BYRAM, MS – Audio and recap by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio and Race Chaser Online – Chris Seelman photo – Derek Hagar and Tim Crawley have waged war numerous times already in 2014, and Saturday night, the two went to battle once again.
Hagar, the defending United Sprint Car Series (USCS) Outlaw Thunder Tour filtercharged by K&N champion out of Marion, Arkansas, powered by Crawley’s black-and-blue Mike Ward Racing #88 machine with three laps to go in Saturday’s 16th Annual Ival Cooper Memorial 30 presented by Krystal’s of Byram at Jackson Motor Speedway and drove away to the checkered flag, scoring his third win of 2014 in the opener for the 9th Annual USCS Sprint Speedweek.
The win was Hagar’s 24th career USCS victory since joining the tour in 2006.
“Man, how about that?” Hagar quipped in www.rockauto.com Victory Lane after climbing from his car and celebrating with his traditional wing-walk. “We just had a really good race car tonight. We were working lap traffic and I just hit one wrong and Tim got around me there before that caution. I wasn’t sure if we were gonna be able to get back to him but it looked like he got way high up there in three and four and we got back to the bottom and here we are in victory lane again.”
Crawley, the Benton, Arkansas native, came home second to Hagar once again after recently finishing second to him in the ASCS Rock ‘n Roll 50 at Riverside International Speedway. After the race, Crawley lamented the mistake that cost him the win.
“We just got up on the cushion there and got some mud in the wheel cover and it knocked it right off,” the 2012 USCS champion explained pitside after the race. “Hate it for Mike (Ward) and all my guys; we had a car that should have won tonight. Sometimes it’s just not your night, but we’ll be back. And we won’t be losing that wheel cover again.”
10-time USCS champion and K&N polesitter Terry Gray, out of Bartlett, Tennessee, finished in third, with Bryant, Arkansas native Zach Pringle coming home fourth and 1999 USCS champion Marshall Skinner (Marion, Arkansas) completing the top five at the finish.
Bartlett, Tennessee’s Jeff Swindell, brother of three-time World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series champion Sammy Swindell, ended the night in sixth, followed by 2000 USCS Rookie of the Year Michael Miller (Ocean Springs, MS) in seventh, 2008 Rookie of the Year Anthony Nicholson (Bartlett, TN), who came from the back of the field to finish eighth, young gun Dalton Davis ninth (Millington, TN) and A.G. Rains (West Memphis, AR), who rounded out the top ten.
Hagar grabbed the lead from Gray on the opening lap following an aborted start and led the early laps before two red flags slowed the pace, one on lap 2 for Jerod Roller’s hard flip in turn 1 and a second on lap 3 for a second flip in turn 1 involving the #N2 of Ray Stevenison. Both drivers climbed out of their cars uninjured.
Once the field went back to green, ten laps flashed by before the third and final red flag of the night flew for the 42 of Andy McElhannon flipping wildly in Turn 4. Yet again, the safety of the USCS sprint cars was proven as the Nesbit, Mississippi native walked away from his car unscathed.
Another caution flew on Lap 19 before Crawley would snatch the lead from Hagar on Lap 24 with a brilliant outside move in lapped traffic in Turn 2. However, a caution for the stopped car of Jan Howard in Turn 4 with five laps to go would set up the final restart that allowed Hagar to take the lead back for good.
Terry Gray kicked off the evening’s action with a win in the Hoosier Speed Dash. Hagar won the Engler Machine and Tool First Heat, and Zach Pringle won the ButlerBUILT Second Heat. Gray followed up his dash win with a victory in the Schoenfeld Headers Third Heat. After Hagar pulled a four in the inversion draw, Gray scored the K&N Filters Pole Award. Anthony Nicholson advanced the most positions in the A-Main (thirteen) to grab the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award.
The United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour is back in action Sunday night for Round 2 of their 2014 Sprint Speedweek, at Greenville Speedway in Greenville, Mississippi. Pit gates open at 3 PM, with racing beginning at 7:30 PM. Derek Hagar is the defending winner of the Greenville Speedweek event.
For rules, schedules and more information on the United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour, please visit www.uscsracing.com or call 770-460-7223 or 770-865-6097.
RESULTS: USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour; Jackson Motor Speedway; Saturday, May 24, 2014:
Hoosier Speed Dash: Terry Gray, Morgan Turpen, Jerod Roller, Anthony Nicholson, Greg Merritt, Jeff Willingham.
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: Derek Hagar, Tim Crawley, Michael Miller, Marshall Skinner, Ronny Howard, Jeff Willingham, Robert Richardson, Kevin Hinkle.
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: Zach Pringle, Jerod Roller, Jan Howard, A.G. Rains, Jeff Swindell, Morgan Turpen, Greg Merritt, Ray Stevenison.
Schoenfeld Headers Third Heat: Terry Gray, Dalton Davis, Andy McElhannon, Curt Terrell, Mark Huddleston, Todd Fayard, Anthony Nicholson.
United Sprint Car Series “Ival Cooper Memorial” at Smoky Mountain Speedway Main Event: 30-laps
- #9JR – Derek Hagar, Marion, AR
- #88 – Tim Crawley, Benton, AR
- #10 – Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN
- #14Z – Zach Pringle, Bryant, AR
- #26 – Marshall Skinner, Marion, AR
- #94 – Jeff Swindell, Bartlett, TN
- #4M – Michael Miller, Ocan Springs, MS
- #16 – Anthony Nicholson, Bartlett, TN
- #12 – Dalton Davis, Millington, TN
- #3 – A.G. Rains, West Memphis, AR
- #10M – Morgan Turpen, Cordova, TN
- #13 – Todd Fayard, Biloxi, MS
- #44 – Ronny Howard, Nesbit, MS
- #27 – Curt Terrell, Bartlett, TN
- #12M – Greg Merritt, Nesbit, MS
- #32X – Robert Richardon, Searcy, AL
- #28 – Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS
- #33 – Mark Huddleston, Mesquite, TX
- #21 – Kevin Hinkle, Cabot, AR
- #46 – Jan Howard, Marion, AR
- #42 – Andy McElhannon, Nesbit, MS
- #N2 – Ray Stevenison, Biloxi, MS
- #5 – Jerod Roller, Hernando, MS
USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by K&N Filters Race Awards:
K&N Filters Pole Award: #10 – Terry Gray
JE Pistons Top Guns Award: #26 – Marshall Skinner (5th place)
K&N Filters Podium (3rd place) Award: #10 – Terry Gray
Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award: #16 – Anthony Nicholson
Keizer Aluminum Wheels Top Five Award: #26 – Marshall Skinner
Saldana Racing Products Super Sixth Award: #94 – Jeff Swindell
Pyrotect Racing Cells Lucky Seven Award: #4M – Michael Miller
DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends Top Ten Award: #3 – A.G. Rains