Posted: Thursday, July 10th 2014 at 2:01pm
Crawley sweeps holiday weekend with USCS win at I-30
By Jacob Seelman
Tim Crawley collected the final piece to a USCS Sprint Car Series holiday weekend sweep at I-30 Speedway on Saturday night. / Photo: Jacob Seelman
BENTON, AR – Fireworks exploded both on and off the race track on Saturday night at I-30 Speedway in Benton, AR, and when the dust finally settled, Tim Crawley had every reason to cue the celebration again.
Crawley, the 2012 United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour filtercharged by K&N champion out of Benton, AR, streaked to the lead in turn three ahead of a spinning Terry Gray after the two banged wheels going down the backstretch during the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish in Saturday night’s 30-lap feature event.
Crawley then held off Bryant, AR driver Zach Pringle on the second green-white-checkered attempt to take home the victory after starting the race from the seventh position, completing a weekend sweep of three USCS Arkansas features in front of his hometown fans. The win was Crawley’s fourth straight visit to USCS victory lane dating back to last weekend at Poplar Bluff, MO. The win was his 69th career USCS win overall.
“We’re not gonna talk about (what happened in turn three), we’re gonna talk about that drive,” Crawley said in victory lane. “I gotta thank Mike Ward. He stepped out of this seat about eight years ago and let me drive this thing and it’s been great. We fought hard for this one tonight. The track was tough around the bottom, and we needed a couple of yellows and got them. We started the year off slow and I had my head buried in the sand. I couldn’t win anything, but this team never gave up and I never gave up, and look where we are now.”
Pringle took the lead on the initial start from pole sitter Gray on the outside of the race track, but the ten-time series champion would overhaul Pringle on lap 6 to return to the top spot. The race’s first caution flew at lap 10 when Jordon Mallett spun off the exit of turn 4, slowing the pace as Crawley sat mired in the fifth position.
On the restart Gray bolted away from the field as Crawley began to march, and when the field hit lapped traffic on lap 18, Crawley picked off A.G. Rains and Pringle before setting his sights on the No. 10 of Gray. The veteran’s efforts were aided by a red flag on lap 29 of the scheduled 30-lap distance, brought out when the No. 14 of Mallett turned over on the backstretch. Mallett was uninjured in the crash.
That set up the final dash to the checkered flag and Crawley’s last-ditch effort that ultimately won him the event, which was officially pushed one lap beyond its scheduled distance at the checkered flag.
Behind Crawley and Pringle, Arkansas drivers combined to create a Razorback State lockout of the top five finishing positions. 1999 series champion Marshall Skinner, from Marion, came home in third and former USCS feature winner A.G. Rains, out of West Memphis, finished in fourth. Benton native Cody Gardner rounded out the top five at the checkered flag.
Anthony Nicholson was the first non-Arkansan to cross under the twin checkers, ending the night in sixth. Justin Sturch notched a seventh-place result and Morgan Turpen grabbed eighth place on the evening. Ninth went to Ernie Ainsworth and Brandon Hahn completed the top ten finishers.
14-year-old Hernando, Mississippi driver Taylor Tidmore was the provisional pole sitter for the first time in his career after scoring the most passing points in heat race action, but after first heat winner Webb pulled a four in the K&N Filters Inversion Draw, Gray garnered the K&N Pole Award.
Howard Moore grabbed the win in B-Main #1, and Robert Richardson hung on to take the victory in B-Main #2.
The United Sprint Car Series is back in action Saturday night, July 12, at the Riverside International Speedway for the rescheduled USCS Sprint Speedweek Finale event, after rain forced postponement of the race at the end of May. Jordon Mallett is the defending winner of the event.
For rules, schedules and more information on the USCS Sprint Car Series, visit uscsracing.com.
USCS Sprint Car Series
I-30 Speedway - Benton, AR
Hammerdown At Hammer Hill – July 5, 2014
1. #88 – Tim Crawley
2. #14Z – Zach Pringle
3. #26 – Marshall Skinner
4. #3 – A.G. Rains
5. #17G – Cody Gardner
6. #16 – Anthony Nicholson
7. #9 – Justin Sturch
8. #10M – Morgan Turpen
9. #91A – Ernie Ainsworth
10. #29 – Brandon Hahn
11. #12 – Dalton Davis
12. #42 – Andy McElhannon
13. #40 – Howard Moore
14. #13T – Taylor Tidmore
15. #32X – Robert Richardson
16. #46 – Jan Howard
17. #15J – Jeremy Middleton
18. #12T – Joe Young
19. #12M – Greg Merritt
20. #28 – Jeff Willingham
21. #33 – Mark Huddleston
22. #10 – Terry Gray
23. #14 – Jordon Mallett
24. #31 – Justin Webb
Link: USCS Sprint Car Series
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