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 Press Release

Gaines Snares Sprint Bandits TNT Triumph at Lucas Oil Speedway

by Lonnie Wheatley

WHEATLAND, Mo. (August 17, 2006) Dickie Gaines turned the tables on Jesse Hockett to become the third different victor in as many consecutive nights of O'Reilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams Tour 'N Topless Midwest Swing action by topping Thursday night's 30-lap feature at Lucas Oil Speedway.


Setting the pace from the outset, Mitchell, Indiana's Gaines fought off the late charges of Hockett and caught a timely red flag along the way that nullified Hockettt's move into the lead on the 27th lap.  Gaines took off on the final restart to score his first Sprint Bandits TNT victory aboard Danny Roberts' Service Drywall Company No. 21x DRC-chassis.


"We had that little incident with Jesse there near the end, and I'm not sure what that was all about it, but it worked out alright," Gaines commented afterward.  "It's great to finally get one of these TNT wins, we were close several times last year and then again last night, so it feels good to get this one."


For the second night in a row, Gaines earned the pole position by accumulating the most points through heat and qualifying race action.  And for the second night in a row, Gaines jumped into the lead at the drop of the green flag, this time outgunning California shoe Cory Kruseman for the point.


Gaines led the early rounds in front of Kruseman, with Levi Jones taking third from Mat Neely on the fifth circuit.  Meanwhile, Hockett started sixth and ran in that spot for the opening eight laps before taking fifth from Jon Stanbrough on the ninth round just moments before the caution came out for David Brown, who spun to a stop in turn one with front end damage after tagging a loose Mike Martin.


Back under way, Hockett, racing just 25 miles from his Warsaw, MO, home, hinted that he was on a mission when he charged by Neely for fourth on the tenth lap.  Hockett showed further proof of his mission three laps later as he overtook Jones for third, setting his sights on second-runner Kruseman and Gaines, who slipped away from his rivals in the early rounds.


On the charge, Hockett rocketed past Kruseman for second on the 14th lap and moved in to challenge Gaines for the lead in turn two just four laps later.  Hockett kept the pressure on Gaines until action was interrupted with 20 laps in the books for Brad Sweet, who spun to a stop in turn four while running sixth.


Hockett hounded Gaines on the restart, making a bid on the high side of turns three and four on the 24th lap to no avail.  After looking to the low side of turn one on several occasions, Hockett finally dove underneath Gaines in turn one on the 27th lap and snared the lead after some slight contact, only to have the pass negated by a turn three tumble by A.J. Martin at the same time.


Back in front on the restart, Gaines took off over the final four lap charge to the checkered flag to record the win, as Hockett held off Kruseman for the runner-up slot.  Kruseman settled for the show position, with Jones and Neely rounding out the top five.


Bud Kaeding charged from his 15th starting position to snare sixth, with young shoe Chris Windom racing from 13th to seventh.  Shane Hollingsworth was eighth, with Preston Peebles II and 17th-starter R.J. Johnson completing the top ten.


Kruseman, Gaines and Robert Ballou each scored heat race wins.  Gaines topped his qualifying race as well, with Sweet and Hunter Schuerenberg capturing the other qualifying race wins.


After winning his heat race, Ballou climbed Kaeding's right rear tire exiting turn two late in his qualifying race and flipped in spectacular fashion down the backstretch.  Although his car was destroyed, Ballou emerged unphased and quickly went to work prepping a new machine for the week's O'Reilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams TNT finale at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, KS, on Friday and Saturday.


OReilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams Tour N Topless Lucas Oil Speedway Results:


Heat Races:


First Heat (8 Laps):  1. 38-Cory Kruseman, 2. 11p-Preston Peebles II, 3. 11d-Levi Jones, 4. 1a-Adam Jones, 5. 57-Mike Martin, 6. 15-R.J. Johnson, 7. 3J-Brad Sweet, 8. 48-David Brown, 9. 0c-Leighton Crouch.


