Lucas Oil Speedway
Johnson, Randall take home feature victories in Hockett-McMillin Memorial finales at Lucas Oil Speedway
WHEATLAND, MO. (Sept. 17, 2022) - An old pro and a youngster celebrated feature victories Saturday night at the 12th annual Jesse Hockett-Daniel McMillin Memorial at Lucas Oil Speedway.
The veteran was Wayne Johnson, a two-time Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint champion who picked up his second Hockett-McMillin triumph in the winged portion of the open-wheel major.
Earlier, 18-year-old Chase Randall drove to victory in the POWRi War Sprint feature.
The victories, in front of a big crowd on the finale of the three-night event, were memorable for both drivers. The Hockett-McMillin Memorial recognizes the legacy of Jesse Hockett, from Warsaw, Missouri, 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.
Eight-starting Johnson, of Oklahoma City, took the lead on lap 25 and held it the rest of the way in the 40-lap ASCS feature to capture his second Hockett-McMillin Memorial. Johnson outdistanced runner-up Blake Hahn to earn the $10,000 prize.
"He's like a second dad to me," an emotional Johnson said in victory lane, standing next to Jack Hockett, Jesse's father. "I loved the boy. Jesse was like a brother to me. We did a lot together."
Dylan Westbrook started on the pole and cleared to the early lead with the third-starting Sam Hafertepe settling in behind him.
Three-time Hockett-McMillin winner Hafertepe grabbed the lead coming off turn two on lap five and quickly pulled away to a 1.5-second cushion over Westbrook over the next two laps. Aryton Gennetten moved into the runner-up position by lap nine with Westbrook falling back into third.
The leaders hit lapped traffic by that point and Gennetten, using the low groove, was able to cut the lead to just under one second before Hafertepe again opened it up to 1.66 seconds before the race’s first caution appeared on lap 15.
Johnson, 51, made his way past Gennetten for second on the restart with Blake Hahn moving into third as Gennetten fell back. That’s the way the top four were running when another caution slow things on lap 19, when Hafertepe’s lead was a half-second over Johnson.
Hafertepe, Johnson and Hahn broke away from the field after the restart and Johnson, hugging the low groove, took his first lead coming out of turn four to complete lap 25.
Johnson said it felt like fate was on his side at that point.
"Every one of them damn cautions came out at the right time. I lost the brakes," Johnson said. "I'm sure my brake rotors were glowing. I had no pedal left every time the caution came out and it saved my butt. I'm pretty sure ol' Jesse wanted me to win this race and he got them cautions for me."
Johnson wasted no time opening a two-second lead as Hahn moved into second and Hafertepe fell back to third. Johnson was 1.8 seconds in front when a red flag on lap 30, for Westbrook’s flip in turn two, brought the action to a halt. Westbrook, who was running eighth, climbed from the car without assistance.
That left 10 laps to go when action resumed Johnson roared away from Hahn to add a Hockett-McMillin trophy to the one he earned in 2016. Johnson finished 1.3 seconds in front of 2019 winner Hahn with Bogucki coming home in third.
Hahn said he had mixed feelings about coming up short. While disappointed he did not win, he was able to ride on seven cylinders to the finish.
"About halfway through the race we had some motor issues," Hahn said. "We had 20 laps to go with it bogging down, but thankfully she held. It's just pretty frustrating. I felt like I owed it to my team to pick up a victory. We had a really good car tonight, but to be able to finish on the podium with seven cylinders is something to be proud of."
Hafertepe settled for fourth with Matt Covington rallying from 11th to fifth.
Randall takes command late for WAR win: Chase Randall took command with eight laps remaining and held on to earn the 30-lap POWRi WAR Sprint feature victory. The 18-year-old from Waco, Texas, earned $4,077 for the triumph.
Randall beat Mario Clouser by .602 seconds to back up his Friday-night preliminary feature victory. Clouser had won on Thursday and the two started on the front row of Saturday's big finale.
