From Bill W, photo courtesy of John’s Racing Photos
Jesse Hockett’s trip to California looked like it might find him heading home with 5,000 large, but it didn’t end up that way. A rough Friday at the Trophy Cup saw him switch venues on Saturday and head to the Ventura Raceway, where it looked like the top prize would be his. An official’s decision cost him a shot at the win, and this week he’ll tackle the Short Track Nationals in Little Rock aiming at an even bigger $15,000 prize.
Jesse paired up with Harold Main and his #35B for the prelim at Tulare Thunderbowl’s Trophy Cup for 360’s. Mechanical problems got them off to a slow start. “We had some fuel problems when we got to Tulare,” he says. “We didn’t get the chance to hot lap, and we qualified really badly. With the system they had, that put us back in the non-qualifiers.”
Despite the setback, Jesse charged and did what he could to climb through the alphabet. “We were able to run second in the non-qualifiers, and we won the D,” says the Warsaw, Missouri driver, who has 21 wins in his pocket in 2009. “We got into the C, and we were going pretty well. We ended up getting crashed out by another driver and that was the end of the night. We tore up the car. I felt bad for Harold. He was kind enough to give us a shot.”
The Ventura Racing Association was running for $5,000 down at the Ventura Raceway and Jesse had a connection. “We ended up getting a ride with a friend of mine at Ventura,” he says. “We drove for Bruce Douglas and Victor Davis. Tommy Horne was the crew chief on it and he did a great job. We were able to win the heat.”
Jesse worked his way by Jimmy Crawford into the lead on lap eight. He was cruising out front ahead of Matt Mitchell when another competitor crashed on lap 20. “We were leading the feature,” he explains. “With ten laps to go, we were cruising, and there was a driver flipping hard. The red light blinked on the backstretch so I shut it down and so did Matt Mitchell, who was running second. I guess after Matt and I crossed the light it switched back to yellow, and the rest of the field kept going.”
Unbelievably, Hockett and Mitchell were sent to the back of the field and the yellow light stayed out despite the crash. No mention of the incident was in the track’s press release. “The guy was upside down and on fire,” says Jesse. “They’ve been real strict about that across the rest of the country, especially after the fire (Mike Houseman Jr.) at Knoxville. I was trying to look out for another driver’s safety, but it ended up costing me $5,000 at Ventura. I wasn’t too happy about it. We were really good, it was just a shame what happened there.”
It was little consolation, but Jesse charged from the tail to seventh in the final ten laps. He is readying this week for Little Rock as both a driver and car owner. He will drive the VKCC Motorsports/Tom Buch #13, while Californian Kyle Hirst will pilot the Jesse Hockett Racing #77 on Friday. “We’ll run on Thursday, and then Kyle Hirst will run our car on Friday,” says Jesse. “He’s really excited to get out here. He was running well at Tulare until his rear axle broke, so he will be ready. We’ve always run well at Little Rock. It’s a fun track and a good race. We’ll run hard and let it all hang out there!”
2009 Jesse Hockett #13 1:18 Diecast by R&R Sprint Cars
Tom Buch/ VKCC Motorsports #13
Limited Only 372 Were Made and They Are Almost Sold Out!
$75.00 Each With Free Shipping
Jesse Will Have These Cars on Hand at Little Rock This Weekend or You Can Buy Them Direct From E-Bay or E-Mail: BUCHSPRINT13@AOL.COM
For Pictures, Check Out E-Bay!
On the Web
To learn more about Jesse “The Rocket” Hockett, including updated results and photos, visit http://JesseHockett.com!
Last week’s answer: Dickie Gaines won the first race that Jesse ran at the Lucas Oil Speedway.
Last week’s winner: Eric Otteson from Salida, California
This week’s question: At how many tracks has Jesse won at in Indiana?
Each week, we’ll be giving away a Jesse Hockett t-shirt to our trivia winner! We will draw a winner from the correct answers submitted on Friday following the release. Submit your trivia answer, along with your name, address and t-shirt size to firstname.lastname@example.org! Put “Hockett Trivia” in the subject line.
Jesse has made the Short Track Nationals finale five out of the last seven years. He has never finished worse than 15th and has three top tens in the five events. His two best finishes an eighth (2005) and a ninth (2008) came after having to qualify through the B main. You can rest assured, the “Rocket” would be ready.
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“Rocket Hockett” is an up close look at the past, present and future of Jesse Hockett. To receive “Rockett Hockett”, send an e-mail to email@example.com with “Hockett” in the subject line.
Jesse would like to thank the partners of the VKCC Motorsports/Tom Buch team, including Parker Store of Phoenix, AMS Waterfall Systems, Rod End Supply, LRB Manufacturing, Penske Shocks, Butlerbuilt Professional Seat Systems, Diversified Machine, Inc., Fischer Body Shop, Simpson, Hoosier, Conroy Bleeders, ARP Fasteners, Indy Race Parts, Massey’s Truck and Tank Repair, RMS Racing Engines, Pro Powder Coating, Korte Transportation, Rocket Graphics, Lucas Oil, Weld Racing, Spike Products, Maxwell, Red Onion Lounge, Engler, Barnes Dry Sump Oil Systems, FSR Racing Products, RH2, Canyon Apparel, JEI, Total Seal Piston Rings, JE Pistons and Wings Unlimited for all their help!.