Jesse Hockett/VKCC Motorsports Great Nationals Week Warsaw, MO (8/17/04) - Fans that were in attendance had the great pleasure watching one of the young talents in today's sprint car world. Last week during The Midwest Ford Dealers Knoxville ...
Jesse Hockett/VKCC Motorsports Great Nationals Week
Warsaw, MO (8/17/04) - Fans that were in attendance had the great pleasure watching one of the young talents in today's sprint car world. Last week during The Midwest Ford Dealers Knoxville Nationals and also including Cox Design Metal Fabrication Sprint Week, Jesse "The Rocket" Hockett, gave a showing of his versatile talent in 360/410 wing/410 non-wing sprinters.
Jesse and his VKCC team started their speedweek leading into the Midwest Ford Dealers Knoxville Nationals at California, MO's Double XX Speedway 360 division on August 8th. While Jesse won his heat, he also picked up his 5th win of the year at Double XX Speedway.
The next stop for "The Rocket" was McTwo Promotions' Front Row Challenge on Monday, August 9th. Jesse had a great run after placing 4th in the heat. Jesse was near 10th place in main event before mechanical issues came near, so Jesse was tagged with a 24th finish.
Ultimate Challenge was on Tuesday, August 9th so-sanctioned with Ron Shuman's SCRA club. Last time the SCRA was in Midwest, Jesse "The Rocket" Hockett came home with $10K at Lakeside Speedway. Feeling confident, Jesse drove hard all night long while surprising fans and teams in attendance. After placing a 4th quickest time amongst the best non-wing and wing talents, Jesse knew he had a great car. The Maxim Chassis car that Jesse was using has had over 100 nights on it, but was fast. After watching the 1st few heat races, VKCC team knew that they would have to make a move right at the start. Jesse did just that, going 3-wide at times with slide-jobs here and there. After finishing 4th in his heat, Jesse was pleased. Trophy Dash was up next, which decided the lineup for the Ultimate Challenge Feature. The Rocket started 4th, but by lap 2, Jesse was shown the leader and pulling away more and more each lap. A-Main was next! Jesse was cruising big time until sticky surface was created a lane below where Jesse was racing. As Zach Chappell and Dickie Gaines were hitting the sticky surface, Jesse followed the leaders til last caution with 2 laps remaining. As the crowd went crazy, Jesse went from 3rd to 1st in turn 1 and 2. However as the leaders headed for turn 4, Gaines gave everything he had for a photo finish at the checkered flags. Jesse was scored in 2nd place, just inches behind USAC regular Dickie Gaines.
Jesse commented after the Ultimate Challenge: "I can't say enough about those Wesmar Racing Engines and Maxim Chassis"
While top 10 drivers from McTwo's Ultimate Challenge plus 4 promoters choice drivers were invited to race at Knoxville Raceway during the Knoxville Nationals on Wednesday August 10th for Richard Zimmerman non-wing challenge 12-lap dash. After starting ninth, Jesse finished 10th. Jesse commented that the car was not to his liking, but was elated to be invited to this great race.
Next up was Jesse's night to qualify for 44th Midwest Ford Dealers Knoxville Nationals. The Rocket was 4th quick amongst 66 cars. Jesse and his VKCC Motorsports team knew after qualifying well, that they would need to have a good heat race run. After starting 10th in the 4th heat race, Jesse raced the #75 Tom and Asta Vankeirsbilck sprinter raced to an impressive 4th place to an A-Main transfer spot. After 2 objectives were complete, there was just 1 more part left of a good Knoxville Nationals equation to be complete. During the A-Main fans saw this young talented driver from Warsaw, MO riding the rim moving towards the front of the field. Jesse Hockett was in 4th place with a handful of laps left after starting 9th. As Jesse entered turn # 3, his foot slipped off the gas pedal. This resulted Jesse to slip back 2 spots with a fantastic finish in 6th spot in Thursday's Knoxville Nationals A- Main portion. After the points were tallied up from Wednesday and Thursday, Jesse Hockett and his Vankeirsbilck 75 sprinter was in 4th place overall in Knoxville Nationals points.
After his awesome run Thursday Jesse commented: ''My car owners Tom and Asta Vankeirsbilck have stuck with me through the hard times and now it is really starting to pay off for the team"
Next up was Friday night's A-Main scramble. Jesse Hockett finished 8th, while starting 7th. Jesse had a great start on the 1st start, however Doug Clark didn't like way the front row took off. So it was called back. The Rocket then was challenged 4 wide in turn #2 with Danny Lasoski, Terry McCarl and Kenny Jacobs. After getting shuffled back, Jesse regained composure and starting going forward.
Saturday night was big night for Jesse Hockett as Speed Channel interviewed Jesse on his thoughts of his great week. "I couldn't have of dreamed how big The Knoxville Nationals week would be for our team. Tom and Asta Vankeirsbilck have given me the best equipment and my crew worked extremely hard all week."
During the Midwest Ford Dealers Knoxville Nationals Championship race, Jesse's car was a bit too tight and he was running 10th to 12th place. After the final restart, Rocket's tires sealed over and a 17th place finish was an end result.
After such and awesome week thus so far, Jesse and his VKCC team traveled back to XX Speedway in California, MO on Sunday August 15th. They scored their 6th win of the season at XX Speedway.