray, Jacksonville, FL
  16. #15 – Nicholas Snyder, Marco Island, FL
  17. #33 – Johnny Bridges, Cherryville, NC
  18. #1 – Freddie McCall Jr., Brewton, AL
  19. #12B – Don Ryder, Knoxville, TN (DNS)
  20. #07 – Joe Larkin, Suwanee, GA (DNS)


USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by K&N Filters Race Awards:

USCS Sprint Hoosier Speed Dash: #4 – Danny Smith
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: #16 – Anthony Nicholson
Butlerbuilt Second Heat Award: #10 – Terry Gray
K&N Filters Pole Award: #43 – Terry Witherspoon
JE Pistons Top Guns Award: #10M – Morgan Turpen (4th place)
K&N Filters Podium (3rd place) Award: #10 – Terry Gray
Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award: #10M – Morgan Turpen
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: #21B – Brandon McLain
DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends Top Ten Award: #83 – Bob Auld


The United Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters would like to gratefully thank its sponsoring partners for their involvement in the 2014 and 18th anniversary USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour: K&N Filters,, Engler Machine and Tool, Butlerbuilt, Wilwood Disc Brakes, Saldana Racing Products, Pyrotect Racing Cells, DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends. KSE Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, DSR Fuel Systems, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions and Safety-Kleen.

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