RUTHERFORDTON, N.C. – The entire 2014 season for 18-year-old Eric Riggins Jr. has been a story of “coulda, woulda, shoulda.”
Saturday night, after many close calls and missed opportunities, the hometown favorite got it done.
Riggins, from nearby Charlotte, N.C., slipped around K&N pole-sitter Lance Moss on lap six of Saturday’s Sprint Car Wars 30-lap A-main at Harris Speedway and powered away from the field, slicing through lapped traffic in a caution-free feature en route to his first United Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N victory since October of 2013 at Cherokee Speedway.
The win was Riggins’ sixth career USCS feature victory and the fifth for the Carolina-area racer in front of his hometown fans.
“This feels good, it’s been a long time coming this year,” said Riggins. “We’ve only run about 15 times this year but we’ve had about six of these races we should have won and just couldn’t seal it for one reason or another. To finally break through tonight in front of the Carolina crowd; I love winning at home and I hope we can get a few more of them now that we finally got this monkey off our back.”
Ten-time series champion Terry Gray chased Riggins through traffic but got loose in turn 3 just before halfway while battling with Johnny Gilbertson and could never recover, finishing second after a hard battle with Anthony Nicholson. Nicholson rounded out the podium in third. Michael Miller crossed the checkered in fourth and Terry Witherspoon rounded out the top five.
Matt McCullough started on the pole and dominated Saturday’s 15-lap USCS 600 Sprint Series A-main companion event, running away from Kyle Amerson in a caution-free feature to grab his third career USCS micro sprint victory.
Eric Riggins Jr., Terry Gray, Anthony Nicholson, Michael Miller, Terry Witherspoon, Morgan Turpen, Kyle Amerson, Johnny Petrozelle, Kent Wolters, Brandon McLain, Kris Davis, Johnny Gilbertson, Jake McLain, Bob Auld, Jeff Willingham, Collin Cabre, Matt Hope, Brian Thomas, Nick Snyder, Sonny Stroud, Lance Moss, Brian Smits, Dave Thorman.