TULSA, Okla. (August 23,
2006) – As the nation's top wingless drivers converged upon Nebraska,
Kansas and Missouri for last week's O'Reilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams Tour 'N
Topless Midwest Swing, it was Warsaw, Missouri's Jesse Hockett walking away with
the $2,500 championship bonus on the strength of one victory and top-ten runs in
all five feature events.
Hockett, currently ranked
third in O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National points and tied for the
lead in the Rookie of the Year chase, edged Robinson, IL, racer Mat Neely for
the title by just a dozen points. Neely
was the only other driver to finish among the top ten in all five feature
Hockett kicked off the week
with a ninth-place run at Nebraska Raceway Park's I-80 Speedway on Tuesday
night, August 15, before outdueling Dickie Gaines for victory honors at 81
Speedway in Wichita, KS, the next night aboard the Wesmar-powered VKCC
Motorsports No. 75 DRC-chassis.
On Thursday, Gaines turned
the tables on Hockett at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO, with Hockett
settling for a close second. Hockett
then finished seventh in the Lakeside Speedway Friday preliminary before
wrapping up his championship week with a third-place showing in the Lakeside
finale on Saturday.
Hockett emerged as the cream
of the crop in a wild week that featured five winners in as many feature events.
California teen Robert Ballou captured the opener at I-80, before Hockett
and Indiana's Gaines traded wins at 81 Speedway and Lucas Oil.
California drivers owned victory lane at Lakeside Speedway, with Cory
Kruseman taking the Friday prelim before Brad Sweet captured the $10,000
winner's share in Saturday's Ron Shuman classic.
While Hockett took the
$2,500 champion's share, Neely collected an extra $1,500 for his second place
showing in points aboard Scott Benic's Gaerte-powered Lucas Oil Products No. 2b
Maxim. Gaines and fellow Indiana
racer Jon Stanbrough tied for third in points, each collecting $1,175, with
Indianapolis racer Shane Hollingsworth taking $1,000 for his fifth-place ranking
in the Trucker's 24-Hour Road Service No. 10 entry.
Eleven different drivers
took in all five nights of racing action, with others outside the top five
including Charles Davis, Jr., R.J. Johnson, Bret Mellenberndt, Robert Ballou,
Daron Clayton and Tony Everhart. Sixteen
different drivers competed in four of five events, with 25 drivers competing in
at least three events.
Final O'Reilly Sprint
Bandits COMP Cams TNT Midwest Swing Points – Top 25:
1. 75-Jesse Hockett (Warsaw,
2. 2b-Mat Neely (Robinson,
3. (tie) 21x-Dickie Gaines
(Mitchell, IN) 686
3. (tie) 14-Jon Stanbrough
(Avon, IN) 686
5. 10-Shane Hollingsworth
(Indianapolis, IN) 664
6. 21s-Charles Davis, Jr.
(Buckeye, AZ) 650
7. 15-R.J. Johnson (Phoenix,
8. 97-Bret Mellenberndt
(Sioux Falls, SD) 582
9. 12-Robert Ballou
(Rocklin, CA) 578
10. 38-Cory Kruseman
(Ventura, CA) 562
11. 92-Daron Clayton
(Sikeston, MO) 555
12. 11d-Levi Jones (Olney,
13. 55-Tony Everhart (El
Cajon, CA) 547
14. 57-Mike Martin (Yuma,
15. 16-Lee Stark (Sidney,
16. 92J-J.R. Topper (St.
Joseph, MO) 424
17. 29-Bud Kaeding
(Campbell, CA) 420
18. 3J-Brad Sweet (Grass
Valley, CA) 416
19. 11p-Preston Peebles II
(Lubbock, TX) 394
71-Hunter Schuerenberg (Sikeston, MO) 366
1k-Kim Kennedy (Cosby, MO) 362
70-A.J. Martin (Linden, CA) 346
17-Chris Windom (Canton, IL) 337
96c-Jim Cameron (Cameron, MO) 331
0c-Leighton Crouch (Lubbock, TX) 322