Derek Hagar USCS Photo

WEST MEMPHIS, AR – The defending United Sprint Car Series Presented By K&N Filters Speedweek Champion Derek Hagar of Marion, AR continued his domination of the mid-season series by winning the 30-lap 2024 Speedweek opener on Saturday night at Riverside International Speedway. Dating back to 2023, it was Hagar’s seventh straight USCS Speedweek win.

Hagar, who swept all six 2023 Speedweek races, came from the third starting spot to take the lead on lap eight from Dale Howard of Byhalia, MS. Following Hagar under the checkered flag to finish second was Cody Gardner of Benton, AR, and Hayden Martin of Olive Branch, MS took the third spot.

Howard Moore of Memphis, TN finished fourth and fifth went to the defending and 15-time USCS National Champion, National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Inductee Terry Gray of Bartlett, TN. Howard was sixth, and Landon Britt of Memphis, TN took the seventh spot. Ernie Ainsworth of Bartlett, TN finished eighth.

National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Inductee Sammy Swindell of Germantown, TN came home in ninth, and B.J. Simmerman of Batesville, MC rounded out the top ten. Chase Brown of Yutan, NE started 21st and finished 16th to earn the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award.

In preliminary action, Howard won the six-lap Hoosier Racing Tire Speed Dash to earn the Pole Position for the 30-lap Main Event. The three eight-lap Heat Races were won by Simmerman in the Engler Machine & Tool First Heat, Howard in the Butlerbuilt Racing Products Second Heat, and Martin in the Wilbanks Heating & Air Third Heat.

Howard took the lead at the start of the race followed by Hagar, Gardner, Martin and Simmerman. Britt moved into the top five on lap two. Hagar put the pressure on Howard and was able to grab the lead on lap eight. Martin got a two for one pass on lap 14, when he got by Gardner and Howard to take over the second spot.

The first of two caution flags came out on lap 16 when Dusty Young of Benton, AR stalled in turn two. Hagar led Martin, Gardner, Howard and Britt down for the restart. Gray got by Britt on the restart to take over the fifth spot. The second caution flag came out on lap 18 when Todd Bradford of Arlington, TN stalled in turn two.

The next restart saw Hagar pull away in the lead, while Gardner reclaimed the second spot from Martin. Gray and Moore passed Howard to take over fourth and fifth respectively on lap 25, and Moore made a last lap pass on Gray to finish fourth.

Round 2 of the 2024 United Sprint Car Series Presented By K&N Filters Speedweeks will take place on Sunday night at Old No. 1 Speedway in Harrisburg, AR. For more information about USCS, visit their website at uscsracing.com and the series Facebook page, or call the series office at 770-865-6097.

United Sprint Car Series Marketing Partners are K&N Filters, Engler Machine & Tool, Hoosier Racing Tire, Huggins Cams, Hero Graphics, DMI/Bulldog, J&J Supply of NC, Racing Electronics, JE Pistons, DHR Suspension, Wilwood Disc Brakes, KSE Racing Products, PRO Shocks, Schoenfeld Headers, and Arizona Sport Shirts.


FEATURE RACE – 30 Laps: 1. 9jr Derek Hagar, Marion, AR (3); 2. G6 Cody Gardner, Benton, AR (6); 3. 67 Hayden Martin, Olive Branch, MS (4); 4. 3 Howard Moore, Memphis, TN (7); 5. 10 Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN (8); 6. 47 Dale Howard, Byhalia, MS (1); 7. 10L Landon Britt, Memphis, TN (5); 8. 91 Ernie Ainsworth, Bartlett, TN (10); 9. 47s Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN (12); 10. 8b B.J. Simmerman, Batesville, MS (2); 11. 55 Zach Pringle, Benton, AR (14); 12. 44 Ronny Howard, Nesbit, MS (9); 13. 8x Brad Bowden, Hernando, MS (13); 14 Jordan Mallett, Greenbrier, AR (17); 15. 16s Steven Howell, Byhalia, MS (15); 16. 55 Chase Brown, Yutan, NE (21); 17. 28 Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS (19); 18. 20 Todd Bradford, Arlington, TN (20); 19. 16 Hannah Merritt, Nesbit, MS (18); 20. 26 Marshall Skinner, Marion, AR (11); 21. 5 Dusty Young, Benton, AR (16); 22. 4 Cooper Looney, Jonesboro, AR DNS.

HOOSIER RACING TIRE SPEED DASH – 6 Laps: 1. D. Howard; 2. Simmerman; 3. Hagar; 4. Martin; 5. Britt; 6. Gardner.

HEAT RACES – 8 Laps:

ENGLER MACHINE & TOOL HEAT 1: 1. Simmerman; 2. Gardner; 3. Moore; 4. Swindell; 5. Pringle; 6. Young; 7. Mallett; 8. Bradford.

BUTLERBUILT RACING PRODUCTS HEAT 2: 1. D. Howard; 2. Hagar; 3. Ainsworth; 4. Bowden; 5. Skinner; 6. Merritt; 7. Willingham.

WILBANKS HEATING & AIR HEAT 3: 1. Martin; 2. Britt; 3. Gray; 4. R. Howard; 5. Howell; 6. Brown DNS; 7. Looney DNS.