United Sprint Car Series News Release:  Contact:  PETE WALTON – 770-865-6097

April 19, 2024



                   EASTABOGA, AL  – April 19, 2024 - The 2023 Daytona 500 Champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. of Olive Branch, MS won the 25-lap Feature Race on opening night of the Alabama Gang Classic for the United Sprint Car Series Presented By K&N Filters on Friday night at Talladega Short Track.  Stenhouse began his Sprint Car career 20 years ago with USCS before moving up to NASCAR.

                    Stenhouse worked the outside groove to chase down early race leader Hayden Martin, also of Olive Branch, MS, and challenge for the lead in the last ten laps of the race.  Stenhouse threw a slider in turn one on lap 20, and bumped wheels with Martin as they raced close coming off the second turn. Stenhouse was able to complete the pass down the backstretch.

                    Martin held on to finish second and third went to National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Inductee Sammy Swindell of Germantown, TN.  Dale Howard of Byhalia, MS was fourth and another National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Inductee, 15-time USCS National Champion Terry Gray of Bartlett, TN came back from a lap seven spin to take the fifth spot.

                    Lance Moss of Cherryville, NC finished six and seventh went to Brad Bowden of Hernando, MS.  Elijah Gile of Phoenix, AZ took the eighth spot and Gunnar Setser of Columbus, IN was ninth.  Jeff Willingham of Ripley, MS started 15th and rounded out the top ten to earn the Wilwood Brakes Hard Charger of the Race. 

                    In preliminary action, Stenhouse won the Engler Machine and Tool first eight-lap Heat Race, and the Butlerbuilt Racing Products second eight-lap Heat Race was won by Martin.  The Hoosier Racing Tire Speed Dash was cancelled due to weather that caused an hour rain delay.

                    Martin led the field into turn one on the initial start of the race, but the first of two caution flags came out on lap one when Brianna Lawson of Southern Pines, NC spun in turn three and collected Setser.  That necessitated a complete restart that once again saw Martin grabbed the lead from the pole position followed by Howard, Stenhouse, Gray, and Swindell.

                    Stenhouse passed Howard for the second spot on lap four, while Gray moved up to challenge Howard for third on lap six.  Gray looked to the inside of Howard in turn four on lap seven, but spun to the infield to bring out the caution flag.  Martin led Stenhouse, Howard, Swindell and Moss down for the restart.

                    Swindel passed his teammate Howard for the third position on lap ten, and Stenhouse was gaining on Martin, as the leader caught lapped traffic on lap 12.  Stenhouse was camped out on Martin’s rear nerf bar by lap 15, and found some clear race track to throw a slider to the inside of Martin going into turn one on lap 20.

                    The two leaders raced side-by-side, as Stenhouse slid up the banking in turn two.  The lead duo made slight contact coming off the second turn, and Stenhouse took the lead down the backstretch.  On lap 25, Stenhouse took a 1.892 second margin of victory over Martin under the checkered flag, in a race that took 11 minutes and 36.843 seconds to complete.

The United Sprint Car Series Presented By K&N Filters will return to Talladega Short Track on Saturday night for night two of the Alabama Gang Classic.  For more information visit the USCS website at uscsracing.com and the series Facebook page, or call the series office at 770-865-6097. 

United Sprint Car Series Marketing Partners are K&N Filters, Engler Machine & Tool, Hoosier Racing Tire, Huggins Cams, Hero Graphics, DMI/Bulldog, J&J Supply of NC, Racing Electronics, JE Pistons, DHR Suspension, Wilwood Disc Brakes, KSE Racing Products, PRO Shocks, Schoenfeld Headers, and Arizona Sport Shirts.


FEATURE RACE – 25 Laps:  1. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Olive Branch, MS (3); 2. 67 Hayden Martin, Olive Branch, MS (1); 3. 47s Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN (7); 4. 47 Dale Howard, Byhalia, MS (2); 5. 10 Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN (5); 6. 23 Lance Moss, Cherryville, NC (9); 7. 8 Brad Bowden, Hernando, MS (11); 8. 13 Elijah Gile, Phoenix, AZ (10); 9. G5 Gunnar Setser, Columbus, IN (12); 10. 28 Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS (15); 11. 33 Joe Larkin, Suwanee, GA (14); 12. 22 Shawn Murray, Jacksonville, FL (8); 13. 99 Tanner Witherspoon, Jacksonville, FL (13); 14. 16 Hannah Merritt, Nesbit, MS (16); 15. B5 Brianna Lawson, Southern Pines, NC (4); 16. 5 Chase Briscoe, Mitchell, IN DNS; 17. 7 Eric Gunderson, Canton, GA DNS.


HEAT RACES – 8 Laps:


                    ENGLER MACHINE & TOOL HEAT 1:  1. Stenhouse; 2. Gray; 3. Swindell; 4. Howard; 5. Lawson; 6. Bowden; 7. Witherspoon; 8. Gunderson; 9. Merritt.


                    BUTLERBUILT RACING PRODUCTS HEAT 2:  1.  Martin; 2. Briscoe; 3. Murray; 4. Gile; 5. Larkin; 6. Setser; 7. Willingham; 8. Moss DNS.