Story by Jacob Seelman, National Speed Sport News, Contributing Writer:
Coming into the weekend, Eric Riggins Jr. had never won a feature event at Senoia Raceway. Now, he’s two for two in 2014 at the famed three-eighths mile dirt track. The 19 year-old Riggins who was the 2010 United Sprint Car Series Presented by K&N Filters Southern Thunder Rookie of the Year from Charlotte, North Carolina, powered around K&N Filters pole-sitter Collin Cabre on lap 15 of the 30-lap Senoia Summer Nationals A-main finale and survived a lap 23 tussle with the Thonotosassa, Florida young gun, where the two exchanged the lead twice in one lap, to grab his second straight USCS win and complete a weekend sweep. It was Riggins’ eighth career www.rockauto.com USCS Victory Lane stop and third in 2014.
“This one was hard-fought tonight,” Riggins said in www.rockauto.com USCS Victory Lane. “Once I finally got to the lead, I just got held up by lap traffic and couldn’t time it right to get under him because it was a really a hard track to pass on. I give credit, (Cabre) raced me clean – I got by him and then he got by me and we went at it there on the backstretch, but once I could finally get by him and get by the lapped traffic there, we were good. Car was great, I never dreamed we could have done it from seventh though. Cool night.”
Cabre hung on for his second runner-up finish in the last four races, tying his career-best effort at Toccoa Speedway on Labor Day weekend, and said he gave it everything he had to keep the lead in the closing laps.
“To be honest I didn’t expect Riggins to be able to make his way up like he did – I guess I underestimated him a bit,” Cabre admitted following the race. “He was a little bit better than us through two but when we crossed him over off of four, I had that lane on the bottom but lapped traffic played a big role. We’ve come a long way since we started though, and I feel like tonight just shows the potential of what we can do going forward.”
The race was only slowed by caution once, when Johnny Gilbertson smacked the outside wall in turn 4 on the opening lap of the main event. Behind Riggins and Cabre, rookie sprint car driver Kyle Amerson from Montgomery, Alabama capped off the podium in third place to snag the K&N Filters Podium Award. It was his career-best United Sprint Car Series feature finish. This came after Amerson swept the evening’s USCS 600 mini-sprint dash, his heat race and their 20-lap feature. Ten-time series champion Terry Gray came home in the fourth spot and Terry Witherspoon, from Jacksonville, Florida rounded out the top five.
Cordova, Tennessee’s Morgan Turpen led the next pack of drivers home in sixth, being chased by Ripley, Mississippi pilotand 2013 USCS Rookie of the Year Jeff Willingham, who finished seventh. Brandon McLain, out of Indian Trail, North Carolina crossed the line eighth and 15-year-old sprint car rookie Nick Snyder finished ninth after making the haul from Marco Island, Florida. Local favorite Brian Thomas, from Pendergrass, Georgia completed the top ten.
Terry Gray kicked off the evening’s racing action by winning the Hoosier Tire Speed Dash. Jeff Willingham scored the win in the Engler Machine and Tool First Heat. Brandon McLain rolled to the victory in the Butlerbuilt Second Heat.
Willingham was the provisional pole-starter after scoring the most passing points in heat race action, but after a six came up in the K&N Filters Inversion Draw, Collin Cabre received the K&N Filters Pole Award. Eric Riggins also passed the most cars in the A-main (six) to grab the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award.
The United Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters continues their 2014 schedule on Friday, October 3rd, with the 2nd Annual USCS vs. URC North-South Shootout Round#1 at Carolina Speedway in Gastonia, North Carolina. Eric Riggins Jr. is the defending race winner. On the following night (Saturday, October 4th) the series
contests the Round #2 of the North vs. South weekend at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, South Carolina.
For rules and updated schedule information about the United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour, please visit www.uscsracing.com or call the series office at 770-460-7223 or 770-865-6097.
RESULTS: USCS Sprint Car Series “Senoia Summer Nationals V”; Senoia Raceway; September 20, 2014
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: Terry Gray, Eric Riggins Jr., Brian Thomas, Morgan Turpen, Johnny Gilbertson, Jay Dunham.
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: Jeff Willingham, Collin Cabre, Eric Riggins Jr., Kyle Amerson, Clint Weiss, Lee Moore, Joe Larkin, Bob Auld, Jay Dunham (DNS).
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: Brandon McLain, Terry Witherspoon, Terry Gray, Johnny Gilbertson, Morgan Turpen, Nick Snyder, Brian Thomas, Tanner Witherspoon.
USCS Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters Senoia Summer Nationals finale A-main: 30-laps
1. #47 – Eric Riggins Jr., Charlotte, NC
2. #12C – Collin Cabre, Thonotosossa, FL
3. #29 – Kyle Amerson, Montgomery, AL
4. #10 – Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN
5. #43 – Terry Witherspoon, Jacksonville, FL
6. #10M – Morgan Turpen, Cordova, TN
7. #28 – Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS
8. #21B – Brandon McLain, Indian Trail, NC
9. #116 – Nick Snyder, Marco Island, FL
10. #67 – Brian Thomas, Pendergrass, GA
11. #0X – Clint Weiss, Jesup, GA
12. #43JR – Tanner Witherspoon, Jacksonville, FL
13. #83 – Bob Auld, Largo, FL
14. #1A – Lee Moore, Tuscaloosa, AL
15. #33 – Joe Larkin, Suwanee, GA
16. #15 – Johnny Gilbertson, Dover, FL
17. #51 – Jay Dunham, Grovetown, GA (DNS)
USCS Sprint Car Series Race Awards:
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: #10 – Terry Gray
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: #28 – Jeff Willingham
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: #21B – Brandon McLain
K&N Filters Pole Award: #12C – Collin Cabre
JE Pistons Top Guns Award: #29 – Kyle Amerson (3rd place)
K&N Filters Podium (3rd place) Award: #29 – Kyle Amerson
Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award: #47 – Eric Riggins Jr.
Keizer Aluminum Wheels Top Five Award: #43 – Terry Witherspoon
Saldana Racing Products Super Sixth Award: #10M – Morgan Turpen
Pyrotect Racing Cells Lucky Seven Award: #28 – Jeff Willingham
DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends Top Ten Award: #67 – Brian Thomas
The United Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters would like to gratefully thank its sponsoring partners for their involvement in the 2014 and 18th anniversary USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour: K&N Filters,www.rockauto.com,Engler Machine and Tool, Butlerbuilt, Wilwood Disc Brakes, Saldana Racing Products, Pyrotect Racing Cells, DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends. KSE Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, DSR Fuel Systems, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions and Safety-Kleen.