USCS: Dirt Tour season opener preview

O'REILLY USCS DRIVERS READY TO OPEN OUTLAW THUNDER DIRT TOUR IN TRAVELERS REST, SC ON APRIL 15 AND I-20 SPEEDWAY IN BATESBURG, SC ON APRIL 16 FAYETTEVILLE, GA - The O'Reilly United Sprint Car Series will open its 2005 Outlaw...

O'REILLY USCS DRIVERS READY TO OPEN OUTLAW THUNDER DIRT TOUR IN TRAVELERS REST, SC ON APRIL 15 AND I-20 SPEEDWAY IN BATESBURG, SC ON APRIL 16

FAYETTEVILLE, GA - The O'Reilly United Sprint Car Series will open its 2005 Outlaw Thunder Dirt Tour on Friday night, April 15 at Riverside Speedway in Travelers Rest, SC, and on Saturday night April 16 at I-20 Speedway in Batesburg, SC.

The first five 2005 O'Reilly USCS National point races have been held on paved tracks. The move to the two South Carolina dirt tracks has the series drivers are ready to show their versatility.

With the O'Reilly USCS being the only winged outlaw sprint car series in the country to compete for national points on both dirt and pavement, its drivers can quickly adapt to switching from one surface to the other.

Several drivers will run both surfaces in 2005, and the Riverside Speedway and I-20 Speedway events will also give them an opportunity to start a new regional points battle with a clean slate. The new O'Reilly USCS Carolina Thunder Tour will begin with its first two points races at Riverside Speedway and I-20 Speedway. The events will also award national points.

Terry Gray of Bartlett, TN will make his first dirt start of the season in contention to defending his four straight O'Reilly USCS National titles. Kenny Adams of Malabar, FL is looking for his second O'Reilly USCS National Championship to go with his 2000 trophy.

Adams took two of his 16 2005 O'Reilly USCS victories at Riverside Speedway and I-20 Speedway, and Gray picked up a win last season at I-20 Speedway.

The O'Reilly USCS will also bring a plethora of SpeedMart Young Guns, driver that are under the age of 25 that are expected to give the veterans Gray and Adams a run for their money.

Danny Martin Jr. of Sarasota, FL is a 19-year-old title contender that finished second in last year's national championship point battle with five wins. Martin is looking forward to getting back on the clay where he had his most success last season.

Ryan Myers of Eldorado, OH has been the biggest surprise of the young 2005 season. In his first starts ever on the asphalt, the 18-year-old driver has stayed in the top five of the O'Reilly USCS National points chase. Myers will back on a more familiar surface when the series visits the dirt tracks at Riverside Speedway and I-20 Speedway.

Another talented group of teenagers are battling for the O'Reilly USCS Rookie of the Year title in 2005.

Matt Tiffany of Daytona Beach, FL is a 16-year-old driver with a lot of dirt experience in Mini Sprints. Bryn Gohn of Malabar, FL is an 18-year-old driver that ran a limited O'Reilly USCS schedule last season and finished ninth in the National points chase. Stephen Darvalics of Venice, FL is a 17-year-old driver that will be looking for a good run on the dirt to break into the top ten of the series points.

Four more SpeedMart Young Guns expected at Riverside Speedway and I-20 Speedway are the 2004 O'Reilly USCS Rookie of the Year 18-year-old R.J. Johnson of Decatur, TN, 19-year-old Tom Winegardner Jr. of Pierson, FL, 17-year-old Tighe Schloss of Jacksonville, FL, and the "old man" of the SpeedMart Young Guns, 2002 series Rookie of the Year 21-year-old Ben Basinger of Granite Quarry, NC.

Josh Harris of Denton, NC is expected to make his first O'Reilly USCS starts of the season at Riverside Speedway and I-20 Speedway. The 16-year-old Harris is another Mini Sprint graduate that will be running for the O'Reilly USCS Carolina Thunder Rookie of the Year honors.

Along with Gray and Adams, there will also be a large group of veterans making the trip to Travelers Rest, SC and Batesburg, SC for the O'Reilly USCS dirt openers.

Veterans that will be been running both dirt and asphalt this season are Brian Thomas of Auburn, GA, Brice Wrenn of Lexington, SC, Tom Winegardner Sr. of Pierson, FL, 2001 series Rookie of the Year Michael Miller of Tallapoosa, GA and Dave Thorman of Greenville, SC.

Wrenn finished fifth in the O'Reilly USCS National points last year running a dirt-only schedule. Wrenn has stepped up his program for 2005, and is running both dirt and asphalt.

A group of veterans that will be looking to make their first O'Reilly USCS start of the 2005 season include Johnny Bridges of Cherryville, NC, Chad Allum of Kannapolis, NC, and Randy Helton of Palmetto, GA.

The O'Reilly USCS winged outlaw sprint cars are pound-for-pound the most powerful short track racing cars in the world, and they are expected to turn the fastest speeds ever recorded at Riverside Speedway and I-20 Speedway. These single-seat race cars weigh 1,300 pounds and are powered by 700 horsepower fuel injected, methanol burning V-8 engines.

The Air Flow Research Power Dash, the Engler Tool and Machine and ButlerBuilt Heat Races, and a 30-lap Feature Race will make up the Riverside Speedway and I-20 Speedway O'Reilly USCS programs. At both tracks, local racing divisions will also be in action.

Riverside Speedway is located north of Travelers Rest, SC, just north of U.S. Highway 25 on State Road 11. For information call Riverside Speedway at (864) 836-4200, or visit the track web site at www.race-track.com/riverside.

I-20 Speedway is located one mile north of I-20 at exit 39 on U.S. Highway 178. For more information call (803) 657-7854, or visit the track's web site at www.i20speedway.com. For more information about the O'Reilly USCS visit the series web site at www.uscsracing.com.

-uscs-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Kenny Adams , Bryn Gohn , Brian Thomas