USAR: Valdosta: Southern Division round two preview

Hawkins Leads Charge into Home State BFGoodrichTires.com 250 set for South Georgia Motorsports Park Myrtle Beach, S.C.--When Matt Hawkins last left South Georgia Motorsports Park, the Canton, Ga., driver did so with the winner's trophy. The win...

Hawkins Leads Charge into Home State
BFGoodrichTires.com 250 set for South Georgia Motorsports Park

Myrtle Beach, S.C.--When Matt Hawkins last left South Georgia Motorsports Park, the Canton, Ga., driver did so with the winner's trophy. The win jumped Hawkins from 23rd to ninth in the standings and fueled his last-season chase at the championship.

But when Hawkins returns to the sight of his second Hooters Pro Cup win for the running of the BFGoodrichTires.com 250 presented by K&N Filters on Saturday, March 29, he will be the one that's being chased.

Hawkins, driver of the No. 2s JaniKing Ford, finished second in the season-opening Southern Division event at USA Int'l Speedway on March 15, giving him the point lead heading into SGMP. And with his successes last season at the fast, half-mile track, Hawkins expects to leave with the lead.

"I think we're going to be awesome at [South Georgia]," said Hawkins. "Having Mike Garvey as my crew chief is great. We should have won the Snowball Derby. But that's three second-place finishes in a row for us and we won at [SGMP] before that; so we've been doing great. We just have to keep it going all season."

But Hawkins won't be alone in his quest for victory. Several of the top-tier drivers in the Greased Lightning Southern Division will by trying to rebound after troubles at USA Int'l Speedway.

Bobby Gill, Michael Ritch, Woody Howard, Trevor Bayne and Mark McFarland all suffered DNFs in the season opener and come into SGMP with a since of urgency.

In the first race at SGMP last season, Gill and Howard put on a show for the win, swapping positions--and paint--in the waning stages before Howard, driver of the No. 55s Dean Motorsports Chevrolet, took the lead with eight laps remaining en route to victory.

Ritch, driver of the No. 28s Racing for Veterans Ford, led 41 laps, McFarland, driver of the No. 81s Sears Auto Center Chevrolet, was out front for 34 laps and Bayne, driver of the No. 29s Chevy Racing Chevrolet, paced the field for eight laps.

If you mix in Caleb Holman, who finished fourth at USA Int'l, Billy Bigley, who finished fifth at USA Int'l, and James Buescher, who finished third at USA Int'l, the potential for a barnburner is high.

The BFGoodrichTires.com 250 is slated for a green flag at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 29 at SGMP. Front gates open at SGMP will open at 11:30 a.m. and fans are encouraged to come out early for the two-hour practice session that starts as soon as the gates are open. Awesome Awnings Pole Qualifying will start at 4:30 p.m. and be followed by the on-track autograph session at 5:45 p.m.

The event will air on VERSUS Network on Monday, April 7 at 4 p.m. (ET).

For ticket information, contact SGMP at (229) 896-7000.

***

WHAT: BFGoodrichTires.com 250 Presented by K&N Filters

WHERE:          South Georgia Motorsports Park, Cecil, Ga.

.5-mile, semi-banked asphalt oval

WHEN: Saturday, March 29

DISTANCE: 250 Laps/ 125 Miles

POSTED AWARDS: $127,136

STARTING FIELD: 36-car starting field

TELEVISION: VERSUS Network--April 7 at 4 PM

WEEKEND SCHEDULE:

Saturday, March 29:
11:30 a.m. USAR HPCS Practice Begins
1:30 p.m. USAR HPCS Practice Ends
2:15 p.m. Chapel Service (Engines Off)
3:00 p.m. Front Gate Opens
4:30 p.m. Awesome Awnings Pole Qualifying for the USAR HPCS
5:45 p.m. Wraps Ink On-Track Autograph Session for the USAR HPCS
6:30 p.m. Pre-Race Ceremonies for the BFGoodrichTires.com 250
7:00 p.m. BFGoodrichTires.com 250

-credit: usar

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Billy Bigley , Trevor Bayne , Caleb Holman , Mark McFarland , Mike Garvey , James Buescher