USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour winged sprint car racing headlines “Thunder in the Smokies” Round #2 racing action at Smoky Mountain Speedway on Saturday night (5/03/14)

USCS Action Gray ROCK 6.24.11

April 27, 2014 – Atlanta, GA – Wild and exciting winged outlaw sprint car racing will headline the racing program at Smoky Mountain Speedway on Saturday, May 3rd at 7pm. The K&N Filters sponsored United Sprint Car Series “Outlaw Thunder” Tour winged sprint cars will roar into the super fast 4/10-mile high-banked red clay oval for the 3rd annual “Thunder in the Smokies” Round #2 event, The event is race number nine on the 18th anniversary schedule for the Nationally touring USCS drivers. 


This is the one and only visit scheduled during the 2014 season for the USCS presented by K&N Filters winged sprint cars to Smoky Mountain Speedway. The race will award USCS presented by K&N Filters National points as well as points in the USCS Mid South Thunder and USCS Southern Thunder regional series title chases. The USCS Mid South Thunder regional series consists of races scheduled in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. The Southern Thunder regional series consists of races in Eastern Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and both Carolinas.


This special event is expected to bring top winged outlaw sprint car drivers from at least six states to the track seeking a visit to the USCS Victory Lane at Smoky Mountain Speedway. The exotic fire breathing, alcohol burning, 700 horsepower open wheel 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 in excess of 130 M.P.H.  It is not uncommon to see the USCS sprint cars popping “wheelies” or doing wheel stands because of the brute force of their engines and their huge 17-inch wide rear Hoosier racing tires.


Saturday night’s USCS Outlaw sprint car action will feature a full program of racing in the Outlaw type sprint cars that kicks off with test and tune hot laps. Hot laps will be followed by the Hoosier Speed Dash that showcases the top six cars from the previous USCS main event in an edge-of-your-seat six-car shootout.  The qualifying heat races are next on the racing card. The evening’s grand finale will be the USCS presented by K&N Filters A-main event.


In addition to the winged sprint cars, the Crate Late Model and Mini Stock racing divisions will join the action-packed racing program with special events of their own. Another fan favorite on the entertaining program will be the night’s concluding event the Smashin’ in the Smokies Outlaw Demolition Derby. The Crate Late Model division will be racing for a $1500 top prize. The Mini Stocks will do battle with $300 to the winner.


Ten-time USCS National Champion, Terry Gray from Bartlett, Tennessee, heads the USCS entry list for the Smoky Mountain Speedway event.  Gray currently leads the USCS National point standings. He is also among the top twenty-five drivers in the Nation in feature wins over the past 5 years with over 85 feature wins. Gray has consistently been ranked in the top ten 360 sprint car drivers in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame annual driver poll. Over 3000 sprint car drivers are considered for ranking in the NSCHOF poll.


Additionally entered are a number of 2013 and 2014 USCS main event winners looking for another visit to the USCS Victory Lane. Those include past USCS regional Champion, Johnny Bridges from Cherryville, North Carolina and his racing cousin Lance Moss from trhe same home town. Bridges has two wins already in 2014. He won the Southern Thunder regional opener at Carolina Speedway on . April 11th. On the following night Moss collected the win at Lancaster Speedway on April 12th. Another North Carolina driver, 18 year-old Eric Riggins, Jr. from Charlotte captured three USCS wins during the 2013 season and came out blazing in 2014 just to have bad luck keep him out of victory lane so far. Riggins has five career USCS wins and was the 2010 USCS Southern thunder Tour regional series Rookie of the Year. He additionally placed in third place in the final 2013 USCS Southern Thunder standings.


Another top competitor is twenty-one year-old female sprint car hot-shoe, Morgan Turpen from Cordova, Tennessee. Turpen, who was the runner-up in the 2010 National title chase. Turpen was named 2010 USCS National Rookie of the Year and has finished no worse than fourth place in the previous four seasons in the final USCS National point standings. She additionally has won five times during United Sprint Car Series main events. Her most recent visit to the USCS Victory Lane came last Saturday night (April 26th) in the USCS Road to Atlanta Round #2 paved oval contest at Southern National Motorsport Park in Kenly, North Carolina.


Other out of state entries include: World of Outlaws veteran and Midwest racer Danny Smith from Chillicothe, Ohio. Several drivers from the State of Mississippi are entered including the 2013 USCS Rookie of the Year Jeff Willingham from Ripley, Mississippi, ageless and timeless Ray Bugg from Iuka, Mississippi who finished in fifth place in the 2013 final National standings. Also entered is veteran USCS racer Greg Merritt from Nesbit, Mississippi who ranks fifth in the Mid South Thunder regional series standings and looking to move up with good finishes in the “Thunder in the Smokies” competition.  Also entered are three current Rookie of the Year contenders including fifteen year-olds Taylor Tidmore from Hernando, Mississippi and Nicholas Snyder from Marco Island, Florida and Kyle Amerson from Matthews, Alabama.


Also entered are brothers 2008 USCS Southern Thunder Rookie of the Year, Jake McLain from Indian Trail, North Carolina and Brandon McLain also from Indian Trail.  A contingent of four Georgia drivers including  Jay Dunham from Augusta, Joe Larkin from Suwannee, Brian Thomas from Pendergrass and Aubrey Black from Lookout Mountain, Georgia are entered are is Bob Auld from Largo, Florida and Terry Witherspoon from Jacksonville, Florida. Also expected to race is local sprint car veteran driver Don Ryder from Knoxville, Tennessee.


Pits open at 2, grandstands and tier parking open at 4, drivers meeting is at 6, with hot laps directly after
Pits :$35, kids 11 & under are $15
Tier: $20, kids 6-11 $10, 5 and under are free
Grandstands: $15, kids 6-11 $5, 5 and under free


Smoky Mountain Speedway is located at 809 Brick Mill Rd., Maryville, Tennessee 37801. The track phone number is 865-856-8989  and the Official website is   For USCS rules and info, please visit the Official USCS web site at  or call 770-460-7223.