GREENVILLE, MS – Audio and recap by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio and Race Chaser Online – Chris Seelman photo – Saturday night Derek Hagar won a race in thrilling fashion. Sunday night, the Marion, Arkansas native reached a personal milestone.
The defending United Sprint Car Series (USCS) Outlaw Thunder Tour filtercharged by K&N champion streaked around early race leader Anthony Nicholson, out of Bartlett, Tennessee on lap four of the 30-lap Greenville “Speed Spectacular” A-main and romped to victory lane, scoring back-to-back USCS feature victories and going two-for-two so far in 2014 USCS Sprint Speedweek competition.
The win was Hagar’s 25th career USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour victory, tying him with one of his heroes and mentors, Marshall Skinner, for fourth on the all-time win list.
“That’s really, really cool,” Hagar expressed in www.rockauto.com Victory Lane, slightly lost for words at the meaning of his accomplishment. “I remember the days when I worked for Marshall as a teenager back before I started driving in 2006. I helped him on his car a bunch and he won a lot of races. We even ran out of the same shop for five or six years, so he’s taught me a whole lot. It means a ton to match him on the win list, and it’s an accomplishment I don’t take lightly.”
“We had a good car tonight,” Hagar added as he talked about his run. “It was good in the middle of the race track, and we could get a good run off the corner. I just seemed to hit traffic at the right times tonight. That was the key.
Hagar outlasted Bartlett, Tennessee’s Jeff Swindell for the victory. Swindell, a nine-time winner in USCS competition, came home in the runner-up position after starting on the K&N Filters Pole Position and leading the opening two laps of the event.
“We had a good car tonight, but once the track got a few laps under it, it was basically a one-groove track; there wasn’t a whole lot we could do,” Swindell said after the finish. “I think if we could have got out front we’d have been okay, but we’ll come back at it next time and see what we can give them.”
Three-time USCS Speedweek champion and 2012 series champion Tim Crawley, out of Benton, Arkansas, finished third, with “The Shark”, Anthony Nicholson, also out of Bartlett, taking the checkered flag in fourth.
Benton’s Cody Gardner charged from 24th starting spot to complete the top five at the checkered flag.
1999 USCS champion Marshall Skinner, from Marion, came home in sixth, with Hernando, Mississippi driver Brad Bowden finishing in seventh position. Ten-time USCS champion Terry Gray, out of Bartlett, rode home in eighth, with veterans Ronny Howard (Nesbit, MS) and A.G. Rains (West Memphis, AR) completing the top ten at the checkered flag.
Skinner was all-smiles watching his young protégé at the end of the night, and was in no way disappointed that Hagar finally matched his mark.
“And he’ll break it too, you watch,” Skinner said emphatically. “I’m so proud of everything that kid has done; we worked out of the same shop for five or six years and he helped me on the tour back in 2005 before he started racing. He’s like my little brother, and he’s such a good little race car driver. He was better than me a long time ago, you know, and I’ve got no trouble admitting that. These cats better look out, I know he’s got a few more in him yet this week.”
Jeff Swindell led the field to the green flag, but was immediately overhauled by Nicholson on lap number two for the top spot. Two laps later, Hagar would come calling without any warning, and grab the lead, never looking back despite three cautions that slowed the pace. The first flew at lap five for the 13T of Taylor Tidmore stopping in turn four and the second came out at lap 16 after the 2 of Brandon Kilpatrick looped his machine in turn one. The final caution came out with six laps to go when Zach Pringle coasted to a stop in turn three, setting up the final restart of the night.
Marshall Skinner kicked off the night by winning the Hoosier Speed Dash for the first time this season. Terry Gray won the Engler Machine and Tool First Heat, and Jeff Swindell scored the victory in the Butlerbuilt Second Heat. Derek Hagar netted the checkered flag in the Schoenfeld Headers Third Heat. After Gray pulled a zero in the inversion draw, Swindell grabbed the K&N Filters Pole Award. Cody Gardner advanced the most positions in the A-main (nineteen) to score the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award.
The United Sprint Car Series continues with Round #3 of their 9th annual USCS Sprint Speedweek on Monday night, May 26th at the Clayhill Motorsports Park in Atwood, Tennessee for the Memorial Day Meltdown. Derek Hagar is the defending Clayhill Speedweek winner.
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 filtercharged by K&N; Greenville Speedway; Sunday, May 25, 2014:
Hoosier Speed Dash: Marshall Skinner, Tim Crawley, Anthony Nicholson, Terry Gray, Derek Hagar, Jeff Swindell.
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: Terry Gray, Jerod Roller, Ronny Howard, Tim Crawley, Morgan Turpen, Brad Bowden, A.G. Rains, Cody Howard, Cody Gardner.
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: Jeff Swindell, Michael Miller, Eddie Gallagher, Todd Fayard, Greg Merritt, Robert Richardson, Brandon Kilpatrick, Dalton Davis.
Schoenfeld Headers Third Heat: Derek Hagar, Zach Pringle, Anthony Nicholson, Marshall Skinner, Taylor Tidmore, Curt Terrell, Jeff Willingham, Jason New.
United Sprint Car Series “Speed Spectacular” at Greenville Speedway Main Event: 30-laps
- #9JR – Derek Hagar, Marion, AR
- #94 – Jeff Swindell, Bartlett, TN
- #88 – Tim Crawley, Benton, AR
- #16 – Anthony Nicholson, Bartlett, TN
- #31G – Cody Gardner, Benton, AR
- #26 – Marshall Skinner, Marion, AR
- #39 – Brad Bowden, Hernando, MS
- #10 – Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN
- #44 – Ronny Howard, Nesbit, MS
- #3 – A.G. Rains, West Memphis, AR
- #12 – Dalton Davis, Millington, TN
- #13 – Todd Fayard, Biloxi, MS
- #5 – Jerod Roller, Hernando, MS
- #10M – Morgan Turpen, Cordova, TN
- #4M – Michael Miller, Ocan Springs, MS
- #32X – Robert Richardon, Searcy, AL
- #27 – Curt Terrell, Bartlett, TN
- #28 – Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS
- #12M – Greg Merritt, Nesbit, MS
- #2 – Brandon Kilpatrick, Strayhorn, MS
- #14Z – Zach Pringle, Bryant, AR
- #1 – Eddie Gallagher, Olive Branch, MS
- #22 – Cody Howard, Byhalia, MS
- #57 – Jason New, Byhalia, MS
- #13T – Taylor Tidmore, Hernando, MS
USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by K&N Filters Race Awards:
K&N Filters Pole Award: #94 – Jeff Swindell
JE Pistons Top Guns Award: #9JR – Derek Hagar (1st place)
K&N Filters Podium (3rd place) Award: #88 – Tim Crawley
Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award: #31G – Cody Gardner
Keizer Aluminum Wheels Top Five Award: #31G – Cody Gardner
Saldana Racing Products Super Sixth Award: #26 – Marshall Skinner
Pyrotect Racing Cells Lucky Seven Award: #39 – Brad Bowden
DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends Top Ten Award: #3 – A.G. Rains