No Pressure For Hawkins Entering USAR Hooters Pro Cup Season Finale
Coming off a win in the most recent USAR Hooters Pro Cup championship event at South Georgia Motorsports Park, Matt Hawkins and his H&H Electric Ford team are confident of a good finish in the season-ending race at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, FL.
That's especially true given the Canton, GA driver won the last time the division visited the .750-mile Florida oval in March. Given those successes, does the 19-year-old Hawkins feel any extra pressure to perform on the heels of his two best efforts this season?
"There's no extra pressure on me to win again at Lakeland," said Hawkins. "Honestly, I can't put any more pressure on myself. I drive as hard as I can and do everything I can at every race, so the fact won the last race or that we're going back to a place we've won at before really doesn't put any extra pressure on me or my team."
Hawkins' calm demeanor belies a confidence usually found in older, more experienced drivers -- not rookies on the USAR Hooters Pro Cup tour. According to Hawkins, that confidence comes from knowing his No. 2 Ford Fusion is totally prepared when it heads to the race track.
"Honestly, I wasn't really surprised when we won at Lakeland at the start of the season," stated Hawkins. "The goal was to go there and finish in the Top 10. We knew we had great equipment -- the best money can buy. We had gone down there during the winter and had a great test. Finally, I knew I had a great teacher in my teammate, Mike Garvey. We knew we were going to be good, it was just a question of getting it done."
Hawkins, who just missed out on the USAR Southern Division Rookie of the Year title, knows exactly what it will take to score his third Pro Cup victory of the season this Saturday evening.
"You really have to get your car to turn all night throughout the race at Lakeland," stated Hawkins. "You could probably say that about any race track, but it's really true at Lakeland. The track surface is pretty worn out and you have to be able to get through the corners and get good forward bite up off of them. If you can do that, you should be the car to beat."
Powered by a Predator Racing Engine, Hawkins had just that car at South Georgia two weeks ago. Hawkins is hoping that win, along with another solid performance in this weekend's season-ending USAR race at Lakeland, will fuel a successful off season for himself and his Matt Hawkins Racing team.
"It's great any time you can win," said Hawkins. "It not only gives you more momentum going into the next race, but when it comes this late in the season, it also help you with the things you are trying to set up for next season. It's huge."
Hawkins will take the green flag at USA International Speedway in Lakeland this Saturday, November 3 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.