USAR: Myrtle Beach CS: Matt Hawkins race report

Hawkins Rolls To Top-10 Finish In USAR Myrtle Beach Title Clash After acouple of sub-par finishes thanks to mechanical problems and crashes not of his own making, Matt Hawkins and his H&H Electric Ford Fusion finally broke through coming home ...

Hawkins Rolls To Top-10 Finish In USAR Myrtle Beach Title Clash

After acouple of sub-par finishes thanks to mechanical problems and crashes not of his own making, Matt Hawkins and his H&H Electric Ford Fusion finally broke through coming home eighth in the Mark Brooks Memorial 250 USAR Hooters Pro Cup championship event at Myrtle (SC) Beach Speedway.

"We definitely wanted to finish better -- you always want to win - but we got a Top-10 and we finished the race," said Hawkins. "We haven't been doing that well lately, so we're hoping this run is going to end our string of bad luck."

With finishes of 24th at Mansfield (OH) and 30th at Iowa Speedways in the first two USAR 2007 title events, Hawkins was looking to rebound on the half-mile Myrtle Beach oval. After a solid practice session, the 19-year-old driver was disappointed when his electric blue No. 2 Fusion (right) could only manage a 30th-place starting position in qualifying.

"We were pretty good in practice, around 12th, but the car just never drove that well," said Hawkins. "We had a lot of trouble getting the car to drive right, but we still thought we were pretty decent based on where we were on the practice sheet. Then we went out to qualify and the car was just knock the wall down tight."

At the drop of the green flag, Hawkins methodically worked his way through the field taking advantage of a long green flag run. Later, the Canton, GA driver narrowly avoided disaster and rallied for his fourth Top-10 finish in 11 USAR Hooters Pro Cup events this season.

"We weren't that bad in the race," said Hawkins, who won the season-opening USARevent at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, FL. "We drove from 30th to 13th before we finally had a caution flag. We came in and got four tires and a little bit into the next run, a car got sideways in front of me [Right%20front%20angle.jpg] and I really had to stand on the brakes to miss him. That also put us back in the field quite a bit and I really had to abuse the tires to get back into the Top-10. Once I got there, I was pretty much out of tires and I had to settle for what we had."

Hawkins hopes to ride the momentum of the Top-10 effort into the next race in the 2007 USAR Hooters Pro Cup championship tour -- the Dan Duncan Memorial 250 at South Georgia Motorsports Park -- on Saturday, October 20. The 250-lap event at the gleaming half-mile SGMP facility will take the green flag at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

Highlights of the Myrtle Beach USAR Hooters Pro Cup championship event can be seen on SPEED on Wednesday, October 17, at 4 p.m. Eastern Time.

-credit: www.matthawkins.net.

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Series STOCKCAR