GREENVILLE, Miss. – On Saturday night, Derek Hagar won a race in thrilling fashion. On Sunday night, the Marion, Ark. native reached a personal milestone.
The defending United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour filtercharged by K&N champion streaked around early race leader Anthony Nicholson on lap four of the 30-lap Greenville “Speed Spectacular” A-main and romped to victory lane, scoring back-to-back USCS feature victories and going two-for-two so far in 2014 USCS Sprint Speedweek competition.
The win was Hagar’s 25th career USCS Outlaw Thunder Tour victory, tying him with one of his heroes and mentors, Marshall Skinner, for fourth on the all-time win list.
“That’s really, really cool,” Hagar said.
“I remember the days when I worked for Marshall as a teenager back before I started driving in 2006. I helped him on his car a bunch and he won a lot of races. We even ran out of the same shop for five or six years, so he’s taught me a whole lot. It means a ton to match him on the win list, and it’s an accomplishment I don’t take lightly.”
“We had a good car tonight,” Hagar added as he talked about his run. “It was good in the middle of the race track, and we could get a good run off the corner. I just seemed to hit traffic at the right times tonight. That was the key.”
Hagar Jeff Swindell for the victory. Swindell, a nine-time winner in USCS competition, came home in the runner-up position after starting on the K&N Filters Pole Position and leading the opening two laps of the event. Three-time USCS Speedweek champion and 2012 series champion Tim Crawley finished third, with “The Shark”, Anthony Nicholson taking the checkered flag in fourth.
Cody Gardner charged from 24th starting spot to complete the top five at the checkered flag.
1999 USCS champion Marshall Skinner came home in sixth, with Brad Bowden finishing in seventh position. Ten-time USCS champion Terry Gray rode home in eighth, with veterans Ronny Howard and A.G. Rains completing the top 10.
Swindell led the field to the green flag, but was immediately overhauled by Nicholson on lap number two for the top spot. Two laps later, Hagar would come calling without any warning, and grab the lead, never looking back despite three cautions that slowed the pace. The first flew at lap five for the 13T of Taylor Tidmore stopping in turn four, the second came out at lap 16 after the 2 of Brandon Kilpatrick looped his machine in turn one and the final caution came out with six laps to go when Zach Pringle coasted to a stop in turn three, setting up the final restart of the night.