USCS: Hickory preview, schedule

FAYETTEVILLE, GA - United Sprint Car Series officials have announced the Schedule of Events for the Garrett & Dyer Ford USCS Asphalt Thunder In Carolina event on Friday. Along with the USCS Asphalt Thunder winged outlaw sprint cars, the Carolina...

FAYETTEVILLE, GA - United Sprint Car Series officials have announced the Schedule of Events for the Garrett & Dyer Ford USCS Asphalt Thunder In Carolina event on Friday. Along with the USCS Asphalt Thunder winged outlaw sprint cars, the Carolina Ford Focus Midget Series will be in action, plus the Hickory Motor Speedway Thunder Trucks, and the Limited Late Models.

NASCAR Legend and USCS Co-owner Ernie Irvan will be the Grand Marshal for the event, and will be signing autographs, meeting and greeting the race fans from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Pit Gate will open at 4 p.m., and the grandstand gate opens at 5 p.m. Time Trials are set for 7 p.m., with racing scheduled for 8 p.m.

The USCS Asphalt Thunder winged outlaw sprint cars will compete in the six-lap Air Flow Research Power Dash, eight-lap Heat Races, a Consolation Race, and a 40-lap Feature Race. The Carolina Ford Focus Midgets will compete in a 30-lap Feature Race, the Limited Late Models will have a 35-lap Feature Race, and the Super Trucks will do battle in a 40-lap Feature Race.

Among the top entries for the USCS Asphalt Thunder show will the current point leader Doug Berryman of Mansfield, OH, who won the first USCS Asphalt Thunder race on March 27 at Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, GA. The defending USCS Asphalt Thunder Champion Kenny Adams of Malabar, FL is also the defending USCS Hickory Motor Speedway Champion.

Adams will be looking to get back on track for the 2004 USCS Asphalt Thunder title chase, after being involved in a crash on the opening lap of the Lanier main event. Adams has three USCS victories under his belt this season.

Terry Gray of Bartlett, TN leads the USCS National and Sunbelt Tour point standings. Gray is search of his fourth straight USCS National Championship. Gray won the last USCS event on Saturday night on the dirt at Oglethorpe Speedway Park in Savannah, GA, and finished second to Berryman at Lanier.

USCS is the only winged outlaw sprint car series in the country that competes on both dirt and asphalt short tracks, and has both pavement specialists and drivers that compete on both surfaces.

Adams and Gray run both asphalt and dirt, along with Butch Pendergrass of Winston-Salem, NC, Ben Bassinger of Salisbury, NC, Bill Moore of Denver, NC, Doug Gold of Concord, NC, Johnny Bridges of Cherryville, NC, and Chad Allum of Kannapolis, NC.

Along with Berryman, the USCS pavement specialist headed to Hickory include Jim Raptis of Marietta, GA, Ted Williams of Atlanta, GA, Brad Davis of Rutherfordton, NC, Joe Rebman of Mansfield, OH, Frank Neill of Vickery, OH, and top USCS Asphalt Thunder rookie driver Troy DeCaire of Tampa, FL.

A trio of Florida dirt track driving "Young Guns" have established themselves in the top ten of the USCS National points chase. Danny Martin Jr. of Sarasota, FL, Tom Winegardner Jr. of Pierson, FL and R.J. Johnson of Wesley Chapel, FL have decided to give the pavement a try at Hickory Motor Speedway on Friday night in an effort to move up the National point standings.

Martin, an 18-year-old high school Senior, is third in National points, Winegardner is fifth in National points, and R.J. Johnson is the leading National Rookie of the Year candidate, and is seventh in National USCS points. Just 104 points separate the members of the Florida "Fountain of Youth Gang" in the National points chase.

For more information about Hickory Motor Speedway call 828-464-3655, or visit the track's web site at www.hickorymotorspeedway.com. Hickory Motor Speedway is located just off I-40 at exit 128. Go south 1/2-mile on Fairgrove Church Road, then west 1/2-mile on U.S. Highway 70, and the track will on the left. Also visit the USCS web site at www.uscsracing.com, and the Carolina Ford Focus Midget series at www.carolinamidgetseries.com.

<pre> HICKORY MOTOR SPEEDWAY SCHEDULE OF EVENTS - APRIL 30, 2004

PIT GATE OPENS:     4 p.m.

INSPECTION AND REGISTRATION: 4 p.m.-5:45 p.m.
GRANDSTAND GATES OPEN: 5 p.m.
DRIVERS MEETING: 5:45 p.m.

HOT LAPS: 6 p.m.
Carolina Ford Focus Midgets
Limited Late Models
Super Trucks
USCS Sprint Cars

QUALIFYING: 7 p.m.
Carolina Ford Focus Midgets
Limited Late Models
USCS Sprint Cars
Super Trucks

RACING: 8 p.m.
USCS Air Flow Research Dash - 6 Laps
Carolina Ford Focus Midget Feature - 30 Laps
USCS Heats - 8 Laps
Limited Late Model Feature - 35 Laps
USCS B-Main - 8 Laps
Super Truck Feature - 40 Laps
USCS A-Main - 40 Laps

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Series Sprint
Drivers Ernie Irvan , Kenny Adams , Ted Williams , R.J. Johnson
Teams Williams