Posted: Tuesday, July 29th 2014 at 10:00am
Aguilar sweeps USCS Sprint Car weekend at Anderson
By Jacob Seelman
Joey Aguilar completed a weekend sweep in the United Sprint Car Series at Anderson Motor Speedway by winning Saturday night's Summer Nationals finale for his third career USCS win. / Photo: Jacob Seelman
WILLIAMSTON, SC - In poker, a pair might be the worst hand, but for Joey "The Ace" Aguilar, a pair was exactly what he was looking for at Anderson Motor Speedway in Williamston, SC.
Aguilar, a longtime pavement sprint car ace from Tampa, Florida, powered around the outside of Jake McLain in turn one on lap 14 of Saturday night’s United Sprint Car Series 40-lap Summer Nationals A-main finale and drove away to his second victory in two nights in dominating fashion, despite a late-race charge from past regional series champion Johnny Bridges.
The victory was Aguilar’s career-third USCS feature win and seventh straight sprint car victory across three different sanctions. The result also locked Aguilar into next month’s USCS Wind Creek Casino/Hotel Wetumpka Sprint Car Shootout at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 29.
“This is incredible. It’s truly been a blast running up here this weekend,” an elated Aguilar said in Victory Lane. “The series, the track staff, all the fans who came out tonight, everyone has treated us well and we really appreciate it. We had another unbelievable car tonight; it took a lot of work after we broke the axle in hot laps, but we did it and this means a lot.”
Bridges, who worked his way around McLain after a restart on lap 20, closed the gap between he and Aguilar substantially over the final ten laps, but ran out of time to make a challenge for the win.
“We just needed about five more laps,” the Cherryville, NC driver said. “We were faster than he was there late in the run but we just didn’t catch traffic and breaks quite like we needed there to be close enough. Still a solid result though, and we got to roll the car on the trailer in one piece tonight so that’s a huge improvement.”
McLain led the first 13 laps and finished with a USCS career-best result in third.
“Wow, I really don’t know what to say after all that,” a speechless McLain said. “That restart just before halfway killed us. We had our momentum built up and I knew we weren’t going to be able to punch the throttle like Johnny could on the green. This is cool though, we outran some of the best in the business tonight, Morgan (Turpen) and Terry (Gray) and it means the world to me to be standing here on the podium tonight.”
The race was slowed by a caution only once over the course of the 40 laps, when ten-time series champion Terry Gray slowed to a crawl on the backstretch with motor cooling problems.
Turpen, who scored the win on the pavement at Southern National Motorsports Park back in April, ended the night in fourth and Tim Perry finished fifth, scoring his career-best USCS result.
Tom Paterson, Bill Moore, Jay Dunham, Greenville, SC’s Dave Thorman and Brandon McLain rounded out the top ten.
Bridges set the K&N Filters Fast Time during two-lap time trials on Saturday evening with a lap of 13.040 seconds (103.528 mph), shattering the all-time track record of 13.260 seconds that he set the day before.
The Hoosier Tire Speed Dash originally scheduled for Friday evening was won by Gray, while Turpen won the second Hoosier Tire Speed Dash. Turpen followed up her dash win with a victory in first heat, while Aguilar grabbed the victory in the second heat.
Bridges was the provisional pole starter after receiving his time back following heat race action, but after a six came up in the inversion draw, Jay Dunham received the K&N Pole Award.
USCS Sprint Car Series
Anderson Motor Speedway - Williamston, SC
K&N Summer Nationals - July 26, 2014
1. #11 – Joey Aguilar - Tampa, FL
2. #07 – Johnny Bridges - Cherryville, NC
3. #67 – Jake McLain - Indian Trail, NC
4. #10M – Morgan Turpen - Cordova, TN
5. #36 – Tim Perry, Mooresville, NC
6. #11X – Tom Paterson - Argos, IN
7. #06 – Bill Moore - Mt. Ulla, NC
8. #51 – Jay Dunham - Grovetown, GA
9. #5 – Dave Thorman - Greenville, SC
10. #21B – Brandon McLain - Indian Trail, NC
11. #87 – Greg Smyre - Hickory, NC
12. #10 – Terry Gray -, Bartlett, TN
13. #100 – Jim Payne - Bryan, OH
DNS: #33 – Joe Larkin - Suwanee, GA
Link: USCS Sprint Car Series
Link: Anderson Motor Speedway
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