By Pete Walton
TUSCUMBIA, AL – June 1, 2023 –
Derek Hagar of Marion, MS is red hot after winning his fourth straight United Sprint Car Series Speedweek 25-lap Feature Race Presented By Engler Machine and Tool Thursday night at North Alabama Speedway driving the Ameripanel Special. Hagar held off a hard charging Dale Howard of Byhalia, MS after a late race caution to take the win.
Following Hagar and Howard under the checkered flag in third was the defending and 14-time USCS National Champion Terry Gray of Bartlett, TN. The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee is also the USCS National point leader in quest of his 15th title. Fourth went to Brad Bowden of Hernando, MS.
Hayden Martin of Olive Branch, MS was the Hard Charger of the Race after starting 12th and finishing fifth. Chase Howard of Nesbit, MS took the sixth spot, and Koty Adams of Haughton, LA was seventh. The eighth spot went to Lance Moss of Cherryville, NC, Ronny Howard of Nesbit, MS finished ninth, and Marshall Skinner of Marion, AR rounded out the top ten.
In preliminary action, Hagar earned the pole position for the Feature Race with a victory in the six-lap Hoosier Speed Dash. The three eight-lap Heat Races were won by Dewayne White of Byhalia, MS in the Engler Machine and Tool First Heat, Dale Howard in the JJ Supply of NC Second Heat, and Hagar in the DHR Third Heat.
Hagar took the lead at the drop of the green flag followed by outside front row starter Gray, Dale Howard, Bowden and Chase Howard. The first of four caution flags came out on lap four, as Hagar gave up a 2.193 second lead over Gray. When the green flag came out, Bowden got by Dale Howard for the third spot on lap five.
A caution flag on lap seven erased a 2.642 second lead for Hagar over Gray. Hagar led the field down for the restart and Dale Howard reclaimed the third spot, dropping Bowden back to fourth. Dale Howard was on the move, as he raced around Gray for the second spot on lap ten and then set his sights on Hagar, 2.470 seconds ahead.
By lap 15, Dale Howard had shaved off a second and a half, as he began to close on Hagar. A lap 16 caution flag bunched the field up for the final nine laps of the race. Hagar opened up a 1.310 second lead by lap 20, and Martin passed Chase Howard on lap 21 to move up to the fifth spot after starting 12th.
The final caution flag came out on lap 22 to set up a three-lap dash to the finish with Hagar leading Dale Howard, Gray, Bowden, and Martin. Dale Howard stayed right with Hagar when the green flag came out.
Dale Howard drew to within three tenths of a second of Hagar when the white flag came out, but Hagar was able to hang on to take a .210 second margin of victory under the checkered flag for his fourth straight win in the 18th Annual USCS Speedweek Presented By Engler Tool and Machine. Hagar added to his wins at Lexington (TN) 104 Speedway on May 26, Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, AR on May 27, and Old No. 1 Speedway in Harrisburg, AR on May 28.
Next, it’s off to Hattiesburg Speedway in Hattiesburg, MS on Friday night for Round 5 of USCS Speedweek. Along with the USCS Sprint Cars, the Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pure Street, Mini Sprints and Stingers will be in action. The 2023 USCS Speedweek Presented by Engler Tool and Machine finale will be at Whynot Motorsports Park in Meridian, MS on Saturday night for Round 6.
For more information about the 18th Annual USCS Speedweeks Presented By Engler Machine & Tool visit the United Sprint Car Series web site at www.uscsracing.com, or call Pete Walton at 770-865-6097. The USCS Facebook Page is located at www.facebook.com/uscs.racing.
United Sprint Car Series Marketing Partners are K&N Filters, Engler Machine & Tool, Hoosier Racing Tire, Hero Graphics, DMI, J&J Supply of NC, Racing Electronics, JE Pistons, DHR Suspension, Wilwood Disc Brakes, KSC Racing Products, PRO Shocks, Schoenfeld Headers, and Arizona Sport Shirts.
OFFICIAL RESULTS OF ROUND 4 OF UNITED SPRINT CAR SERIES SPEEDWEEK PRESENTED BY ENGLER MACHINE AND TOOL AT NORTH ALABAMA SPEEDWAY IN TUSCUMBIA, AL ON 6/1/23:
FEATURE RACE – 25 Laps: 1. Derek Hagar, Marion, AR; 2. Dale Howard, Byhalia, MS; 3. Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN; 4. Brad Bowden, Hernando, MS; 5. Hayden Martin, Olive Branch, MS; 6. Chase Howard, Nesbit, MS; 7. Koty Adams, Haughton, LA; 8. Lance Moss, Cherryville, NC; 9. Ronny Howard, Nesbit, MS; 10. Marshall Skinner, Marion, AR; 11. Cody Howard, Byhalia, MS; 12. Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS; 13. Dewayne White, Byhalia, MS; 14. Terry Witherspoon, Jacksonville, FL; 15. Todd Bradford, Arlington, TN; 16. Ryan Roberts, Aurora, NE; 17. Wade Buttrey, Fairview, TN; 18. Spencer Meredith, Hernando, MS; 19. Kenny Coke, Olive Branch, MS DNS.
HOOSIER RACING TIRE SPEED DASH – 6 Laps: 1. Hagar; 2. Gray; 3. D. Howard; 4. Bowden; 5. White; 6. Willingham.
HEAT RACES – 8 Laps:
ENGLER MACHINE AND TOOL FIRST HEAT: 1. White; 2. Willingham; 3. Moss; 4. Adams; 5.
C. Howard; 6. Bradford; 7. Witherspoon.
JJ SUPPLY OF NC SECOND HEAT: 1. D. Howard; 2. C. Howard; 3. Skinner; 4. R. Howard; 5. Meredith; 6. Buttrey.
DHR THIRD HEAT: 1. Hagar; 2. Bowden; 3. Gray; 4. Martin; 5. Coke; 6. Roberts.