Hockett Worth The Wait, Wins at Brisbane

From JAK Media, image courtesy of Baron Media

It’s taken from Boxing Day to nearly New Years Eve but the rain in Brisbane finally eased long enough for American Jesse Hockett to win the thirty-lap International Sprintcar Series Feature event at Titan Garages Brisbane International Speedway on Thursday night December 30, although the night’s racing was soured by a freak injury to leading Qld Sprintcar driver Darren Jensen during a Heat race earlier in the evening.

The event had been postponed twice in the past four days due to the wet weather, leaving competitors and race fans alike a little frustrated, but for many the show that Hockett put on to run down race leader Allan Woods was well worth the wait. For Woods, if the victory had of been his it would have been well deserved. Hockett though was pure excitement.

Woods won the Dash, started from pole and led the opening twenty-three laps as the battle for the minors raged behind him. David Muir, Hockett, Brent Kaeding and Pete Thorley used every part of the race track to continually swap positions as they raced their way through heavy lapped traffic, but all the while Woods had them covered out front and was looking a likely winner.

Kaeding had gone from position eight to second by lap six, picking up the final two of those spots when Muir and Hockett made contact on the back straight. The impact between the two forced Hockett to the infield entering turn three and somehow he managed not to flip the USA 1 Maxim despite the car landing heavily on the right rear tyre on at least three occasions. Not only did he not ride out what many on the turn three hill were expecting to end up being a pretty wild flip, he immediately raced back out onto the track and set after Kaeding for that second spot he had just lost to him!

Twenty laps in and the yellows were on for Muir who had come to a stop in turn four, with Woods leading the way again on the restart with Hockett, Thorley, Kaeding and Steven White giving chase. Hockett got a run on Woods exiting turn two just a few laps later and then raced under Woods for the lead when Woods jumped the cushion in turn three. From there the race was the American’s for the taking.

Kaeding was out on lap twenty-five when he broke a front axle in turn one, Thorley fell down the order a lap later when he almost spun in turn two while White held off a fast finishing Bud Kaeding over the final laps to record his best finish of the season behind Hockett and Woods. The action wasn’t yet over though with David Muir flipping in turn four on the final lap as the leaders crossed the line, Muir emerging unscathed but obviously disappointed with the way his night had ended.

Brent Kaeding opened the night with the quickest lap of the timed hot lap sessions (12.165s) ahead of Richard Morgan (12.193s) and Jesse Hockett (12.274s), the Californian straight back on the pace at the track he has come to call a second home with his annual trip to Australia at this time of year. Heat races were won by Paul Morris (2), David Muir, Tim Garrett, Kevin Titman and Hockett, with Matthew Butler, Jason Bottin, Brett Thomas and Dan Murray all making the Feature via the B-Main.

Jensen Injured: There was considerable concern for Darren Jensen during the running of Heat 3 after contact between he, Matthew Butler and Pete Thorley led to the Ambulance being called trackside and the red lights turned on. The initial contact between Jensen and Butler forced the rear end of Jensen’s #36 Maxim across to the left of the car, breaking the torque tube and driveline in the process. Reports from the trackside medical staff indicated Jensen had suffered a break to his left lower leg and he was transported to hospital soon after for additional treatment.

Sprintcars are back in action at Titan Garages Brisbane International Speedway on Friday night January 1 with the second of the International Sprintcar Series, qualifying races for the Australian V8 Dirt Modified Championship, Monster Trucks and a huge New Years’ Fireworks show all on the one action packed program at Archerfield.