POPLAR BLUFF, MO – June 28, 2014 – Most days at the racetrack the rain is an unwanted curse, but sometimes it can be a welcome blessing. Saturday night for Tim Crawley and the Mike Ward Racing team, it was just that. Crawley, a native of Benton, Arkansas, sprinted away from the field after winning his heat race and starting on the K&N Filters Pole Position to win his first United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour filtercharged by K&N main event of the season at Poplar Bluff Speedway. The feature was scheduled for 30 laps, but was shortened to 17 laps after a deluge of rain swamped the speedway and ended the night under a red/checkered condition. The win was Crawley’s 66th career trip to the www.rockauto.com USCS Victory Lane , which is third on the all-time win list.
“This is never the way you want to win one; you always want to get it under green and fly under the checkered flag, but after how close we’ve come so many times this year, we will absolutely take it,” Crawley said in his hauler after the race as fans and crew members alike scurried for cover. “It feels good to finally get one for (team owner Mike Ward) and this whole crew; they’ve worked their butts off this year and they finally get to celebrate the spoils of victory for once.”
The race was slowed by caution only once, when the No. 44 of Nesbit, Mississippi’s Ronny Howard slapped the outside wall going into Turn 3 and came to a stop with one lap complete. Howard was unable to rejoin the field, and Crawley sprinted away from Nixa, Missouri’s Kyle Bellm on the restart and away to the rain-soaked victory when the skies opened up. Bellm came home in the runner-up position, with Sikeston, Missouri’s Jerrod Hull, an eight-time USCS feature winner, completing the podium in third. Bartlett, Tennessee’s Anthony Nicholson ended his night in the fourth position, and Springfield, Illinois native Robbie Standridge capped off the top five finishers.
Ten-time USCS champion Terry Gray, from Bartlett, Tennessee, flew home in sixth and Nesbit, Mississippi’s Andy McElhannon was credited with seventh at the checkers. Cordova, Tennessee’s Morgan Turpen finished eighth on the night, and 2013 USCS Rookie of the Year Curt Terrell (Bartlett, TN) finished ninth. Two-time USCS feature winner and 2011 Rookie of the Year Jordon Mallett, from Greenbrier, Arkansas, rounded out the top ten.
Andy McElhannon kicked off the night’s racing action by scoring the win in the Hoosier Speed Dash. Kyle Bellm held off Terry Gray to net the Engler Machine and Tool First Heat victory, and Tim Crawley drove from eighth up to the win in the Butlerbuilt Second Heat. After first heat winner Bellm pulled a zero in the inversion draw, Crawley scored the K&N Filters Pole Award. Robert Richardson advanced the most positions in the A-main to grab the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award.
For rules, schedules and more information on the United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour, please visit www.uscsracing.com or call 770-460-7223 or 770-865-6097.
RESULTS: USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by K&N Filters at Poplar Bluff Speedway; Saturday, June 28, 2014:
Hoosier Speed Dash: Andy McElhannon, Terry Gray, Tim Crawley, Jeff Willingham, Morgan Turpen, Ronny Howard (DNS)
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: Kyle Bellm, Terry Gray, Andy McElhannon, Anthony Nicholson, Jordon Mallett, Jeff Willingham, Robert Richardson, Greg Merritt and Clint Weiss.
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: Tim Crawley, Morgan Turpen, Robbie Standridge, Jerrod Hull, Curt Terrell, Mike Pack, Dylan DeJournett, Ronny Howard, Dustin Barks.
United Sprint Car Series at Poplar Bluff Speedway Main Event: 17 laps (shortened from 30 laps due to rain)
1. #88 – Tim Crawley, Benton, AR
2. #14K – Kyle Bellm, Nixa, MO
3. #01 – Jerrod Hull, Sikeston, MO
4. #16 – Anthony Nicholson, Bartlett, TN
5. #99 – Robbie Standridge, Springfield, IL
6. #10 – Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN
7. #42 – Andy McElhannon, Nesbit, MS
8. #10M – Morgan Turpen, Cordova, TN
9. #27 – Curt Terrell, Bartlett, TN
10. #14 – Jordon Mallett, Greenbrier, AR
11. #32X – Robert Richardson, Searcy, AR
12. #28 – Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS
13. #17 – Mike Pack, Batesville, AR
14. #7D – Dylan DeJournett, New Madrid, MO
15. #0X – Clint Weiss, Jesup, GA
16. #12M – Greg Merritt, Nesbit, MS
17. #44 – Ronny Howard, Nesbit, MS
18. #22 – Dustin Barks, Farmington, MO (DNS)
USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by K&N Filters Race Awards:
USCS Sprint Hoosier Speed Dash: #42 – Andy McElhannon
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: #14K – Kyle Bellm
Butlerbuilt Second Heat Award: #88 – Tim Crawley
K&N Filters Pole Award: #88 – Tim Crawley
JE Pistons Top Guns Award: #16 – Anthony Nicholson (4th place)
K&N Filters Podium (3rd place) Award: #01 – Jerrod Hull
Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award: #32X – Robert Richardson
Keizer Aluminum Wheels Top Five Award: #99 – Robbie Standridge
Saldana Racing Products Super Sixth Award: #10 – Terry Gray
Pyrotect Racing Cells Lucky Seven Award: #42 – Andy McElhannon
DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends Top Ten Award: #14 – Jordon Mallett
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.
Speed77 Motorsports Radio, Founder/Producer
RaceChaserOnline.com, Managing Editor
United Sprint Car Series, Series Announcer