Posted: Tuesday, August 26th 2014 at 8:00am
Derek Hagar charges to USCS victory at Dixie Speedway
By Jacob Seelman
Derek Hagar, seen here from earlier action, scored the USCS A-Main victory Saturday night at Dixie Speedway. / Photo: Terry Spackman
WOODSTOCK, GA – It doesn’t matter what he climbs into in 2014, Derek Hagar just keeps on rolling.
Hagar, the defending United Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters National champion from Marion, Arkansas, slipped by Anthony Nicholson with six laps to go during Saturday night’s Dixie Sprint Car Nationals 25-lap A-main at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, GA and pulled away over the final stretch to claim his eighth USCS feature victory of the season.
The win was Hagar’s 29th career trip to USCS Victory Lane and his second consecutive series triumph after also winning last weekend at Clayhill Motorsports in Atwood, Tennessee.
“We got close to (Anthony) there early with lapped traffic, just couldn’t make anything happen at that point – the track was pretty much around the bottom, but after the restart, he slipped up and I saw my window of opportunity and just took it,” Hagar said. “We’ve been pretty dominant on this tour in 2014, even though we’re not chasing the championship again, but there’s more opportunities coming for us and I’m just thankful for everyone who’s helped me get to this point. I’m having a lot of fun.”
Nicholson slipped high off of turn 4 coming to complete lap 18, which allowed Hagar to close in and make the pass for the win. Nicholson said the caution coming out at lap 14 for Jeff Willingham’s spin in turn 2 ultimately hurt his shot at the win.
“I don’t know if the difference was in our cars – I know I made one mistake in turn 2 and allowed Derek to get underneath me,” a disappointed Nicholson said. “I don’t know if he’d have caught us had the caution not come out because I had put a lapped car between us and bought myself a gap, but the caution killed me tonight.”
Terry Gray rounded out the podium in third place, with Eric Riggins, Jr. close behind in fourth. Morgan Turpen rounded out the top five.
Matt Kurtz finished a solid sixth and leading Rookie of the Year contender Brandon McLain came home seventh. Local favorite Brian Thomas, from Pendergrass, GA, crossed the line in eighth position. Kyle Amerson was scored ninth at the checkered flag and Lookout Mountain, GA veteran Aubrey Black completed the top ten.
Gray kicked off the evening’s racing action by winning the Hoosier Tire Speed Dash, and Riggins, Jr. scored the win in the first heat. Hagar rolled to the victory in the second heat. Hagar was the provisional pole-sitter after scoring the most passing points in heat race action, and after a zero came up in the K&N Inversion Draw, he received the K&N Filters Pole Award.
In other action, Shawn Nelson, from Ooltewah, TN, blasted away from the pole position and turned back repeated challenges from veteran David Hall to score his first-career USCS-sanctioned micro sprint victory during the 600 Sprint Series portion of the Dixie Sprint Car Nationals.
Nelson had to endure four caution flags en route to the victory, including two on lap 3 when Chris Openshaw first climbed the wall in turn 2 and slowed down the backstretch, and then national points leader Sean Hosey spun in turn 2 on the ensuing restart after hitting the restart cone.
The incident ultimately shortened the race from its scheduled 20-lap distance to 13 laps, forcing a green-white-checkered restart after cleanup efforts were complete. Hall tried to use the high lane of the race track to make a run at Nelson on the final lap but ran out of time, forcing him to settle for second.
Home state driver Brandon Taylor, from Cumming, GA, finished in the third position and Hosey rebounded from his lap 3 spin to finish fourth. Defending USCS Southern Lightning region champion Bob Trapino, from Alpharetta, GA rounded out the top five.
Atlanta native Matt McCullough crossed the checkered flag in sixth, with Dirk Miller finishing seventh. A trio of Georgia drivers completed the top ten, as McDonough’s Shane Werner finished in eighth, Atlanta’s Sam McCullough finished ninth and Winder’s Mike Magic was tenth at the finish.
McCullough kicked off the night by grabbing the win in the Hoosier Tire Speed Dash, and Nelson took the win in the first heat. Hall notched the win in the second heat.
Nelson was the provisional pole-starter after scoring the most passing points in heat race action, and when a zero was pulled in the K&N Inversion Draw, he was awarded the K&N Filters Pole Position.
The United Sprint Car Series presented ed by K&N Filters continues their 2014 schedule on Friday, August 29 with the running of the 2nd annual Wind Creek Casino/Hotel Wetumpka Sprint Car Shootout on the quarter mile paved “Thunder Ring” at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The series will contest a 50-lap main event after the NASCAR Sprint Cup cars qualify.
On the balance of the Labor Day weekend the series will contest three events on dirt ovals in North Carolina and Georgia. The USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour visits Harris Speedway near Rutherfordton, NC on Saturday, August 30. On the following night, Sunday, August 31, the series travels two hours South to historic Toccoa Speedway in Toccoa, GA. On Labor Day, Monday, September, 1, the USCS Winged Sprint Cars wind up the weekend at Tri County Racetrack in Brasstown, NC.
The USCS 600 Mini-Sprint Car Series season continues Saturday night, August 30 with an event at Harris Speedway in Rutherfordton, NC, as part of their inaugural “Sprint Car Wars” event. On the following night the series races during the 3rd annual “Sunday of Speed” at Toccoa Speedway in Toccoa, GA.
For more information, visit uscsracing.com.
USCS Sprint Car Series
Dixie Speedway - Woodstock, GA
Dixie Sprint Car Nationals - August 23, 2014
1. #9JR – Derek Hagar - Marion, AR
2. #16 – Anthony Nicholson - Bartlett, TN
3. #10 – Terry Gray - Bartlett, TN
4. #47 – Eric Riggins Jr. - Charlotte, NC
5. #10M – Morgan Turpen - Cordova, TN
6. #92 – Matt Kurtz - Jacksonville, FL
7. #21B – Brandon McLain - Indian Trail, NC
8. #67 – Brian Thomas - Pendergrass, GA
9. #29 – Kyle Amerson - Montgomery, AL
10. #21 – Aubrey Black - Lookout Mountain, GA
11. #59III – Johnny Petrozelle - Denton, NC
12. #83 – Bob Auld - Largo, FL
13. #22 – Shawn Murray - Jacksonville, FL
14. #28 – Jeff Willingham - Ripley, MS
15. #43 – Terry Witherspoon - Jacksonville, FL
16. #51 – Jay Dunham - Grovetown, GA
17. #49 – Shawn Dancer - Lima, OH
USCS 600 Mini-Sprint Car Series
1. #88A – Shawn Nelson - Ooltewah, TN
2. #67 – David Hall - Casselberry, FL
3. #07 – Brandon Taylor - Cumming, GA
4. #6 – Sean Hosey - Clarksville, TN
5. #98 – Bob Trapino - Alpharetta, GA
6. #14M – Matt McCullough - Atlanta, GA
7. #68 – Dirk Miller - Sanford, FL
8. #48 – Shane Werner - McDonough, GA
9. #14S – Sam McCullough - Powder Springs, GA
10. #5M – Mike Magic - Winder, GA
11. #14 – Bo Barber - Clarksville, TN
12. #171 – Terry Peters - Concord, NC
13. #191 – Frankie Peters - Concord, NC
14. #17C – Chris Openshaw - Bessemer, AL
15. #14B – Kyle Amerson - Montgomery, AL
16. #28 – Shaun Fitzgerald - Powder Springs, GA
Link: USCS Sprint Car Series
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