"Man, this is an awesome weekend," said Randall, who also ran in the ASCS Sprint feature. "We came here to run non-wing just for fun with the ASCS and I think we might fun it a little bit more now. The car's obviously working well. My dad has this EMI chassis tuned up well.
"This kind of track just suits my style, just throw it up in there and hope it sticks. It was a great race with Mario."
Clouser, of Chatham, Illinois, used a slider in turn three to take the lead from Randall as the two front-row starters dueled on the opening lap. He was able to clear out to a 1.6-second lead by lap seven as Wyatt Burks closed in on the rear of Randall.
The race’s first caution flew on lap seven and bunched the field for a restart. Clouser maintained command as green-flag action resumed, but another caution slowed the field on lap nine.
Just as Clouser had rebuilt a 1.5-second lead by lap 14, his margin again was negated by the event’s third yellow flag just one lap shy of the halfway mark.
Clouser didn’t get away as easily on the next restart, with Randall, defending race champ Wesley Smith and Burks closely following before a lap-19 caution waved.
Randall used a slide job out of turn four to take the lead for the first time, on lap 22. Clouser stalked him over the next several laps, briefly going in front in turn two on lap 27, but was unable to make it stick.
"He threw a hail Mary slide job at the end and I didn't see it coming until the last second," Randall said. "It was a good race."
Randall held on the rest of the way to pick up the victory, finishing about three car lengths in front of Clouser who admitted his disappointment in coming up just short of his first Hockett-McMillin victory.
"I don't know if I just ran it too hard there early and burnt the tire off it, but we definitely didn't have anything left at the end," Clouser said. "I don't even know what to say. I didn't want to run second tonight, at all.
"It's especially frustrating. We've been fast here, but haven't been able to get it done on Saturday yet."
Smith wound up third with Casey Shuman fourth and Burks coming home in fifth.
LUCAS OIL SPEEDWAY UNOFFICIAL RESULTS (Sept. 17, 2022)
12th annual Jesse Hockett-Daniel McMillin Memorial
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprints
A Feature - 1. 2C-Wayne Johnson; 2. 52-Blake Hahn; 3. 84-Scott Bogucki; 4. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr; 5. 95-Matt Covington; 6. 9JR-Derek Hagar; 7. 1XX-Jake Bubak; 8. 187-Landon Crawley; 9. 3-Ayrton Gennetten; 10. 24-Garet Williamson; 11. 11-Roger Crockett; 12. 9-Chase Randall; 13. 17B-Ryan Bickett; 14. 22K-Kaleb Johnson; 15. 22-Riley Goodno; 16. 10-Landon Britt; 17. 47X-Dylan Westbrook; 18. 43M-Mark Smith; 19. 45X-Kyler Johnson; 20. 1X-Tim Crawley; 21. 87-Sean McClelland; 22. 21-Gunner Ramey; 23. 36-Jason Martin; 24. 3M-Howard Moore; 25. G6-Cody Gardner
