COLLETT TRAVELS SOUTH TO TAKE O'REILLY USCS CAROLINA CASH GASTONIA, NC - Justin Collett of Townsend, DE posted his first career O'Reilly United Sprint Car Series win with a wire-to-wire victory Friday night at Carolina Speedway...
COLLETT TRAVELS SOUTH TO TAKE O'REILLY USCS CAROLINA CASH
GASTONIA, NC - Justin Collett of Townsend, DE posted his first career O'Reilly United Sprint Car Series win with a wire-to-wire victory Friday night at Carolina Speedway driving the Collett & Sons Welding JEI Performance/Kriner. The 19-year-old SpeedMart Young Gun earned the K&N Pole Award when the top eight cars from heat race action were inverted for the feature.
Collett was in a hurry all night long, as his team arrived at the track late, missed the draw, and had to start at the tail of the second heat.
"Getting the pole position with the inversion was the key to winning tonight," Collett said. "With the competition the O'Reilly USCS has, I'm not sure I'd be here if I had to start eighth. I wasn't sure we were going to make it here in time to race, but we got here, and had to start at the tail of a heat. I never thought we'd do this well. I figured we'd have to run in the back all night long."
In addition to the win and the K&N Filters Pole Award, Collett was also the SpeedMart Young Gun of the Race, and took the Outlaw Racing Disc Brakes Fast Brake of the Race Award.
The defending and four-time O'Reilly USCS National Champion Terry Gray of Bartlett, TN finished second in the C&B Mushrooms/Goodson Farms Maxim/Wesmar. The current O'Reilly USCS National point leader Kenny Adams of Malabar, FL took the third spot in the Milk Movers, Inc./Goodson Farms Shaw/Ott, and he also won the ButlerBuilt second eight-lap heat race.
Johnny Bridges of Cherryville, NC drove to a fourth-place finish in front of his hometown fans driving the C&B Mushrooms/Stainless Fabricators J&J/Bridges Ford. Bridges won the six-lap Air Flow Research Power Dash. Danny Martin Jr. of Sarasota, FL was fifth in the Food Grade Transport Schnee/ZRE.
Bruce Cline of Apex, NC finished sixth in the 31-W Insulation Stealth/Engler, and was the Robison Racing Products Rookie of the Race. Cline played an important role in Collett's win, as he put the Delaware driver on the pole for the feature race by drawing the number eight for the inversion after winning the Engler Machine and Tool first eight-lap heat race.
Brice Wrenn of Lexington, SC drove the Stainless Fabricators Maxim/Gaerte to a seventh-place finish, and was the Huggins Cams Hard Charger of the Race after starting 12th. Bryn Gohn of Malabar, FL finished eighth in the Milk Movers, Inc./Goodson Farms Shaw/Ott, and Skeeter Faulconer of Lutz, FL was ninth in the American Trading Post and Pawn Avenger/Skeeter.
The 2004 O'Reilly USCS Rookie of the Year R.J. Johnson of Decatur, TN rounded out the top ten in the Tinsley Engineering/Georgia Performance Graphics J&J/ZRE. In other preliminary action, Chad Allum of Kannapolis, NC won the four-lap Koolbeans Trophy Dash in the ButlerBuilt Prowler/Chrisco.
Collett's bid for the victory almost ended in the first turn of the first lap when he made contact with Brian Smith of Mooresville, NC. Collett kept going, but the outside front row starter Smith spun in turn one, hit the outside wall, and his Smith Fabrication Smith/Smith tipped over on its side to bring out the red flag.
Smith was uninjured, but his race car was done for the night. That earned Smith the Weld Racing Hard Luck of the Race Award. Collett restarted on the pole position, and Gray moved up to take over the outside front row starting spot. Collett led Gray, Bridges, Martin and Cline into the first turn on the restart.
Adams got busy from his seventh starting spot, as he passed Cline for the fifth spot on lap two, and drove around Martin for the fourth position in lapped traffic on lap nine. The second and final caution flag came out on lap 13 when Dustin Apple stalled the Apple Racing Maxim/Jerico in turn two while running seventh.
Collett drove away on the restart, while Gray, Bridges, Adams, and Martin put on a four-car battle for the second spot. Adams got by Bridges for third on lap 20, and then set his sights on Gray. Adams got close, but Gray was able to use lapped traffic to his advantage in the closing laps to pull away from Adams.
The next event for the O'Reilly USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour will be Saturday night at Sumter Speedway in Sumter, SC.