Rocket Hockett – Three Nights/Three Wins!

May 26, 2010 – “The Rocket” Jesse Hockett hit the Trifecta last weekend, going three for three in feature wins in the “Show Me” State. 
The Warsaw, Missouri driver tallied victories on Friday at the State Fair Speedway in Sedalia, on Saturday at the Lake Ozark Speedway near Eldon, and Sunday at the Double X Speedway near California.  This weekend, an ambitious schedule finds him at the Terre Haute Action Track in Indiana with USAC on Thursday, Jetmore Speedway for the Steve King Memorial at Jetmore Speedway in Kansas with the Lucas Oil ASCS National Series on Saturday and Sunday, and at the 81 Speedway near Wichita with NCRA on Monday.
Racers and fans have welcomed back weekly sprint car action on Friday nights in Sedalia, and the car counts are starting to pick up as the weather gets warmer.  Jesse started things out right with a heat win from inside row two.  “We didn’t even know if we could get it in with all the rain,” he says.  “We had to pit outside, but they had the track worked in.  The car was working really well and the track stayed good.”
On a tacky and rough track, he had to work for this one.  “We had a bad start,” he admits.  “The guy on the pole just didn’t get going very good, and we were back in fifth and sixth.  We had to pick those cars off one by one.  We had to free the car up with the heavy surface and kind of run above the cushion to get by some cars.  It was fun, but pretty treacherous.”
The winning pass came ahead of the California driver sharing his shop this summer.  “We were able to get through traffic there and get by (leader) Kyle Hirst off of turn two there,” says Jesse.  “It was pretty much over with from there.”
The draw at Lake Ozark Speedway on Saturday saw Jesse post inside row three for his heat.  An exciting finish saw him win it at the line.  “We worked through traffic there pretty good early on, but Curtis Boyer got out there a ways on me,” he says.  “We were rolling pretty nice halfway through the race.  We ended up getting him right at the line in a photo finish.”
After winning the dash and earning the pole position, the only doubts came when Jesse hit a hole in the JHR #77.  “The track had a few holes in it,” he says.  “We had a bit of excitement when we got in a hole and bounced around a bit.  After that, we worked well through traffic and ended up with another win.”
Jesse’s domination lately of Double X Speedway left little doubt that a sweep of all heats, dashes and features was possible for the weekend.  His friends and sponsors decided to challenge him in the feature after winning his heat from fourth.  “Kyle Hirst and some of my sponsors got together,” he explains.  “They wanted to see me start at the back.  They put up some extra money, along with Putnam Chevrolet as well as Fischer Body Shop if I won from the back.  In the end, it was a $400 bonus.”
Starting 16th, he sliced through the field to record his second win in as many starts this season on the ¼ mile.  “I don’t know if I’ve ever had a better car there than I had on Sunday,” says Jesse.  “We really have the A.R.T. car going good.  I’m happy with everything going on with the car.  Vortex Wings, Penske Shocks and the Don Ott motor is hitting hard every night.”
After sweeping the weekend in the JHR #77, the VKCC Motorsports #75 will be brought out for Terre Haute on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.  The #77 will return for the Wichita event on Monday.
On the Web
To learn more about Jesse “The Rocket” Hockett, including updated results and photos, visit!
Rocket Rambles
Jesse is catching his career-best victory pace of 2009.  His three wins this past weekend give him five on the season.  He had six through the month of May in 2009 and ended up with 22.  His first six in 2009 came at East Bay Raceway Park (FL) in the Ronald Laney Memorial “King of the 360’s”, the Lealand Legacy and Don Davis Memorial at Manzanita Speedway (AZ), two at Lake Ozark Speedway (MO) and one at Double X Speedway (MO).