B Main 1 - 1. 10-Landon Britt; 2. 187-Landon Crawley; 3. 21-Gunner Ramey; 4. 45X-Kyler Johnson; 5. 97M-Scotty Milan; 6. 44P-Jason Howell; 7. 8M-Kade Morton; 8. 17F-Chad Frewaldt; 9. 15-Jack Potter; 10. 99-Blake Jenkins; 11. 1P-Curtis Evans; 12. 2J-Zach Blurton; 13. 7F-Noah Harris; 14. 33-Alan Zoutte; 15. 44-Ronny Howard; 16. 14E-Kyle Bellm; 17. 51B-Joe B Miller; 18. 7B-Ben Brown
B Main 2 - 1. 87-Sean McClelland; 2. 1XX-Jake Bubak; 3. 91-Michael Day; 4. 47-Dale Howard; 5. 87J-Jace Park; 6. 8B-Brad Bowden; 7. 4M-Cameron Martin; 8. 50Z-Zach Chappell; 9. 9$-Kyle Clark; 10. 0-Jake Griffin; 11. 22M-Rees Moran; 12. 13-Chase Howard; 13. 7C-Chris Morgan; 14. 97-Kevin Cummings; 15. 12-Jeffrey Newell; 16. 17B-Ryan Bickett; 17. 12M-Greg Merritt; 18. 00-Broc Elliott
B Main 3 - 1. 3M-Howard Moore; 2. 36-Jason Martin; 3. 2-Chase Porter; 4. 22S-Slater Helt; 5. 10C-Jeremy Campbell; 6. 7M-Chance Morton; 7. 93-Taylor Walton; 8. 15D-Andrew Deal; 9. 17-Alex Sewell; 10. 55B-Brandon Anderson; 11. 11E-Kyle Edwards; 12. 2B-Brett Becker; 13. 4X-Tyler Blank; 14. 19-Wes Wofford; 15. 88-Terry Easum; 16. 5D-Zach Daum; 17. 41-Mackenzie Borchers; 18. 31-Casey Wills
LC Qualifier 1 - 1. 11-Roger Crockett; 2. 22-Riley Goodno; 3. 51B-Joe B Miller; 4. 1XX-Jake Bubak; 5. 17-Alex Sewell; 6. 21-Gunner Ramey; 7. 8B-Brad Bowden; 8. 2-Chase Porter; 9. 8M-Kade Morton; 10. 17B-Ryan Bickett; 11. 5D-Zach Daum; 12. 2J-Zach Blurton; 13. 0-Jake Griffin; 14. 88-Terry Easum; 15. 1P-Curtis Evans; 16. 22M-Rees Moran
LC Qualifier 2 - 1. 84-Scott Bogucki; 2. 24-Garet Williamson; 3. 87-Sean McClelland; 4. 55B-Brandon Anderson; 5. 45X-Kyler Johnson; 6. 47-Dale Howard; 7. 36-Jason Martin; 8. 44P-Jason Howell; 9. 87J-Jace Park; 10. 2B-Brett Becker; 11. 44-Ronny Howard; 12. 13-Chase Howard; 13. 10C-Jeremy Campbell; 14. 33-Alan Zoutte; 15. 4M-Cameron Martin; 16. 31-Casey Wills; 17. 4-Evan Martin
LC Qualifier 3 - 1. 95-Matt Covington; 2. G6-Cody Gardner; 3. 3M-Howard Moore; 4. 10-Landon Britt; 5. 91-Michael Day; 6. 4X-Tyler Blank; 7. 97M-Scotty Milan; 8. 50Z-Zach Chappell; 9. 7M-Chance Morton; 10. 15-Jack Potter; 11. 9$-Kyle Clark; 12. 19-Wes Wofford; 13. 7F-Noah Harris; 14. 00-Broc Elliott; 15. 41-Mackenzie Borchers
LC Qualifier 4 - 1. 9-Chase Randall; 2. 22K-Kaleb Johnson; 3. 187-Landon Crawley; 4. 12-Jeffrey Newell; 5. 22S-Slater Helt; 6. 14E-Kyle Bellm; 7. 7C-Chris Morgan; 8. 93-Taylor Walton; 9. 99-Blake Jenkins; 10. 12M-Greg Merritt; 11. 15D-Andrew Deal; 12. 17F-Chad Frewaldt; 13. 97-Kevin Cummings; 14. 11E-Kyle Edwards; 15. 7B-Ben Brown; 16. 98P-Miles Paulus
