Traditional Sprint Car FanSite

See You At The Races!!!

 Press Release

Hockett Sweeps Through O'Reilly Sprint Bandits TNT East Bay Opener
by Lonnie Wheatley

TAMPA, Fla. (January 29, 2007) – Missouri's Jesse Hockett made a clean sweep of the O'Reilly Sprint Bandits Tour 'N Topless opening night of action at East Bay Raceway Park's 31st Annual Winter Nationals by racing to victory lane in Monday night's 25-lap preliminary feature.


After snaring last lap victories from Roger Rager in both heat and qualifying race action, Hockett found himself chasing the cagey veteran once again in the "A" Main.  But when Rager slipped high in turn four on the 12th circuit, "The Rocket" raced into the lead and never surrendered the point aboard the Wesmar-powered VKCC Motorsports No. 75 DRC.


"We've really struggled here in the winged stuff, so it's nice to turn it around with a win," the 2006 Sprint Bandits TNT COMP Cams Midwest swing champion explained afterward.  "I felt like coming in that we could do some good without the wings and it worked out tonight."


While Hockett provided a pair of dramatic finishes in qualifying action, including a three-wide battle for the lead down the backstretch with Rager and Levi Jones in his Qualifying race, it was Dickie Gaines that earned the pole for the feature by virtue of a lap seven move to win his heat from sixth and a last corner of pass of Brad Sweet to win his qualifier.


With Gaines on the pole, last year's Sprint Bandits TNT opening event winner Brady Short gridded on his outside shoulder with Hockett and Jones in row two.  But it was third-row outside starter Rager blasting into the lead on the opening circuit in front of Short and Hockett.


Hockett battled past Short for the runner-up slot on the second round and moved in on Rager to challenge for the lead.  Hockett tried to slip underneath Rager repeatedly over the ensuing laps, only to have Rager successfully shut the door each time.


But when Rager pushed high exiting turn four on the 12th round, Hockett wasted little time rocketing into the lead.   "We were a lot faster than him but it was really hard to get around him.  When he slipped there, I knew I better take advantage while I could," Hockett commented.


Rager's slip cost him more than the lead, as Short, Shane Cottle and Gaines each freight-trained around as well to drop Rager to fifth.  Rager's night then got cut short when he and Gaines tangled entering turn three on the 21st lap to bring out the race's only caution.


Hockett went on to post his second career O'Reilly Sprint Bandits TNT victory in front of Short and Cottle, with Tracy Hines and Levi Jones rounding out the top five in the debut of the Tony Stewart Motorsports Chevrolet-powered team.


Jason Sides crossed the stripe sixth, with Mike Brecht, Jon Sciscoe, Danny Smith and Chris Windom completing the top ten.


Brecht, Gaines, Hockett, Jones and Daron Clayton topped heat race action for the 42-car field, with Gaines, Hockett, Jason Meyers, Sides and Short victorious in Qualifying Race action.


Steve Buckwalter aced the first "B" Main, while Clayton took command midway through the second "B" Main en route to the win.  Clayton took the checkered flag 15th in the "A" Main before going for a wild tumble after jumping a tire moments later.  Clayton was uninjured.


Mikey Kemper was the evening's only other flip victim, getting upside down in the second "B" Main.  Kemper was uninjured.


O'Reilly Sprint Bandits Tour 'N Topless action at East Bay Raceway Park's 31st Annual Winter Nationals resumes Wednesday night, preceding Friday night's $10,000 to win finale.


O’Reilly Sprint Bandits Tour ‘N Topless East Bay Preliminary Night One Results:


Heat Races:


First Heat (8 Laps):  1. 97-Mike Brecht (Beaver Dam, OH), 2. 17b-Brett Burdette (Milan, IN), 3. 17-Chris Windom (Canton, IL), 4. 5w-Lucas Wolfe (Mechanicsburg, PA), 5. 22-Mikey Kemper (Phoenix, AZ), 6. 29w-Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA), 7. 3-Kaley Gharst (Decatur, IL), 8. 7a-Dakoda Armstrong (New Castle, IN), 9. 6x-Mark Cole (Lebanon, NH).


Second Heat (8 Laps):  1. 21x-Dickie Gaines (Mitchell, IN), 2. 4b-Tom Busch (Bedford, IN), 3. 2b-Brady Short (Bedford, IN), 4. 21s-Jeff Bland, Jr. (Bloomington, IN), 5. 7-Jon Sciscoe (Bloomington, IN), 6. 8k-Zach Chappell (Talala, OK), 7. 5-Kevin Briscoe (Mitchell, IN), 8. 20-Frank Carlsson (Oxford, FL), 9. 85-Greg Leonard (Gibsonton, FL).


