LEXINGTON, Tenn. – Derek Hagar snapped a nine-month winless drought with the United Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters by scoring a dominant victory Sunday night at Lexington 104 Speedway.
Racing to his first USCS triumph since Sept. 1, 2019 at Talladega (Ala.) Short Track, Hagar started from the outside of the front row for the 30-lap feature and held steady in second for the first half of the race, before capitalizing when polesitter Mark Smith ran into issues.
After Smith was eliminated in a tangle in traffic, Hagar led the remaining distance for his 59th career series win and first of the season.
Making the win more meaningful was the fact that, due to Hagar lacking an engine for his familiar No. 9jr, he was driving for his sprint car mentor – veteran Marshall Skinner – in Skinner’s white No. 26 on Sunday night.
It was a last-minute decision to haul to Lexington, Hagar tipped, but he and the Skinner crew were pleased with the final outcome.
“It was a really last minute deal,” Hagar said. “We went go-kart racing last night, got the car finished up this morning … put body panels and a wing on it, and decided to make it happen. Mark had a fast car. We would get to him in lap traffic, but we never had long green-flag runs to be able to do anything with him, really.
“It’s unfortunate for him that he got caught in a mishap, but we were able to capitalize on it.”
Hagar became just the third different driver to win a USCS race in 2020, joining Smith – who has a series-leading nine wins – and two-time season winner Dale Howard.
Howard Moore trailed Hagar to the finish line for runner-up honors, followed by two-time series titlist Jordon Mallett. Howard and Danny Smith were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Morgan Turpen, Jeff Oliver, Terry Gray, Chase Howard and Connor Leoffler filled out the top 10. Failing to finish, Smith was scored 18th in the 24-car field after retiring from the event.
Sunday night’s race served as the third round of the annual USCS Sprint Speedweek.
The mini-series continues June 19 at Dothan Race Land in Cottonwood, Ala.
Derek Hagar, Howard Moore, Jordon Mallett, Dale Howard, Danny Smith, Morgan Turpen, Jeff Oliver, Terry Gray, Chase Howard, Connor Leoffler, R.J. Jacobs, Kyle Amerson, Chris Schmelzle, Mallie Shuster, Landon Britt, Jeff Willingham, Asa Swindell, Mark Smith, Luke Hall, Jim Shuster, Ronny Howard, Dale Day, Carson Short, Dewayne White.