ROSSBURG, Ohio – Jacob Hawkins charged from sixth in a loaded 31-car field to win Wednesday night’s DIRTcar UMP Modified Invitational at Eldora Speedway, one of two support races for the Eldora Dirt Derby.
Hawkins rolled the outside lane immediately on the start, charging from the outside of the third row into fourth by the end of the first lap and up to second by the fourth rotation.
From there, he tracked down outside polesitter and early race leader Dean Hoffman, taking command for good on lap nine and running off to a 2.245-second victory over Tuesday night victor Taylor Cook.
“What a crowd; that was a fun race right there,” said Hawkins in victory lane. “I knew this car had a ton of speed and I just had to be patient and let the race come to me … even though it was only 20 laps I just focused on making my moves at the right times.
“To win here on this night, with the caliber of drivers that were in the field … it’s amazing,” Hawkins added. “This is a special one and I can’t thank all my guys enough that worked on the car and helped to make this happen for us tonight.”
Cook started right on Hawkins’ bumper, rolling forward from eighth to end as the runner-up after passing Hoffman with nine laps remaining in the 20-lap feature.
Hoffman hung on to cross the line third, followed by former NASCAR stars David Stremme and Kenny Wallace.
Pole man Ray Bollinger never led a lap in the feature and faded to sixth, with Ken Schrader, Evan Taylor, Dylan Woodling and Brian Ruhlman rounding out the top 10 at the finish.
The invitation-only feature saw its lineup set by a pill draw and ran from green to checkered without a caution flag.
Twenty-one of the 31 starters finished on the lead lap.
Donnie Jeschke made a last-lap pass of Chris Douglas to win the Eldora Stock Car feature.
Jacob Hawkins, Taylor Cook, Dean Hoffman, David Stremme, Kenny Wallace, Ray Bollinger, Ken Schrader, Evan Taylor, Dylan Woodling, Brian Ruhlman, Jonathan Taylor, Josh Morton, Brian Gray, Jeff Koz, Tony Anderson, Ryan Sutter, Brandon Vaughan, Mike Learman, Jerry Bowersock, David Reutimann, Scott Williams, Mark Anderson, Joel Dick, Mike Hohlbein, Tim Richardson, Aaron Orr, Scott Orr, Adam Schaeff, Lenny Guyton, Jordan Conover, Frank Paladino.