USCS: Hickory, Redford pre-race notebook

HICKORY, NC - As United Sprint Car Series officials and competitors prepare for Friday night's Garrett & Dyer Ford Thunder In Carolina winged outlaw sprint car race at Hickory Motor Speedway, and the Saturday night show at Motor Mile Speedway in...

HICKORY, NC - As United Sprint Car Series officials and competitors prepare for Friday night's Garrett & Dyer Ford Thunder In Carolina winged outlaw sprint car race at Hickory Motor Speedway, and the Saturday night show at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, VA, there is plenty of late breaking news to report.

USCS ASPHALT THUNDER POINT LEADER BERRYMAN HAS TO GO TO BACKUP CAR: USCS Asphalt Thunder point leader Doug Berryman of Mansfield, OH will have to go to his backup car for the USCS Friday night show at Hickory Motor Speedway, and the Saturday night event at Motor Mile Speedway. Berryman crashed his yellow number 1r machine in a Midwestern race last weekend, and was unable to make repairs in time for the North Carolina event.

Berryman, who won the USCS Asphalt Thunder season opener on March 27 in Braselton, GA, does have a very capable backup car, however. He will bring the black number 77r Beaberbuilt chassis that is very similar to his primary mount.

Jim Raptis of Marietta, GA drove the car to a fifth-place finish in Braselton, GA after starting tenth to earn the Huggins Racing Cams Hard charger of the Race Award.

ALL-TIME HICKORY MOTOR SPEEDWAY TRACK RECORD EXPECTED TO FALL ON FRIDAY NIGHT: With a new Hoosier Tire in place for the USCS Asphalt Thunder show on Friday night at Hickory Motor Speedway, many are expecting the all-time track record at Hickory Motor Speedway to be broken.

The defending USCS Asphalt Thunder Series Champion Kenny Adams of Malabar, FL turned the 3/8-mile paved oval in 12.261 seconds for an average speed of 110.105 miles per hour on July 17, 2003. Adams then went on to win the main event. The Hickory were amazed at the USCS winged outlaw sprint cars using three grooves at the tight historic speedway.

NASCAR LEGEND ERNIE IRVAN WILL BE GRAD MARSHAL AND SIGN AUTOGRAPHS AT HICKORY, NC AND RADFORD, VA: NASCAR Legend and USCS Co-owner Ernie Irvan will be the Grand Marshal for the USCS Asphalt Thunder Garrett & Dyer Ford Thunder In Carolina program on Friday night at Hickory Motor Speedway, and the USCS Asphalt Thunder show on Saturday night at Motor Mile Speedway.

Irvan will sign autographs for the fans in a "Meet and Greet" session from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday night at Hickory Motor Speedway, and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Motor Mile Speedway.

CAROLINA FORD FOCUS MIDGET DRIVER CONWAY TO TRAVEL FAST ON AND OFF THE TRACK DURING A COAST-TO-COAST WEEKEND: Carolina Ford Focus Midget driver Kevin Conway of Lynchburg, VA will attempt a "coast-to-coast" racing weekend. Conway will compete with the NASCAR Busch Grand National series in Fontana, CA, then jet to Hickory Motor Speedway on Friday. After the Friday night Hickory race, Conway will be airborne again for the flight back to California.

Conway will attempt to qualify his Totally Against Graffiti Chevrolet for the NASCAR event. The car is co-owned by former NASCAR stars Ernie Irvan and Lake Speed. Irvan is also the Co-owner of the United Sprint Car Series. Conway is making the effort to run both events because he is third in the Carolina Ford Focus Midget points, and his uncle's company, Performance Research, Inc. is sponsoring the Carolina Ford Focus Midget event at Hickory.

MANY USCS DRIVER TO SHOW ASPHALT AND DIRT VERSATILITY: With the United Sprint Car Series being the only winged outlaw sprint car series in the country to run both dirt and asphalt tracks, many of its competitors get a chance to show their race car driving versatility.

The last four USCS National points races have been on dirt tracks, and the next three series events, Friday night at Hickory Motor Speedway, Saturday night at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, VA, and May 8 at Senoia Speedway in Senoia, GA, will be on the asphalt. So far this year, nine different drivers have run both dirt and asphalt USCS events.

Double-duty USCS drivers include the top two in the National point standings, Terry Gray of Bartlett, TN, and Kenny Adams of Malabar, FL. Butch Pendergrass of Winston-Salem, NC is tenth in National points, and will be looking to move up the standings with pavement runs on Friday and Saturday night.

Also running dirt and asphalt this season in USCS competition are Ben Basinger of Salisbury, NC, Chad Allum of Kannapolis, NC, Bill Moore of Denver, NC Doug Gold of Conover, NC, Aubrey Black of Lookout Mountain, GA, and Jimmy Taylor of Green Pond, SC.

Among the drivers looking to join that list this weekend are the fifth-place driver in National points Tom Winegardner Jr. of Pierson, FL, the top USCS Rookie of the Year driver and seventh in National points R.J. Johnson of Wesley Chapel, FL, and Johnny Bridges of Cherryville, NC in a Ford-powered mount.

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Series Sprint
Drivers Ernie Irvan , Kenny Adams