Hagar Wins Again in Short Track Nationals Prelim at Hammer Hill

Lonnie Wheatley, LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 2, 2020) –For the second year in a row, Marion, AR, native Derek Hagar kicked off I-30 Speedway’s Short Track Nationals by wiring the field in Friday night’s 25-lap Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour preliminary feature atop the high-banked, ¼-mile clay oval.

Earning the pole position for the nightcap, Hagar kept his Southern Collision Centre/B&D Towing & Recovery No. 9jr ahead of the carnage that eliminated half of the 20-car feature field to open up the 33rd Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires.

Hagar beat Pennsylvania’s Mark Smith to the line with Canadian Dylan Westbrook rallying from 19th to fill out the podium in third as a field of 78 cars hit the track for STN preliminary action.

“I knew those guys behind me would be coming,” Hagar said afterward.  “This isn’t our kind of track, this thing was cowboy up.  I found a good line in three and four, I felt like the top was going away and it was just way too far around up there.”

Smith made a brief bid on a restart with ten laps to go but was unable to maintain pace, settling for runner-up honors in the No. m1 Mach 1 chassis.

“We tried something a little different tonight than we did the last time we were here and just ended up with a little too much gear and just kind of lost momentum,” Smith commented afterward.

After starting 19th, Westbrook cracked the top five by the 15th lap then cashed in on second-runner Scott Bogucki’s misfortune and then battled past Howard Moore for third on the 17th round to keep the position the rest of the way.

“The night didn’t start out too good, but we kept on pushing for it and turned out real good for us,” Westbrook explained after the show finish in the Hills Racing No. 47x.

Moore edged Jordan Mallett at the line by inches for fourth with Garet Williamson, Matt Covington, 20th-starter Ayrton Gennetten, Brad Bowden, Charlie Louden and Devon Borden the cars remaining as the checkered flag flew.

The feature included two cautions and four red flag stoppages as follows:

Initial Start – The red flag flies right away when fourth-starter Marshall Skinner jumps a Bogucki tire entering turn one and flips hard, collecting I-30 Speedway track champion Cody Gardner and Brandon Anderson in the melee.  All three were done for the night.  Fifth-starter Garet Williamson’s top wing was peeled off in the incident, but he was able to return to action after a quick visit to the work area.

Second Start – After restarting ninth, Washington’s Devon Borden spins to a stop in turn three to force a third try.

One Lap – Two-time and defending STN champ Blake Hahn slows exiting turn four with a cut right rear tire and is unable to make it out of the work area before the race resumes.

Three Laps – After starting on the front row outside and still holding down third behind Hagar and Bogucki, Harli White spins in turn four and collects fifth-runner Dale Howard who ends up on his side.  Both are done.

Lap Four Restart – Kyle Clark dumps it in turn three to precipitate another red flag with still just three laps in the books.

15 Laps – Battling for the fourth position with Howard Moore, Canadian Alex Hill clips an infield tire exiting turn four and takes a hard ride.  Under the ensuing stoppage, Bogucki’s mount overheats and he is forced pitside, cutting short a torrid battle for second with Smith.

Heat race wins on the night went to Hill, Smith, Covington, Ernie Ainsworth, Skinner, Joey Schmidt, Mallett, Gardner and Colby Thornhill while Moore, Hahn, Bogucki and Williamson bested the Qualifying Races.

Ryan Bickett and Koty Adams won “C” Mains with Clark and Anderson best in the “B” Mains as Westbrook and Gennetten both made dramatic last-lap passes to snare final transfer positions.

The night’s most violent crash leading up to the feature occurred in the second qualifier when Ernie Ainsworth tagged the wall exiting turn four and was hit by several cars including current Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour point leader Sam Hafertepe, Jr., in the aftermath of several cars were dicing for position.  Ainsworth and three-time STN runner-up Hafertepe, Jr., were done for the night.

The 33rd Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires at I-30 Speedway concludes with Saturday night’s $10,041-to-win tilt that features a full card of heat races, qualifying races, “C” Mains, “B” Mains and 41-lap STN championship “A” Main along with the Mike Pack Building Materials “Dash for Cash” and “Red Shirt Dash” in memory of Lanny Edwards.  Racing action goes green at 7:30 p.m.

33rd Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires Friday Night Results: 

Heat Races (Top 40 in Finishing/Passing Points to Qualifying Races; Balance to Two “C” Mains):

First Heat (8 Laps):  1. 77x-Alex Hill (2), 2. 52-Blake Hahn (1), 3. 24w-Jeffrey West, Jr. (3), 4. 11-Roger Crockett (5) 5. 47x-Dylan Westbrook (6), 6. 38-Rick Pringle (8), 7. 23m-Lance Moss (4), 8. 30-Joseph Miller (7), 9. 29-Pete Butler (DNS).

