Ainsworth earns first ever O'Reilly USCS victory at Milan Speedway Saturday night Milan, TN - Ernie Ainsworth from Memphis, Tennessee lead wire to wire in the O'Reilly Auto Parts United Sprint Car Series 30 lap main event before a packed...
Ainsworth earns first ever O'Reilly USCS victory at Milan Speedway Saturday night
Milan, TN - Ernie Ainsworth from Memphis, Tennessee lead wire to wire in the O'Reilly Auto Parts United Sprint Car Series 30 lap main event before a packed house at Milan Speedway on Saturday night to capture his first ever O'Reilly USCS main event win. Ainsworth bested a top field of winged outlaw sprint car drivers from five states in the O'Reilly USCS' initial visit to James Newton's well groomed 1/3 mile clay oval.
Kool Beans Trophy and Awards Third Heat race winner, Ainsworth drove his own Mr. Cash/TMI Trailers/ Dyno Tech Engines/Pro Lite with an engine borrowed from Marshall Skinner into the lead from his pole position start into turn one and left the field fighting for the runner-up spot. And what a fight it was. On lap three, the field re-aligned behind Ainsworth after Tony Wilson's spin in turn two. By then, seventh starting Terry Gray and eleventh starting Tim Crawley had moved into fourth and fifth behind Ainsworth. Engler Machine and Tool First Heat race winner Marshall Skinner and Butlerbuilt Second Heat race winner Raymond Stull followed. Shane Nelson's loop on lap five brought out the second caution flag and defending O'Reilly USCS Champ Gray had advanced his charge to third place.
A red flag on lap ten for Garry Bell's dramatic tumble down the front stretch halted the event and offered the race crews an open red flag work opportunity to refuel and make adjustments before resuming competition behind Ainsworth. Bell emerged from his totaled number 32 mount shaken but apparently without serious injury. The pursuit group behind Ainsworth now had Skinner in second, Mablevale, Arkansas crowd pleaser Crawley up to third, Stull fourth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. back in the top five with Gray slipping to sixth.
When action slowed again for Buster Dickerson's spin on lap eleven, the field bunched behind Ainsworth once again with Gray past Stenhouse and back into the top five. Crawley was applying heavy pressure for second place. Shane Nelson once again found turn two to be too slippery for his setup and brought out a caution on lap thirteen. On lap fifteen Stenhouse moved his Fast Effects Decals 40R back into fifth and mounted a charge to the point. Racing resumed until Raymond Stull's mount ran out of fuel on the back-stretch on lap twenty seven after apparently failing to refuel on the lap ten red. This brought out the final caution and gathered the field for an exciting three lap dash to the checkers.
On the final re-start, Crawley who had passed Skinner for the runner-up spot on lap eighteen, gunned to the low side, but, Ainsworth evaded the charge and raced home to victory lane with Crawley who had passed nine cars in-tow followed by Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Marshall Skinner, Terry Gray, Mike Ward, fifteen year old Hunter Shurenberg, Wesley Hale, Dewayne Prince and the evening's Huggins Cams "Hardcharger", Bryce Vowan rounding out the apparent top ten. After a gallant charge to the front Crawley failed to attend post race weight in and was disqualified for his error. The error moved the night's Robison Racing Products Rookie of the race, sixteen year old, Buster Dickerson from Columbus, Mississippi into the final top ten.