Follow a Dream heads to Maple Grove

While most Americans kick off their summer relaxing over the long Memorial Day weekend, Jay Blake’s Permatex/Follow A Dream team is headed to Maple Grove Raceway in the Pennsylvania Dutch area just outside Reading for the first race of the Division 1 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series season. The team had a solid outing at this event last year, qualifying number 2 and advancing to the semifinals.
“We’re all really looking forward to getting the Division 1 season under way,” Blake said. “We’ve been racing all over the country already this year, and it will be fun to be back with all of our friends in Division 1.”
Follow A Dream has competed in Florida, Texas, Nevada, and Indiana so far in 2010, highlighted by semifinal finishes at the Gatornationals in March and at the most recent event, last week’s Lucas Oil Series event in Indianapolis. Work commitments kept team members Scott Osborn, Joe Mitchell, Alan Hadfield, and Scott Spencer from attending the Las Vegas and Indianapolis events, forcing Blake, tuner Tom Howell, Eddie Parker, Charlie Mitchell, and Mike Lupo to pull double duty.
“Maple Grove is one of the best-known tracks in the country, and I’m looking forward to getting back there,” said driver Todd Veney. “Every name driver in the sport has raced there at least once, and the place has a lot of history. For me, it will be great to race at Maple Grove for the first time in six years and great to have the whole team back with us.”
About Follow A Dream
Established in 1999, Follow A Dream is a non-profit 501(C)3 organization. The organization’s message is uniquely delivered through NHRA drag racing as its medium. As racing’s only totally blind, race crew chief, Follow A Dream Founder, Jay Blake draws upon his personal experience of overcoming adversity and achieving his dream of auto racing, and shares his inspiration with others.   For more information go to

Race Results Week Ending 5/23/10

All Star Race- Kurt Busch
Tony Schumacher – Top Fuel
Robert Hight – Funny Car
Mike Edwards – Pro Stock
Duane Shields – Top Alcohol Dragster
Jay Payne – Top Alcohol Funny Car
David Rampy – Comp Eliminator
Tim Nicholson – Super Stock
Dan Fletcher – Stock
Dustin Long – Super Comp
Jason McClure – Super Gas

Subaru Road Racing Team Ready for Season’s Midway Race

Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) drivers Andrew Aquilante and Bret Spaude are entered to compete in this weekend’s fifth round of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at the Lime Rock Park racing circuit scheduled Saturday at 3pm ET, as the series hits the halfway point of its 2010 road racing season.
Aquilante, of Phoenixville, Pa., and Spaude, Bushnell, Fla., a pair of 22-year olds, will race SRRT’s Impreza WRX STI, race-prepared and tuned by Phoenix Performance in Phoenixville, Pa.  Based on the core technologies found in every Subaru model, the team’s race car sports the Subaru Symmetrical AWD System as well as a horizontally-opposed 4-cylinder engine which is turbocharged in the performance-oriented WRX and STI trims levels.
“We’ve been racing a Subaru Legacy 2.5GT spec.B in the Street Tuner class at Lime Rock for the past three years and have worked up to the Grand Sports class, which is the top rung of the class ladder,” said Aquilante. “The team has been extracting a little more power from a very similar engine, but places us in a different league as far as the cars we compete against.
“Lime Rock is a personal favorite as far as tracks go. It has a long front straight where horsepower is paramount and some uphill-and-downhill twisty parts where our Subaru’s all-wheel-drive ability should give us an advantage,” he said.
“This will be Andrew’s third year of racing a Subaru at Lime Rock, but Bret’s first,” noted Joe Aquilante. “You’d think that would be a problem, but the way AJ and Bret share information and help each other, it isn’t.  Plus, Bret raced here last year in the ST class and knows the track. The two most recent rounds saw us get caught up as casualties in race crashes caused by other drivers,” he added. “Those unfortunate results have pretty much taken us out of any realistic championship aspirations, so we’re now focusing on winning individual races.”
Behind AJ and Bret, as always, are SRRT crew chief Kurt Omensetter, an 22-year veteran of Joe Aquilante’s racing programs, and multi-time professional road racing champion John Heinricy as the team’s technical director and racing-on-the-fly strategist and tactician.
Practice on the 1.53-mile layout is Friday at 11:20am and 2pm, with qualifying at 4:05pm. The race will be Saturday at 3pm for 2 ½ hours. It will be televised to air later on SPEED-TV.

Rocket Hockett – Plan B!

