June 29, 2018 12:54:12 AM
From Special Reports
The United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by K&N Filters winged sprint cars will headline the "Battle at the Bullring" card at Columbus Speedway on Friday night.
The USCS "Battle at the Bullring" is the only scheduled visit of the 2018 season for the winged sprint car series at the one-third mile clay oval.
The event is the 30th race on the 60-plus race USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour National championship schedule. The event will award USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour National Championship points as well as, points toward the USCS Deep South Thunder and USCS Mid-South Thunder regional series championships. The USCS Deep South regional series competes primarily in Mississippi and Alabama plus Florida and Louisiana. The USCS Mid-South regional series competes in Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.
The USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour winged sprint cars weigh only 1,300 pounds with 700+ horsepower engines. Those elements and the huge 25 square foot top wing and seventeen-inch wide specially designed Hoosier rear race tires combine to make them the fastest cars to compete at the oval. The USCS outlaw sprint cars are expected to reach speeds near 120 mph around the track.
The action will include test and tune hot laps followed by the evening's first sprint car race, the Hoosier Tire USCS Speed Dash, which showcase the top six cars from the previous USCS main event in an edge-of-your-seat six-lap shootout. The dash will be followed by a series of qualifying heat races for the sprint cars. The grand finale will be the 30-lap USCS sprint car A-main event.
Morgan Turpen, the 2015 and 2016 United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour national champion, will lead a field that is expected to feature competitors from at least six states for the winged sprint car portion of the card. Turpen, who is from Cordova, Tennessee, made history when she became the first woman to be crowned champion of a major National touring sprint car series by capturing the USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour 2015 National Championship.
Not only did Turpthen claim the national title, but she also swept the series 2015 Championships by claiming the crown in the USCS regional series.
In 2017, Turpen visited the www.rockauto.com USCS Victory Lane nine times. She also captured two regional series crowns. This season, she has two victories.
Other expected top entries include Jordon Mallett, of Greenbrier, Arkansas, who is the defending USCS National Champion and current series points leader. He won six main events during his 2017 title run. Mallett is on track to beat that total with four trips to the www.RockAuto.com USCS Victory Lane this season.
Eleven-time USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour national champion Terry Gray, of Bartlett, Tennessee, trails Mallett in the national title point standings.
In addition to Friday's card there will be the www.RockAuto.com USCS 600 Sprint Car Series winged Mini Sprints. Local business man and hometown favorite Bobby Zaiontz, of Columbus, a two-time series champion, will lead a group that is expected to feature drivers from as far away as Florida.
Zaiontz leads the point standings for the series, while Alex Lyles, 14, is in the runner-up spot in the National Division for that USCS mini sprints. Michael Hall, of Knoxville, Tennessee, is second in the USCS 600 Mid South Lightning regional series. Zaiontz also leads that series.
The card also will feature the Durrence Layne (formerly Nesmith)-sanctioned Late Model Sportsman and Street Stock divisions and the Mini Stock and Factory Stock divisions.
Pit gates will open at 4 p.m. Grandstand gates will open at 5 p.m. The driver's meeting is slated for 6:45 p.m. Hot laps will follow. Racing will kick off at 8 p.m.
Grandstand admission is $20 for adults. Youth tickets for ages 6 to 11 are $5. Children 5 years and under are free. Adult pit admission is $30.
For more information, visit the track's Columbus Speedway Facebook page @columbusbullring. For additional info on the event and the United Sprint Car Series, visit www.uscsracing.com or call USCS at 770-865-6097.
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