Traditional Sprint Car FanSite

See You At The Races!!!

 Press Release

Hockett a Sprint Bandits TNT Rocket at Wichita

by Lonnie Wheatley

WICHITA, Kan. (August 16, 2006) Warsaw, Missouri's Jesse Hockett outdueled Indiana's Dickie Gaines to capture victory honors in Wednesday night's 30-lap O'Reilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams Tour 'N Topless Midwest Swing main event at 81 Speedway.


Hockett and Gaines exchanged shifts in the lead on a pair of occasions, with Hockett taking command for keeps on the 24th lap and then leading the lap that counted as he took the checkered flag to post a $4,000 payday aboard the Wesmar-powered VKCC Motorsports No. 75 DRC-chassis.


"I wasn't too concerned when Dickie got back by me, he was getting looser and looser as the race went on," Hockett explained afterward.  "I knew I could get him back if I could just get a good run off of turn two."


Which is exactly what Hockett did by making a run off turn two on the 24th circuit then sliding in front of Gaines entering turn three for the lead en route to his first Sprint Bandits TNT feature win in a lucrative tune-up for Thursday's go at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO, and then Lakeside Speedway's $10,000 wingless classic in Kansas City, an event he won in both 2003 and 2004.


After the initial attempt to start the feature was waved off for a turn two skirmish that eliminated Mike Martin with front end damage and sent seventh-starter Bud Kaeding to the tail of the field, polesitter Gaines outgunned Mat Neely for the early lead with third and fourth starters Jon Stanbrough and Hockett charging past Neely for second and third on the opening round.


With Gaines working the low groove, Hockett rode the cushion around Stanbrough for the runner-up slot on the second round and was beginning to mount a bid for the lead when the caution flew after four laps for Allan Unruh, who spun in turn one.  At the same time, Shane Hollingsworth got tangled up with another car and came to a stop against the retaining barriers beyond turns three and four.  Unruh and Hollingsworth rejoined the chase at the tail.


Back under way, Gaines led just one more lap before Hockett charged by on the backstretch to take command on the sixth lap.  Gaines immediately moved to the top side and chased the leader as lapped traffic came into play on the eleventh circuit.  Gaines moved in to challenge on lap 13 and then took the lead a lap later using the low side of turn two.


Back to the top, Gaines led Hockett through a gaggle of lapped traffic over the following circuits.  The pair finally broke free of lapped traffic on the 20th round, with Gaines holding a ten car-length edge over Hockett.


Hockett needed just a pair of laps to close the gap on Gaines and looked to the low side of turn three on the 23rd lap, only to have Gaines repel the challenge.  Hockett made the move stick a lap later though with a strong run off turn two and a big slide through turn three to take command.


Hockett survived a pair of minor cautions over the final five rounds to post a four car-length victory over Gaines.  Behind the dueling lead pair, an intense four-car battle for the show position waged throughout the race including Stanbrough, Neely, Cory Kruseman and Levi Jones, with a resurgent Kaeding joining the mix over the final handful of laps.


Stanbrough earned the show position, with defending TNT champion Jones taking fourth after starting 14th.  Kruseman rounded out the top five, with Neely and Kaeding sixth and seventh, respectively.  Charles Davis, Jr., crossed the stripe eighth, with Robert Ballou and Hollingsworth completing the top ten.


Hockett, Lee Stark and Neely kicked off the night with heat race wins.  Stanbrough made a last-lap pass of Hollingsworth to win the first qualifying race, with Gaines advancing from fifth to first on the opening round of the second qualifying race.  Kaeding nipped Daron Clayton at the line to win the third qualifying race.


Bret Mellenberndt climbed a wheel and flipped over the turn two embankment in the second qualifying race.  Despite his crew's best efforts to repair the machine, Mellenberndt returned pitside on the feature's final pace lap.


OReilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams Tour N Topless 81 Speedway Results:


Heat Races:


First Heat (8 Laps):  1. 75-Jesse Hockett, 2. 21x-Dickie Gaines, 3. 10-Shane Hollingsworth, 4. 97-Bret Mellenberndt, 5. 0c-Leighton Crouch, 6. 55-Tony Everhart, 7. 83s-Larry Neighbors, 8. 70-A.J. Martin.


