Hockett Handles ASCS Rebels for $12,500 Score in Ronald Laney Memorial TAMPA, Fla. (January 31, 2009) -- Missouri's Jesse Hockett added his name to the prestigious list of Ronald Laney Memorial feature winners by topping the eighth edition of...
Hockett Handles ASCS Rebels for $12,500 Score in Ronald Laney Memorial
TAMPA, Fla. (January 31, 2009) -- Missouri's Jesse Hockett added his name to the prestigious list of Ronald Laney Memorial feature winners by topping the eighth edition of the event that capped the opening weekend of East Bay Raceway Park's 33rd Annual Winter Nationals on Saturday night.
Hockett's first American Sprint Car Series Rebel Region triumph was worth a hefty $12,500 and served notice that he'll be among this year's top title contenders with the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series, which kicks off the season with the Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals in March.
A third-place finisher in 2006 ASCS National points, Hockett gridded Saturday night's feature field inside the fourth row aboard the VKCC Motorsports/Tom Buch No. 13 JEI and needed only nine rounds to take over the top position before leading the balance of the 40-lap distance.
"Everything is new, from the ground up," Hockett explained in victory lane. "The car was great, I don't think I turned the steering wheel more than two inches over those last eight laps."
While "The Rocket" started the feature four rows deep, polesitter Gary Wright outgunned Friday night winner Danny Martin, Jr., for the lead at the drop of the green flag. Wright's lead was short-lived however, as Tampa shoe Gene Lasker slid by for the point on the second lap.
After suffering ignition box problems while running third on Friday night, Hockett was on the move in short order by racing to third behind Lasker and Wright by the time the caution flew after three laps for a Bryan Grove spin.
Hockett battled past Wright on the ensuing restart and then took the lead away from Lasker for keeps on the ninth round. Hockett slipped away from the pack in the following circuits and had three cars between himself and second-running Lasker on the race's final restart with seven laps to go.
Hockett raced to the checkered flag unabated, while Jason Sides made a late move to snare the runner-up position. Lasker nipped Danny Martin, Jr., at the line for the show position, with Tony Bruce, Jr., rounding out the top five.
Brock Mayes charged from 21st to claim sixth, with 20th-starter Danny Wood, 15th-starter Marshall Skinner, 23rd-starter Cale Conley and Matt Tiffany completing the top ten.
Wood had raced all the way up third only to be collected in an incident on the 33rd lap. Wood restarted as the final car on the lead lap in tenth before climbing back up to seventh.
After starting from the pole position, Wright held down the third position most of the way before pulling to the infield several laps shy of the checkered flag. Another pair of past ASCS National champions, Travis Rilat and Terry Gray, were early casualties in the 40-lapper.
Derek Hagar, Gavin Thomas, Tiffany and Gray won Saturday night's heat races, with Skinner and Lou Kennedy, Jr., topping the twin "B" Mains.
ASCS Rebel Region Eighth Annual Ronald Laney Memorial Results from East Bay Raceway Park's 33rd Annual Winter Nationals:
Locked in from Friday Night's Feature: 00m-Danny Martin, Jr., 9x-Gary Wright, 02-Gene Lasker, 18T-Tony Bruce, Jr.
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 9jr-Derek Hagar, 2. 13-Jesse Hockett, 3. 79-Dakotah Stephens, 4. 88J-R.J. Johnson, 5. 3-Greg Leonard, 6. 94-Danny Wood, 7. 88x-Shane Kreidler, 8. 15-Keith Butler, 9. 21a-Amanda Ferguson. DNS: 21T-T.J. Luedke.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 29g-Gavin Thomas, 2. 99-Danny Jones, 3. 3b-Scott Bonnell, 4. 25-Michael Parent, 5. 0-Glenn Styres, 6. 6w-Brad Wickham, 7. 17b-Ryan Bickett, 8. 2T-Todd Fayard, 9. 121-Aubrey Black, 10. 15s-Rocky Sullivan.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 19T-Matt Tiffany, 2. 29-Travis Rilat, 3. 26s-Marshall Skinner, 4. 67-Brian Thomas, 5. 3x-Brian Maddox, 6. 21k-Lou Kennedy, Jr., 7. 2b-Frank Beck III, 8. 92-Matt Kurtz. DNS: 4c-Tyler Godwin.
Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 10-Terry Gray, 2. 45-Bryan Grove, 3. 7s-Jason Sides, 4. 93-Bob Schaeffer, 5. 6b-Brock Mayes, 6. 00r-Wayne Reutimann, Jr., 7. 3c-Cale Conley, 8. 28FM-Steve Poirier, 9. 6s-Mike Schroeder.
First "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 26s-Marshall Skinner, 2. 3x-Brian Maddox, 3. 3-Greg Leonard, 4. 6b-Brock Mayes, 5. 3c-Cale Conley, 6. 93-Bob Schaeffer, 7. 00r-Wayne Reutimann, Jr., 8. 0-Glenn Styres, 9. 88x-Shane Kreidler, 10. 15-Keith Butler, 11. 15s-Rocky Sullivan, 12. 2T-Todd Fayard, 13. 28FM-Steve Poirier. DNS: 21T-T.J. Luedke.
Second "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 21k-Lou Kennedy, Jr., 2. 79-Dakotah Stephens, 3. 94-Danny Wood, 4. 3b-Scott Bonnell, 5. 17b-Ryan Bickett, 6. 67-Brian Thomas, 7. 6s-Mike Schroeder, 8. 2b-Frank Beck III, 9. 92-Matt Kurtz, 10. 21a-Amanda Ferguson, 11. 6w-Brad Wickham, 12. 88J-R.J. Johnson. DNS: 121-Aubrey Black, 4c-Tyler Godwin.
"A" Feature (40 Laps): 1. 13-Jesse Hockett, 2. 7s-Jason Sides, 3. 02-Gene Lasker, 4. 00m-Danny Martin, Jr., 5. 18T-Tony Bruce, Jr., 6. 6b-Brock Mayes, 7. 94-Danny Wood, 8. 26s-Marshall Skinner, 9. 3c-Cale Conley, 10. 19t-Matt Tiffany, 11. 9jr-Derek Hagar, 12. 21k-Lou Kennedy, Jr., 13. 3x-Brian Maddox, 14. 3b-Scott Bonnell, 15. 17b-Ryan Bickett, 16. 99-Danny Jones, 17. 79-Dakotah Stephens, 18. 9x-Gary Wright, 19. 29g-Gavin Thomas, 20. 3-Greg Leonard, 21. 29-Travis Rilat, 22. 10-Terry Gray, 23. 45-Bryan Grove, 24. 25-Michael Parent.
ASCS Rebel Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Danny Martin, Jr. 146, 2. Gene Lasker 144, 3. Jason Sides 142, 4. Tony Bruce, Jr. 141, 5. Brock Mayes 133, 6. Cale Conley 132, 7. (tie) Lou Kennedy, Jr. and Jesse Hockett 131, 9. (tie) Marshall Skinner and Gary Wright 130.