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It’s Hockett-McMillin Week at Lucas Oil Speedway: Some drivers to eye in huge fields

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Two-time Hockett/McMillin Memorial winner Sam Hafertepe Jr. will be one of the drivers to beat in the ASCS winged sprint division this week at Lucas Oil Speedway. (GS Stanek Racing Photography)

It’s Hockett-McMillin Week at Lucas Oil Speedway: Some drivers to eye in huge fields

By: Lyndal Scranton

WHEATLAND, MO. (Sept. 14, 2020) – The week open-wheel fans in the Midwest have been waiting for has arrived, with the 10th annual Jesse Hockett/Daniel McMillin Memorial set for Thursday through Saturday at Lucas Oil Speedway. A gigantic field of cars will be on hand for three-night speed festival.

As of Monday morning, there were 76 drivers pre-registered in the Lucas Oil ASCS winged sprint portion and 57 for the POWRi Lucas Oil WAR non-wing sprint side of the event.

The race honors the memories of 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.

“It’s amazing how this race has grown over the years as we honor two of the greats of the sport,” Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager Danny Lorton said. “Just based on the number of entries, this one is shaping up as the best yet.”

This year there will be no split qualifying nights with all drivers in both the winged and wingless divisions competing both Thursday and Friday. Combined points from heat races, qualifiers, B-mains and A-mains will set the lineup for the top eight of Saturday night’s ASCS $10,000-to-win main event and $3,077-to-win WAR feature.

One year ago, Blake Hahn of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, captured the ASCS main event and Chris Windom of Canton, Illinois, won the WAR Sprint final-night feature.

With the help of ASCS announcer/public relations director Bryan Hulbert and POWRi WAR voice and PR director Allen Staley, here are some “drivers to watch” if you’re looking for a contender throughout the three days of action:

LUCAS OIL ASCS WINGED SPRINTS

  • The list of contenders has to start with Sam Hafertepe Jr. out of Sunnyvale, Texas. The four-time ASCS National Champion is on his way toward a fifth. He won the Hockett-McMillin Memorial in 2017 and 2018.
  • Blake Hahn out of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, is the defending Hockett-McMillin champion. The driver of No. 52 is fourth in ASCS national points in 2020.
  • Mark Smith, driver of car No. M1 out of Sunbury, Pennsylvania, already has 17 wins overall this season in various series and could surprise, especially considering he was a close second to Hahn a year ago.
  • Ayrton Gennetten of Gravois Mills, Missouri, is having “the strongest year he’s ever had,” Hulbert said. So keep an eye on Gennetten, ninth in last year’s Hockett/McMillin, in car No. 3
  • Seth Bergman has five victories in a limited 2020 schedule and is coming off a runner-up finish a couple of weeks ago at Lake Ozark Speedway. He’s in car No. 23.
  • Scott Bogucki, in No. 28 out of McLaren Vale, South Australia, was 2018 ASCS Rookie of the Year and is sixth overall in this year’s ASCS national tour standings.
  • Dylan Westbrook, of Scotland, Ontario in car No. 47X, is eighth in national points with four top-10 finishes. He was dueling for the lead late in last year’s Hockett/McMillin main event when an accident eliminated him from contention.

POWRi WAR NON-WING SPRINTS

  • Riley Kreisel of Warsaw, is a home-state favorite in No. 91. The 20-year-old from Hockett’s hometown already is a two-time WAR Champion and leads the 2020 points by a wide margin. He has four wins this season with 10 wins in three years in the series.
  • Garrett Aitken in No. 32 out of Paris, Illinois picked up his first WAR feature win at Tri-City Speedway in August. He was sixth in a Hockett-McMillin preliminary feature and fifth in the final night main event last year.
  • Mario Clouser of Auburn, Illinois has taken car No. 6 to a second in a 2019 Hockett/McMillin prelim and seven on the final night. He’s fourth in 2020 WAR points.
  • Zach Daum in 5D has six career WAR wins, including 2020 triumphs at Lake Ozark Speedway’s non-wing nationals. The Pocahontas, Illinois driver won a prelim feature last year at the Hockett/McMillin.
  • Joe B. Miller of Millersville, Missouri is a McGarry Motorsports Drive with a podium finish at the recent Non-Wing Nationals. Miller has four career WAR wins.

For fans coming to Lucas Oil Speedway for the first time this season, masks are not required, but they and social distancing are encouraged. Hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the facility.

Thursday-Friday Sept. 17-18 schedule:

4 p.m. – Grandstands open

5 p.m. – Drivers’ meeting

6 p.m. – Hot laps

7:05 p.m. – Racing begins

Saturday Sept. 19 schedule:

4 p.m. – Grandstands open

4:45 p.m. – Drivers’ meeting

5:30 p.m. – Hot laps

6:30 p.m. – Racing begins

Thursday-Friday admission:

Adults (16 and up) $20

Seniors (62 and up)/Military $17

Youth (6 to 15) $5

Kids (5 and under) FREE

Family Pass $45

Pit Pass $35

3-Day Pit Pass $100

Saturday admission:

Adults (16 and up) $30

Seniors (62 and up)/Military $27

Youth (6 to 15) $10

Kids (5 and under) FREE

Family Pass $70

Pit Pass $40

3-Day Pit Pass $100

Advance tickets can only be purchased online. Otherwise, tickets will be available at the gate. To reserve camping spots, contact the Lucas Oil Speedway office at 417-292-5984.

For more information on the two race series, visit ASCSracing.com and POWRi.com. For ticket questions or information for any event at Lucas Oil Speedway, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or email her at nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com for more information

By: Lyndal Scranton

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 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.

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 Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series features the Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models, Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds, O’Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks and the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods.

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