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Hockett Wins ASCS Northwest Speedweek Opener…

[b Hockett Wins ASCS Northwest Speedweek Opener at Medford]

Shawn Miller, MEDFORD, Ore. (July 13, 2009) – He was the second-to-last racer to arrive to the track on Monday, but the first to cross the finish line. Jesse Hockett, who spent the previous 28 hours driving to the Southern Oregon Speedway, dominated the first night of the American Sprint Car Series Northwest Region Speedweek.

While the journey to the track took awhile, the Warsaw, Mo., native made quick work of the competition in the 30-lap feature.

Hockett, who started eighth, raced to second within five laps. He passed Wayne Johnson of Oklahoma City, Okla., exiting turn two on lap 11 for the lead, which was never challenged.

“I just wish I could race every night like this,” Hockett said. “It was just a smooth night.”

Easily the most dominant car, Hockett utilized the cushion from the heat race through the main event. He performed arguably the pass of the day on a spectacular slide job entering turn three of the final lap in his heat race for the win.

Hockett, who was the high-points driver heading into the pill draw that lined up the first four rows of the feature, then drew the eighth position.

“Jesse is a good racer and I knew he was going to be tough to beat, even from the front row,” said Johnson, who started on the poll and led the first 10 laps.

“He was just stuck better than we were. His race car seemed like he could go anywhere.”

As dominate as Hockett was on the dirt, he had to be equally aggressive on the highways the past two days.

Hockett, who competed in the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by K&N Filters event Saturday night in Hartford, S.D., drove 28 hours to be a part of the Northwest Region Speedweek – featuring five races over six days throughout Oregon and Washington.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever been in Oregon or Washington,” Hockett said. “It was awesome. I like it.”

Visalia, Calif., resident Steven Tiner, the Northwest Region point’s leader, reeled in Johnson late but was unable to make the pass for second place.

Tiner, who was up to second place early in the feature, lost several positions midway through the race when his car jumped the cushion.

“Flat driver error tonight,” Tiner said. “I just screwed around in lapped traffic. I had a solid second (place) car and I flat made a mistake.

“To run third to (Hockett) and Wayne Johnson, you can’t ask for much more than that.”

Jay Cole of Shelton, Wash., drove from 10th to second only to have his brakes fail in the closing laps. Cole finished fourth. Snohomish, Wash., resident Jared Ridge rounded out the top five.

Speedweek continues Tuesday (July 14) at the Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore. The front gate opens at 4 p.m. with racing scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $7 for children ages 5 to 11.

ASCS Northwest Region results from the Southern Oregon Speedway (July 13):

Heat One (10 laps): 1. 35a-Wayne Johnson, 2. 94-Steven Tiner, 3. 12-Jared Ridge, 4. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 5. 25c-Chad Groves, 6. 96x-Mack Brown, 7. 11-Roger Crockett, 8. 26-Taylor Malsam, 9. 23-Colin Baker.

Heat Two (10 laps): 1. 13-Jesse Hockett, 2. 75-Dan Menne, 3. 21w-Vern Wheeler, 4. 0j-Jay Cole, 5. 5h-Justyn Cox, 6. 68-Rob Held, 7. 4c-Charlie Cash, 8. 6m-Phillip Del Rosa, 9. 3-Dave Hibbard.

Heat Three (10 laps): 1. 12p-Randy Pierce, 2. 2z-Todd Zeitler, 3. 7n-Chadd Noland, 4. 6-Kyle Hirst, 5. 98m-Mitch Olson, 6. 2-Mike Melwicks, 7. 94z-Zach Zimmerly, 8. 83m-Mike Stallings.

“B” Feature (12 laps): 1. 94z-Zach Zimmerly, 2. 96x-Mack Brown 3. 68-Rob Held, 4. 2-Mike Melwicks, 5. 83m-Mike Stallings, 6. 23-Colin Baker, 7. 6m-Phillip Del Rosa, 8. 3-Dave Hibbard, 9. 26-Taylor Malsam, 10. 4c-Charlie Cash.

“A” Feature (30 laps): 1. 13-Jesse Hockett, 2. 35a-Wayne Johnson, 3. 94-Steven Tiner, 4. Oj-Jay Cole, 5. 12-Jared Ridge, 6. 75-Dan Menne, 7. 21w-Vern Wheeler, 8. 11-Roger Crockett, 9. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 10. 68-Rob Held, 11. 5h-Justyn Cox, 12. 2-Mike Melwicks, 13. 98m-Mitch Olson, 14. 94z-Zach Zimmerly, 15. 25c-Chad Groves, 16. 12p-Randy Pierce, 17. 96x-Mack Brown, 18. 2z-Todd Zeitler, 19. 6-Kyle Hirst, 20. 7n-Chadd Noland.

ASCS Northwest Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Steven Tiner 998, 2. Jared Ridge 990, 3. Henry VanDam 964, 4. Roger Crockett 960, 5. Mitch Olson 928, 6. Chad Groves 873, 7. Justyn Cox 839, 8. Randy Pierce 829, 9. Chadd Noland 601, 10. Colin Baker 475.

ASCS Northwest Speedweek Points (Top Ten through Round One of Five): 1. Jesse Hockett 150, 2. Wayne Johnson 146, 3. Steven Tiner 144, 4. Jay Cole 142, 5. Jared Ridge 140, 6. Dan Menne 138, 7. Vern Wheeler 136, 8. Roger Crockett 134, 9. Henry Van Dam 132, 10. Rob Held 130.