Wheatland, MO - Story Credit: Lonnie Wheatley
With the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National championship points race tightening up, the series ventures to Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO, for the Jesse Hockett / Daniel McMillin Memorial event this weekend.
And, for the first time, this year's Hockett / McMillin Memorial is a two-night event at the "Diamond of Dirt Tracks" with a full slate of action on both Friday night and Saturday night following a Thursday practice session from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
This weekend's action marks the first time for the Hockett / McMillin Memorial to be hosted by Lucas Oil Speedway. Jason Johnson topped the initial three Daniel McMillin Memorial features from 2007 to 2009 before Zach Chappell won last year's Hocktt / McMillin main event at Lake Ozark Speedway.
While the Memorial event shifts to Lucas Oil Speedway for the first time, the palace of dirt tracks has hosted the Lucas Oil ASCS National series annually since 2006 with Tim Crawley cracking victory lane last September.
Leading the way into the weekend is Bixby, OK, native Shane Stewart, though his substantial lead shriveled drastically during the series most recent action at Minnesota's Jackson Nationals on August 19-20. While the 2009 series champion had held a 142-point lead, a rough weekend that included his first DNF of the year allowed Albuquerque's Johnny Herrera to cut the gap to just 78 points. Stewart's DNF in the Jackson Nationals finale ended a run of 21 consecutive Lucas Oil Sprint Car top-ten feature finishes dating back to last year.
While Stewart spent this past weekend in Canada trying to defend his Canadian Sprint Car Nationals title, Herrera has spent the past two weekends abusing the ASCS Southwest forces with wins at Canyon Speedway Park and USA Raceway. Tucson's USA Raceway will be the site of the season-ending Lucas Oil Sprint Car event, the Western World Championships, on November 17-19.
While Herrera is 78 points behind Stewart in the title chase, he is also 78 points ahead of third-ranked Jeff Swindell of Bartlett, TX, with Broken Arrow, Oklahoma's Brady Bacon up to fourth in points and Hooks, TX, ace Gary Wright rounding out the current top five.
The balance of the current top ten in Lucas Oil Sprint Car points includes last year's Lucas Oil Speedway feature winner Tim Crawley (Benton, AR), Seth Bergman (Snohomish, WA), leading Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Aaron Reutzel (Clute, TX), Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS) and Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA). Just outside the top ten is Talala, Oklahoma's Zach Chappell, last year's Hockett / Memorial feature event winner.
While Jason Johnson is tenth in driver points, his JJR No. 41 entry holds an 86-point edge over the Shane Stewart-driven Paul Silva No. 57 in the owner's portion of the $60,000 championship points chase. After having Kyle Larson and Jack Dover fill in for the initial four events of the season as Johnson finished off Australian duties, "The Ragin' Cajun" has risen to the top of the win charts with five National wins.
This weekend's action also awards Speedway Motors ASCS Warrior points on both nights. Currently, 23-year-old Brad Loyet of Sunset Hills, MO, holds the Warrior lead in his rookie Sprint Car campaign. Loyet holds a 227-point advantage over four-time Warrior champ Randy Martin of California, MO, with the rest of the Warrior top ten including Jonathan Cornell (Sedalia, MO), Kyle Bellm (Nixa, MO), Mark Shirshekan (Farmington, MO), Cody Baker (Lone Jack, MO), Josh Stephens (Buckner, MO), Tyler Blank (California, MO), Austin Alumbaugh (Higginsville, MO) and Miranda Arnold (Sedalia, MO).
This weekend's Hockett / McMillin Memorial will mark just the second time for Sprint Cars to hit the semi-banked, 3/8-mile Lucas Oil Speedway dirt oval this year after Grain Valley, Missouri's Brian Brown rallied from 18th to win a spirited ASCS Warrior main event in June.
The stars of the ASCS National Tour make only one stop at the Diamond of Dirt Tracks in 2011. September 22-24, 2011 the nations top sprint car drivers will converge in Wheatland, Missouri to remember and honor the late Jesse Hockett and Daniel McMillin. Tickets are available now on Show Clix for the three day event.
Thursday night, September 22nd will kick off the three day event with an open practice. Pits will be open at 3PM with practice from 6-9PM a pit pass is $25. Grandstand gates will open at 5PM with FREE admission. Drivers and fans are invited to join in a BBQ style dinner served following practice. Dinner is free with a pit pass and only $10 for all others.
Throughout the event, chances for 2012 Lucas Oil Speedway Season Passes will be available. One pair of 2012 Season Passes will be raffled off to benefit the Annual Spookway Safe Trick or Treat Night and other kids activities. Two chances are just $5, make sure to get entered for your chance to win this weekend!
Racing action will hit the track Friday night featuring the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour presented by K&N and the area's best SportMods. Friday night will be a complete show for both the ASCS and the SportMods. Grandstand gates will open at 5PM, hot laps at 6:45PM, racing at 7:30PM.
Adults (16 and up) $20
Seniors (62 and up) $15
Youth (6 to 15) $5
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Family Pass $40
Pit Pass $30
Saturday night will cap off the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour's only visit to Lucas Oil Speedway in 2011. The Pitts Homes A Modified's will run a full show on Saturday in addition to the Sprint's. Grandstand gates will open at 4PM, hot laps at 5:45PM, racing at 6:30PM.
Adults (16 and up) $25
Seniors (62 and up) $20
Youth (6 to 15) $10
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Family Pass $50
Pit Pass $35
Saturday only, a donation of 6 non-perishable food items to Hickory County Food Pantry at the gate will grant $2 off adult general admission tickets. Help Lucas Oil Speedway serve our local community through the donation of items to the food pantry.
Tickets available for purchase now on Show Clix.
The Lucas Oil Speedway is located at Highways 83 and 54 in Wheatland, MO. A campground with shower and bathroom facilities is also available. With it's entrance located just outside the pit gate this sprawling scenic camping facility will continue to enhance the racing experience at the Diamond of Dirt Tracks. Click www.LucasOilSpeedway.com for more information and detailed directions to the speedway or call the Track Hotline at (417) 282-5984.