Second Heat (8 Laps):  1. M1-Mark Smith (1), 2. 61-Cody Howard (4), 3. 28-Scott Bogucki (5), 4. 44-Ronny Howard (2), 5. 21p-Robbie Price (8), 6. 07T-Brandon Taylor (6), 7. 10c-Jeremy Campbell (7), 8. 88r-Travis Reber (9), 9. 21k-Kevin Hinkle (3).

Third Heat (8 Laps):  1. 95-Matt Covington (2), 2. 22-Connor Leoffler (4), 3. 21b-Brandon Hinkle (1), 4. 1x-Tim Crawley (6), 5. 4-Danny Smith (8), 6. 27J-Joseph Poe, Jr. (3), 7. 88-Kyle Offill (5), 8. 10k2-Jamie Manley (7), 9. 3b-Chris Banja (DNS).

Fourth Heat (8 Laps):  1. 91a-Ernie Ainsworth (1), 2. X-Charlie Louden (3), 3. 2-Brad Bowden (4), 4. 12w-Dale Wester (2), 5. 16-Koty Adams (5), 6. 10k-Dewayne White (6), 7. 48-Cody Stacy (7), 8. 23J-Junior Jenkins (8), 9. 20g-Jake Greider (DNS).

Fifth Heat (8 Laps):  1. 26-Marshall Skinner (2), 2. 16a-Justin Sanders (4), 3. 9-Chase Randall (6), 4. 5L-Eric Lutz (1), 5. 99-Blake Jenkins (5), 6. 6-Dustin Gates (9), 7. 12-Tony Bruce, Jr. (8), 8. 8z-Zach Pringle (7), 9. 92-Cody Hays (3).

Sixth Heat (8 Laps):  1. 1s-Joey Schmidt (2), 2. 9jr-Derek Hagar (4), 3. 24g-Garet Williamson (5), 4. 45F-Monty Ferriera, 5. 14e-Kyle Bellm (3), 6. 15J-Jeremy Middleton (7), 7. 67-Hayden Martin (6), 8. 24d-Danny Sams III (8), 9. 21m-Spencer Meredith (9).

Seventh Heat (8 Laps):  1. 14m-Jordon Mallett (1), 2. 3-Howard Moore (2), 3. J2-John Carney II (4), 4. 94-Jeff Swindell (3), 5. 23b-Seth Bergman (6), 6. 17b-Ryan Bickett (7), 7. 13-Chase Howard (5), 8. 84-Brandon Hanks (8).

Eighth Heat (8 Laps):  1. G6-Cody Gardner (1), 2. 17w-Harli White (4), 3. 47-Dale Howard (8), 4. X3-Ayrton Gennetten (5), 5. 0-Mike Vaculik (2), 6. 13m-Chance McCrary (6), 7. 95s-Asa Swindell (3), 8. 10h-Dustin Homan (7).

Ninth Heat (8 Laps):  1. 19-Colby Thornhill (2), 2. 9$-Kyle Clark (1), 3. 55b-Brandon Anderson (4), 4. 8-Devon Borden (8), 5. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (7), 6. 10b-Landon Britt (5), 7. 12T-Joe Young (6), 8. 45-David Luckie (3).

Qualifying Races – Top 14 in Combined Passing/Finishing Points to “A” Feature; Balance to “B” Mains 

First Qualifier (8 Laps):  1. 3-Howard Moore (1), 2. M1-Mark Smith (3), 3. 8-Devon Borden (2), 4. 47-Dale Howard (6), 5. 1s-Joey Schmidt (5), 6. J2-John Carney II (7), 7. 47x-Dylan Westbrook (10), 8. 4-Danny Smith (8), 9. 21b-Brandon Hinkle (9), 10. 16a-Justin Sanders (4).

Second Qualifier (8 Laps):  1. 52-Blake Hahn (1), 2. 9jr-Derek Hagar (4), 3. X-Charlie Louden (2), 4. 77x-Alex Hill (6), 5. 55b-Brandon Anderson (7), 6. 24w-Jeffrey West, Jr. (8), 7. 91a-Ernie Ainsworth (3), 8. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (9), 9. 19-Colby Thornhill (5), 10. 23b-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (10).

Third Qualifier (8 Laps):  1. 28-Scott Bogucki (2), 2. 17w-Harli White (4), 3. 9$-Kyle Clark (1), 4. 14m-Jordon Mallett (3), 5. 95-Matt Covington (6), 6. 1x-Tim Crawley (7), 7. 6-Dustin Gates (9), 8. 11-Roger Crockett (8), 9. 61-Cody Howard (5), 10. 44-Ronny Howard (10).