POWRi WAR Sprints
A Feature - 1. 9-Chase Randall; 2. 6-Mario Clouser; 3. 44-Wesley Smith; 4. 24X-Casey Shuman; 5. 11W-Wyatt Burks; 6. 28-Kory Schudy; 7. 77-Jack Wagner; 8. 5-Jesse Vermillion; 9. 91-Riley Kreisel; 10. 44P-Jason Howell; 11. 20-Shon Deskins; 12. 21X-Caleb Stelzig; 13. 16-Anthony Nicholson; 14. #1-Justin Zimmerman; 15. 1JR-Steven Russell; 16. 73V-Blake Vermillion; 17. 24LCR-Chris Morgan; 18. 11-Justin Melton; 19. (DNF) 31-Joe B Miller; 20. (DNF) 73-Samuel Wagner; 21. (DNF) 52C-Isaac Chapple; 22. (DNF) 24-Landon Simon; 23. (DNF) 15-Matt Sherrell; 24. (DNF) 74-Xavier Doney
Last Chance Qualifier 1 - 1. 24X-Casey Shuman; 2. 91-Riley Kreisel; 3. 73-Samuel Wagner; 4. 21X-Caleb Stelzig; 5. 22M-Zach Daum; 6. 00-Broc Elliott; 7. 33K-Michael Merrell; 8. 75-Tyler Blank; 9. 39-Kimberly Tyre; 10. (DNF) 77X-Colt Treharn; 11. (DNF) 15B-Quinton Benson; 12. (DNF) 33-Bryson Smith; 13. (DNF) 89-Todd McVay; 14. (DNS) 11X-Tom Curran
Last Chance Qualifier 2 - 1. 5-Jesse Vermillion; 2. 11-Justin Melton; 3. 24LCR-Chris Morgan; 4. 1JR-Steven Russell; 5. 13-Chase Howard; 6. 38T-Travis Oldfield; 7. 7R-JD Black; 8. 21K-Kobe Simpson; 9. 33L-Mark Lane; 10. 57-Chase Parson; 11. (DNF) 41L-Ricky Lewis; 12. (DNS) 33W-Rece Wommack; 13. (DNS) 7M-Heath Murry
Last Chance Qualifier 3 - 1. #1-Justin Zimmerman; 2. 28-Kory Schudy; 3. 16-Anthony Nicholson; 4. 73V-Blake Vermillion; 5. 48-Nathan Moore; 6. 2K-Kyle Lewis; 7. 52-Dean Bowers; 8. 45-Jesse Bebee; 9. (DNF) 9H-Cody Baker; 10. (DNF) 79-Ryan Hall; 11. (DNF) 41-Brad Wyatt; 12. (DNF) 21-Michelle Parson; 13. (DNF) 74N-Natalie Doney
Last Chance Qualifier 4 - 1. 9-Chase Randall; 2. 22K-Kaleb Johnson; 3. 187-Landon Crawley; 4. 12-Jeffrey Newell; 5. 22S-Slater Helt; 6. 14E-Kyle Bellm; 7. 7C-Chris Morgan; 8. 93-Taylor Walton; 9. 99-Blake Jenkins; 10. 12M-Greg Merritt; 11. 15D-Andrew Deal; 12. 17F-Chad Frewaldt; 13. 97-Kevin Cummings; 14. 11E-Kyle Edwards; 15. 7B-Ben Brown; 16. 98P-Miles Paulus
Past Hockett-McMillin winners
2011 - Jason Johnson
2012 - Jason Johnson
2013 - Johnny Herrera
2014 - Derek Hagar
2015 - Brad Loyet
2016 - Wayne Johnson
2017 - Sam Hafertepe, Jr.
2018 - Sam Hafertepe, Jr.
2019 - Blake Hahn
2020 - Sam Hafertepe, Jr.
2021 - J.J. Hickle
2022 - Wayne Johnson
2011 - (non-wing not held)
2012 - Josh Stephens
2013 - Dustin Morgan
2014 - Casey Shuman
2015 - Derek Hagar
2016 - Terry Babb
2017 - Logan Seavey
2018 - Kyle Cummins
2019 - Chris Windom
2020 - Garrett Aitken
2021 - Wesley Smith
2022 - Chase Randall
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Article Credit: By Lyndal Scranton, Lucas Oil Speedway