ASCS: Hagar Nets Gibson Guitar and Wins First Career ASCS Feature in Rock ‘N Roll 50

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May 4, 2014 — official release — Casey Smith photo — WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — There was not a seat left occupied when the checkered flag fell at the Riverside Int’l Speedway as Derek Hagar came around to a track wide ovation of fans screaming their approval of the winner of the sixth annual Eagle Motorsports Rock ‘N Roll 50 presented by MyRacePass.com.

Spending nearly the entire race in a battle with Tim Crawley, the Arkansas shoe swapped the lead countless times with the two-time Rock ‘N Roll 50 winner.

“When you race with Tim Crawley, you know it’s going to be clean and close racing. He doesn’t give an inch on the race track, and I don’t give an inch on the race track. We’re always battling for the lead and I love racing with him,” said Hagar.

Earning his first Gibson Guitar, Hagar’s victory is also his first against the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV American Real, marking the second time in as many races that the Rock ‘N Roll 50 signified a driver’s first ASCS National Tour win as Seth Bergman did it in 2012.

Jumping to the lead at the green, Hagar would surrender the point to Crawley before the first turn with the Mike Ward Racing No. 88 rolling the cushion to the top spot. The only sizable advantage held by Crawley the entire race, the caution flew on lap eight as Crawley began working through slower traffic.

Back to green, Hagar kept pace with Crawley as the pair chased down the back markers. Using walls, infield tires, and cars as picks, Hagar finally worked past the No. 88 for the lead on lap 19.

Exchanging slide jobs at both ends of “The Ditch,” the red halted things on lap 34.

Under the red, Crawley almost saw his night evaporate as the engine billowed steam; depositing what remained in the cooling system on the track as Crawley reported having the temperature gauge pegged and still going before the red.

Able to re-fire, Crawley slid Hagar for the lead on lap 35 with Hagar returning the favor the following lap. Resuming their festival of slide jobs, the final caution displayed at the white flag; putting the field single file for a green, white, checkered finish with Derek Hagar emerging victorious.

Challenged by Brad Loyet on the final restart, Crawley held on to finish second despite the car vibrating due to the right rear wheel being packed with mud.

“I was giving it everything I had,” said a nearly out of breath Tim Crawley. “I guess one time I hit the wall coming off four, I packed the right-rear with mud so it was shaking real bad. I knew it was going to be a struggle to hang on from there, but I think if I hadn’t packed that wheel with mud, we might have been able to do slide jobs to the end.”

Loyet grabbed the final podium step, moving the Loyet Motorsports No. 05 within 11 markers of Jason Johnson for the point lead.

“I had a really good car, just got hung up behind Jeff Swindell and Johnny Herrera for the better part of half the race,” commented Loyet. “Once I cleared them, I really wish I would have had more than about six laps because I could have run with those guys.”

Jeff Swindell crossed fourth with Johnny Herrera completing the top five.

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