Fourth Qualifier (8 Laps):  1. 24g-Garet Williamson (2), 2. G6-Cody Gardner (3), 3. 26-Marshall Skinner (6), 4. 2-Brad Bowden (1), 5. 21p-Robbie Price (7), 6. 94-Jeff Swindell (9), 7. 22-Connor Leoffler (5), 8. X3-Ayrton Gennetten (8), 9. 12w-Dale Wester (10), 10. 9-Chase Randall (4).

“C” Features – Top 3 from Each Advance to Corresponding “B” Feature

First “C” Feature (10 Laps):  1. 17b-Ryan Bickett (4), 2. 38-Rick Pringle (1), 3. 10b-Landon Britt (7), 4. 99-Blake Jenkins (3), 5. 45F-Monty Ferriera (2), 6. 10k-Dewayne White (6), 7. 23m-Lance Moss (12), 8. 48-Cody Stacy (9), 9. 12T-Joe Young (10), 10. 27J-Joseph Poe (8), 11. 45-David Luckie (15), 12. 23J-Junior Jenkins (11), 13. 92-Cody Hays (16), 14. 0-Mike Vaculik (5), 15. 10k2-Jamie Manley (13), 16. 84-Brandon Hanks (14), 17. 88-Kyle Offill (DNS), 18. 10h-Dustin Homan (DNS), 19. 3b-Chris Banja (DNS).

Second “C” Feature (10 Laps):  1. 16-Koty Adams (2), 2. 14e-Kyle Bellm (4), 3. 5L-Eric Lutz (1), 4. 24d-Danny Sams III (13), 5. 07T-Brandon Taylor (5), 6. 10c-Jeremy Campbell (8), 7. 12-Tony Bruce, Jr. (7), 8. 67-Hayden Martin (9), 9. 13m-Chance McCrary (6), 10. 13-Chase Howard (11), 11. 8z-Zach Pringle (15), 12. 88r-Travis Reber (10), 13. 30-Joseph Miller (12), 14. 21k-Kevin Hinkle (17), 15. 20g-Jake Greider (16), 16. 21m-Spencer Meredith (14), 17. 15J-Jeremy Middleton (3), 18. 95s-Asa Swindell (DNS), 19. 29-Pete Butler (DNS).

“B” Features – Top 3 from Each Advance to “A:

First “B” Feature (12 Laps):  1. 9$-Kyle Clark (2), 2. 14m-Jordon Mallett (1), 3. 47x-Dylan Westbrook (7), 4. J2-John Carney II (4), 5. 1x-Tim Crawley (5), 6. 11-Roger Crockett (10), 7. 19-Colby Thornhill (8), 8. 21b-Brandon Hinkle (12), 9. 21p-Robbie Price (3), 10. 10b-Landon Britt (14), 11. 17b-Ryan Bickett (12), 12. 94-Jeff Swindell (6), 13. 4-Danny Smith (9), 14. 38-Rick Pringle (14), 15. 16a-Justin Sanders (DNS), 16. 23b-Seth Bergman (DNS).

Second “B” Feature (12 Laps):  1. 55b-Brandon Anderson (2), 2. 2-Brad Bowden (3), 3. X3-Ayrton Gennetten (8), 4. 22-Connor Leoffler (5), 5. 6-Dustin Gates (7), 6. 16-Koty Adams (12), 7. 5L-Eric Lutz (13), 8. 9-Chase Randall (9), 9. 24w-Jeffrey West, Jr. (4), 10. 12w-Dale Wester (10), 11. 61-Cody Howard (6), 12. 1s-Joey Schmidt (1), 13. 14e-Kyle Bellm (11), 14. 91a-Ernie Ainsworth (DNS), 15. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (DNS), 16. 44-Ronny Howard (DNS).

“A” Feature 

A Feature (25 Laps – Starting position in parentheses):  1. 9jr-Derek Hagar (1), 2. M1-Mark Smith (7), 3. 47x-Dylan Westbrook (19), 4. 3-Howard Moore (10), 5. 14m-Jordon Mallett (17), 6. 24g-Garet Williamson (5), 7. 95-Matt Covington (14), 8. X3-Ayrton Gennetten (20) 9. 2-Brad Bowden (18), 10. X-Charlie Louden (13), 11. 8-Devon Borden (12), 12. 28-Scott Bogucki (4), 13. 77x-Alex Hill (9), 14. 9$-Kyle Clark (15), 15. 17w-Harli White (2), 16. 47-Dale Howard (6), 17. 52-Blake Hahn (11), 18. 26-Marshall Skinner (3), 19. G6-Cody Gardner (8), 20. 55b-Brandon Anderson (16).

Lap Leaders:  Derek Hagar 1-25.