Berryman Takes USCS Lanier Win BRASELTON, GA - Doug Berryman of Mansfield, OH made his trip to Braselton, GA pay off Saturday night after winning the United Sprint Car Series "Asphalt Thunder" 40-lap season opener at Lanier National Raceway in...
Berryman Takes USCS Lanier Win
BRASELTON, GA - Doug Berryman of Mansfield, OH made his trip to Braselton, GA pay off Saturday night after winning the United Sprint Car Series "Asphalt Thunder" 40-lap season opener at Lanier National Raceway in front of a packed house. Berryman took the lead for good on lap 20 after swapping the lead with Terry Gray of Bartlett, TN.
Berryman pulled away from the defending and three-time USCS Champion Gray in lapped traffic during the second half of the race, to take his first ever USCS win driving the Rebman Truck Service Beaverbuilt Chassis powered by a Gressman engine. Gray held off Ted Williams of Atlanta, GA to finish second in the Goodson Farms/Wendy's Maxim/Wesmar.
Williams claimed the third spot driving the GMP Collectibles/Sanders Engineering Hurricane/Ott. Brad Davis of Rutherfordton, NC overcame an early race tangle to finish fourth in the AAA Plumbing Hurricane/Davis.
After losing an engine in his primary ride during Friday night's practice session, Jim Raptis of Marietta, GA arrived at the track Saturday without a ride, but took over Jimmy Taylor Jr.'s seat in the team car to Berryman. It took a few laps for Raptis to get acclimated to the car, but after starting tenth, the veteran brought the Rebman Truck Service Beaverbuilt/Taylor home in fifth.
Raptis shared the Huggins Cams Hard Charger of the Race Award with Butch Pendergrass of Winston-Salem, NC, who started his Pro Life Maxim/Harp 18th and finished 13th.
Joey "The Ace" Aguilar of Tampa, FL finished sixth in the Osha Bob/Classic Corvettes Hurricane/J.R. Competition Sprinter, and Joe Rebman of Mansfield, OH was seventh in the Rebman Truck Service Beaverbuilt/Gressman. Frank Neill of Vickery, OH took the eighth spot in the Cyclone Services Beaverbuilt/Griff.
Troy DeCaire of Tampa, FL was the Rookie of the Race after bringing the American Trading Post and Pawn Hurricane/Skeeter machine home in the ninth spot. Jimmy Taylor of Green Pond, SC rounded out the top ten in the Taylor Automotive and Machine Eagle/Taylor.
The race got off to a rough start with two caution flags before a lap could be put in the books. Berryman jumped the first start, and after a caution flag, the field lined up for a complete restart after Berryman received a warning from USCS officials.
On the restart, polesitter Berryman and outside front row starter Gray battled for the lead, but things got crowded behind them in turn two when Rebman, and the defending and two-time USCS Asphalt Thunder Champion Kenny Adams of Malabar, FL got together. The contact put the "Malabar Missile" in orbit when he wheel hopped Davis, and hit the turn two wall.
Adams was done for the night, and the field lined up for a second complete restart. The third time was the charm, as Berryman and Gray raced side-by-side into turn one. Berryman got the bite he needed off the second turn to take the lead followed by Gray, Davis, Williams, and the rookie DeCaire, who charged up from the eighth starting spot in only his seventh start in a sprint car.
While Berryman and Gray pulled away, DeCaire's car developed a push in the early going, and Rebman got by him on lap four to take over the fifth spot. The leaders moved up on the cars on the tail end of the lead lap on the tenth circuit, with Berryman running the middle groove, and Gray driving the turns right on the bottom of the race track.
When the lead duo came up to lap Aubrey Black of Lookout Mountain, GA in the Increte Competition Welding/Gillut, Berryman got caught behind Black, and Gray shot underneath coming off the fourth turn to take the lead on lap 12. Berryman was able to keep Gray in sight as they threaded the needle through lapped traffic.
On lap 20, it was Berryman's turn to throw the lapped car pick on Gray. Coming off the second turn, an inside running Gray got caught behind Chad Allum of Mooresville, NC in the Heintz Performance machine, and Berryman retook the lead on the outside. Once out front for a second time, Berryman never looked back, and pulled out to a half straightaway lead over Gray.
