Matt Hawkins racing news 2005-04-04

Hawkins' Return to BIR Cut Short by Loose Tire BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 4, 2005) -- Matt Hawkins finished 12th in the "Show Me the Money" 200 at Birmingham International Raceway on Sunday. Hawkins had gotten to as high as the fourth position...

Hawkins' Return to BIR Cut Short by Loose Tire

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 4, 2005) -- Matt Hawkins finished 12th in the "Show Me the Money" 200 at Birmingham International Raceway on Sunday. Hawkins had gotten to as high as the fourth position during the running of the first race of the 2005 season for the O'Reilly Southern All Star Racing Series. Unfortunately, Hawkins' bad luck streak continued after an incident with a lapped car damaged the No. 22 H & H Electric Ford, ending their race early.

After persistent rain showers canceled Friday's activities at the track, the schedule of events were moved to Saturday and Sunday. Practice and qualifying were held on Saturday, with Hawkins qualifying the No. 22 in the 16th position for the race that was postponed until Sunday afternoon.

The goal for Hawkins was to just try to complete the 200 lap race. After three unsuccessful attempts, the team hoped this would be the charm. Hawkins moved up through the field and following a good pit stop, was in prime position to battle for a top-five finish. However, a lapped car lost its front tire suspension. The whole tire, wheel and suspension came flying into the No. 22's windshield, causing major damage to the vehicle. The lapped machine also came to rest in the path of Hawkins after shooting across the track. The incident left Hawkins' machine with a busted oil line, making it unable to return to action.

"We had a good run going," said Hawkins. "We were running times better than the leaders on old tires. We had a good pit stop and were going to be in position for a good run there. The 15 car lost its tire and it came flying at me. It shocked me a bit then I had no where to go and ran into him. At least we were able to complete more than half the race and were running well. We need runs like this, with better finishes to back them up. We'll be back and ready for Lanier in a couple weeks."

Next on the agenda for Matt Hawkins Racing are practice sessions at Montgomery (Ala.) Motor Speedway and Lanier National Speedway in preparation of the team's next two Southern All Star Racing Series events at those facilities. Their next race is Saturday, April 23 at Lanier National Speedway, located in Braselton, Ga.

Hawkins has competed in go-carts, Legends and most recently late models. He has numerous victories and championships in karting competition, including the 2003 World Karting Association National Championship, and looks to build his list of accomplishments in 2005. Hawkins and the Matt Hawkins Racing team have elected to compete in the O'Reilly Southern All Star Racing Series in 2005, as well as five USAR Hooters Pro Cup races, along with select late model events around the Southeast.

-jrb-

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