Third Heat (8 Laps):  1. 75-Jesse Hockett (Warsaw, MO), 2. 2k-Roger Rager (Pequot Lake, MN), 3. 17s-Steve Buckwalter (Royersford, PA), 4. 16-Billy Puterbaugh, Jr. (Brownsburg, IN, 5. 21-Tracy Hines (Greenfield, IN), 6. d12-Jason Meyers (Clovis, CA), 7. 57-Rob Chaney (Millersburg, OH), 8. 00-Danny Martin, Jr. (Sarasota, FL).


Fourth Heat (8 Laps):  1. 20J-Levi Jones (Olney, IL), 2. 36-Shane Cottle (Kokomo, IN), 3. 40-Mark Hery (Piqua, OH), 4. 21R-Jon Stanbrough (Jamestown, IN), 5. 6s-Brad Sweet (Grass Valley, CA), 6. 4R-Robbie Vaughn (Mt. Vernon, WA), 7. 34m-Arin McIntosh (Mitchell, IN), 8. 22w-Mike Weber (Cincinnati, OH).


Fifth Heat (8 Laps):  1. 10-Daron Clayton (Sikeston, MO), 2. 34-Luke Hall (Ludlow Falls, OH), 3. 4-Danny Smith (Danville, IN), 4. 10T-Hunter Schuerenberg (Sikeston, MO), 5. 7s-Jason Sides (Bartlett, TN), 6. 57b-John Heydenreich (Bloomsburg, PA), 7. 16s-Lee Stark (Indianapolis, IN), 8. 7R-Riki Likowski (Hollis, NH).


Qualifying Races – Top 16 in Combined Passing Points from Heats & Qualifiers to "A" Main; balance to Twin "B" Mains


First Qualifier (8 Laps):  1. 21x-Dickie Gaines (Mitchell, IN), 2. 6s-Brad Sweet (Grass Valley, CA), 3. 21s-Jeff Bland, Jr. (Bloomington, IN), 4. 3-Kaley Gharst (Decatur, IL), 5. 17s-Steve Buckwalter (Royersford, PA), 6. 4b-Tom Busch (Bedford, IN), 7. 7a-Dakoda Armstrong (New Castle, IN), 8. 10T-Daron Clayton, 9. 85-Greg Leonard (Gibsonton, FL).


Second Qualifier (8 Laps):  1. 75-Jesse Hockett (Warsaw, MO), 2. 2k-Roger Rager (Pequot Lake, MN), 3. 20J-Levi Jones (Olney, IL), 4. 29w-Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA), 5. 8k-Zach Chappell (Talala, OK), 6. 5-Kevin Briscoe (Mitchell, IN), 7. 85-Greg Leonard (Gibsonton, FL), 8. 20-Frank Carlsson (Oxford, FL).  DNS: 40-Mark Hery (Piqua, OH).


Third Qualifier (8 Laps):  1. d12-Jason Meyers (Clovis, CA), 2. 7-Jon Sciscoe (Bloomington, IN), 3. 97-Mike Brecht (Beaver Dam, OH), 4. 16-Billy Puterbaugh, Jr. (Brownsburg, IN), 5. 17-Chris Windom (Canton, IL), 6. 34-Luke Hall (Ludlow Falls, OH), 7. 00-Danny Martin, Jr. (Sarasota, FL), 8. 57-Rob Chaney (Millersburg, OH).


Fourth Qualifier (8 Laps):  1. 7s-Jason Sides (Bartlett, TN), 2. 21-Tracy Hines (Greenfield, IN), 3. 21R-Jon Stanbrough (Jamestown, IN), 4. 36-Shane Cottle (Kokomo, IN), 5. 4R-Robbie Vaughn (Mt. Vernon, WA), 6. 17b-Brett Burdette (Milan, IN), 7. 34m-Arin McIntosh (Mitchell, IN).  DNS: 22w-Mike Weber (Cincinnati, OH).


Fifth Qualifier (8 Laps):  1. 2b-Brady Short (Bedford, IN), 2. 57b-John Heydenreich (Bloomsburg, PA), 3. 4-Danny Smith (Danville, IN), 4. 22-Mikey Kemper (Phoenix, AZ), 5. 5w-Lucas Wolfe (Mechanicsburg, PA), 6. 16s-Lee Start (Indianapolis, IN), 7. 10T-Hunter Schuerenberg (Sikeston, MO), 8. 7s-Riki Likowski (Hollis, NH).