Before exiting the race early, Adams had success early in the night driving the Goodson Farms Shaw/Ott.
Adams was the fastest qualifier among the 23 entrants with a lap around the 3/8-mile paved oval in 11.921 seconds for an average speed of 113.246 miles per hour. Adams also won the six-lap Airflow Research Power Dash. Raptis, Rebman, and Gray won the three eight-lap heat races.
With his second-place finish, Gray takes over the lead in the USCS National Point Standings by 18 points over Adams. Raptis moves up to the third spot, ten points behind Adams.
USCS returns to the dirt tracks with an event this Friday night at Riverside Speedway in Travelers Rest, SC and then on April 3 at I-20 Speedway in Batesburg, SC. The next USCS Asphalt Thunder show will be on April 30 at Hickory Motor Speedway in Hickory, NC. For more USCS information, visit the series' web site at www.uscsracing.com.
<pre> THE SUMMARY:
POS STRT # DRIVER HOMETOWN LAPS 1. 1 1r Doug Berryman Mansfield, OH 40 2. 2 10 Terry Gray Bartlett, TN 40 3. 5 2 Ted Williams Atlanta, GA 40 4. 6 4d Brad Davis Rutherfordton, NC 40 5. 10 77x Jim Raptis Marietta, GA 40 6. 7 96 Joey Aguilar Tampa, FL 40 7. 3 77 Joe Rebman Mansfield, OH 40 8. 11 88 Frank Neill Vickery, OH 40 9. 8 6 Troy DeCaire Tampa, FL 39 10. 13 32 Jimmy Taylor Green Pond, SC 39 11. 12 87 Chad Allum Mooresville, NC 39 12. 15 06 Bill Moore Denver, NC 37 13. 18 11 Butch Pendergrass Winston-Salem, NC 37 14. 16 03 Tommy Nichols Tampa, FL 37 15. 14 21 Aubrey Black Lookout Mountain, GA 36 16. 17 8 Nick Manikis Thonotosassa, FL 36 17. 20 14 Doug Fitzwater Homewood, AL 32 18. 9 29 Will Ragsdale Easley, SC 29 19. 21 11x Tom Patterson Argos, IN 20 20. 19 08 Doug Gold Concord, NC 2 21. 4 4a Kenny Adams Malabar, FL 0 22. 22 1 Ben Basinger Salisbury, NC 0
FAST TIME: Adams: 11.921 Seconds, 113.246 MPH LEAD CHANGES: 2 Among 2 Drivers LAP LEADERS: Berryman, 1-11; Gray, 12-19; Berryman, 20-40 LAPS LED: Berryman, 32; Gray, 8 HUGGINS CAMS HARD CHARGER: Raptis (started 10th and finished 5th) and Pendergrass (started 18th and finished 13th) CAUTIONS: 2
USCS NATIONAL POINT STANDINGS THROUGH 3/27/04: 1. Terry Gray 384 2. Kenny Adams 366 3. Jim Raptis 356 4. Chad Kemenah 294 5. Joey Saldana 290 6. Sport Allen 276 7. Curt Michael 276 8. Shane Stewart 276 9. Danny Martin Jr. 270 10. Tony Stewart 266 11. Jason Sides 260 12. Greg Wilson 258 13. Glenn Styers 256 14. Brad Pake 252 15. Zack Chappell 252 16. Marshall Skinner 246 17. Red Stauffer 240 18. Bryce Wrenn 238 19. Cody Geldarg 234 20. Roger Rager 228
USCS ASPHALT THUNDER POINT STANDINGS THROUGH 3/27/04: 1. Doug Berryman 150 2. Terry Gray 148 3. Ted Williams 146 4. Brad Davis 144 5. Jim Raptis 142 6. Joey Aguilar 140 7. Joe Rebman 138 8. Frank Neill 136 9. Troy DeCaire (R) 134 10. Jimmy Taylor 132 11. Frank Neill 130 12. Bill Moore 128 13. Butch Pendergrass 126 14. Tommy Nichols 124 15. Aubrey Black 122 16. Nick Manikis 120 17. Doug Fitzwater 118 18. Will Ragsdale 116 19. Tom Patterson 114 20. Doug Gold 112