Inside Line Promotions - KNOXVILLE, Iowa (Aug. 10, 2021) - Qualifying is the key word this week for Derek Hagar, who is preparing to make his second career start at the NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey's General Stores.
Hagar has spent the last two weekends at Knoxville Raceway, running the 31 st annual My Place Hotels 360 Knoxville Nationals presented by Great Southern Bank last weekend. He qualified 23rd quickest before winning a heat race and finishing 15th in the A Main during his preliminary night last Thursday.
"I felt like it went good, but we have to get qualifying down," he said. "We know how to race. We just need to figure out qualifying. It sets up your whole night and your whole weekend. Luckily we were in the heat race inversion, which got us on the front row. We were able to win that, which felt pretty good. Winning anything at Knoxville is pretty special.
"In the feature there were no cautions and I got tight behind a car going into a corner. I washed up and got passed by two or three cars. I noticed the middle started getting more brown. I stepped out and got my wing back and passed some cars to finish 15th. I wish there'd have been a caution to bunch us back up. I felt I was faster than guys in front of me in some parts of the race. I never could get close enough to make a move."
A crash on the opening lap of the B Main ended the event early for Hagar last Saturday.
"I felt pretty confident in our car that we would have been able to race with them," he said. "It's tough to sit there all day and then it being shortened on the first corner of the B Main. We were in the wrong place at the wrong time. On the start of the race Jack Dover went to the middle so I went to the cushion. I saw Roger Crockett go high and I tried to go under him and when I did I saw a car spin in front of us. I just climbed his right rear and it sent us for a ride."
Next up is the 410 Nationals this week. Hagar's preliminary night is Wednesday.
"My main goal is to qualify good," he said. "I want to get in the top 15 in qualifying on our prelim night to put ourselves in a good points position. Then we want to transfer through the heat and get as many points during that prelim night to put ourselves in a good position for Saturday."
QUICK RESULTS -
Aug. 5 - Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa - Qualifying: 23; Heat race: 1 (2); Feature: 15 (16).
Aug. 7 - Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa - B Main: DNF (14).
SEASON STATS -
29 races, 3 wins, 8 top fives, 16 top 10s, 20 top 15s, 22 top 20s
UP NEXT -
Wednesday through Saturday at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, for the NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey's General Stores
MEDIA LINKS -
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT - J&J Auto Racing
Located in McKenzie, Tenn., J&J Auto Racing has manufactured sprint car chassis and racing parts for more than 40 years. For more information, visit http://www.JandJAutoRacing.com .
"They've been in the family since J&J Auto Racing started building cars," Hagar said. "My stepdad's dad owned race cars back in the Riverside days. They are good, safe, dependable race cars and great people to deal with."
Hagar would like to thank B&D Towing and Recovery, Pafford Medical Services, KO Motorsports, Dynotech Performance, Fragola Performance Systems, Summit Truck Group, FK Rod Ends, 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 and Ti64 for their continued support.
INSIDE LINE PROMOTIONS -
Inside Line Promotions specializes in affordable public relations and media management for motor sports drivers, teams, sponsors, tracks, series, events, organizations and manufacturers. ILP Founder Shawn Miller leverages professional journalism with new media technologies and social networking to improve your exposure and the return on investment for your sponsors.
To meet the media relations needs of your program by joining Team ILP, contact Shawn at 541-510-3663 or Shawn@InsideLinePromotions.com . For more information on Inside Line Promotions, visit http://www.InsideLinePromotions.com.
*PHOTO BY PAUL ARCH*