GREENVILLE, MS – Audio, photo and recap by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio, Race Chaser Online and USCS Racing – Normally Anthony Nicholson is “the Shark” in United Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N competition, but Friday night at Greenville Speedway, he became “the Exterminator”.
Nicholson, the 2008 USCS Rookie of the Year from Bartlett, Tennessee, took the lead from K&N pole-sitter Terry Gray on the opening lap of Friday’s 20-lap Ellis Palasini Black Widow Classic preliminary A-main and then held off 2012 USCS champion Tim “the Crawdaddy” Crawley on a green-white-checkered finish to win his second USCS feature of the 2014 season and first-ever at Greenville.
The victory was Nicholson’s sixth career USCS feature victory, moving him into a tie for 13th on the all-time series win list, and the Tennessee native becomes the first driver to beat Crawley in USCS competition since June 28th when Crawley won at Poplar Bluff Speedway in Missouri.
“We found a little bit on that first restart (on lap 3); Tim (Crawley) drove underneath me for a second and I sure didn’t want to see any more (yellows),” Nicholson said in www.rockauto.com Victory Lane. “I just tried to basically take his line away on all the other restarts. There at the end, you know – I hate I did that to Ronny – I don’t drive like that, and he knows I don’t. It was accidental, but when Crawley’s right there you just gotta go and we did that and got the win tonight.”
The race was slowed by three incidents over the course of the 20-lap feature. The first caution came on lap 3 when the #44C of Brett McMillan slapped the outside wall in turn 4 and lost the right front wheel, and the second came less than a lap later when the #1J of young gun Nic Jenkins tipped over in turn 3. In both instances, the drivers walked away uninjured.
The final caution was the game-changer of the night – Anthony Nicholson came up on Ronny Howard to put the Nesbit, Mississippi driver a second lap down, and the two came together as Nicholson was coming to the white flag, causing Howard to spin in turn 4 and drawing the yellow for the third and final time to set up the green-white-checkered restart.
Howard’s car received enough damage to retire him from the event, however Nicholson escaped unscathed and darted away from Crawley following the yellow to drive to the victory.
Behind Nicholson and Benton, Arkansas native Crawley, Terry Gray, the ten time USCS champion from Bartlett, Tennessee, rounded out the podium in third place. Nesbit, Mississippi’s Andy McElhannon finished his night in fourth and Cordova, Tennessee hotshoe Morgan Turpen completed the top five.
1998 series champion Eddie Gallagher led the next group of drivers, coming home in sixth. Home state favorite Michael Miller, from Ocean Springs, Mississippi crossed the line seventh and Shane Morgan finished eighth in his first USCS start of the season. Ripley, Mississippi native Jeff Willingham had one of his strongest runs of the season in ninth and Nesbit’s Ronny Howard was credited with the tenth position at the finish after his tangle in Turn 4.
Ronny Howard kicked off the evening’s racing action by winning the Hoosier Tire Speed Dash, his first-career USCS dash victory. Terry Gray scored the win in the Engler Machine and Tool First Heat, and Tim Crawley used a last-turn pass to roll to the victory in the Butlerbuilt Second Heat.
Crawley 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, Gray received the K&N Filters Pole Award. Eddie Gallagher passed the most cars in the A-main (three) to grab the Willwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award.
The United Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N continues their 2014 schedule on Saturday night, August 2nd with the 30-lap finale to the Ellis Palasini Black Widow Classic at Greenville Speedway.
For rules and updated schedule information about the United Sprint Car Series, please visit www.uscsracing.com or call the series office at 770-460-7223.
RESULTS: USCS Sprint Car Series “Ellis Palasini Black Widow Classic: Night 1”; Greenville Speedway; August 1st, 2014
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: Ronny Howard, Andy McElhannon, Tim Crawley, Terry Gray, Anthony Nicholson, Morgan Turpen.
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: Terry Gray, Morgan Turpen, Anthony Nicholson, Michael Miller, Shane Morgan, Terry Witherspoon, Ronny Howard, Brett McMillan (DNS).
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: Tim Crawley, Nic Jenkins, Andy McElhannon, Jeff Willingham, Eddie Gallagher, Jerod Roller, Greg Merritt (DNS).
USCS Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N Ellis Palasini Black Widow Classic preliminary A-main: 20-laps
- #16 – Anthony Nicholson, Bartlett, TN
- #88 – Tim Crawley, Benton, AR
- #10 – Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN
- #42 – Andy McElhannon, Nesbit, MS
- #10M – Morgan Turpen, Cordova, TN
- #1X – Eddie Gallagher, Olive Branch, MS
- #4M – Michael Miller, Ocean Springs, MS
- #01 – Shane Morgan, Biloxi, MS
- #28 – Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS
- #44 – Ronny Howard, Nesbit, MS
- #43 – Terry Witherspoon, Jacksonville, FL
- #1J – Nic Jenkins, Bryant, AR
- #44C – Brett McMillan, Piperton, TN
- #44S – Greg Merritt, Nesbit, MS
- #5 – Jerod Roller, Hernando, MS
Audio with race winner Anthony Nicholson:
USCS Sprint Car Series Race Awards:
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: #44 – Ronny Howard
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: #10 – Terry Gray
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: #88 – Tim Crawley
K&N Filters Pole Award: #10 – Terry Gray
JE Pistons Top Guns Award: (2nd place): #88 – Tim Crawley
K&N Filters Podium (3rd place) Award: #10 – Terry Gray
Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award: #1X – Eddie Gallagher
Keizer Aluminum Wheels Top Five Award: #10M – Morgan Turpen
Saldana Racing Products Super Sixth Award: #1X – Eddie Gallagher
Pyrotect Racing Cells Lucky Seven Award: #4M – Michael Miller
DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends Top Ten Award: #44 – Ronny Howard