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September 18, 2021

Hickle takes $10,000 ASCS win as Smith earns WAR feature triumph at Hockett/McMillin Memorial

J.J. Hickle captured the $10,000-to-win ASCS feature win at the Hockett/McMillin Memorial Saturday night at Lucas Oil Speedway, while Wesley Smith earned $3,077 for the POWRi WAR win. (GS Stanek Racing Photography)
WHEATLAND, MO. (Sept. 18, 2021) - J.J. Hickle realized a dream Saturday night by winning one of the biggest events in winged sprint car racing.
Hickle took over the lead with eight laps remaining and went on to win the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series feature at the 11th annual Jesse Hockett/Daniel McMillin Memorial.
In the POWRi Wingless Auto Racing Series portion of the action at Lucas Oil Speedway, Wesley Smith of Springfield used a late pass to take home the $3,077 first prize for the wingless series.
A big crowd watched the final night of the event, which pays tribute to the legacy of Jesse Hockett, from Warsaw, who was a star in both the winged and non-wing sprint divisions when he lost his life in a shop accident in 2010. His cousin and crew chief, Daniel McMillin, was killed in an automobile accident in 2006.
ASCS national-tour rookie Hickle, of Quilcene, Washington, grabbed the lead on lap 32 and maintained it the rest of the way to take home the big prizes in the Lucas Oil ASCS division.
Hickle was making his first appearance at Lucas Oil Speedway at the Hockett/McMillin Memorial and it proved to be a valuable one as he took home $10,000 and one of the biggest sprint-car wins in the sport.
Hickle beat Roger Crockett, who led much of the race before Hickle wrestled command away.
“Man, this is awesome,” Hickle said. “Jesse Hockett is a guy I really looked up to. Roger Crockett is a guy who’s been beating me my whole life.
"I can’t thank my team enough and everybody who gives me this opportunity. This is awesome.”
Crockett bolted from his outside front-row starting position and set the early pace, with J.J. Hickle and Hagar following him as the race’s first caution appeared with three laps complete.
Crockett continued to lead, but was unable to open up his margin or get into much rhythm as a series of incidents - including red flags for two accidents and a pair of cautions - bogged the race down through 11 laps.
As things settled into a longer period of green-flag laps, Crockett, Hickle and Scott Bogucki broke away from the field with a 2.7-second margin to fourth-place Howard Moore by lap 20.
Hickle slipped past Crockett on lap 24 for the race’s first lead change, making the pass coming to the start-finish line. But that pass was negated when Matt Covington flipped his car in turn four before that lap was officially in the books, the running order reverting to the previous lap to put Crockett back in front for the restart.
Crockett took advantage of his good fortune and re-established his lead by 1.2 seconds by lap 29. But Hickle closed within a car length in just two laps and passed Crockett in turn two as the duo were in lapped traffic for the lead on lap 32, this time seeing it count.
“It was just a matter of figuring out a way to catch him and pass him and tonight it all worked out,” Hickle said.
Hickle sailed to the win from there, leading the final eight circuits for his fourth ASCS feature win of the season. He finished .890 seconds in front of Crockett with Bogucki finishing third, Blake Hahn fourth and Moore was fifth.
“It’s very disappointing. This races means a lot to me,” Crockett said. “It’s disappointing to be up here leading this one and basically giving it away in traffic. That’s the way it goes in racing sometimes. It sucks to run second.”
Derek Hagar, winner of both preliminary night features, ran in the top five early before fading to 14th. ASCS points leader Blake Hahn was fourth.
Smith uses late pass to earn WAR win: Wesley Smith of Springfield took over the lead on lap 28 and held on the final two circuits to claim the POWRi WAR 30-lap feature. The Friday-night feature winner finished about three car lengths in front of runner-up Xavier Doney.
“This is our Chili Bowl right here,” an excited Smith said in victory lane, following his sixth WAR feature win of 2021. “This car was on rails tonight.”
Smith and his crew had to install a new engine after his power plant barely held together to win Friday night’s feature. That helped set him up with a third-starting position in Saturday’s main event.
