Salem, Oskaloosa recaps, Lawrenceburg preview

"DICK GAINES CLASSIC" SATURDAY AT LAWRENCEBURG; $15,000 FOR HOCKETT; "JAMES/O'CONNOR TO HINES USAC's National Sprint Car stars will compete in this Saturday night's "Dick Gaines Classic" special event at the Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway. The ...

"DICK GAINES CLASSIC" SATURDAY AT LAWRENCEBURG; $15,000 FOR HOCKETT; "JAMES/O'CONNOR TO HINES

USAC's National Sprint Car stars will compete in this Saturday night's "Dick Gaines Classic" special event at the Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway. The race offers $10,000 to win and honors the memory of one of Indiana's all-time Sprint car racing greats.

Josh Wise and Dave Darland have already won USAC Sprint races at the refurbished 3/8-mile dirt oval this season. Darland ranks second in USAC's National standings behind Levi Jones, a 2007 USAC Sprint winner at the legendary track which hosted its first race in 1957, won by A.J. Foyt!

Jones, Darland and Cole Whitt lead the way in 2009 with three dirt-track victories apiece. Jesse Hockett has won twice, while single dirt race winners have been Darren Hagen, Rickie Gaunt, Jerry Coons Jr., Wise, Chad Boat, Brad Sweet and Indiana Sprint Week Champion Bryan Clauson.

Coons will compete in an entry fielded by Milford, Ohio's all-time USAC leading Sprint Car team, which has 73 career wins in the "Thunder & Lightning" series.

Gaines' son is Dickie Gaines, who has been a frequent USAC competitor and owns a pair of USAC feature victories. In 2003 Gaines finished third in the richest Sprint race ever run, the Mopar Million, at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.

Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind. caught Shane Hmiel seven laps from the finish of Saturday's 50th "Joe James/Pat O'Connor Memorial" race at Salem (Ind.) Speedway and led the final seven laps in his Tony Stewart Racing Chevy/Bass Pro Shops Beast/Kistler Chevy. Hmiel led the first 43 laps and finished second ahead of Jacob Wilson, Whitt and Coons National Sprint Car point leader Jones finished 10th, while defending race winner Jacob Wilson was the fastest qualifier.

Jesse Hockett of Warsaw, Mo. took home the $15,000 first prize Tuesday night at Southern Iowa Speedway, winning the Casey's General Stores "Ultimate Challenge" USAC National Sprint race in his Parker Store of Phoenix/Butlerbuilt JEI/Stanton Mopar. Hockett trailed defending race winner Darland for the first 15 laps before making his winning pass coming off turn four. The following lap saw a red flag for a flip by Travis Rilat, the sixth driver to get upside down during the night's program. He was unhurt. As the race wore down, Darland closed the gap and made a desperate bid for victory at the start/finish line, ending up just a half-car length short! Boat, Jones and Whitt rounded out the top-five at the checkered flag.

-credit: usac

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Shane Hmiel , Dave Darland , Tracy Hines , Levi Jones , Josh Wise , Travis Rilat , Bryan Clauson , Jesse Hockett , Darren Hagen , Cole Whitt , A.J. Foyt , Jacob Wilson , Brad Sweet , Jerry Coons Jr.