Veterans And Young Guns Ready For Lanier O'Reilly USCS Event FAYETTEVILLE, GA - The O'Reilly United Sprint Car Series Asphalt Thunder Tour heads to Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, GA this Saturday night with a very competitive mixture of...
Veterans And Young Guns Ready For Lanier O'Reilly USCS Event
FAYETTEVILLE, GA - The O'Reilly United Sprint Car Series Asphalt Thunder Tour heads to Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, GA this Saturday night with a very competitive mixture of seasoned veterans and a group of driver under the age of 25 called the SpeedMart Young Guns.
After the first two O'Reilly USCS Asphalt Thunder events of the 2005 season, the score is veterans 1 and the young guns 1.
The 2000 O'Reilly USCS National Champion and 2003 O'Reilly USCS Asphalt Thunder Champion Kenny Adams of Malabar, FL won the season opener on March 18 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL. The next night at Mobile International Speedway in Mobile, AL the win went to 16-year-old third-generation driver Kevin Swindell of Bartlett, TN.
While Adams has 75 O'Reilly USCS career wins over the past five seasons, Swindell posted his first O'Reilly USCS win in only his second start in an asphalt winged outlaw sprint car. Swindell finished second to Adams in Pensacola and set new track records during qualifications at both events.
Swindell is following in the footsteps of his grandfather Sam Swindell, who was a standout driver in the Mid-South, and his father Sammy Swindell, who is a three-time National Sprint Car Champion with experience in both Indy Cars and NASCAR Busch Grand National cars.
The young Swindell also added an O'Reilly USCS winner's trophy to the family collection. His uncle, defending and four-time O'Reilly USCS National Champion Terry Gray of Bartlett, TN has 41 series career wins, and his uncle Jeff Swindell of Bartlett, TN has six O'Reilly USCS career wins.
Another SpeedMart Young Gun that has gotten off to a quick start on the O'Reilly USCS Asphalt Thunder Tour is 17-year-old Ryan Myers of Eldorado, OH. Myers, who was also making his second ever start in an asphalt car at Mobile, finished a strong second to Swindell at Mobile.
Gray has had to work hard to keep up with the youngsters. Gray finished sixth in Pensacola, and came back from a first lap crash in Mobile to finish third behind Swindell and Myers. Gray has had success at Lanier National Speedway, posting a win on the 3/8-mile paved oval last September.
Swindell leads Uncle Terry in the O'Reilly USCS point standings by 12 points coming into Saturday night's race at Lanier National Speedway. Myers is in the third spot, just four points behind Gray. Another third-generation driver with a famous racing name, Wayne Reutimann Jr. of Zephyrhills, FL is in the fourth spot, two points behind Myers.
A third SpeedMart Young Gun, 19-year-old Danny Martin Jr. of Sarasota, FL is fifth in the point standings, six points behind Reutimann. Martin finished second to Gray in the O'Reilly USCS National point standings last season. Martin finished fourth in Pensacola, and after a mechanical problem with his primary car in Mobile during a heat race, drove Doug Gold's car to an 11th-place finish in the main event.
Several teams are thrashing to recover from setbacks that occurred at the March 19 event in Mobile, AL to get ready for the Lanier National Speedway run.
A multi-car crash in the first turn of the first lap at Mobile involved Adams, 21-year-old Doug Berryman of Fremont, OH, 20-year-old Joe Rebman of Mansfield, OH, Ted Williams of Atlanta, GA, and 20-year-old Tom Winegardner Jr. of Pierson, FL. Berryman was the winner at the O'Reilly USCS event last March, and Williams finished third in that event.
Another crash involved a pair of 17-year-old SpeedMart Young Guns. O'Reilly USCS Rookie of the Year candidate Stephen Darvalics of Venice, FL was running fourth at Mobile when he tangled with the 2004 O'Reilly Rookie of the Year R.J. Johnson of Decatur, TN.
Brice Wrenn of Lexington, SC was another driver making his asphalt debut last weekend. Wrenn finished fifth in the 2005 O'Reilly USCS National points running a dirt-only schedule. Wrenn was running an impressive second when he tangled with Wayne Reutimann Sr. of Zephyrhills, FL, who was challenging Wrenn for the position.
Look for all of these driver to make a comeback and return to their past success in O'Reilly USCS Outlaw Thunder competition. Other drivers expected to make the trip this Saturday night to Braselton, GA that had top ten finishes at Mobile are Brian Thomas of Auburn, GA, Tom Winegardner Sr. of Pierson, FL, and J.J. Dutton of Tampa, FL.
Doug Gold of Concord, NC finished fourth in the 2004 O'Reilly USCS Asphalt Thunder points, and is expected at LNS, along with the three-car team of Skeeter Faulconer of Lutz, FL. Faulconer and Dutton will team with Frank Scimeca of Tampa, FL.
The O'Reilly USCS boasts a strong contingent of ten SpeedMart Young Guns. In addition to the fore mentioned young guns, another two had success stories last weekend. Matt Tiffany, a 16-year-old driver from Daytona Beach, FL posted an impressive fourth-place finish at Mobile, and 18-year-old Bryn Gohn of Malabar, FL finished in the seventh spot.
Swindell, Darvalics, Tiffany and Gohn are O'Reilly USCS Rookie of the Year candidates for 2005.
In addition to the O'Reilly USCS Asphalt Thunder Tour winged out law sprint cars, the LNS Late Model and Legend Divisions will also be in action. For more information visit the Lanier National Speedway web site at www.laniernationalspeedway.com, or call the track at (770) 967-8600.