AUDIO/RECAP: California Dreaming, Illinois Achieving; Jake Hagopian Pockets $5K with #HBH14 Victory

Jacob Seelman Audio, Dirt Track Racing, Featured, Midwest, Other Sprint Cars, Sprints & Midgets 0 Comments

MARION, Ill. — Audio, recap and photo by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio and Race Chaser Online — Jake Hagopian came to Southern Illinois Raceway over the weekend with a dream in mind and a car to drive.

He left with five grand in his pocket and all the spoils of victory.

Hagopian, driving for car owner Eric Wright, stormed up the outside on the opening lap of Saturday night’s Sawyer Chassis Highbanks Hustle presented by Lightning Wings, moving from fourth to first and passing preliminary night winner Frank Flud for the lead in turn three.

Despite numerous challenges, it was a lead he would not relinquish.

“I’m speechless right now man, I can’t believe we just beat Frank Flud,” a stunned Hagopian said in Victory Lane. “Most people call him legendary; I call him perfect though. He just doesn’t make mistakes. We got one heck of a run coming off of Turn Two on the first lap and I knew the top was going to be the place to be in three and four. Drove it in and it stuck. From there, it was all about working traffic and keeping everyone else behind me. This is amazing; we just won the Hustle!”

Flud made a bonzai move to try and snatch the win away in turn one on the final lap, but could not successfully complete the slide job and jumped the cushion in turn two, losing second to Joe B. Miller in the final corners.

“I want to apologize to all my sponsors and supporters for that one,” a dejected Flud said post-race. “We had the shot to win right there, and I just let him get in my head. Third is not what we came here for and it’s a tough one to swallow for me. The driver didn’t get the job done tonight.”

The race was slowed by caution twice over the course of the 40-lap distance, with the first caution flying at lap seven when the 22 of Scott Britton slowed suddenly in turn two. Following that incident, the field restarted and the leaders found traffic just before halfway, when Hagopian began working traffic at lap 19 and came under fire from Miller, who motored by Flud for second and was one of the few drivers who could work the bottom all night long. At halfway, Hagopian led Miller by a car length while Flud had fallen back to fourth behind Jeremy Camp.

The second and final yellow flew at lap 22 when Joey Wirth had problems coming down the backstretch, and following that yellow, Flud began his march to the front, passing Camp for third before lap 30 and then powering past Miller on Lap 32 to set up his last stand on the final lap.

Behind Hagopian, Miller and Flud, Jeremy Camp and Layne Himebaugh completed the top five in the 24-car field at the finish.

Flud won the six-lap Pole Dash to claim the top starting spot for the feature after winning the preliminary night A-main, and Wirth won the 15-lap Last Chance Qualifier to transfer into the A-main.

20-lap qualifier races were won by Dereck King, Kyle Amerson, Jeremy Camp and Nathan Benson.

Heat wins went to Himebaugh, Scott Evans, Eric Wright, Chris Hunter, Blane Culp, Zach Taylor and Jake Palmisano.

The 2014 Southern Illinois Raceway season continues on June 28th with regular feature racing, plus a make-up card from June 7th.

 

RESULTS: 2nd annual Sawyer Chassis Highbanks Hustle; So. Illinois Raceway; June 21, 2014

$5,000-to-win A-Feature (40 laps): 1. Jake Hagopian; 2. Joe B. Miller; 3. Frank Flud; 4. Jeremy Camp; 5. Layne Himebaugh; 6. Nate Lauderbaugh; 7. Jake Neuman; 8. Nathan Benson; 9. Matt Howard; 10. Dereck King; 11. Travis Harris; 12. Nick Howard; 13. Jeremy Zumwalt; 14. Ryan Ratliff; 15. Frank Galusha; 16. Kyle Amerson; 17. Spencer Montgomery; 18. Luke Verardi; 19. Scott Britton; 20. Mike Hudson; 21. Blake McDermott; 22. Joey Wirth; 23. Jacob Galusha; 24. Andrew Peters

Audio with winner Jake Hagopian:

Audio with runner-up Joe B. Miller:

Audio with 3rd-place Frank Flud:

Last Chance Qualifier (15 laps; 6 transfer): 1. Joey Wirth; 2. Jeremy Zumwalt; 3. Jacob Galusha; 4. Ryan Ratliff; 5. Spencer Montgomery; 6. Mike Hudson; 7. Sara Elrod; 8. Chris Hunter; 9. Austin Schaffer; 10. Jay Parks; 11. Bobby Springer; 12. BJ Gatewood; 13. Russ Disinger; 14. Jake Palmisano; 15. Rob Cook; 16. Gabe Verardi

Pole Dash (6 laps; set first three rows of feature): 1. Frank Flud; 2. Andrew Peters; 3. Joe B. Miller; 4. Jake Hagopian; 5. Nate Lauderbaugh; 6. Matt Howard

Audio with Dash winner Frank Flud:

Qualifier Winners (20 laps): Dereck King, Kyle Amerson, Jeremy Camp and Nathan Benson.

Heat Winners (10 laps): Layne Himebaugh, Scott Evans, Eric Wright, Chris Hunter, Blane Culp, Zach Taylor and Jake Palmisano.

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