WHEATLAND, Mo. — Jake Bubak made the most of a late-race restart and grabbed the American Sprint Car feature win on Night Two of the 13th annual Jesse Hockett-Daniel McMillin Memorial at Lucas Oil Speedway.
Bubak earned $3,000 for the victory along with valuable points toward a prime starting position for Saturday night’s $10,000-to-win ASCS finale.
In the co-feature with the wingless sprints, Kory Schudy captured the POWRi WAR main event to take home $2,000 and also set himself up nicely for the finale.
The Hockett-McMillin Memorial recognizes the legacy of Jesse Hockett, from Warsaw, Mo., who was a star in both the winged and non-wing sprint divisions when he lost his life in a shop accident in 2010. His cousin and crew chief, Daniel McMillin, was killed in an automobile accident in 2006.
Bubak grabbed the lead on lap 21 from Jason Martin two laps after a restart and held off Martin for the ASCS feature win. Before a lap19 caution, it appeared that Martin, the ASCS championship points leader, was on his way to victory lane.
“We obviosuly didn’t have anything for Jason there before the rubber came in. Their car was so good in the slick,” Bubak said. “But that’s the fortunate part about running second. I could smell (the rubber) before the last yellow and I just cheated my entry on both ends and it stuck, so I went in there a little harder the next time and was able to clear him.”
Martin, the ASCS season points leader, started up front and set a blistering pace from the start, roaring to a three-second lead just five laps into the 25-lap feature.
Kaleb Johnson moved into second on lap three with Wayne Johnson running third and Kyle Bellm fourth.
Martin’s lead began to shrink as he caught lapped traffic on lap nine, with Kaleb Johnson cutting the gap to 1.4 seconds. The race’s first caution flew on lap 12 as a lapped car spun right in front of Kaleb Johnson and Wayne Johnson, collecting them in turn four.
Bubak restarted in second and Bellm third, but Martin quickly was able to open a 2.9-second lead by lap 15. Martin poured it on from there, cruising to a 4.4-second lead by lap 19 and it was clear that only a caution would prevent Martin from winning – and that’s what happen when Andrew Deal spun in turn three.
Bubak got a good run on the restart and then sailed around the outside of Martin entering turn three on lap 21 for the race’s first lead change. Bubak rolled from there for his 10th overall victory of 2023, beating Martin by about six car lengths.
“I definitely love racing with Jason,” Bubak said. “He’s had an unbelievable year. For us to come here and beat him, it’s a big accomplishment. We had a really good car tonight and hopefully we can be just as good tomorrow.”
Martin said he felt like a sitting duck on the restart, with Bubak able to watch from close behind and take advantage of any mistake he made in the changing track conditions after the restart.
“Jake is really, really good. He’s a super good dude and a really good race-car driver,” Martin said. “I knew if I slid across the race track and it wasn’t there yet, he was gonna either drive by me on the bottom or run the top and drive around me, too. I wish I could have done something different.
“We just didn’t get it done, but we should be pretty high in the points and start up front for the $10,000-to-win and that’s what we’re here for.”
Sean McClelland finished third with Jace Park fourth and Miles Paulus fifth.
Feature (25 laps) 1. 1X-Jake Bubak; 2. 36-Jason Martin; 3. 1-Sean McClelland; 4. 87J-Jace Park; 5. 98P-Miles Paulus; 6. 12-Jeffrey Newell; 7. 1H-Hank Davis; 8. 14E-Kyle Bellm; 9. 41H-Colton Hardy; 10. 95-Matt Covington; 11. 19-Ayrton Gennetten; 12. 187-Landon Crawley; 13. 47-Dale Howard; 14. 2C-Wayne Johnson; 15. 22K-Kaleb Johnson; 16. 18-Ryan Roberts; 17. 4X-Brad Bowden; 18. 122-Lane Warner; 19. 20I-Kelsey Ivy; 20. 15D-Andrew Deal; 21. 4M-Cameron Martin; 22. 14-Jordon Mallett