USAR: Mansfield CS: Matt Hawkins race report

No juice. That proved to be the difference between a solid, Top-15 finish and a disappointing 24th-place effort [Car%20Left%20Side.jpg] for Matt Hawkins in the opening round of the 2007 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Championship Series this weekend at ...

No juice.

That proved to be the difference between a solid, Top-15 finish and a disappointing 24th-place effort [Car%20Left%20Side.jpg] for Matt Hawkins in the opening round of the 2007 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Championship Series this weekend at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway.

"The alternator went bad with about 30 laps to go," said Hawkins. "The car just ran out of power and we had to come in and change the battery to make it to the end of the race. By the time we did that, we were nine laps down and I was just out there riding around getting to the finish."

The finish marked the end to an interesting day for the 19-year-old driver. Forced to take a provisional just to get into the ultra competitive 36-car starting field for the Sears Auto Center 250. Hawkins quickly showed he more than belonged in the race charging his way into the Top-10 by the halfway point of the event.

"We struggled to find speed in both my car and my teammate's (Mike Garvey) car in practice," said Hawkins. "Both of the cars drove pretty good, they just didn't have a lot of speed.We weren't that bad in the race. I was able to drive through the field even though Mansfield is pretty much a one groove, follow the guy in front of you kind of track."

Hawkins and his H&H Ford Fusion were poised for a solid finish when all circuits shut down with the checkered flag in sight. According to the Canton, GA native, the failure cost the team a top finish.

"We were in a good position for a solid finish," said Hawkins. "We were definitely going to be 10th to 15th and maybe even higher given a bunch of the cars in front of us wadded up at the end. We didn't have the best car there, but we were pretty much right there with everybody else."

[Right%20front%20angle.jpg] Despite the less than expected results, Hawkins was optimistic about the next race on the USAR championship slate.

"I'm looking forward to going to Iowa," said Hawkins. "That looks like a great track with plenty of grooves where you can really race."

The Iowa Speedway USAR Hooters Pro Cup Championship event -- the Soy Biodiesel 225 - will take the green flag this Saturday, September 22, at 7 p.m.

-credit: www.matthawkins.net.

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