Sprint Bandits TNT Midwest swing recap

Hockett Pockets O'Reilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams TNT Title! 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...

Hockett Pockets O'Reilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams TNT Title!

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 events.

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, MO) 706
2. 2b-Mat Neely (Robinson, IL) 694
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, AZ) 644
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, IL) 548
13. 55-Tony Everhart (El Cajon, CA) 547
14. 57-Mike Martin (Yuma, AZ) 442
15. 16-Lee Stark (Sidney, OH) 439
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
20. 71-Hunter Schuerenberg (Sikeston, MO) 366
21. 1k-Kim Kennedy (Cosby, MO) 362
22. 70-A.J. Martin (Linden, CA) 346
23. 17-Chris Windom (Canton, IL) 337
24. 96c-Jim Cameron (Cameron, MO) 331
25. 0c-Leighton Crouch (Lubbock, TX) 322

-credit: lw

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Series Sprint
Drivers Bud Kaeding , Cory Kruseman , Levi Jones , Preston Peebles , Leighton Crouch , Mike Martin , Jon Stanbrough , Shane Hollingsworth , Jesse Hockett , Daron Clayton , Brad Sweet , Chris Windom , R.J. Johnson , Hunter Schuerenberg