From Inside Line Promotions
Atwood, TN — (May 27, 2014) — Derek Hagar is halfway to his first career USCS Speedweek championship and he’s done so in impressive fashion.
Hagar has won all three of the main events so far – giving him nine victories in 13 races this season – to build a sizeable advantage in the points standings heading into the second half of the six-race, eight-day competition.
“We’ve got a chance to sweep Speedweek so hopefully we can keep it up and do it,” he said. “Right now I think we’ve got everything figured out to make the car work well for a 30-lap event.”
The USCS Speedweek began last Saturday at Jackson Motor Speedway in Byram, Miss., where Hagar led all eight laps of his heat race after starting third. That put him third in passing points and after the feature inversion was a four, Hagar started the 30-lap main event on the outside of the front row.
“I probably took the lead on the second lap,” he said. “Me and Terry Gray raced pretty good. I slid him in turns three and four (on the opening lap) and he crossed back underneath me and then I slid him in turns one and two. We drag raced down the backstretch and I had the preferred going into turn three.”
Although Tim Crawley took over the top spot for several laps near the midpoint of the race, Hagar resumed the lead and drove away for the win.
“A little over halfway I got hung up behind a lapped car,” he said. “Crawley led three or four laps and I got back by him.”
On Sunday, Hagar started on the outside of the front row of his heat race and led the distance to pick up the victory. He was fourth in passing points and with the feature inversion a zero, Hagar started the main event on the outside of the second row.
“I took the lead probably on the third lap,” he said. “I rotated the middle of the corner real good. The track was really slick. There wasn’t a whole lot to get a hold of. When we got to lapped cars I could roll by them well. The key was to get by lapped cars and we did that well.”
Hagar continued to roll with the momentum on Monday at Clayhill Motorsports, where he rallied from sixth to third place in his heat race. He was third in passing points and with the inversion a zero for the second straight night, Hagar opened the feature on the inside of the second row.
“It was pretty dusty and the groove was around the top,” he said. “I did a slide job on Terry (Gray) and took the lead from him on the second lap. With about 15 laps to go Marshall Skinner had worked his way through the field. We ran side by side for probably four laps. Finally my momentum carried me around him.”
Hagar then survived a late caution to earn his 26th career USCS win, which moved him into fourth on the all-time list.
“We had a late caution and I got a little worried because I didn’t know how long it’d take to get my momentum built back up,” he said. “We took the green and I never saw his nose.”
The second half of the USCS Speedweek begins Thursday at Talladega Short Track in Eastaborga, Ala., with racing Friday at Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus, Miss., and Saturday at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark.
QUICK RESULTS –
May 24 – Jackson Motor Speedway in Byram, Miss. – Heat race: 1 (3); Feature: 1 (2).
May 25 – Greenville Speedway in Greenville, Miss. – Dash: 5 (6); Heat race: 1 (2); Feature: 1 (4).
May 26 – Clayhill Motorsports in Atwood, Tenn. – Dash: 2 (1); Heat race: 3 (6); Feature: 1 (3).
SEASON STATS –
13 races, 9 wins, 10 top fives, 12 top 10s, 12 top 15s, 12 top 20s