Hockett a Rocket in Saturday's Sedalia 360 Shootout Qualifier
SEDALIA, Mo. (September 27, 2003) - Jesse Hockett posted his first career O'Reilly American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers feature victory in grand style by wiring the field in Saturday afternoon's 20-lap Sedalia 360 Shootout qualifying feature at Sedalia's State Fair Speedway.
With the event postponed by rain from Friday night, Hockett survived a late caution then drove away from the field to notch the victory aboard the Wesmar-powered VKCC Motorsports/TSN Contracting Maxim in front of a sun-baked crowd at the historic half-mile oval.
After winning the day's first heat race, Hockett led the field to the green flag, outgunning fellow front row starter Kenny Adams to take the early lead. Action was halted with just one lap in the books when Jesse Giannetto tagged the turn two guardrail and flipped. Giannetto was uninjured but done for the race.
Hockett took off on the restart, holding an eight car-length lead over Adams and Garry Lee Maier, with Bobby Hawks, Tim Crawley and Jeff Mitrisin chasing the lead trio. Hockett's advantage was erased when the caution flew after 15 rounds for Mitchell Moore's turn four spin.
Set for a five-lap dash to the checkered flag, Hockett raced away from the field on the restart and held nearly a straightaway advantage at the finish over Adams, who held off Maier for the second and final transfer position to Saturday night's $10,000-to-win Sedalia 360 Shootout.
Hawks held fourth until he slipped high in turns one and two on the lap 16 restart, allowing Crawley to race into fourth and Mitrisin into fifth. Hawks crossed the stripe in sixth, with Aaron Berryhill, Larry Neighbors, Mike Chadd and 19th-starter Gary Wright completing the top ten.
Hockett, Adams, Maier and Hawks topped heat race action, with Don Droud, Jr., winning the 12-lap B Feature.
Hockett and Adams will join Shane Stewart and Billy Alley in Saturday night's Down & Dirty Down Under Dash, which will determine the first two rows of the $10,000-to-win feature. The remainder of the 62-car field will start from scratch, utilizing passing points in heat races to determine the balance of the feature lineups.
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. Jesse Hockett, 2. Larry Neighbors, 3. Danny Smith, 4. Aaron Berryhill, 5. Eric Jobe, 6. Jake Peters, 7. Jeff Wingate, 8. Dale Howard.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. Kenny Adams, 2. Terry Hinck, 3. Tim Crawley, 4. Jeff Mitrisin, 5. Eric VanderPloeg, 6. Gary Wright, 7. Chris Morgan, 8. Darren Stewart.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. Garry Lee Maier, 2. Mitchell Moore, 3. Mike Chadd, 4. Jesse Giannetto, 5. Don Droud, Jr., 6. Johnny Anderson, 7. Larry Ball, Jr., 8. Dan Oswalt.
Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. Bobby Hawks, 2. Matt Clevenger, 3. Jason Martin, 4. Joe Beaver, 5. Cody Branchcomb, 6. Tim Newman, 7. Jimmy Taylor.
B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Don Droud, Jr., 2. Eric VanderPloeg, 3. Gary Wright, 4. Larry Ball, Jr., 5. Eric Jobe, 6. Johnny Anderson, 7. Cody Branchcomb, 8. Chris Morgan, 9. Dan Oswalt, 10. Jeff Wingate, 11. Tim Newman, 12. Jimmy Taylor. DNS: Jake Peters, Dale Howard, Darren Stewart.
A Feature (20 Laps): 1. Jesse Hockett, 2. Kenny Adams, 3. Garry Lee Maier, 4. Tim Crawley, 5. Jeff Mitrisin, 6. Bobby Hawks, 7. Aaron Berryhill, 8. Larry Neighbors, 9. Mike Chadd, 10. Gary Wright, 11. Jason Martin, 12. Joe Beaver, 13. Eric VanderPloeg, 14. Terry Hinck, 15. Matt Clevenger, 16. Mitchell Moore, 17. Don Droud, Jr., 18. Danny Smith, 19. Jesse Giannetto, 20. Larry Ball, Jr.