Doney started on the pole and the early pace with Clouser and Smith battling it out for second through six laps, when the race ground to a half as Paul White rolled his car on the front straightaway to bring out the red flag.
On the restart, Clouser vaulted past Doney and into the lead. A lap later, Smith moved into second with Jack Wagner third as Doney slipped back to fourth place as a caution flew following a four-car incident on lap nine.
Doney rallied back into second by the time the race hit the mid point, on lap 15, trailing Clouser by 1.5 seconds. Clouser caught lapped traffic by lap 22, holding a 1.8-second lead over Doney with Smith in third and Wagner fourth.
Smith passed Doney for second and closed in on Clouser on lap 26, pulling right behind the leader. Then Smith was able to make the decisive pass on the high side of turn two on lap 28 with Doney also getting past Clouser on the white-flag lap.
Smith held on from there to win by eight-tenths of a second over Doney, a 15-year-old from Odessa. Wagner finished third with Clouser fading to fourth and Kory Schudy coming home in fifth.
“Man, I”m no good at running the bottom,” Smith said. “I knew if I wanted to pass, I wasn’t going to do it on the bottom, so I might as well try the top.
“That was a crazy race. That track was very intimidating. I love it when it’s on the wall and who ever is fearless enough and tear it up if that’s what it takes.”
11th annual Jesse Hockett/Daniel McMillin Memorial
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars
A Feature - 1. 63-JJ Hickle[5]; 2. 11-Roger Crockett[2]; 3. 28-Scott Bogucki[6]; 4. 52-Blake Hahn[9]; 5. 3M-Howard Moore[3]; 6. 14E-Kyle Bellm[11]; 7. 51B-Joe B Miller[4]; 8. 24-Garet Williamson[19]; 9. 5T-Ryan Timms[20]; 10. 3-Ayrton Gennetten[17]; 11. 47X-Dylan Westbrook[8]; 12. 98P-Miles Paulus[14]; 13. 55B-Brandon Anderson[26]; 14. 9JR-Derek Hagar[1]; 15. 21-Gunner Ramey[25]; 16. 53-Jack Dover[10]; 17. 11A-Austin O'Neal[18]; 18. 14-Jordon Mallett[21]; 19. 17B-Ryan Bickett[23]; 20. 2C-Chase Porter[13]; 21. 95-Matt Covington[16]; 22. 77X-Alex Hill[15]; 23. 88-Travis Reber[24]; 24. 7M-Chance Morton[12]; 25. 1-Brenham Crouch[22]; 26. 10C-Jeremy Campbell[7]
B Feature 1 - 1. 3-Ayrton Gennetten[4]; 2. 5T-Ryan Timms[8]; 3. 22-Riley Goodno[3]; 4. 7F-Noah Harris[6]; 5. 1X-Tim Crawley[1]; 6. 0-Jake Griffin[13]; 7. 187-Landon Crawley[12]; 8. 22S-Slater Helt[5]; 9. 17B-Ryan Bickett[9]; 10. 57-Billy Butler[7]; 11. 95X-Asa Swindell[14]; 12. 9-Chase Randall[2]; 13. 55B-Brandon Anderson[10]; 14. (DNS) 28C-Jonathan Cornell
B Feature 2 - 1. 11A-Austin O'Neal[3]; 2. 14-Jordon Mallett[1]; 3. 5D-Zach Daum[2]; 4. 21-Gunner Ramey[4]; 5. 36-Jason Martin[5]; 6. 94-Jeff Swindell[12]; 7. 75-Tyler Blank[7]; 8. 26-Marshall Skinner[8]; 9. 13C-Chase Howard[13]; 10. 44R-Ronny Howard[10]; 11. 9H-Emilio Hoover[11]; 12. 33Z-Alan Zoutte[14]; 13. 86-Timothy Smith[6]; 14. (DNS) 8M-Kade Morton
