From Bill W
Jesse “The Rocket” Hockett’s solid start to the season continued with another pair of top five finishes against stout competition in South Texas. Though he lost the lead late in the race Saturday night, the Warsaw, Missouri driver feels the new VKCC #75 team is off to a good start. The team will take this weekend off before the Lucas Oil ASCS National series season commences on March 19 and 20 at the Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas.
Both races last weekend were contested with an ASCS-Gulf South sanction, and both paid $3,000 to win. At Golden Triangle Raceway Park near Beaumont on Friday night, competitors found some wet conditions. Jesse struggled to move forward on a narrow track, but ran from fifth to third in his heat. “It was really greasy in the heat races,” he says. “We had some good cars in our heat, and it was hard to pass. We were one spot out of the redraw, which changed our night altogether.”
Starting ninth, Jesse used an early surge to move up to fourth, where he would finish. “We were up to fifth pretty quickly, and then took fourth,” he says. “We stayed like that the whole race. The last three laps did get pretty wild in traffic with Travis Rilat and Ricky Logan, but when it all settled we were in the same order.”
The speed continued on Saturday at Battleground Speedway near Highlands, though there was an unscheduled change after hot laps. “We were fast all night long really,” says Jesse. “We had to make an engine change after hot laps due to a push rod problem. We drew the pole for the heat and won it, so that put us in the redraw.”
The draw went well, putting him outside of row one for the feature event. A duel with Wayne Johnson for the lead lasted for five laps before Jesse took command. “We made a few changes, and we were really good at the beginning,” he says. “We were able to take the lead there for a while (lap 5) after a good duel with Wayne. With about seven laps to go, there was a restart and (Brian) Brown and I got to racing pretty hard.”
Brown slipped ahead after the restart, but Jesse reclaimed the lead. A caution with a handful of laps to go set up a dash for the checkers, and he would have to settle for second. “Another caution came out, with a few to go,” says Jesse. “I chose the wrong line (high side) in one and two, and made a little mistake, and he got by me. Once he was by, it was pretty much over.”
It’s hard to console a driver as competitive as Hockett, but later he had time to reflect. “It’s hard to say it was a good race when you don’t win, but we’ve been in the hunt every time out. That’s a good feeling. We’ve been top three pretty much every night out.”
And now the focus turns towards Devil’s Bowl. “Right now, we’re just trying to get all the right pieces in all the right places,” says Jesse. “It’s been over a year since we’ve had this #75 team running, but we’re getting there.”
On the Web
To learn more about Jesse “The Rocket” Hockett, including updated results and photos, visit http://JesseHockett.com!
Going back to last season, Jesse has finished in the top five four out of the last five features he’s run in Texas. He finished 2009, with a fourth at Cowtown Speedway during the Cowtown Nationals near Kennedale, then finished fifth and eleventh at Devil’s Bowl near Mesquite. Last weekend’s fourth and second place finishes have him on a roll.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org with “Hockett” in the subject line.
Jesse would like to thank the partners of the VKCC Motorsports #75 and the JHR #77 teams including Parker Store of Phoenix, Rod End Supply, M&W Aluminum Products, A.R.T. Speed Equipment, Don Ott Racing Engines, Vortex Wings, Penske Shocks, Butlerbuilt Professional Seat Systems, Diversified Machine, Inc., Fischer Body Shop, Simpson, SWE, Maxwell Shock Dynos, 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, Engler, Weld Racing, Spike Products, Maxwell, Red Onion Lounge, Engler, Barnes Dry Sump Oil Systems, FSR Racing Products, Canyon Apparel, JEI, Total Seal Piston Rings and JE Pistons for all their help!.