Matt Hawkins Bats 1.000 in ARCA Debut ARCA PR
Youngster Wins at Iowa Speedway
Canton, Georgia rookie Matt Hawkins wasted no time in asserting himself among the ARCA RE/MAX Series ranks. Hawkins, in his career-first series start, tracked down Matt Carter just in time, rubbed fenders just enough and cruised on to win the Prairie Meadows 250 Saturday afternoon at Iowa Speedway.
The 20-year-old driver, in the JaniKing-Racing Radios Dodge, drove underneath Carter through turns one and two with six laps to go to earn the momentous victory.
“I have some great guys behind me,” said Hawkins, who led three times for 12 laps. “We came here to run up front and we did. Working traffic wasn’t terrible because the field got strung out enough that I could pass cars fairly easily. But, once I got up with the fastest seven cars, that was a different story. It was hard to pass those guys. When I got into Matt (Carter) with about seven to go, I just lost the nose and got into him. It certainly wasn’t intentional and I hope he knows that.”
Carter, in the Stine Seed-Fort Dodge Animal Health-Pork Ford, got tight in the final laps and gave up two more spots before the checkered flag waved. Regardless, Carter, who led 117 of the 250 laps, was credited with the Aaron’s Lap Leader award for leading the most laps, and finished fourth. He also earned the Accel Fastest Lap of the Race (134.151 mph).
"The contact (between Hawkins and Carter) was really no big deal," said Carter. "He was faster than we were and would have passed us anyway. He apologized; everything's fine."
Justin Allgaier, who led 83 laps, not only passed Carter with four laps to go, but was closing in on the eventual winner before time ran out. Allgaier, in the AG Tech-Hoosier Midwest-Simpson Safety Chevrolet, finished second, five lengths away from Hawkins. He also earned the Klotz Halfway Leader honors.
Matt Hawkins (#39) battles for the lead with Matt Carter (#46) at Iowa. (ARCA / Bob Costanzo Photos)
In all, there were 13 lead changes among seven drivers while nine cautions, all for minor incidents, slowed the field for 54 laps.
Scott Speed led 28 laps in the Red Bull Toyota and finished sixth ahead of his Eddie Sharp Racing teammate Ken Butler III, who finished seventh in the Aaron’s Rent Toyota.
Bryan Silas busted out his second consecutive top-10 run with an eighth place finish in the
Nortrax-Shell Rotella T Chevrolet. Patrick Sheltra finished ninth in the Ferguson Pipe-
FloraGanics Chevrolet. Tayler Malsam shook off some early-season bad luck with a solid
10th place finish in the Dodge Driver Development Dodge.
Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is the Kansas Lottery $150 Grand at Kansas
Speedway on Friday, April 25th, 2008. The race airs on SPEED Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
Christman Wins ARCA Truck Opener at Anderson
ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series veteran Steve Christman, in the no. 19 Bagman Racing
Chassis-R&B Fabrication Chevy S-10, led flag to flag Saturday night at Anderson Speedway
to win the season opening Lincoln Welders 100.
Christman, debuting the new Bagman Chassis, started second, jumped into the lead at the
onset and held the point to the very end.
However, Christman’s victory did not come without serious effort as Rob Jones, in his own
no. 39 R&B Contractors Chevrolet, pressured the eventual winner continuously over the
course of the 100-lap race. With 10 laps remaining, Jones charged underneath Christman
through turn one, but got loose on the bottom coming off turn two. By the time Jones
gathered it back up, former series champion Paul Hahn slipped underneath for the second
position. Hahn, in the no. 7 Hahn’s Collision-Fox Auto Parts-Howe Racing Chevrolet, got within
three lengths of Christman but could not close the gap enough to mount a significant challenge.
As a result, Hahn finished second with Jones trailing in third.
2BKool Pole Award winner Robbin Slaughter, in his own no. 1 unsponsored Chevrolet, started the race in fourth after the four-truck inversion and finished fourth. Defending and two-time series champion Bill Withers, who started ninth, finished fifth in the no. 57 Mannings USA-Tubular Techniques-Hall Electronics-Wachholz Ford Ranger.
Series veteran Ron Wells, the last driver on the lead lap, finished sixth in the no. 6 Oakley Blacktop-Tanner HVAC-Muffler Brothers Chevy with 2006 and 2007 championship runner-up driver Nick Gullatta trailing in seventh in the no. 31 Thomson Automotive-Mr. Heater-Enerco Chevy. Norm Weaver finished eighth in the no. 21 Dan Cava Toyota-Safety Clean-Lifeguard Medical Toyota. Mark Otting steered the no. 00 Mycogen-Archbold Elevators Chevy to the finish in ninth. Otting, who started 15th, was also awarded the Ed & Company Hard Charger honors for advancing the most positions. Ashley Hawkins completed the top10 finishers in the no. 16 Hawkins Racing Chevy.
The next race for the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series will be a 50 lap main event at Winchester Speedway on Sunday, May 4th.
Matt Hawkins celebrates his Iowa victory
“We had temperature problems and that caused us to have some long pit stops,” said Allgaier, who lost six positions on pit road during his final stop. “We had too much tape on the nose, but when we removed that it took away the downforce on the front of the car. We tried to get the car right for the long runs, but the weather threw everyone for a curve. It’s really a good thing that it was cold when we had the open test here because we were more prepared to deal with the weather today.”
Frank Kimmel, in an unsponsored Ford, charged from the 39th starting position to finish third, earning the Casite Hard Charger award.
“Car ran very well all day,” said Kimmel. “It’s (the car) actually a combination of a few cars that we pieced together. We’re actually off to the best start ever in the ARCA RE/MAX Series; we just need a sponsor to see us through the rest of the year.”
Eighteen-year-old rookie Jesse Smith, in only his second career series start, finished a career-best fifth in the Lloyd’s Barbeque-Spam-Hormel Foods Dodge after leading three laps.
Matt Hawkins crosses the finish line at Iowa.