B Feature 3 - 1. 24-Garet Williamson[1]; 2. 1-Brenham Crouch[4]; 3. 9$-Kyle Clark[5]; 4. 97M-Scotty Milan[9]; 5. 10-Landon Britt[6]; 6. 12J-Josh Grady[7]; 7. 88-Travis Reber[10]; 8. 27-Austin Wood[8]; 9. 4-Evan Martin[2]; 10. 2-Jason Billups[11]; 11. 72-Gary Floyd[12]; 12. 84-Brandon Hanks[3]; 13. (DNS) 45X-Kyler Johnson
Last Chance Qualifier 1 - 1. 52-Blake Hahn[1]; 2. 2C-Chase Porter[2]; 3. 1X-Tim Crawley[4]; 4. 5D-Zach Daum[3]; 5. 84-Brandon Hanks[6]; 6. 22S-Slater Helt[5]; 7. 86-Timothy Smith[7]; 8. 12J-Josh Grady[10]; 9. 17B-Ryan Bickett[9]; 10. 44R-Ronny Howard[12]; 11. 2-Jason Billups[11]; 12. 72-Gary Floyd[13]; 13. 45X-Kyler Johnson[8]; 14. (DNS) 1V-Brent Crews; 15. (DNS) 47-Dale Howard
Last Chance Qualifier 2 - 1. 95-Matt Covington[2]; 2. 7M-Chance Morton[4]; 3. 14-Jordon Mallett[3]; 4. 4-Evan Martin[6]; 5. 3-Ayrton Gennetten[5]; 6. 36-Jason Martin[1]; 7. 10-Landon Britt[9]; 8. 5T-Ryan Timms[7]; 9. 8M-Kade Morton[10]; 10. 88-Travis Reber[8]; 11. (DNS) 15-Jase Randolph; 12. (DNS) 7B-Ben Brown; 13. (DNS) 97-Kevin Cummings; 14. (DNS) 73-Samuel Wagner; 15. (DNS) 90-Lance Norick
Last Chance Qualifier 3 - 1. 14E-Kyle Bellm[2]; 2. 77X-Alex Hill[3]; 3. 24-Garet Williamson[1]; 4. 22-Riley Goodno[5]; 5. 21-Gunner Ramey[4]; 6. 9$-Kyle Clark[7]; 7. 57-Billy Butler[9]; 8. 26-Marshall Skinner[10]; 9. 97M-Scotty Milan[11]; 10. 28C-Jonathan Cornell[6]; 11. 187-Landon Crawley[12]; 12. 0-Jake Griffin[8]; 13. 95X-Asa Swindell[13]; 14. (DNS) 77-Jack Wagner; 15. (DNS) 11X-Blake Jenkins
Last Chance Qualifier 4 - 1. 53-Jack Dover[2]; 2. 98P-Miles Paulus[1]; 3. 9-Chase Randall[3]; 4. 11A-Austin O'Neal[6]; 5. 1-Brenham Crouch[9]; 6. 7F-Noah Harris[8]; 7. 75-Tyler Blank[4]; 8. 27-Austin Wood[11]; 9. 55B-Brandon Anderson[7]; 10. 9H-Emilio Hoover[12]; 11. 94-Jeff Swindell[5]; 12. 13C-Chase Howard[10]; 13. 33Z-Alan Zoutte[13]; 14. 15D-Andrew Deal[14]; 15. 44-Jared Sewell[15]
POWRi WAR Sprints
A Feature - 1. 44-Wesley Smith[3]; 2. 74-Xavier Doney[1]; 3. 77-Jack Wagner[6]; 4. 6-Mario Clouser[2]; 5. 28-Kory Schudy[4]; 6. 1#-Justin Zimmerman[8]; 7. 20G-Noah Gass[14]; 8. 5D-Zach Daum[5]; 9. 24X-Casey Shuman[10]; 10. 5C-Colten Cottle[9]; 11. 15B-Quinton Benson[11]; 12. 24-Landon Simon[17]; 13. 91-Riley Kreisel[13]; 14. 21-Caleb Stelzig[21]; 15. 73-Samuel Wagner[24]; 16. 36-Tyler Edwards[20]; 17. 51B-Joe B Miller[19]; 18. 44H-Jason Howell[12]; 19. 16-Anthony Nicholson[16]; 20. 41-Brad Wyatt[25]; 21. 79X-Keith Martin[18]; 22. 29T-Ryan Timmons[23]; 23. 11W-Wyatt Burks[7]; 24. 89-Todd McVay[15]; 25. 1-Paul White[22]
