By Pete Walton
August 11, 2012 – Atwood, TN – The 2006 USCS Rookie of the Year, Derek Hagar from Marion, Arkansas battled his way to his fourth United Sprint Car Series presented by Goodyear feature win of the season on Saturday night at Clayhill Motorsports. In the most action-packed 25 laps of the 2012 season, Hagar who started outside the front row, bested hard charging 2008 USCS Rookie of the Year, Anthony Nicholson from Bartlett, Tennessee who started eighth and current United Sprint Car Series National points leader, Tim Crawley from Benton, Arkansas who started ninth in the field on the way to the www.rockauto.com USCS victory lane. Impressive rookie, Brandon Hanks from Burlison, Tennessee followed that trio home in fourth place followed by defending series Champion, Terry Gray from Bartlett, Tennessee in fifth position.
Hagar beat K&N Filters Pole Award recipient and pole position starter, Richie Harris from Butlerville, Arkansas into turn one on the initial start for the lead. Harris spun midway through the turn and collected veteran Ray Bugg from Iuka, Mississippi who tumbled from the incident bringing out the race’s first red flag. Both drivers were okay but their mounts finished for the rest of the night.
On the re-start Hagar commanded the point for the first four laps over Terry Gray then the next eight with Crawley in the runner-up spot. On lap twelve the red flag flew again when the cars of veteran USCS racer Ronny Howard from Nesbit, Mississippi and Cody Howard from Southaven, Mississippi tangled. Both cars were disabled and brought to the infield.
On the lap twelve re-start, Hagar led with Crawley and Gray on his rear bumper. Anthony Nicholson had moved into fourth position from his outside row four starting position. Brandon Hanks, who started fourth, was in the fifth position. Hagar led the next three laps after the re-start before Crawley made one of the turn one slide jobs that he and Hagar had been trading stick on lap fifteen. Anthony Nicholson was using the high line that brought him to the front and moved past Gray into third place.
Crawley, a nine-time 2012 USCS feature winner, led the field for the next five laps until lap nineteen when Hagar and Anthony Nicholson came sliding past him. Nicholson, Hagar and Crawley then thrilled the large Clayhill Motorsports crowd with wheel to wheel slide jobs until lap twenty-two when Tony Wilson from Paris, Tennessee spun bringing out the yellow flag.
On the re-start after Wilson’s spin, Hagar raced the final three laps to the www.rockauto.com USCS/ Clayhill victory lane with a scant two car length lead over Nicholson and Crawley and Hanks and Gray just behind. The 2010 USCS Rookie of the Year, Morgan Turpen from Oakland, Tennessee who was the only female racer in the field, lead the next group followed by second year sprint car racer, Casey Rowland from Nesbit, Mississippi in seventh place. 2012 Rookie of the Year contender, Tristan Tidmore from Hernando, Mississippi finished in eighth place. Tony Wilson finished in ninth position. Another Rookie of the Year contender, Jeff Willingham from Ripley, Mississippi completed the top ten drivers.
Hagar kicked off the night’s USCS winged sprint car action by winning the six-lap Goodyear Power Dash. Morgan Turpen won the Engler Tool and Machine First Heat. Rookie driver Brandon Hanks won the Butlerbuilt Second Heat. Anthony Nicholson who started eighth in the main event, passed the most cars in the A-main event to garner the Wilwood Engineering Hardcharger Award.
Richie Harris collected the K&N Filters Pole Award. Hagar also collected the first through fifth rotating JE Pistons Top Guns Award. Tim Crawley received the K&N filters Podium award that goes to the third place finisher at each event. Terry Gray earned the Keizer Aluminum Wheels Top Five Award via his fifth place finish. Jeff Willingham received the DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends Top Award for his tenth place finish.
The next USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by Goodyear event is on Friday and Saturday, August 17th and 18th at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, Georgia. The events awards USCS Southern Thunder Tour regional series as well as USCS National Championship points. For an updated schedule of USCS events, rules and info please visit www.uscsracing.com or call the USCS office at 770-460-7223.
USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour presented by Goodyear results @ Clayhill Motorsports on August 11, 2012:
USCS Goodyear Speed Dash – 6 laps : Derek Hagar #9 Jr., Tim Crawley #88, Terry Gray #10, Morgan Turpen #80, Anthony Nicholson #16 and Richie Harris #92H.
USCS Sprint Cars – Engler Machine and Tool Heat #1 – 8 laps: 1. Morgan Turpen #80, 2. Terry Gray #1, 3. Derek Hagar #9jr, 4. Anthony Nicholson #16, 5. Tim Crawley #88, 6. Tony Wilson #15, 7. Ronnie Howard #44 and 8. Jeff Willingham #28.
USCS Sprint Cars – Butlerbuilt Heat #2 – 8 laps: 1. Brandon Hanks #3H, 2. Casey Rowland #C4, 3. Tristan Tidmore #13, 4. Richey Harris #92H, 5. Cody Howard #6, 6. Ray Bugg #25 and 7. Ty Young #44C
USCS presented by Goodyear – Clayhill Motorsports – August 11, 2012 – Feature – 25 Laps
Finish Start Car Driver/Hometown
1 2 1a Derek Hagar, Marion, AR
2 8 16 Anthony Nicholson, Bartlett, TN
3 9 88 Tim Crawley, Benton, AR
3 4 3H Brandon Hanks, Burlison, TN
5 3 10 Terry Gray, Bartlett , TN
6 7 80 Morgan Turpen, Cordova, TN
7 6 c4 Casey Rowland, Nesbit, MS
8 7 13 Tristan Tidmore, Hernando, MS – Rookie
9 10 15 Tony Wilson, Paris, TN
10 14 28 Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS
11 15 44 Ronny Howard, Southaven, MS
12 11 61 Cody Howard, Southaven, MS
13 13 44c Ty Young, Nesbit, MS
14 1 92h Richie Harris, Butlerville, AR
15 12 25 Ray Bugg, Iuka, MS
USCS presented by Goodyear Sprint Car Race Awards:
Goodyear Speed Dash winner award: #9JrDerek Hagar www.racegoodyear.com
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat winner award: #80 Morgan Turpen www.englermachine.com
Butlerbuilt Second Heat winner award: #3H Brandon Hanks www.butlerbuilt.net
K&N Filters Pole Award: #92 Richie Harris www.knfilters.com
Wilwood Eng. Hard Charger Award: #16 Anthony Nicholson (started 8th finished 2nd ) www.wildwood.com
JE Pistons Top Guns Award: 9Jr Derek Hagar ( 1st place) # www.jepistons.com
K&N Filters Podium Award: #88 Tim Crawley (3rd place) www.knfilters.com
Keizer Wheels Top Five Award: #10 Terry Gray www.keizerwheels.com
Diversified Machine Inc/DMI Top 10 Award: #28 Jeff Willingham www.diversifiedracing.com