Hockett Tops ASCS Midwest Battle at U.S. 36 as Natalie Sather Claims Crown CAMERON, Mo. (September 7, 2007) -- Warsaw, Missouri's Jesse Hockett celebrated his 24th birthday in style by charging to victory lane in Friday night's 25-lap American...
Hockett Tops ASCS Midwest Battle at U.S. 36 as Natalie Sather Claims Crown
CAMERON, Mo. (September 7, 2007) -- Warsaw, Missouri's Jesse Hockett celebrated his 24th birthday in style by charging to victory lane in Friday night's 25-lap American Sprint Car Series Midwest Region season championship finale as Natalie Sather etched her name into the record books by becoming the first female champion in ASCS history.
Sather paced the opening eleven rounds of the feature event before a cut right rear tire deterred her pace. Hockett raced into the lead on the 12th circuit and ultimately took the checkered flag nearly a straightaway ahead of the battling Lincoln, NE, duo of Jack Dover and Toby Chapman.
After surrendering the second position when she came to a stop in turn two on the 17th round with a flat right rear tire, Fargo, North Dakota's Sather rejoined the field and took the checkered flag in tenth to claim the ASCS Midwest Region championship by 64 points over 2006 ASCS Midwest Region champion Chapman.
While Hockett gridded the feature field seventh, the 23-year-old Sather led the feature field to the green flag from the pole position aboard Brad Sather's Kenny Woodruff-wrenched, Shaver-powered Gateway Chevrolet/Brookings Auto Mall No. 94s J&J.
After the initial start was waved off for a wild frontstretch melee in which both Stu Snyder and Forrest Sutherland flipped, front row outside starter Kim Kennedy out dragged Sather into turn one.
But Sather battled back on the backstretch and took command as the leaders raced through turns three and four to complete the first circuit. With Sather and Kennedy leading the way, Hockett made his way to third by the third lap.
Reaching lapped traffic by the sixth round, Sather's race nearly came to an early end when a skirmish erupted in turn four on the seventh lap. As Jay Russell's car slowed in turns three and four, Curtis Evans tried to duck low only to make contact with Sather. Sather's machine climbed over Evans' front end exiting turn four, with Sather somehow averting disaster and continuing while Evans stopped with front end damage.
Sather hadn't emerged unscathed however, as a slight cut in the right rear tire would ultimately derail her potential victory drive.
Sather took off on the next restart, leaving Kennedy to fight off Hockett for second until the red flag flew on the tenth round for Rob Hartman's wild endo through turns three and four. Hartman had held the fourth position in the opening rounds.
On the ensuing restart, Kennedy and Hockett kept pace with Sather as the cut tire become a hindrance. Hockett blasted past Kennedy on the tenth lap and then shot underneath Sather entering turn three on the 12th lap to take command aboard the VKCC Motorsports No. 75.
As Hockett checked out, Sather held second until the right rear tire finally gave way on the 17th lap with fourth-runner Chapman taking evasive action in the form of a pair of donuts through the infield to keep his position.
Hockett took off on the final restart with tenth-starter Chapman and 13th-starter Dover making quick work of Kennedy to take over second and third, respectively.
Hockett charged around U.S. 36 Raceway's high-banked clay oval flawlessly over the final rounds to take the checkered flag nearly a straightaway ahead of Dover, who slid past Chapman in turns one and two on the final lap to snare runner-up honors.
Chapman settled for third, with Kennedy and Mike Lefholz rounding out the top five.
Larry Pinegar II was sixth, with Billy Alley, Joe Beaver, 20th-starter Chad Meinholdt and Sather completing the top ten.
Lefholz, Jarod Smith, Kennedy and Hockett topped heat race action for Friday night's 26-car field, with Tim Newman winning the 10-lap "B" Main.
ASCS Midwest Region Results from U.S. 36 Raceway:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 21L-Mike Lefholz, 2. 21-Brian Brown, 3. 53d-Jack Dover, 4. 1m-Billy Alley, 5. 4-Mike Chadd, 6. 6-Nick Bryan, 7. 28-Ken Klabunde.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 24-Jarod Smith, 2. 7h-Rob Hartman, 3. 85s-Forrest Sutherland, 4. 2d-Stu Snyder, 5. 18-Tim Newman, 6. 53-Joe Beaver, 7. 13-Seth Brahmer.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 1k-Kim Kennedy, 2. 94s-Natalie Sather, 3. 44-Larry Pinegar II, 4. 17c-Corey Moore, 5. 69m-Chad Meinholdt, 6. 5-Jason Schroeder.
Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. 75-Jesse Hockett, 2. 1p-Curtis Evans, 3. 84-Toby Chapman, 4. 76-Jay Russell, 5. 75x-Tyler Blank. DNS: 14-Josh Riggins.
Pole Dash (5 Laps): 1. 94s-Natalie Sather, 2. 1k-Kim Kennedy, 3. 7h-Rob Hartman, 4. 24-Jarod Smith, 5. 21L-Mike Lefholz, 6. 21-Brian Brown.
"B" Feature (10 Laps): 1. 18-Tim Newman, 2. 4-Mike Chadd, 3. 53-Joe Beaver, 4. 69m-Chad Meinholdt, 5. 28-Ken Klabunde, 6. 13-Seth Brahmer, 7. 6-Nick Bryan, 8. 5-Jason Schroeder. DNS: 75x-Tyler Blank, 14-Josh Riggins.
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 75-Jesse Hockett, 2. 53d-Jack Dover, 3. 84-Toby Chapman, 4. 1k-Kim Kennedy, 5. 21L-Mike Lefholz, 6. 44-Larry Pinegar II, 7. 1m-Billy Alley, 8. 53-Joe Beaver, 9. 69m-Chad Meinholdt, 10. 94s-Natalie Sather, 11. 18-Tim Newman, 12. 21-Brian Brown, 13. 7h-Rob Hartman, 14. 17c-Corey Moore, 15. 76-Jay Russell, 16. 1p-Curtis Evans, 17. 24-Jarod Smith, 18. 2d-Stu Snyder, 19. 85s-Forrest Sutherland, 20. 4-Mike Chadd.
Lap Leaders: Natalie Sather 1-11, Jesse Hockett 12-25.
Final ASCS Midwest Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Natalie Sather 1,450, 2. Toby Chapman 1,386, 3. Chuck Swenson 1,179, 4. Brian Brown 1,088, 5. Jason Danley 1,065, 6. Lee Grosz 910, 7. Jack Dover 905, 8. Mike Boston 828, 9. Seth Brahmer 827, 10. Don Droud, Jr., 810.