Second Heat (8 Laps):  1. 16-Lee Stark, 2. 21s-Charles Davis, Jr., 3. 14-Jon Stanbrough, 4. 29-Bud Kaeding, 5. 11p-Preston Peebles II, 6. 57-Mike Martin, 7. 30-Rick England, 8. 57x-Allan Unruh.


Third Heat (8 Laps):  1. 2b-Mat Neely, 2. 15-R.J. Johnson, 3. 12-Robert Ballou, 4. 38-Cory Kruseman, 5. 10r-David Wheeler, 6. 92-Daron Clayton, 7. 11d-Levi Jones, 8. 15k-Kerry McAlister.


Qualifying Races Combined Passing Points from Heats & Qualifiers Determine A Feature Lineup


First Qualifier (8 Laps):  1. 14-Jon Stanbrough, 2. 10-Shane Hollingsworth, 3. 2b-Mat Neely, 4. 21s-Charles Davis, Jr., 5. 11p-Preston Peebles II, 6. 10r-David Wheeler, 7. 70-A.J. Martin, 8. 83s-Larry Neighbors.


Second Qualifier (8 Laps):  1. 21x-Dickie Gaines, 2. 15-R.J. Johnson, 3. 75-Jesse Hockett, 4. 55-Tony Everhart, 5. 30-Rick England, 6. 0c-Leighton Crouch, 7. 57x-Allan Unruh, 8. 97-Bret Mellenberndt.


Third Qualifier (8 Laps):  1. 29-Bud Kaeding, 2. 92-Daron Clayton, 3. 38-Cory Kruseman, 4. 11d-Levi Jones, 5. 57-Mike Martin, 6. 12-Robert Ballou, 7. 16-Lee Stark, 8. 15k-Kerry McAlister.


O'Reilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams TNT 81 Speedway A Main


A Main (30 Laps):  1. 75-Jesse Hockett, 2. 21x-Dickie Gaines, 3. 14-Jon Stanbrough, 4. 11d-Levi Jones, 5. 38-Cory Kruseman, 6. 2b-Mat Neely, 7. 29-Bud Kaeding, 8. 21s-Charles Davis, Jr., 9. 12-Robert Ballou, 10. 10-Shane Hollingsworth, 11. 11p-Preston Peebles, 12. 92-Daron Clayton, 13. 15-R.J. Johnson, 14. 55-Tony Everhart, 15. 10r-David Wheeler, 16. 70-A.J. Martin, 17. 30-Rick England, 18. 16-Lee Stark, 19. 57x-Allan Unruh, 20. 0c-Leighton Crouch, 21. 15k-Kerry McAlister, 22. 83s-Larry Neighbors, 23. 57-Mike Martin, 24. 97-Bret Mellenberndt.


Lap Leaders:  Dickie Gaines 1-5, Jesse Hockett 6-13, Dickie Gaines 14-23, Jesse Hockett 24-30.


O'Reilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams TNT Midwest Swing Points (Top Fifteen):  1. Jon Stanbrough 288, 2. Levi Jones 284, 3. (tie) Robert Ballou, Bud Kaeding, Dickie Gaines and Jesse Hockett 282, 7. Mat Neely 276, 8. Shane Hollingsworth 270, 9. Cory Kruseman 268, 10. Charles Davis, Jr. 264, 11. Preston Peebles II 262, 12. R.J. Johnson 248, 13. Lee Stark 236, 14. A.J. Martin 230, 15. Larry Neighbors 226.


2006 O'Reilly Sprint Bandits TNT Points (Top Ten):  1. Cory Kruseman 840, 2. Jon Stanbrough 826, 3. Bud Kaeding 800, 4. Dickie Gaines 751, 5. Mat Neely 693, 6. Charles Davis, Jr. 691, 7. Daron Clayton 652, 8. Bryan Clauson 536, 9. Shane Cottle 518, 10. Darren Hagen 506.






Get your own FREE Guestbook from htmlGEAR