Second year participant of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, Katie Hagar has been able to experience and develop at two different tracks this year.
The first five races of Hagar’s schedule took place at Madera Speedway, now the D4D Driver hit the new re-paved Stockton 99 Speedway on Saturday May 23rd, in the 150 lap main event.
Hagar showed 11th fastest in both practice sessions, while picking it up a notch to qualify 6th fastest out of the 26 field of cars for the Tri-Holiday Classic Series Round #1 presented by California Welding Supply Company.
Hagar and teammate, Eric Schmidt had to run a 25 lap (B) Main for starting position in the main event. Hagar started outside pole, next to her teammate and past champion, Eric Schmidt. Katie finished 3rd out of the 10 non-weekly competitors that were not locked into the 150.
Katie started the #14 GSR Holliday Inn, Monte Carlo in 17th position. While Hagar kept the car clean and avoided many wrecks, she ran her fastest lap of 19.92 on lap 64. On Lap 75, a mandatory pit stop was made due to right rear tire blistering.
Several laps later, Hagar was forced to pit again due to a car in front of her blowing a driveline, covering Hagar’s car and windshield. Two right side tire changes were made and Katie had to start at the rear of the field.
Hagar brought in a 17th place finish, pulling in behind teammate Eric Schmidt due to track politics and un-organization of track positioning.
“For my first time being here, I think I’ve shown everyone that I’m here to race and to race hard and fast. We qualified really well and still had to run a B Main. We didn’t want to have to run our race tires an extra 25 laps more than everyone else, when they only wanted to send one car home.. having to start in the back just increases our chances of being involved in wrecks. Most of the race I had nowhere to go. I knew I had to be patient and be up on the wheel, We’re lacking on finding sponsorships this year so the last thing we want to do is tear up equipment. They started off counting caution laps, then they didn’t I guess. Half the time my spotter had no idea where we lined up, it was a very confusing race. My team and I made the right choice by bringing the car home in one piece.” “As frustrating as it is, we can come back and show them again next time..” Hagar commented after the 150 lap race.
Katie also participated in the Roseville High School Career Day on Friday May 22nd. While handing out pamphlets, the D4D Driver drew in many minorities interested in the mechanical and fabrication fields.
Hagar provided a race video, autograph cards and her #14 GSR Western Late Model in order to reach out to the troubled teens that were looking to further their education after completing High School.
Katie’s next race will be at Stockton 99 Speedway on June 6th for the 99 lap main event.
“ I’m looking forward to racing hard there again, this time my dad will be by my side. It makes a big difference to me when having him there.”