Augusta, Ga. - Third year USCS racer Jim Raptis from Marietta, Georgia, raced from his pole position starting spot into the first turn at Silver Eagle Speedway ahead of his front row companion, Michael "the Kid" Miller, and never looked back to ...
Augusta, Ga. - Third year USCS racer Jim Raptis from Marietta, Georgia, raced from his pole position starting spot into the first turn at Silver Eagle Speedway ahead of his front row companion, Michael "the Kid" Miller, and never looked back to record his second USCS win of the year in the 30 lap main event at the fast half mile clay oval.
The transplanted asphalt late model veteran, was elated in victory lane with his wife and two young crew members. This was his first sprint car win ever on dirtand he did it the hard way with 2000 national 360 "Driver of the Year" and defending USCS champion, Kenny Adams of Malabar, Florida on his tail for the last 22 laps. R Raptis stayed cool while five caution periods brought the potent Adams, a twenty six time USCS winner, back up behind him. The final caution of the event created a two lap green, white, and checkered flag "dash" to the finish line.
Closed in behind Raptis was Adams, who disclosed after the race that he had lost his brakes about half way thru the main event and current USCS points leader Terry Gray whowas in third and putting pressure on Adams after a fifth place start. At the drop of flagman Gene Thomas' green flag, Raptis pulled out to a three car length lead which he maintained to the checkered flag with Adams, Bartlett, Tennessee's Gray, 1997 USCS champ Red Stauffer from Winter Park, Florida and 1999 champion, Marshall Skinner from West Memphis, Arkansas rounding out the top five.
1999 USCS rookie of the year, Chris Rogers from Winston, Georgia, was sixth, followed home by 1998 USCS rookie of the year, Johnny Bridges from Cherryville, North Carolina in seventh, rookie Jeff Young from Mooresville, North Carolina, was eighth, Aubrey Black a rookie from Lookout Mountain, Georgia followed in ninth and the 2000 USCS rookie of the year, Miller from Biloxi, Mississippi, who had a flat while running in the top five on lap 22, rounded out the top ten finishers.
Heat races winners were Stauffer and Gray. Brian Thomas from Auburn, Georgia, won his first 6 car 6lap Airflow Research Power Dash, but, had a solid top ten finish spoiled when he contacted the wall in turn four where most of the evening's problems occured.
Black earned the Huggins Cams "Hardcharger" award for passing 7 cars in the main event. Jeff Young was the top finishing rookie driver on the final night of the first annual USCS " Rookie Roundup" which started Friday night at Westminster Speedway.
Hank Hall from Kingsport, Tennessee won the Jimmy Smith Racing Tires/ American Racer "Rookie Dash" finale and collected over $500 in cash and merchandise for his efforts in the 4 lap shootout. Hall the ultimate dedicated low buck racer, had fuel system problems all night, but got four good laps from his engine and "hung it all the way out" to finish ahead of USCS 2001 top rookie points leader, Ben Basinger from Granite Quarry, North Carolina, and Young to collect the honors in his first USCS win of any kind. Sponsors for the first annual USCS "Rookie Roundup" event, which paid the finalist over $2500 in cash prizes for both nights, included, Jimmy Smith Racing Tires, Airflow Research, Sierra Racing Products, Robison Racing Products, Leaf Racewear and Dale Cox's Clincher Chassis.
Young collected enough rookie points (53) to garner the first place trophy in the two day "Rookie Roundup" and collected an extra $500 for his weekend's efforts.
C&R Racing Radiators awarded the "I'M Cool" award to 7th place finisher Bridges and Miller claimed the Weld Racing Top Ten prize.
A-main finish at Silver Eagle Speedway on Saturday 7/14/01 - Jim Raptis, Kenny Adams, Terry Gray, Red Stauffer, Marshall Skinner, Chris Rogers, Johhny Bridges, Jeff Young, Aubrey Black, Michael Miller, Brian Thomas, Brice Wrenn, Ben Basinger, Daryl Smith, Bobby Courtwright, Hank Hall, Eddie Hamilton, Kirk Taylor and Terry Witherspoon.