Story & photos by
Phillip Prichard, MSA:
As part of the biggest Labor Day Party in the USA at Atlanta Motor Speedway, The United Sprint Car Series capped off Friday night with the 2nd annual Wind Creek Casino/Hotel Wetumpka Sprint Car Shootout 50-lap A-main. The race, contested on the quarter-mile “Thunder Ring” oval built into the Speedway’s front stretch, took place under the lights following NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying and served as the finale to the 2014 USCS “Road to Atlanta” Asphalt Thunder Tour pavement mini-series.
Joey Aguilar, nicknamed “The Ace” for his cool head behind the wheel and stellar record in sprint car competition, blasted away from the K&N Filters Pole Position and masterfully diced through lapped traffic enroute to his third United Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters victory of the season. Aguilar, a Tampa, Florida native, had to endure five cautions and several dicey restarts before pulling away during the stretch run to claim an emotional and hard-fought victory.
Ten-time series champion Terry Gray was held up in lapped traffic with 15 laps to go and was unable to mount a challenge for the win in the closing laps. The Bartlett, Tennessee native chased Aguilar home in the runner-up position, with hard-charging “Hollywood” Michael Miller, from Ocean Springs, Mississippi just behind him completing the podium in third.
Top-ranked female sprint car star Morgan Turpen rebounded from being involved in an opening-lap crash to finish fourth and claim the 2014 USCS “Road to Atlanta” Asphalt Thunder Tour pavement championship. Turpen becomes the first female champion in any division in USCS sanction history.
2008 USCS Southern Thunder regional Rookie of the Year Jake McLain of Indian Trail, NC was the final car on the lead lap and rounded out the top five at the checkered flag.
On Friday afternoon the following events were conducted:
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash Speed Dash with Joey Aguilar as the victor;
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat with Jake McLain as the winner;
Butlerbuilt Second Heat with Tim Perry as the winner.
USCS Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N Wind Creek Casino/Hotel Wetumpka Sprint Car Shootout A-main Results: 50-laps
1. Joey Aguilar, Tampa, FL, #11
2. Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN, #10
3. Michael Miller, Ocean Springs, MS, #4M
4. Morgan Turpen, Cordova, TN, #10M
5. Jake McLain, Indian Trail, NC, #67
6. Johnny Gilbertson, Dover, FL, #22
7. Tim Perry, Mooresville, NC, #36
8. Brandon McLain, Indian Trail, NC, #21B
9. Jay Dunham, Grovetown, GA, #51
10. Nick Snyder, Marco Island, FL, #116
11. Kent Wolters, Tipp City, OH, #12H
12. Kris Davis, Burbank, OH, #12
13. Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS, #28
14. Bill Moore, Mt. Ulla, NC, #06
15. Tom Paterson, Argos, IN, #11X
16. Joe Larkin, Suwanee, GA, #33
Check out www.uscsracing.com for additional information on the United Sprint Car Series.