B Feature 1 - 1. 5C-Colten Cottle[1]; 2. 91-Riley Kreisel[2]; 3. 24-Landon Simon[13]; 4. 21-Caleb Stelzig[11]; 5. 77K-Katlynn Leer[14]; 6. 13-Chase Howard[9]; 7. 79-Tim Kent[10]; 8. 27-Steve Thomas[4]; 9. 11-Justin Melton[5]; 10. 9-Cody Baker[3]; 11. (DNF) 93-Taylor Walton[7]; 12. (DNF) 21X-Michelle Parson[6]; 13. (DNS) 27M-Evan Mosley; 14. (DNS) 55L-Casey Lewallen
B Feature 2 - 1. 24X-Casey Shuman[1]; 2. 20G-Noah Gass[3]; 3. 79X-Keith Martin[2]; 4. 1-Paul White[4]; 5. 20-Shon Deskins[6]; 6. 41-Brad Wyatt[7]; 7. 69-Zach Sanders[10]; 8. 26-Zach Clark[9]; 9. 52-JD Fry[11]; 10. 17K-Braden Knipmeyer[5]; 11. 45-Jesse Bebee[12]; 12. (DNS) 51-Mitchell Moore; 13. (DNS) 82-Vinny Ward
B Feature 3 - 1. 15B-Quinton Benson[3]; 2. 89-Todd McVay[6]; 3. 51B-Joe B Miller[1]; 4. 29T-Ryan Timmons[5]; 5. 24LCR-Chris Morgan[2]; 6. 11X-Tom Curran[4]; 7. 7S-Wade Seiler[8]; 8. 2-Kyle Lewis[10]; 9. 45X-Adam Wilfong[11]; 10. 33L-Mark Lane[12]; 11. (DNF) 37-Brian Beebe[9]; 12. (DNF) 77X-Colt Treharn[7]; 13. (DNF) 7R-JD Black[13]
B Feature 4 - 1. 44H-Jason Howell[4]; 2. 16-Anthony Nicholson[3]; 3. 36-Tyler Edwards[6]; 4. 73-Samuel Wagner[12]; 5. 5-Jesse Vermillion[2]; 6. 09-Robby McQuinn[10]; 7. 73V-Blake Vermillion[7]; 8. 90-Warren Johnson[9]; 9. 7JR-Robert Black[13]; 10. (DNF) 2H-Luke Howard[5]; 11. (DNF) 36T-Trey Robb[1]; 12. (DNF) 66M-Max Grogan[11]; 13. (DNS) 57-Chase Parson
Pro Pulling next: The Lucas Oil Pro Pulling Nationals pays its annual visit to Lucas Oil Speedway for a two-day program, next Friday and Saturday. Gates open at 4 p.m. with pulling set to begin at 7 p.m. Friday with Saturday's pulling set to begin an hour earlier at 6 p.m.
For ticket information for any event during the 2021 Lucas Oil Speedway season, contact admissions director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or via email at Fans also can use the online ticketing system.
Danny Lorton
Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager
Office: (417) 282-5984 
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Lucas Oil Speedway is considered by fans, drivers and industry insiders to be one of the top five racing facilities in the nation. Located in Wheatland, Missouri, approximately an hour from Springfield, Missouri, and just an hour and a half from the Kansas City metro area, the "Diamond of Dirt Tracks" lives up to its title.
Twenty-One VIP Luxury Suites, HD Jumbo-Tron Screen, Stadium Style Musco Sports Lighting, a Bose Sound System, Go-Kart Slick Track, The Diamond Bar, Track Treasures Gift Shop, the best track food in the country and paved pits are a few of the spectacular amenities setting the Diamond of Dirt apart. This year marks the ninth season for the Liquid Quarter Mile Drag Racing Lake, "Lake Lucas." New for 2017 was all-purpose built Off Road facility featuring the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series as well as a host of other regional events.
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