May 18, 2010 – “The Rocket” Jesse Hockett was planning on racing close to home last weekend, but went 0 for 3 thanks to Mother Nature.  Not satisfied staying at home, the Warsaw, Missouri driver struck out to run his 360 with the 410’s at Jacksonville Speedway in Illinois on Friday, and the regular 360 show at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa on Saturday.  This weekend, he’ll try the same schedule he had planned last week, with Sedalia on Friday, Lake Ozark Speedway on Saturday, and XX Speedway on Sunday.
The ¼ mile oval in Jacksonville is not a horsepower track, and that played into Jesse’s hands, as he drove the JHR #77 to second in his heat, started sixth in the feature, and challenged for the lead.  “We were battling our way to the front and got up to (leader) Jerrod Hull,” he says.  “We were able to get by him for a couple of laps, and he ended up coming back and getting by us.”
Rain during the week yielded a tacky, yet racy racetrack.  As usual, “The Rocket” made his own groove above the others.  “The track was sticky all night,” says Jesse.  “There was really only one little groove that got black slicked over.  I was running wide open with four wheels above the cushion.  Most of the other cars were running the bottom, so that made for a clear run to the front.  I kind of had my own track to race on up there.”
In the end, a second place finish was a satisfying result.  “It was a good showing, especially with our 360 against the 410’s,” says Jesse.  “Even to be close to Jerrod Hull was a good thing.  I was real happy with our performance, and we could have won if I did a couple things different.”
With a better forecast for Knoxville than Missouri, Jesse pointed the truck towards Iowa after Friday night.  He had far less luck with the truck hauling the trailer than he did on the track when the turbo went out.  “(Racing) was better than staying home and getting rained out, but we had some problems with the truck between Jacksonville and Knoxville,” he says.  “I have to thank the Schneiderman family and Dale Oaks for his truck in getting us to Knoxville.  From there, Korte Transportation got us home.”
With 360’s timing in during hot laps this year, Jesse saw an opportunity to improve his performance at the famous half-mile, and test on the tires there.  Things went well, as he qualified seventh in the 35-car field.  “We’ve struggled lately qualifying at Knoxville, and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to go up there,” he says.  “We ended up timing really well considering the track conditions when we got out there.  It was going away at a rapid pace, and we were by far the fastest car in our session.”
With an invert of six for the heat race, only the top four transfer.  Jesse found himself finishing where he started…fifth.  With the likes of Johnny Anderson, Jonathan Cornell, Jon Agan and Lee Grosz up front, it was tough to make headway.  “We had a really stacked heat race it seemed,” he says.  “Between the tough competition and me missing it with the car, it didn’t add up.”
The B was equally stacked, but Jesse’s qualifying time gave him a spot starting up front where he rode to a runner-up finish, and a trip to the main event.  “We started second, and Dennis Moore Jr. got out in front,” he says.  “He pulled away a little bit while I was trying some different lines, but we ended up closing on him at the end.”
Tire issues gave the team a few challenges on setup, and discretion was the better part of valor in getting ready for the feature.  However, steady progress was made in a drive from 18th to 11th.  “We couldn’t find the stagger we wanted,” says Jesse.  “I had a limited supply of left rears.  With the stagger issue, I didn’t see the sense in buying a brand new tire starting at the back.  We made the best of what we had, and moved up to 11th.”
Jesse’s Missouri runs this weekend will come in the JHR #77 on Friday at the State Fair Speedway in Sedalia, and Sunday at the XX Speedway in California.  Saturday, he will shake down the VKCC Motorsports #75.  “We want to run the #75 at Lake Ozark Speedway and make sure it’s o.k.,” he explains.  “When we raced last with it at Little Rock, we had some frame damage.  We got it fixed, and we want to make sure we’re comfortable in it before we head to Jetmore at the end of the month.”

On the Web
To learn more about Jesse “The Rocket” Hockett, including updated results and photos, visit !
Rocket Rambles
Counting his win a week ago Sunday at Double X Speedway, Jesse has racked up 78 wins since the beginning of 2005.  His win totals in those years have been 2005 (19), 2006 (13), 2007 (9), 2008 (13), 2009 (22) and two already in 2010.  His three richest wins to date have been the 2008 Perris (CA) Oval Nationals worth $12,500, the 2009 East Bay (FL) Ronald Laney Memorial “King of the 360’s” worth $13,000 and the 2009 USAC Ultimate Challenge at the Southern Iowa Speedway worth $15,000.

Race Winners Week Ending 5/16/10

Camping World Truck Series- Dover 200-Aric Almirola
Nationwide Series- Heluva Good 200- Kyle Busch
Sprint Cup Series- Autism Speaks 400 by Hershey’s Milk and Milkshakes- Kyle Busch
Larry Dixon – Top Fuel
Robert Hight – Funny Car
Jeg Coughlin – Pro Stock
Andrew Hines – Pro Stock Motorcycle
Michael Gullqvist – Pro Mod
Vinny Barone – Comp Eliminator
Todd Ewing – Super Stock
Anthony Fetch – Stock
Ray Miller – Super Comp
Jeffrey Barker – Top Sportsman

Racer News and Results