Clifton man wins inaugural Lightning Sprint Nationals
Derek LeTurgez has tapped into new territory.
The Clifton 21-year-old captured the first Lightning Sprint Nationals title Sunday at Thunder Mountain Raceway.
“It’s a pretty big deal,” LeTurgez said. “I didn’t know what to expect. With a 2,000 dollar purse, it’s bound to draw people. It was a good turnout.
“I didn’t expect to win, but I didn’t race for second either.”
A total of 19 races completed the main event Sunday.
“Sunday’s race was nerve-racking when you stop and think about it,” LeTurgez said. “Everybody drove hard. It was a good, clean race. With four laps to go, I had one opportunity to get in first and I took it.”
He passed Don Leon of Cedaredge and held on for the win and the $2,000 prize. He plans on investing it in his race car.
LeTurgez started sixth in Saturday’s feature race and finished first.
“It took most of the race to get to first,” he said. “I took first with 10 laps to go and drove like there’s no tomorrow.”
LeTurgez started racing lightning sprint cars halfway through the 2008 racing season.
He placed ninth in the Thunder Mountain Raceway points standings in 2008 and is in fifth place so far this season.
LeTurgez, who is sponsored by One-Nut Racing and Ulleryracing.com, won a track championship in 2007 in the renegade class, but said that doesn’t compare to this feat.