O'REILLY USCS OUTLAW SPRINT CARS HEADLINE "THUNDER IN THE CAROLINAS"
DOUBLE-HEADER ACTION AT HARRIS SPEEDWAY
ON FRIDAY APRIL 4th and SATURDAY APRIL 5th
Atlanta, GA - The O'Reilly Auto Parts
www.oreillyauto.com United Sprint Car
Series www.uscsracing.com kicks off
the Southern Thunder Tour portion of its
2008 and 12th anniversary schedule on Friday and Saturday April 4th and 5th
with the two-night O'Reilly USCS "Thunder in the Carolinas" event at the
historic Harris Speedway in Harris, North Carolina. Harris Speedway is
located in Rutherford County near the Rutherfordton, Forest City and
Spindale area in western North Carolina.
The two-day "Thunder in Carolina " event is loaded with action-packed racing
featuring two full nights of winged sprint car racing plus racing in seven
of Harris Speedway's weekly divisions. Friday night's portion of the event
will serve as the kickoff event for the 25 plus race O'Reilly USCS Southern
Thunder Tour regional series. Both nights will award O'Reilly USCS Southern
Thunder Championship points. The Saturday night race will additionally award
O'Reilly USCS "Outlaw Thunder"
Tour and O'Reilly Cup National Championship points.
The O'Reilly USCS Southern Thunder Tour regional series includes races
scheduled in North and South Carolina plus Northern Georgia and East
Tennessee. A number of those events will award O'Reilly Cup National
Championship points. This first event will bring a number of drivers seeking
the O'Reilly Auto Parts sponsored United Sprint Car Series "Outlaw Thunder"
National Championship roaring into the fast 3/8-mile clay oval. This event
is first event on the O'Reilly Cup National Championship schedule. The
USCS drivers will also race on paved ovals several times during the 2008
season. The O'Reilly USCS is the only winged outlaw sprint series in the
World that races on both dirt and paved surfaces.
The Harris Speedway event is expected to bring top winged outlaw sprint car
drivers from at least eight states to the track from as far away as Memphis,
Tennessee and upstate New York. The exotic fire breathing, alcohol burning,
700 horsepower open-wheel O'Reilly USCS sprint cars weight just 1,300
pounds, and are pound for pound the World's most powerful short track race
cars. The cars will literally fly around the track surface at speeds over
120 M.P.H. It is not uncommon to see O'Reilly USCS sprint cars popping
"wheelies" or doing wheel stands because of the brute force of their engines
and their huge 18-inch wide rear tires.
Friday night's Outlaw sprint car action will feature a full program of
racing in the outlaw sprint cars that includes test and tune hot laps
followed by time trial qualifying when the all-time Harris Speedway track
record is expected to fall. The evening's first sprint car race will be the
Lucas Oil Power Dash that will showcase the top six cars from the qualifying
rounds in an edge-of-your-seat six-car shootout. Next up will be qualifying
heat races and the evening's finale will be a 20-lap preliminary main event.
On Saturday night, the racing action kicks off with another Lucas Oil Power
Dash, then moves into another full program of sprint car racing that
features a series of qualifying races, before the 30-lap "Thunder in
Carolina" Championship Race. The Speedway's weekly racing divisions are on
the program both nights as well.
Six-time and defending O'Reilly USCS National Champion, Terry Gray from
Bartlett, Tennessee, who was ranked in the top five drivers in the Nation,
by the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame pollsters at the end of the 2007
season heads the entry list for the event. Gray, who is also among the top
twenty-five drivers in the Nation in feature wins over the past five years
with over seventy-five feature wins, is entered. Another top entry is twenty
two year-old young gun Danny 'Hammer" Martin, Jr. of Sarasota, FL who is in
the runner-up spot in the current O'Reilly USCS Asphalt Thunder paved track
standings. Danny Martin was the runner-up in 2004 and 2005 National title
chases. Martin was named as the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame's "Wild
Card Driver of the Year' an honor for outstanding driving. Gray finished
last season highly ranked in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame "Driver of
the Year" poll in the fifth position.
Other notable expected entries include: 1998 O'Reilly USCS Rookie of the
Year and 2004 USCS/AOAS Champion Johnny Bridges from Cherryville, North
Carolina. Additionally entered is 24 year-old Tom "T.J." Winegardner, Jr.
from Pierson, FL who won the 2007 Championship in the American Sprint Car
Series Rebel division and 2007 American Sprint Car Series Southern regional
Champion, Brian Smith from Mooresville, North Carolina. Another Carolina
front-runner, Lance Moss from Cherryville, North Carolina will be in the
Jeff McCall owned entry.
2006 American Sprint Car Series Southern region Champion Coby Adams from
Charlotte and team-mate Scott Young from Mooresville are also possible
entries. USCS "Georgia Gang" members Brian Thomas from Commerce, Georgia,
Matt Linder from Hoschton, Georgia and 2002 Championship runner-up Doug Day
from Winder, Georgia are all entered as is O'Reilly USCS veteran sprint car
drivers David Thorman from Greenville, South Carolina and Bronzie Lawson
from Radford, North Carolina.
Other long distance travelers that are tentative entries are nineteen-year
old 2007 O'Reilly USCS National Rookie of the Year, Don Young from Bartlett,
Tennessee and the 2007 O'Reilly Mid-South Thunder regional series Rookie of
the Year, Chris Williams from Memphis, Tennessee. Another possible entry is
Nick DeFeo from Marietta, Georgia who claimed the 2007 Rookie of the Year
title in the O'Reilly USCS Asphalt Thunder all paved track series.
The local favorite at Harris Speedway has got to be Brad Wickham from Forest
City, North Carolina who was the 1990 Butler Speedway (Butler, Michigan)
track champion. Wickham will be making his return to the wild action of
sprint car racing during this event at the track located just five miles
from his home.
To give the event lots of North vs. South flavor, a strong contingent of
drivers from north of the Mason-Dixon Line who race primarily with the tough
East Coast based URC Sprint Car Series are also entered. Those include Josh
Weller from Mertztown, Pennsylvania, Scott McLaren from Freehold, New Jersey
and Chris Coyle from Wilmington, Delaware. Also entered are Joey Biasi from
Mary-D, Pennsylvania and Dave Betts from Newark, Delaware.
Harris Speedway is located just of US Highway 221. The race track phone
number is: (828) 247-4171. The track's website is
For O'Reilly USCS info visit the USCS web site at
Contacts: PETE WALTON, USCS President (404) 886-5913