Lucas Oil Speedway
Lucas Oil Speedway Spotlight: WAR sprint champ Schudy seeks elusive Hockett-McMillin Memorial triumph
WHEATLAND, MO. (Sept. 13, 2022) - After finishing off his first Lucas Oil POWRi WAR Sprint League championship, Kory Schudy can envision no better way to top it off than winning one of his sport’s biggest events.
“It’s a big race for us. It’s huge,” Schudy said of the 12th annual Jesse Hockett-Daniel McMillin Memorial, kicking off its three-day run on Thursday at Lucas Oil Speedway.
“For us regional guys, it’s the biggest race of the year,” continued Schudy, a 37-year-old from Springfield who has already locked up the POWRi WAR points chase. “We look at Jesse Hockett as a local legend. You definitely want to put your name on that win list.”
Schudy thought 2021 might have been his year, driving to a feature win on a preliminary night. But he came up short in the big show on Saturday, finishing fifth after winding up fourth the previous year.
“It would mean everything,” Schudy said of winning the final-night feature, worth $4,077 and a priceless amount of prestige. “We’ve won some races around here, but that one keeps eluding us. Last year was definitely our best shot. They did a little track prep right before the race and we missed it just a little bit and that was on us.
“Hopefully, everything goes right and this can be our year.”
More than 60 entries already are in the WAR field, which will run split-field preliminary nights on Thursday and Friday, leading up to Saturday finale. Feature winners the first two nights will earn $2,000.
The event 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.
Schudy said he didn’t have a chance to race against Hockett, but saw him race many times and that made a lasting impression when finally making the transition from micro-sprints to midgets and eventually wingless sprint cars.
“He definitely was a true talent,” Schudy said of Hockett.
Schudy has earned three WAR feature victories this season en route to the title, a season after earning the USAC Midwest Wingless Racing Association title in 2021.
“We only had one or two nights that weren’t up to par, but we had three wins and finished second a lot,” he said of the 2022 season. “It’s definitely been a season to be proud of.”
It’s been the continuation of a successful partnership with Jon Sawyer Racing over the last few years.
“It’s been a pretty good run with us,” said Schudy, who noted the partnership began in 2016.
“He’s in Strafford, we’re in Springfield. When you’re running Midgets, you know the guys in this area that have ‘em,” Schudy said. “It happened to work out one year at the Chili Bowl that I was looking for a ride and we were parked next to each other. It was kind of meant to be.”
Schudy is quick to credit brother Kris Schudy with taking care of the car at the track, plus a strong core of sponsors that have been around for multiple years. In addition to Jon Sawyer Racing, those include Empire Energy, VP Fuels, Champion Oil, Hughs Brothers, Sprint Lawn Care and Vehicles Unlimited.
The goal this weekend is to again have a successful preliminary night to gain a favorable starting position on Saturday, then let the chips fall where they may.
“It’s a big event with over 60 cars entered,” Schudy said. “You have to have some luck on your side and get through your prelim night. It definitely helps to get locked in and start up front with the competition that comes in for this one.”
On the winged side of the action, the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series will point toward a $10,000 feature payoff on Saturday after $3,000-to-win preliminary night features.
ASCS format for the three-night affair has been adjusted to remove the duel heat-race format in favor of the current qualifying format utilized by the Lucas Oil ASCS. One difference from the current format will be that teams will hot lap and qualify at the same time, with each hot lap-qualifying group split so no more than five cars will be on track at one time.
Drivers will complete all three nights with event points awarded every time a driver enters the track in order to set the field on Saturday. Event points are different from the qualifying/passing points and are not used to set nightly lineups.
The change comes as tires continue to be an issue across the industry, as well as eliminate unnecessary time on the track to quicken the event and reduce wear on the cars.
The heat and qualifier format was used to take the issue of the draw out of the equation, but with the current ASCS National Tour format, that has been addressed.
J.J. Hickle of Quilcene, Washington, captured the ASCS final-night feature one year ago at the Hockett-McMillin Memorial while Wesley Smith of Nixa, Missouri, is reigning champ of the POWRi WAR Sprint League.
Grandstands Open: 4 p.m.
Draw/Check-In: 4 p.m.
Drivers' Meeting: 5 p.m.
Hot Laps: 6 p.m.
Racing: 7:05 p.m.
Grandstand Admission adults (16 and up) - $25
Seniors (62 and up)/Military - $22
Youth (6-15) - $5
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Family Pass (click here for more info) - $55
Pit Pass - $40
3-Day Pit Pass - $125
Grandstands Open: 4 p.m.
Drivers' Meeting: 4:45 p.m.
Hot Laps: 5:30 p.m.
Racing: 6:35 p.m.
Adults (16 and up) - $35
Seniors (62 and over)/Military - $32
Youth (6-15) - $10
Kids (5 and under) - FREE
Family Pass (click here more more info) - $80
Pit Pass - $45
To purchase tickets for any event on Lucas Oil Speedway's schedule, or to inquire about camping information, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 295-6043 or via email at email@example.com.
Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager
Office: (417) 282-5984
Complete Lucas Oil Speedway event information, archived race recaps, previews and driver features, along with ticket information and schedules can be found by visiting LucasOilSpeedway.com.
Lucas Oil Speedway is located at Highways 83 and 54 in Wheatland, Missouri. A campground with shower and bathroom facilities is also available. With its 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 LucasOilSpeedway.com for more information and detailed directions to the speedway or call the Track Hotline at (417) 282-5984. The Lucas Oil Speedway EZ Texting number is (417) 804-4141.
About Lucas Oil Speedway
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 12th season for the Liquid Quarter Mile Drag Racing Lake, "Lake Lucas." New for 2017 was all-purpose built Off Road facility featuring a host of regional events.
Lucas Oil Speedway's dirt oval track plays host to some of the largest and most-popular events in the Midwest with national and regional touring series appearing frequently including: The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, POWRi Midget National Series, Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League, United States Modified Touring Series, ASCS Sprint Cars and the Lucas Oil MLRA.
In addition to the special events, the Lucas Oil Speedway Weekly Racing Series features the Late Models, USRA Modifieds, USRA Stock Cars and USRA B-Mods.
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Article Credit: By Lyndal Scranton, Lucas Oil Speedway