GAFFNEY, S.C. — For the second night of the USCS-URC North vs. South Shootout, Eric Riggins Jr. came home the winner of the 30-lap sprint car feature Saturday night at Cherokee, Speedway.
Riggins took the lead from Troy Betts on lap 22 and survived a late-race caution flag to collect the $2,000 first-place prize. In a heated battle for the Rislone URC 2013 championship, J.J. Grasso and car owner Ken Eldreth secured the championship title with a solid third-place finish.
For Grasso, it was his second URC championship, previously earning the URC crown in 2009 as car owner Ken Eldreth earned his first URC owner’s championship.
The USCS/URC North/South Shoot Out saw Troy Betts take the lead at the drop of the green flag. Going down the backstretch, Billy Pauch Jr., Grasso and Randy West were racing three abreast when contact was made with Randy West, taking a s series of violent flips.
On the restart, Betts once again had the quick start to take the lead as Terry Gray and Pauch followed. Riggins was on a charge, racing in third on lap four. The yellow flag was displayed on lap ten when Chandler Leiby had a flat tire, stopping in turn two.
With the drop of the green flag, Betts remained in control holding off both Terry Gray and Riggins with Pauch and Grasso making up the top five.
At the halfway point of the race, the top five remained unchanged. On lap 17, Riggins moved into second and be began to reel in the leader with lapped cars just ahead.
On lap 22, Riggins made the pass and became the new leader. One lap later, top wing issues developed on the sprinter of Terry Gray, opening the door for Pauch, Grasso and Weller to make the pass.
With five laps to go, Riggins, Betts, Pauch, Grasso and Weller made up the top five.
The last caution of the race came on lap 27 and the field was regrouped for a three-lap run to the checkered flag.
Riggins remained in control follow by Betts with Grasso on a charge. With two laps remaining, Grasso moved into third as Weller also passed Pauch to take the fourth spot.
Riggins came home the winner followed by Betts, Grasso, Weller and Pauch.
Eric Riggins Jr., Troy Betts, J.J. Grasso, Josh Weller, Billy Pauch Jr., Robbie Stillwaggon, Derek Hagar, Terry Gray, Dan Mazy, Ed Aikin, Terry Witherspoon, Taylor Tidmore, Lance Moss, Morgan Turpen, Tony Agin, Keith Prutzman, Chandler Leiby, Johnny Bridges, Curt Terrell, Scott Lutz, David Swanson, Ray Bugg, J.R. Berry, Randy West, Jonathan Swanson.