Adams wins the USCS "Big show" at Greenville-Pickens Greenville, S.C. - The spotlight was on for the United Sprint Car Series / Benning Construction Company "Night of Thunder" and some of America's fastest winged outlaw sprint car racers showed...
Adams wins the USCS "Big show" at Greenville-Pickens
Greenville, S.C. - The spotlight was on for the United Sprint Car Series / Benning Construction Company "Night of Thunder" and some of America's fastest winged outlaw sprint car racers showed a huge Thursday night crowd at historic Greenville-Pickens Speedway the USCS "Big Show." Before the night was over, 2000 USCS champion and current USCS Asphalt Series points leader, Kenny Adams from Malabar, Florida, showed everyone at the challenging half mile asphalt oval, the fastest way around and into victory lane in the 30 lap main event. It was Adams' seventh USCS win of the season.
It all started when Adams lowered the GPS official track record all the way down to 16.927 seconds on his second and final time trial lap. The world's top ranked female sprint car driver, three time Hyper Lube Northern Sprint Tour champion, Shawna Wilskey, from Lake Stevens, Washington, had second fast time of 17.390 seconds, which was actually the second fastest lap as Adams first lap was at 17.421 seconds. The previous official track record was held by an All Pro Series late model driver at 19.46 seconds.
Adams went on to prove that he was the class of the thirty-one car field from ten states (the largest ever for a USCS asphalt event) as he also collected a win in the Airflow Research Power Dash and won his heat race before the main event started. Red Stauffer and Jim MacKenzie from Buford, Georgia, picked up the other BCC "Hammer Down" heat races. Brian Thomas from Auburn, Georgia won the 12 lap action packed Pro Shocks B-main event.
When the main event started, Stauffer from Winter Park, Florida, led the first circuit before a caution flag flew for front row starter Rick Holley, from Nelsonville, Ohio, who collided with Wilskey before hitting the wall and severely damaging his car. On the restart, Brian Thomas tangled wheels with another car on the front stretch and brought out the second lap number two caution.
On the wave of the green flag, the sixth starting "Malabar Missle" (Adams) found a hole and raced his Got Milk?/ Putnam County Speedway sponsored #2a Shaw car around teammate Stauffer to lead lap two. By lap three Jim Raptis moved his rocket red, Engine Research # 77 past Stauffer and took up the chase behind his Asphalt Series rival. Raptis kept the heat on and challenged Adams numerous times. Heavy lapped traffic boxed Raptis in and he lost the position he was holding, right on Adams' back bumper at the lap 22 point in the 30 lap main event. Adams used the lapped traffic to his advantage for the last eight laps to finish eight to ten car lengths ahead of the only driver to beat him on the pavement this year.
Stauffer brought his Got Milk? / Putnam County Speedway # 2 home third followed by USCS "Road to Indy" points leader, Terry Gray from Bartlett, Tennessee who drove his own black #10 home in fourth. Defending Northern Sprint Tour champ, Shawna Wilskey, who was driving Pete Walton's # 10X, a car she had never seen before the night began, rounded out the top five. This was Wilskey's second career asphalt event.
The second five was headed by 2000 USCS top rookie, Michael Miller, who finished sixth after starting in eighth. Miller from Biloxi, Mississippi, was running in fourth when his engine soured on lap twenty-seven. IRL driver Jimmy Kite from Stockbridge, Georgia, finished in the seventh position after starting twelfth, Followed by 1999 USCS champion Marshall Skinner from West Memphis, Arkansas in eighth, Paul Madden from Tampa, Florida in ninth and Asphalt Series rookie points leader Troy Lowery from Martin, Tennessee completed the top ten.
Adams garnered the Huggins Cams "Hardcharger" award for his efforts and Lowery was the Hart Racing "Top Rookie" for the event. Sierra Racing Products "Got Brakes" award went to Wilskey, the C&R Racing Radiators "I'm Cool" award went to Kite, Skinner picked up the Robison Racing Products " 8th Ain't Enough" product award, Paul Madden was the Leaf Racewear product recipient and the Weld Racing Top 10 award went to the rookie, Lowery.
A contingent of Ohio and Indiana cars including four 305 cubic inch powered cars from the SAS 305 series was well represented. Danny Brown picked up a $100 bonus for being the quickest qualifying ($50) and the top finishing SAS 305 in the feature ($50.) Brown qualified ninth and finished in eleventh place in a tough field, using handling and not horsepower to get it done at the slightly banked oval.
USCS 2001 Hart Racing Top Rookie points leader, Ben Basinger, from Granite Quarry, North Carolina, gave everyone a scare in the B-Main event when his WRFX Fox 99 sponsored # 99 Clincher collected a muffler lost by another car and cut an oil line creating a huge fire momentarily. Basinger, who started the night fourth in the national point standings, leaped from the car and went to the ground to put out the oil fire on his uniform as the quickly moving Greenville-Pickens Speedway safety crew came to his rescue. Basinger was miraculously uninjured but it ended his racing for the night. <pre> Benning Construction Company "Night of Thunder" 30 lap - A main finish:
Kenny Adams, Jim Raptis, Red Stauffer, Terry Gray, Shawna Wilskey, Michael Miller, Jimmy Kite, Marshall Skinner, Paul Madden, Troy Lowery, Danny Brown, Ted Williams, Jim MacKenzie, Doug Berryman, Chris Rogers, Don Townsend, Sr., Brian Thomas, Aubrey Black, Don Townsend, Jr., Chris Hall, Rick Holley and the "one and only" Robert Smith.
Pro Shocks - B-main finish:
Brian Thomas, Don Townsend, Jr., Aubrey Black, Robert Smith, Ben Basinger, George Turner, Tim Perry, Bill Moore, Mel Park, Hank Hall DNS, Nick Manikis DNS and Ed Kenans DNS.