Raptis Beats Adams, Fog, and Curfew For USCS Hudson, NC Win HUDSON, NC - Jim Raptis of Marietta, GA outran Kenny Adams of Malabar, FL, a heavy fog, and a curfew to post his first United Sprint Car Series victory of the season on...
Raptis Beats Adams, Fog, and Curfew For USCS Hudson, NC Win
HUDSON, NC - Jim Raptis of Marietta, GA outran Kenny Adams of Malabar, FL, a heavy fog, and a curfew to post his first United Sprint Car Series victory of the season on Friday night at Tri-County Motor Speedway.
Raptis took the lead on the second lap in the ERI Maxim/ERI wrenched by third-generation sprint car racer Andy Stapp. and then held off a late-race charge by Adams after a lengthy red flag on lap 22 for a serious crash by Joe Rebman of Mansfield, OH, who walked away from a destroyed race car.
Adams had to settle for second in the Goodson Farms Shaw/Ott, and third went to the defending and three-time USCS National Champion Terry Gray of Bartlett, TN in the Goodson Farms/Wendy's Maxim/Wesmar. Doug Berryman of Mansfield, OH drove the Rebman Truck Service Beaberbuilt/Gressman to a fourth-place finish.
Doug "Solid" Gold of Concord, NC took the fifth spot in the Heintz Performance Gold/Jerico, and Will Ragsdale of Easley, SC was sixth in the Chick-Fil-A Clincher/ERI. Chad Allum of Kannapolis, NC finished seventh in the Heintz Performance Allum/Allum, and Danny "The Hammer" Martin of Sarasota, FL was eighth in the Martin Structures, Inc. Hurricane/ZRE.
C.J. Miller of Mooresville, NC drove the Miller Racing Maxim/Jay's Performance to a ninth-place finish in his first USCS start of the season, and R.J. Johnson of Decatur, TN celebrated his 17th birthday by rounding out the top ten in the Leaf Race Wear/Pin Rings J&J/ZRE and earning the Rookie of the Race Award.
Gold took the lead at the start of what was scheduled to be a 40-lap main event. Raptis was hot on Gold's rear nerf bar from his third starting spot. On the second lap, Raptis stepped to the outside and passed Gold for the lead coming off the second turn. Raptis then started to pull away, but Adams was on the march from his fifth starting position.
Gray passed Gold for the second spot on lap six, while Adams moved by Berryman for the fourth position on lap eight. Adams then moved up to battle Gold for the third spot, before passing him on lap 14. Adams then set his sights on Gray, as the field closed in on the halfway point in the race.
Adams raced around Gray for the second spot coming off the fourth turn on lap 20, while Raptis began to see his big lead evaporate. Adams and Gray were catching the leader, when a big crash in turn one brought out the red flag on lap 22.
The car of Tim Perry of Mooresville, NC blew an engine at the start/finish line, and Rebman went up and over the right-rear tire of Perry's slowing Oval Research and Development J&J/Perry. Rebman's Rebman Truck Service Beaberbuilt/Gressman got airborne, hit the first turn outside wall and catch fence, spun back around in the air bursting into flames, before landing on all four wheels.
After landing and stopping in the middle of the track in turn one, Rebman climbed from his burning car uninjured, as the Tri-County Motor Speedway Safety crew quickly arrived on the scene and extinguished the blaze. The crash damaged the turn one safety fence forcing a 30 minute delay to replace it. Rebman received the Weld Racing hard Luck Award.
Before Rebman had his misfortune, he had a pretty good night going. He won the C&B Mushrooms Fast Qualifier Award by turning the 4/10-mile paved oval in 13.105 seconds for an average speed of 86.990 miles per hour. Rebman then came from the sixth starting spot to win the first 10-lap heat race.
While the field waited under red, a heavy fog rolled into the area limiting visibility. On top of all that, the 11:30 p.m. curfew was fast approaching. While the Tri-County Motor Speedway track crew quickly repaired the fence, USCS and speedway officials agreed to shorten the race to 30 laps.
When the wreck was cleared, and the fence repaired, the cars pushed off for the restart at 11:15 p.m. for the nine lap dash to the finish. Raptis had his hands full with Adams when the green came back out. Adams was able to pull along side Raptis in turns one and two on lap 23, but that's as close as the "Malabar Missile" got, as Raptis turned up the wick and pulled away for the win.
Raptis also won the second 10-lap heat race. The FSR Performance Award went to Tom Paterson of Argos, IN driving the Jenkins Automotive Stealth/Paterson. The next event for the USCS Asphalt Thunder Tour will be Saturday night at Southern National Speedway in Kenly, NC.
<pre> Official Results of Round 24 at Tri-County Motor Speedway in Hudson, NC on 7/30/04:
POS STRT CAR# DRIVER LAPS 1. 3 77 Jim Raptis 30 2. 5 4a Kenny Adams 30 3. 2 10 Terry Gray 30 4. 4 1r Doug Berryman 30 5. 1 8 Doug Gold 30 6. 7 29 Will Ragsdale 30 7. 8 87 Chad Allum 30 8. 11 00 Danny Martin Jr. 30 9. 9 9 C.J. Miller 30 10. 10 71 R.J. Johnson (R) 29 11. 15 11 Butch Pendergrass 29 12. 16 6 J.J. Dutton 28 13. 18 6f Skeeter Faulconer 27 14. 13 11p Tom Paterson 26 15. 19 c1 Bruce Cline 26 16. 14 4b Bryn Gohn 24 17. 6 77r Joe Rebman 21 18. 12 36 Tim Perry 19 19. 17 32 Jimmy Thomas 18
LEAD CHANGES: 1 LAP LEADERS: Gold, 1; Raptis, 2-30 LAPS LED: Raptis, 29; Gold, 1 CAUTIONS: 1 (Red Flag)
C&B MUSHROOMS FAST QUALIFIER: Rebman, 13.105 Seconds, 86.990 MPH HUGGINS RACE CAMS HARD CHARGER: Faulconer (started 18th and finished 13th) WELD RACING HARD LUCK AWARD: Rebman FSR PERFORMANCE AWARD: Paterson ROOKIE OF THE RACE: Johnson
USCS NATIONAL POINT STANDINGS THROUGH 7/30/04: 1. Terry Gray 3460 2. Danny Martin Jr. 3206 3. Kenny Adams 2990 4. R.J. Johnson 2858 5. Brice Wrenn 2426 6. Tom Winegardner Jr. 1932 7. Chad Allum 1912 8. Butch Pendergrass 1602 9. Red Stauffer 1314 10. Jim Raptis 1218 11. Scott Christian 1166 12. Doug Gold 1120 13. Brian Thomas 1032 14. Bill Moore 1032 15. Jeremy Scott 940 16. Randy Helton 938 17. Dave Thorman 894 18. Bronzie Lawson 872 19. Johnny Bridges 868 20. Steven Graham 850
R - Denotes Rookie of the Year Candidate