WHEATLAND, Missouri – Sammy Swindell and Logan Seavey have put themselves in position to make the 7th annual Jesse Hockett/Daniel McMillin Memorial something special. Swindell took advantage of a last-lap spin by Wayne Johnson to capture Friday’s middle leg of the three-night crown jewel on the Lucas Oil ASCS Winged Sprint Series at Lucas Oil Speedway.
The veteran backed up his win in Thursday’s opener and, after taking a second straight $3,000 prize, will take aim at Saturday’s $10,000 check in the finale. Meanwhile, Seavey grabbed the feature win in the POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Series for a second straight night. Seavey again earned a $1,077 winner’s share and also will go for a sweep on Saturday night in a feature paying $2,077.
For the 61-year-old Swindell, of Germantown, Tenn., the chance to sweep the weekend would be especially sweet considering his curtailed racing schedule these days. “It would be great,” Swindell said, noting that he’s known the Hockett family “for a long time and been friends with them. It would be great to come out of here with this and hopefully we can do this again and keep rolling like we’ve been rolling.”
Johnson, winner of last year’s Hockett/McMillin Memorial, got the jump on fellow front-row starter Sam Haftertepe Jr. at the drop of the green and appeared on his way to becoming a wire-to-wire winner. But as Johnson weaved through lapped traffic during the closing laps, Swindell closed in as he hugged the low groove. With the crowd standing as the white flag flew, Johnson spun in turn two and Swindell drove past.
“I was hoping there was going to be enough room (to get by). I saw him start to lose it,” Swindell said. “With about eight or nine or laps to go, we lost a brake and I was having to be real careful. I knew if we finished up in the top three we’d be on the front row tomorrow and I didn’t want to give that up. “This car was awesome. Another good car and another good night. I’ve just been blessed to be able to do this stuff and be able to compete like this. Wayne did a good job. He thought he was going where he needed to go.
“To come home with a win like that, when they hand it to you, you have to take it.” Series points leader Sam Hafertepe Jr. finished second with Blake Hahn third, Tony Bruce Jr., fourth and Johnson recovered to salvage fifth.
Hafertepe said there’s no doubt who the man to beat will be on Saturday night. “Sammy’s been the class of the field the last two nights in the features,” Hafertepe said. “He’s got the car to beat right now. We’ll just keep on working on it. Big money’s on the line tomorrow.”
Seavey doubles up in WAR: Logan Seavey turned a close race into a runaway over the final 11 laps to make it two straight Wingless Auto Racing Series wins in two nights. Asked if his car can possibly get any better as he goes for the sweep on Saturday night, Seavey said he wasn’t sure.
“I don’t know if we can get it any better than it was tonight,” Seavey said. “Last night we thought we could maybe improve it a little bit. We’ll just keep watching the track tomorrow and see what we need to do to get this thing right and win this third feature.” Clinton Boyles grabbed the lead at the start from his outside front-row starting spot and used the high groove to complete lap one as the leader. But Seavey, utilizing a slide job in turns three and four, passed him one lap later.
Seavey opened up an eight-car-length lead by lap eight, but Boyles began to close in and was on Seavey’s bumper when a caution flag flew on lap 14. After the restart it was all Seavey. The Sutter, Calif., driver pulled away and won by nearly a straightaway’s margin to make it 2-for-2 this week – and two wins in two starts in the car as a sub for injured car owner Zach Daum.
“I just have to thank (Daum) for letting me race this awesome race car,” Seavey said. “This car is just unreal.” Wyatt Burks rallied from an 11th starting position to finish second with Danny Smith coming from 15th to third. Boyles slipped late and wound up fourth.
The Hockett/McMillin Memorial brings the elite to Lucas Oil Speedway for an event to honor the memory of open-wheel champion Jesse Hockett, who lost his life in a shop accident in 2010 and his cousin and crew chief, Daniel McMillin, who was killed in an auto accident in 2006. Action concludes Saturday night with another full program for both divisions, which culminates with a $10,000-to-win feature for the ASCS.
For more information including news, schedules and points standings on the Lucas Oil ASCS, visit ASCSracing.com. Go to POWRi.com for stories, schedules and points standings in the WAR Sprint Car Series.
Schedule and ticket prices:
Gates open at 4 p.m., hot laps at 5:45 and racing at 6:35
Adults (16 and up) $25
Seniors (62 and up)/Military $22
Youth (6 to 15) $10
Kids (5 and under) FREE
Family Pass $50
Pit Pass $40
Complete Lucas Oil Speedway event information, archived stories, ticket info 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.
In addition, fans can get social with Lucas Oil Speedway by following @LucasSpeedway on Twitter, clicking “Like” at www.facebook.com/LucasOilSpeedway and on www.youtube.com/LucasOilSpeedway
About Lucas Oil Speedway
Lucas Oil Speedway is considered by fans, drivers and industry insiders to be one of the top five race tracks in the nation. Located in Wheatland, Missouri, approximately an hour from Springfield, Missouri, and just a quick hour and a half from the Kansas City metro area, dubbed the “Diamond of Dirt Tracks,” Lucas Oil Speedway certainly lives up to the 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. 2017 marks the 7th season for the Liquid Quarter Mile Drag Racing Lake, Lake Lucas. Two nationally televised Drag Boat Races featuring the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series will be held in 2017. New for 2017 will be an all new purpose build Off Road Racing facility featuring the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series as well as a host of other regional events.
Lucas Oil Speedway hosts some of the largest and most popular events in the Midwest! National and regional touring series appear frequently for Special Events on the Diamond of Dirt Tracks. 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 incredible 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, Big O Tires Street Stocks and the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods, racing weekly.