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Contact: Shawn Miller
Inside Line Promotions - LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (March 29, 2022) - Derek Hagar captured his sixth career Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour triumph last Friday at I-30 Speedway during the opening night of the Hammer Hill Showdown.
Hagar bested nearly 50 drivers during the event, which he began by qualifying third quickest in his group. A heat race win from second placed him fifth in the starting lineup for the 25-lap main event.
"We drew the No. 1 pill and typically that's the worst thing to do with passing points," he said. "Now with ASCS there's group qualifying so being able to qualify decent and getting on the front row of a heat race, then winning it to get the passing points helped set us up for a good starting spot in the feature."
Hagar dropped outside the top five early before he found a rhythm. As the drivers in front of him fought for the extreme bottom of the track, Hagar adjusted his line to run one lane up in turns one and two. He also entered a lane higher in turns three and four before diamonding the exit of the corner.
"We fell back to sixth or seventh and it took me a couple of laps to maneuver toward the middle," he said. "Then we started picking cars off slowly. We had a couple of cautions that played into our favor and we were able to capitalize on the restarts. The track wasn't rubbered up, but had enough grip where you could float the middle and keep speed up without sliding up the track. I was able to momentum around the outside."
A couple of timely cautions bunched up the field as well and Hagar capitalized on the final one of the race by taking the lead on Lap 18. He pulled away to win by more than one and a half seconds.
"We had a restart with seven or eight laps to go and we were running second to Landon Britt," he said. "I pulled the wing back a little bit and floated through the middle. I was able to get around him and hang on for the win.
"Like I mentioned last week, it's always hard to get that first win out of the way and once you do they seem to come a little easier. We went into last weekend knowing we had a chance to win. We just needed to have the cards play out right and they did. Also, it was the first race we had Builtwiser Wings on the car so it was pretty special to win it in front of our home crowd."
Saturday's event finale began with Hagar timing in seventh quickest in his group. A run from seventh to fourth in a heat race advanced him to 11 th in overall points to lock directly into the main event.
"We didn't qualify well and were outside the heat race inversion, but we were able to pass three cars in the heat race to get ourselves locked into the feature," he said. "I was too free in qualifying. The track had more moisture in it than Friday. We were a couple of tenths slower than we needed to be, but we raced well in the heat race."
Hagar capped the night by picking up a pair of positions during the feature to finish ninth.
"We were good and better than where we finished, but as the race went on my car went away," he said. "I don't know if it was a tire issue or we just missed the setup a little bit. And every time I'd get a good run someone would block it and it'd kill my momentum. It didn't work out the way I had hoped, but we finished the race in one piece and got a top 10."
Hagar plans to join the ASCS National Tour this Friday and Saturday at Jackson Motor Speedway in Byram, Miss., during the Capital City Clash. He has a four-race winning streak at the track with three trips to Victory Lane occurring in 2019 and the first during the streak in 2018.
"We get around that place pretty good," he said. "It's one of our favorite tracks and we tend to do well there. I'm looking forward to going back to that place and hopefully competing for another win or two."
QUICK RESULTS -
March 25 - I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark. - Qualifying: 3; Heat race: 1 (2); Feature: 1 (5).
March 26 - I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark. - Qualifying: 7; Heat race: 4 (7); Feature: 9 (11).
SEASON STATS -
5 races, 2 wins, 3 top fives, 4 top 10s, 4 top 15s, 4 top 20s
UP NEXT -
Friday and Saturday at Jackson Motor Speedway in Byram, Miss., for the Capital City Clash with the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour
MEDIA LINKS -
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT - Summit Truck Group
Summit Truck Group is a heavy truck dealership with locations in Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Tennessee and Texas. For more information, visit http://www.SummitTruckGroup.com .
"Summit Truck Group jumped on board with us a couple of years ago," Hagar said. "We appreciate the support of such a reputable company. They sell a great quality truck and provide a great service."
Hagar would like to thank Pafford Medical Services, KO Motorsports, Dynotech Performance, J&J Auto Racing, B&D Towing and Recovery, FK Rod Ends, Fragola Performance Systems, 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, Ti64 and Builtwiser Wings for their continued support.