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MARION, Ark. (Nov. 25, 2020) – Derek Hagar capitalized on his limited opportunity to race in 2020, winning nine races for the third time in the last four years.
In fact, Hagar has posted at least nine triumphs during seven of the last eight seasons and this year’s nine victories came in only 25 starts – a winning percentage of a staggering 36 percent.
“For us from COVID-19 and then not having an engine after racing got started it was a very slow start to the season,” he said. “To get nine wins in a short amount of time is nice for our team. It makes you wonder if we had our normal season how many wins could we have achieved. We made the best of it.”
Hagar captured seven 360ci winged sprint car wins and a pair of midget races. He won with the USCS Series, ASCS Mid-South Region, ASCS Warrior Region and ASCS National Tour – his first since September 2014.
“You have to work for it every time you hit the track,” he said. “To be able to top the drivers locally really says something. You can’t go out there and dominate every weekend. You have to go out and capitalize every time you’re on the track to put yourself in the right position.
“It builds our confidence tremendously. I’m looking forward to 2021. We’ve had some good years and preparation. The last couple of years we didn’t have the best equipment we could have. After this year with a new engine program and everything going on I feel very confident for 2021. I really think we can go back into the double-digit number as far as wins.”
Hagar’s first win of the year came when his No. 9jr was sidelined. Long-time friend Marshall Skinner offered his car to race a national USCS Series event at Lexington 104 Speedway in Lexington, Tenn. Hagar hustled from eighth to third place in a heat race before he won the A Main.
“The win in Marshall’s car is the one that would stand out the most because of the friendship and the history of Marshall and my family,” he said. “Marshall’s first-ever car that he drove was my dad’s car, which Marshall’s dad bought from my dad. To be able to jump in his car and win, that’s something to look back on and really reflect on.”
Hagar’s second-to-last victory of the season came during the preliminary night of the famed Short Track Nationals at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark. He bested a field of 75-plus competitors for the second straight year before capping the marquee event with a career-best runner-up result.
“After we got our motor program going we had a lot of good runs,” he said. “We had our best year as far as winnings. Coming up short and running out of fuel during the Jesse Hockett/Daniel McMillin Memorial was a disappointment, but it was a good weekend for the team. We had our best Short Track Nationals ever with a second-place run and we backed up our prelim night win from the previous year. We showed a lot of speed and a lot of up-front finishes.”
Hagar ended the year with 17 top fives and 22 top 10s, including 11 in a row to cap the season.
SEASON STATS –
25 races, 9 wins, 17 top fives, 22 top 10s, 22 top 15s, 25 top 20s
MEDIA LINKS –
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Hagar would like to thank Dynotech Performance, J&J Auto Racing, Summit Truck Group, Hedger Brothers Ready Mix, FK Rod Ends, Fragola Performance Systems, Killer Coatings, Petra Construction, Administrative Consulting Services, Xtreme Race Graphics, Southern Collision Centre, Jeff’s Heating and Cooling, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Weld Wheels, DHR Suspension, Hinchman Racewear, Wix Filters, Wings Unlimited, Valvoline and Ti64 for their continued support.