USAR: Southern: Matt Hawkins race report

Matt Hawkins Does It Again at Peach State Young Georgia Native Now Two-For-Two in GAS Action at His Home Track CANTON, GA (July 24, 2006) --Picasso made masterpieces with paint on canvas. Mozart did it with music. On Saturday night, ...

Matt Hawkins Does It Again at Peach State
Young Georgia Native Now Two-For-Two in GAS Action at His Home Track

CANTON, GA (July 24, 2006) --Picasso made masterpieces with paint on canvas. Mozart did it with music. On Saturday night, 18-year-old Matt Hawkins created a masterpiece of his own using a tool that hadn't even been invented in the Picasso and Mozart days. Hawkins did it behind the wheel of his #22 Late Model racecar.

Like most works of art, Hawkins' second-straight Georgia Asphalt Series victory took plenty of patience and sweat. The young Georgia native took his second-straight Georgia Asphalt Series victory at Peach State Speedway by cutting his way through the field from the 18th starting position. It took him 80 laps to get to the leaders, but after a long battle with fellow Georgia superstar Bubba Pollard, Hawkins took the lead on lap 87 and went on to victory.

"That was awesome," said Hawkins. "To come from 18th to first was a lot of fun because the car was just awesome. It wasn't really any special things that played out; we were fast enough to pass everyone under green. We just had an awesome car for the second time in a row here."

In Hawkins' first Peach State GAS race last month, he led nearly the entire second half of the race in a more dominant performance than the one he put on Saturday night. This time, however, Hawkins put on a clinic for passing cars. He was patient and used every lap of the race to steadily work to the front. Of course, it didn't hurt that he had the best racecar on the racetrack all night long.

"It was a lot more fun passing cars like we did tonight than leading every lap. We had to work hard to get around all the lead-lap cars and the lapped ones, as well, to get up there. But no matter how we get the wins, that's what we're here to do and we will take wins any way that we can get them."

Once Hawkins picked his way through much of the traffic late in the race, he set his sights on the leader, Pollard. Pollard had a half-straightaway lead when Hawkins made it to second place, but it only took a few laps for Hawkins to pull up to the leader's bumper. After a long battle, Hawkins took over the top spot on lap 83 and never looked back.

Most artists are most critical of their own work, and on Saturday Matt Hawkins was no different. The only thing about his masterful performance at Peach State that he didn't like was his post-race celebration.

"Everything was perfect tonight except for the burnout after the race. That didn't go too good. I burned the clutch up and the throttle hung up on it, but everything else went really good all night long.

"The bottom line is we got to do a burnout, so if things can go wrong after winning a race like that, then we'll take it anytime."

Hawkins will have a chance to capture his third GAS win of the 2006 season on August 5th at another home-state track, Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, GA, as part of the "Saturday of Speed" event with the PASS South Super Late Models.

-www.matthawkins.net.

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