WHEATLAND, Mo. – One of the biggest weeks of the year for dirt sprint-car racing has arrived, with the ninth annual Jesse Hockett/Daniel McMillin Memorial set for Sept. 19-21 at Lucas Oil Speedway.
The three-night open-wheel major features the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour and non-winged POWRi WAR Sprint Series.
Full programs for the ASCS winged sprints are set for Thursday and Friday, paying $3,000 to win and helping set the field for Saturday’s $10,000-to-win feature. The total purse for the ASCS cars is just over $60,000.
With a large number of entries expected for the POWRi WAR Sprints, the fields will be split, with half running on Thursday and half on Friday. Drivers will be competing for points every time they hit the track to gather points for Saturday, when the feature will pay $3,077.
The features on Thursday and Friday will pay $1,377 to win.
“I know fans across the country mark this one on their calendars and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone this week,” saidLucas Oil Speedway General Manager Danny Lorton. “It’s a big event on so many levels as top sprint-car drivers, in both the winged and wingless divisions, chase the prestigious Hockett/McMiillin trophy.
“It’s not only top-quality open-wheel racing, but a time to pay tribute to two of the icons of the sport in this part of the country. Jesse and Daniel impacted the sport in so many positive ways and it’s an honor for us to recognize their contributions through this event.”
Hockett, from Warsaw, Mo., was a star in both the winged and non-winged 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.
The Hockett/McMillin Memorial quickly grew into a major event. Last year, Sam Haftertepe of Sunnyvale, Texas, captured his first Hockett/McMillin victory to make it back-to-back wins in the event.
Haftertepe is leading the ASCS points in search of another championship, currently with a 148-point margin over Blake Hahn of Sapulpa, Okla.
In the wingless division, Kyle Cummings of Princeton, Ind., prevailed a year ago, leading all 30 laps in the Saturday night feature.
A trio of Missouri drivers lead the WAR championship chase in 2019, with Riley Kreisel 11 points in front of Kory Schudy. Wesley Smith is 192 behind. Schudy scored his first career WAR win earlier this year at the Open Wheel Showdown at Lucas Oil Speedway.
Following a successful introduction of split preliminary nights a year ago for the WAR Sprints, the Thursday and Friday portion will remain the same with the current 59-car field divided into two and racing on one of the two nights.
The prelims will again feature group qualifying, heat races, qualifiers, semi features and a 25-lap main event.
Switching from last year’s dual C-Main and dual B-Main format on Saturday, this year’s championship-night program will feature the addition of Rocket Races and a Non-Qualifiers Feature, offering racers and fans more excitement.
The top 10 in combined points from preliminary nights will lock-in for the Pole Shuffle, which brought fans to their feet in thrilling fashion when it debuted last year.
Positions 11th and beyond in points will split into four Rocket Races – essentially heat races that offer the top two finishers a transfer to the main event.
From there, the bottom 10-12 in points will run a special Non-Qualifiers Feature with extra money on the line, while all those in between will split into B-mains, where the final few feature spots will be filled.
Finally, the 24-car field will battle it out for 30 laps in the $3,077-to-win and $400-to-start A-Feature.
The ASCS field will have full programs the first two nights with heat races, qualifiers, B-mains and the 25-lap A-main.
Both ASCS and WAR will run 30-lap main events on Saturday.