GRAY WINS FIRST O'REILLY USCS RACES OF THE SEASON AT OSP SAVANNAH, GA - Terry Gray of Bartlett, TN picked up his first O'Reilly United Sprint Car Series win of the season Saturday night in the 30-lap feature race at Oglethorpe...
GRAY WINS FIRST O'REILLY USCS RACES OF THE SEASON AT OSP
SAVANNAH, GA - Terry Gray of Bartlett, TN picked up his first O'Reilly United Sprint Car Series win of the season Saturday night in the 30-lap feature race at Oglethorpe Speedway Park. The defending and four-time O'Reilly USCS National Champion passed Paul Sides of Memphis, TN on lap six, and led the rest of the way, holding off Kenny Adams of Malabar, FL.
By drawing the third starting spot before the race, Gray also picked up an $800 bonus in the Coca-Cola Passing Bonus for a $2,800 pay day. Gray also won the Engler Tool and Machine first ten-lap heat race in the Goodson Farms/Wendy's Maxim/Wesmar.
Adams started his backup car ninth and was eligible to pocket $5,500 in prize money combined with Coca-Cola Passing Bonuses with a win. Adams came one spot and a few car-lengths short at the checkered flag. Adams crashed his primary car in the Air Flow Research Power Dash, and had to roll out a backup Goodson Farms Shaw/Ott for the heat race.
Adams had little time to get the backup car dialed in and he spun in his heat race, but came back to finish third. Adams found the handle on the car in the feature race, and brought it home in the second spot.
Sides led the first five laps of the feature race to earn the Outlaw Brakes Fast Brake of the Race Award, and finished third in the TMI Trailers of W. Memphis, AR/Racecoaches Maxim/Gaerte to earn the K&N Filters third-Place Award. Sides also won the four-lap Air Flow Research Power Dash.
Steve Osborne of Cupertino, CA started his Central Pacific Industries Eagle/Bixler 16th and finished fourth to earn the Huggins Cams Hard Charger of the Race Award. Johnny Bridges of Cherryville, NC finished fifth in the Bridges Motorsports J&J/Bridges Ford to take the SpeedMart Top Five Award.
Tom Winegardner Jr. of Pierson, FL took the sixth spot in the Snap-On Tools J&J/WRP. The 20-year-old driver was the SpeedMart Young Gun of the Race, and he also won the Koolbeans Trophies third ten-lap heat race.
Erin Crocker of Huntersville, NC brought the Windbreaker/Spectro Oil Maxim/Kriner home in the seventh spot. Crocker drew the eighth starting spot in the Coca-Cola Passing Bonus Challenge, and was eligible to pocket $5,000 for a race victory.
Crocker got as high as third by lap 11 and was challenging Sides for the second spot on lap 14, but spun in turn two. That earned her the Weld Racing Hard Luck of the Race Award, but she rallied from the back of the pack to salvage a top ten finish.
Greg Leonard of Tampa, FL came back from a lap 17 spin in turn two while running third to finish eighth in the Snap-On Tools J&J/Hampshire. Leonard also won the ButlerBuilt second ten-lap heat race. Michael Miller of Tallapoosa, GA finished ninth in the Crunch Time Express Shaw/Slobuilt, and Brian Maddox of Brandon, FL rounded out the top ten in the Maddox Racing Schnee/Klein.
Bobby Courtwright of Evans, GA won the K&N Filters Pole Award, and drove his K&N Filters-sponsored Maxim/Wickens to victory in the six-lap Koolbeans Trophy Dash. Courtwright finished 12th in the feature race. Stephen Darvalics of Venice, FL finished 15th and was the Rookie of the Race.
Sides took the lead at the drop of the green flag, followed by Gray, Courtwright, Leonard, and Crocker. Leonard and Crocker passed Courtwright for third and fourth respectively on lap two, and Winegardner moved up to the top five on lap three.
Gray passed Sides for the lead on lap six in heavy lapped traffic, while Crocker and Leonard battled for the third spot, and Adams moved into the top five on lap 10. Crocker passed Leonard for third spot on lap 11, and began to chase down Sides, who had possession of the second spot.
Crocker tried a move on the high side of turn two on lap 14 to pass Sides for second, but couldn't make the car stick, and spun to bring out the caution flag. Gray led Sides, Leonard, Adams and Brides down for the restart.
The caution light was back on for a lap 17 spin in turn four by Bryn Gohn of Malabar, FL in the Goodson Farms Shaw/Ott. Bruce Cline of Apex, NC also got collected in the 31-W Insulation Stealth/Engler. On the restart, Leonard spun out of the third spot in turn two.
Lap 18 saw a red flag for a "Tommy Tipover" by Wayne Reutimann Jr. of Zephyrhills, FL when his Case Contracting/Revere GMC Avenger/Snyder ended up on its side in turn four. When the field went back to green, it was Gray leading Sides, Adams, Bridges, and Winegardner.
Osborne was the man on a mission, as he restarted in the sixth spot, and passed Winegardner for fifth on lap 21. Adams also had $5,500 reasons to get his elbows up. On the last lap, Adams passed Sides for the second spot, but couldn't catch Gray to collect the big bonus money. Osborne was also a last lap mover and shaker, passing Bridges for the fourth spot.
The O'Reilly USCS, the only winged outlaw sprint car series in the country to compete on both dirt and asphalt, returns to the pavement next Saturday night at Senoia Speedway in Senoia, GA. For more information visit the O'Reilly USCS web site at www.uscsracing.com.