"B" Mains – Top 4 from each advance to "A" Main


First "B" Main (12 Laps): 1. 17s-Steve Buckwalter (Royersford, PA), 2. 5-Kevin Briscoe (Mitchell, IN), 3. 3-Kaley Gharst (Decatur, IL), 4. 57b-John Heydenreich (Bloomsburg, PA), 5. 57-Rob Chaney (Millersburg, OH), 6. 40-Mark Hery (Piqua, OH), 7. 5w-Lucas Wolfe (Mechanicsburg, PA), 8. 20-Frank Carlsson (Oxford, FL), 9. 7a-Dakoda Armstrong (New Castle, IN), 10. 10T-Hunter Schuerenberg (Sikeston, MO), 11. 29w-Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA), 12. 34-Luke Hall (Ludlow Falls, OH), 13. 7R-Riki Likowski (Hollis, NH).


Second "B" Main (12 Laps): 1. 10-Daron Clayton (Sikeston, MO), 2. 16-Billy Puterbaugh, Jr. (Brownsburg, IN), 3. 4b-Tom Busch (Bedford, IN), 4. 8k-Zach Chappell (Talala, OK, 5. 00-Danny Martin, Jr. (Sarasota, FL), 6. 17b-Brett Burdette (Milan, IN), 7. 16s-Lee Stark (Indianapolis, IN), 8. 4R-Robbie Vaughn (Mt. Vernon, WA), 9. 34m-Arin McIntosh (Mitchell, IN), 10. 6x-Mark Cole (Lebanon, NH), 11. 85-Greg Leonard (Gibsonton, FL), 12. 22-Mikey Kemper (Phoenix, AZ), 13. 22w-Mike Weber (Cincinnati, OH).


Gulf Coast Produce Strawberry Dash – 8 Laps


1. 40-Mark Hery (Piqua, OH), 2. 17b-Brett Burdette (Milan, IN), 3. 57-Rob Chaney (Millersburg, OH), 4. 85-Greg Leonard (Gibsonton, FL), 5. 6x-Mark Cole (Lebanon, NH), 6. 34m-Arin McIntosh (Mitchell, IN), 7. 20-Frank Carlsson (Oxford, FL), 8. 22w-Mark Weber (Cincinnati, OH).



O'Reilly Sprint Bandits TNT “A” Main


“A” Main (25 Laps):  1. 75-Jesse Hockett (Warsaw, MO), 2. 2b-Brady Short (Bedford, IN), 3. 36-Shane Cottle (Kokomo, IN), 4. 21-Tracy Hines (Greenfield, IN), 5. 20J-Levi Jones (Olney, IL), 6. 7s-Jason Sides (Bartlett, TN), 7. 97-Mike Brecht (Beaver Dam, OH), 8. 7-Jon Sciscoe (Bloomington, IN), 9. 4-Danny Smith (Danville, IN), 10. 17-Chris Windom (Canton, IL), 11. 21R-Jon Stanbrough (Jamestown, IN), 12. 6s-Brad Sweet (Grass Valley, CA), 13. d12-Jason Meyers (Clovis, CA), 14. 5-Kevin Briscoe (Mitchell, IN), 15. 10-Daron Clayton (Sikeston, MO), 16. 16-Billy Puterbaugh, Jr. (Brownsburg, IN), 17. 8k-Zach Chappell (Talala, OK), 18. 17s-Steve Buckwalter (Royersford, PA), 19. 3-Kaley Gharst (Decatur, IL), 20. 21x-Dickie Gaines (Mitchell, IN), 21. 21s-Jeff Bland, Jr. (Bloomington, IN), 22. 2k-Roger Rager (Pequot Lake, MN), 23. 57b-John Heydenreich (Bloomsburg, PA), 24. 4b-Tom Busch (Bedford, IN).


Lap Leaders:  Roger Rager 1-11, Jesse Hockett 12-25.


O'Reilly Sprint Bandits TNT Points (Top Ten):  1. Jesse Hockett 150, 2. Brady Short 146, 3. Shane Cottle 144, 4. Tracy Hines 142, 5. Levi Jones 140, 6. Jason Sides 138, 7. Mike Brecht 136, 8. Jon Sciscoe 134, 9. Danny Smith 132, 10. Chris Windom 130.






Get your own FREE Guestbook from htmlGEAR