ASCS: Hagar Claims Hockett/McMillin Memorial Over Swindell at Wheatland

RaceChaser Staff Dirt Track Racing, Featured, Midwest, Other Sprint Cars, Sprints & Midgets 0 Comments

WHEATLAND, Mo. — official release — Joe Orth photo — For the second night in a row, the fourth running of the Jesse Hockett / Daniel McMillin Memorial saw a first-time winner at the Lucas Oil Speedway as Derek Hagar grabbed the lead from Jeff Swindell for his second Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series National Tour victory of the season.

“This means a lot,” Hagar said. “Me and Jesse were teammates the year that he passed away at Manzanita in the Silver Crown cars, and at Indianapolis at the mile. That was the only time I ever heard Jesse say he was scared of the race car was at the Indy mile. I had to look at him twice like, ‘Did you just say that Jesse?’ He goes, ‘Man, you guys are rolling these things into the corner. I’m used to throwing her in there, not driving her straight in wide open,’ but I know Jesse will always be with me, we were pretty good buds and I’m glad this trophy is going in the house on the fireplace.”

Coming from fifth Hagar jumped to third on the start. Chasing Wayne Johnson in the opening laps for second, the pair exchanged slide jobs while tracking down Swindell before hooking bumpers on the exit of turn two; sending the No. 77 of Johnson into the wall and into the Pits.

Single-file to the green, Swindell and Hagar both worked topside with the pair finding traffic by lap 18. Vacating the highline in traffic, the pair began working top and bottom. Saddled on the low line in turns one and two, Swindell sat trapped by traffic as the cushion cleared for Hagar. At the right place at the right time, Hagar stuck the cushion for the lead down the back straightaway on lap 24.

“Sometimes it’s better to be sitting in the catbird seat watching the track change and being able to move around a little bit,” Swindell said.””I changed the car a little bit from last night. I was kind of halfway between where I was going to be later tonight until they did the re-work, so I kind of guessed at that and had a great car on the bottom in the beginning — we just got caught in traffic and it shut us down.”

Sam Hafertepe Jr. claimed his second bronze finish in as many nights. Pleased with the overall weekend, Hafertepe was a little down on the finish.

“We dropped way back, but we had a great race car though,” Hafertepe said. “Congrats to Derek, he did a hell of a job but like I said, we just got moved back there at the beginning. We had a good enough car, I just used up my tires trying to get back through there but that’s how racing goes sometimes.”

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