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– WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (Oct. 12, 2021) – Derek Hagar recorded a career-best performance during the famed Flip Flop 50 last weekend at Riverside International Speedway.
Hagar added another win to his list, capturing the opening race of the twin-feature format for the USCS Series. He capped the event by charging from 22nd to third in the second A Main.
“I feel pretty good,” he said. “If they’d made it 30 laps I think we might have been able to pull off one of those deals of winning from the back.”
The event began on Friday with Hagar maneuvering from seventh to fifth place in a heat race.
“We didn’t have too good of a car on Friday,” he said. “It was a little free and I really couldn’t make up ground on the guys in front of us. Passing two cars wasn’t good enough to put us in the scramble.”
That relegated Hagar to the third starting position in a B Main to kick off Saturday’s program.
“We got the lead fairly quick and won it, which put us starting 10 th in the first feature,” he said. “In that race everybody would go to the bottom or middle and I could rip the top. There were a couple of times passing cars down the front straightaway where we’d get squeezed toward the wall. We got to second within 15 laps. I could see the leader in front of me up in traffic, but I wasn’t gaining a lot of ground. Then we had a caution. I anticipated that he was going to run the top, but he slid himself. That messed me up and he got away from me. We got back to traffic and I was able to reel him back in. I was able to get a run on him and slide him in turns one and two coming to get the white flag. He tried to slide me back the next lap, but I had a good enough run on top to drive back around.”
The charge from 10th to win was Hagar’s seventh victory of the season. The second main event started Hagar at the rear in 22nd.
“The way they have the format now all the lapped cars aren’t part of the invert and we lapped up to ninth so they had the fastest cars up front,” he said. “It was eventful getting through there. I knew I was passing a lot of cars. With about three laps to go there was a caution and we were fifth. I slid Morgan (Turpen) on the restart and then in turns three and four I got Hayden (Martin). I was chasing Dale (Howard) and Marshall (Skinner), but ran out of time. We had a winning car and I think we could have got it done with a few more laps.”
The rally from last to third was one spot better than Hagar’s previous top performance in 2017 when he won the opening race before hustling from 22 nd to fourth in the second feature.
Hagar plans to take this weekend off before ending his season Oct. 22-23 at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark., during the 34th annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires with the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour.
QUICK RESULTS –
Oct. 8 – Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark. – Heat race: 5 (7).
Oct. 9 – Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark. – B Main: 1 (3); Feature #1: 1 (10); Feature #2: 3 (22).
SEASON STATS –
43 races, 7 wins, 15 top fives, 24 top 10s, 30 top 15s, 33 top 20s
UP NEXT –
Oct. 22-23 at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark., for the 34th annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires with the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour
MEDIA LINKS –
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – Dynotech Performance
Dynotech Performance is an engine building and performance shop based in Memphis, Tenn., and operated by Ricky Stenhouse Sr.
“Ricky has been doing our engines since the beginning,” Hagar said. “We’ve had great success. Every time we get something from him it’s reliable. It makes it easy on the pocket book knowing you have something that will last.”
Hagar would like to thank Pafford Medical Services, KO Motorsports, B&D Towing and Recovery, J&J Auto Racing, FK Rod Ends, Fragola Performance Systems, Summit Truck Group, Administrative Consulting Services, Killer Coatings, Xtreme Race Graphics, Southern Collision Centre, Jeff’s Heating and Cooling, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Weld Wheels, DHR Suspension, Hinchman Racewear, Wix Filters, Valvoline and Ti64 for their continued support.