Hawkins "Premiers" New Sponsor with Fourth Place Finish BRASELTON, Ga. (April 25, 2005) -- Matt Hawkins finished fourth in Saturday's O'Reilly Southern All Star Racing Series' Mid South Cage Equipment 150 at Lanier (Ga.) Speedway. The emphasis...
Hawkins "Premiers" New Sponsor with Fourth Place Finish
BRASELTON, Ga. (April 25, 2005) -- Matt Hawkins finished fourth in Saturday's O'Reilly Southern All Star Racing Series' Mid South Cage Equipment 150 at Lanier (Ga.) Speedway. The emphasis on finished. In his last few attempts, Hawkins and the Matt Hawkins Racing team have been unable to complete their races, due to either mechanical failure or incidents on-track. However, with a new sponsor on board for this past weekend's events, Premier Indoor Comfort Systems LLC, Hawkins changed the outcome to a positive result to impress his many local fans in attendance.
Hawkins qualified his machine in the fourth position with a time of 13.839 secs. around the .375-mile oval. A roll of the die to invert the top-six placed him with a third place starting position in the line up of only 13 cars. From the drop of the green flag, Hawkins just settled in the fifth place riding until the first caution flag waved at lap 26. Hawkins radioed in to new crew chief, Jody Wilkerson, that the car was loose off, but not terrible.
On lap 72, the second caution came out. Hawkins complained of being "really loose off the corners." Wilkerson and the crew readied for Hawkins to bring the No. 22 Premier Indoor Comfort Systems Ford to pit road where they removed a spring rubber. Hawkins restarted in sixth position on lap 76. Again, Hawkins continued to ride until the caution came back out on lap 104.
The MHR crew went to work changing right side tires and send Hawkins on his way to line up in the sixth position. On lap 114, he passed the No. 3 car to take over fifth place and seemed content to finish fifth until the last lap when the two leaders tangled and sent one of them into the turn four wall. Hawkins zoomed past to take the fourth position and became the only Southern All Star regular in the top-five. With Hawkins and the team aiming for the championship, a great finish of fourth certainly garnered a big boost in points, claiming the points lead.
"We finished, and there's nothing to fix," stated the relieved Hawkins. "We came home in one piece, and ran well. It was a good night for the No. 22 Premier Indoor Comfort Systems Ford. We didn't use the right pit strategy and should've pitted earlier when (Jason) Hogan did. We needed 200 laps to come back up and make up from our late pit stop. I can't complain though. With a new crew chief, we still ran well. It was good to run well at my home track. I need to thank Premier Indoor Comfort Systems LLC for coming on board with us for this race and thank everyone that came to watch the race."
Hawkins and the MHR team plan to take the No. 22 to Lakeland, Fla. this weekend to compete in the FASCAR Sunbelt Super Late Model Series event at USA International Speedway.
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.