WHEATLAND, Mo. — Tony Bruce Jr. led every lap of Friday’s night’s Jesse Hockett/Daniel McMillin Memorial at Lucas Oil Speedway. It was Bruce’s second Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Series triumph of the season.
The eighth different winner in national tour history at the Lucas Oil Speedway, Bruce bettered his finish of 2012 by one when The Oil Medics No. 18 crossed runner up to Brady Bacon.
Asked how important it was to get the jump to the lead on the start Bruce explained, “It was real important. The track was a little narrow. Down there (turns one and two) you could move around a lot, down there (turns three and four) you just had to keep it wide open.”
Out of breath, Bruce gave thanks to the fans and explained why winning was so important to him, “This is a great facility and there are awesome fans in the state of Missouri. This is dream come true to win at the Hockett/McMillin race. Those guys where really good friends and we miss them and I’ve just been wanting to win this race. Last year we ran second on the prelim night and I told myself when I came back, I had to get that victory for Hockett and Daniel.”
Brian Brown finished second, running Hockett’s familiar No. 77 for this event.
“When Jack and Connie called and asked to run that number, it’s something that’s pretty humbling,” Brown said. “Me, Jesse, and Daniel had a lot of races over the years and to run this number is an absolute honor. Hopefully we can come back tomorrow and put his thing in victory lane where it belongs.”
Derek Hagar finished third.
“After I figured out I could run the top good, I started catching the No. 82,” Hagar said. “I could see I was getting close to Brown but just ran out of laps but what a great race to have. Jesse Hockett, I mean, we all miss him. I’m honored to be standing here at his memorial race. It’s overwhelming.”
Roger Crockett debuted in the Buffalo Wild Wings No. 82 and posted a fourth place run to take the final lock-in into Saturday’s A-Feature. Jason Johnson clawed from 17th to complete the top five.
Fifty-two drivers and cars were on hand.
Tony Bruce Jr., Brian Brown, Derek Hagar, Roger Crockett, Jason Johnson, Brad Loyet, Evan Martin, Seth Bergman, Tim Crawley, Blake Hahn, Danny Lasoski, Jeff Swindell, Cole Wood, Dustin Morgan, Logan Forler, Johnny Herrera, Jarrod Schneiderman, Sean McClelland, R.J. Johnson, Jay Russell, Randy Martin, Justin Henderson.