Second Heat (8 Laps):  1. 21x-Dickie Gaines, 2. 14-Jon Stanbrough, 3. 29-Bud Kaeding, 4. 17-Chris Windom, 5. 2b-Mat Neely, 6. 71-Hunter Schuerenberg, 7. 75-Jesse Hockett, 8. 70-A.J. Martin.


Third Heat (8 Laps):  1. 12-Robert Ballou, 2. 21s-Charles Davis, Jr., 3. 16-Lee Stark, 4. 10-Shane Hollingsworth, 5. 92-Daron Clayton, 6. 55-Tony Everhart, 7. 97-Bret Mellenberndt, 8. 92J-J.R. Topper.


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


First Qualifier (8 Laps):  1. 21x-Dickie Gaines, 2. 2b-Mat Neely, 3. 38-Cory Kruseman, 4. 15-R.J. Johnson, 5. 21s-Charles Davis, Jr., 6. 57-Mike Martin, 7. 55-Tony Everhart, 8. 48-David Brown, 9. 0c-Leighton Crouch.


Second Qualifier (8 Laps):  1. 3J-Brad Sweet, 2. 75-Jesse Hockett, 3. 10-Shane Hollingsworth, 4. 17-Chris Windom, 5. 14-Jon Stanbrough, 6. 29-Bud Kaeding, 7. 70-A.J. Martin, 8. 12-Robert Ballou.


Third Qualifier (8 Laps):  1. 71-Hunter Schuerenberg, 2. 11d-Levi Jones, 3. 92-Daron Clayton, 4. 1a-Adam Jones, 5. 11p-Preston Peebles II, 6. 16-Lee Stark, 7. 97-Bret Mellenberndt, 8. 92J-J.R. Topper.


O'Reilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams TNT Lucas Oil Speedway A Main


A Main (30 Laps):  1. 21x-Dickie Gaines, 2. 75-Jesse Hockett, 3. 38-Cory Kruseman, 4. 11d-Levi Jones, 5. 2b-Mat Neely, 6. 29-Bud Kaeding, 7. 17-Chris Windom, 8. 10-Shane Hollingsworth, 9. 11p-Preston Peebles II, 10. 15-R.J. Johnson, 11. 16-Lee Stark, 12. 14-Jon Stanbrough, 13. 71-Hunter Schuerenberg, 14. 3J-Brad Sweet, 15. 55-Tony Everhart, 16. 97-Bret Mellenberndt, 17. 70-A.J. Martin, 18. 92-Daron Clayton, 19. 21s-Charles Davis, Jr., 20. 57-Mike Martin, 21. 48-David Brown, 22. 1a-Adam Jones, 23.0c-Leighton Crouch, 24. 92J-J.R. Topper.  DNS: 12-Robert Ballou.


Lap Leaders:  Dickie Gaines 1-30.


O'Reilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams TNT Midwest Swing Points (Top Fifteen):  1. Dickie Gaines 432, 2. Jesse Hockett 428, 3. Levi Jones 426, 4. Bud Kaeding 420, 5. Mat Neely 416, 6. Jon Stanbrough 414, 7. Cory Kruseman 412, 8. Shane Hollingsworth 404, 9. Preston Peebles II 394, 10. R.J. Johnson 378, 11. Charles Davis, Jr. 376, 12. Lee Stark 364, 13. Robert Ballou 357, 14. A.J. Martin 346, 15. Bret Mellenberndt 334.


2006 O'Reilly Sprint Bandits TNT Points (Top Ten):  1. Cory Kruseman 984, 2. Jon Stanbrough 952, 3. Bud Kaeding 938, 4. Dickie Gaines 901, 5. Mat Neely 833, 6. Charles Davis, Jr. 803, 7. Daron Clayton 766, 8. (tie) Jesse Hockett and Levi Jones 554, 10. Bryan Clauson 536.






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