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Ayrton Gennetten (Richard Bales photo)

Gennetten Gets First ASCS Score

WHEATLAND, Mo. — Ayrton Gennetten visited victory lane for the first time in the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Series on night two of the 12th annual Jesse Hockett-Daniel McMillin Memorial at Lucas Oil Speedway.

The main events are set for Saturday night with $10,000 awaiting the ASCS winged-sprint feature winner and $4,077 going to the WAR non-wing champ. Drivers have spent Thursday and Friday preliminary nights building points toward starting positions for Saturday’s big finale at one of sprint-car racing’s majors.

The Hockett-McMillin Memorial recognizes the legacy of Jesse Hockett, from Warsaw, Missouri, 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.

Gennetten, of nearby Versailles, Missouri, took over the lead on lap eight of the 25-lapper and went on to capture the $3,000 ASCS feature. He beat early leader and pole-starter Dylan Westbrook by 2.5 seconds.

The low groove was good to Gennetten who said he was able to utilize the shortest way around the track to move into contention as the leaders rode the high line.

“I thought I was gonna want to be on the top, but the bottom was so good,” Gennetten said, noting the WAR drivers “barely moved off” the low groove in their feature a few minutes prior.

“The first four rows jumped out in front of me and Sam (Haftertepe) and none of them went down there. I thought, ‘I’m not gonna beat these guys following them,’ so I moved down there,” Gennetten said. “We’ve been horrible all week, just struggling and struggling and struggling.

“Finally, we were like ‘let’s keep trying and trying and trying.’ We found some stuff there. I found the groove before anybody else.”

Fourth-starting Gennetten grabbed the lead away from pole-starting Westbrook coming to the start-finish line to conclude lap eight. By lap 12 he had opened a 1.5-second command over Westbrook and it was a full two seconds by lap 15.

Landon Crawley advanced into the runner-up position on lap 18, going around Westbrook, but he was 3.1 seconds behind Gennetten who was nearly a straightaway-margin in front.

Gennetten cruised from there as the ASCS feature went caution-free for the second straight night. Gennetten prevailed over Westbrook, who fought back to the second in the final laps.

“It’s a hometown race and obviously it’s awesome to win tonight, but our goal is to go and win tomorrow and keep the Jesse Hockett (trophy) in Missouri,” Gennetten said.

Ninth-starting Roger Crockett finished third with Crawley settling for fourth and Hafertepe in fifth.

The finish:

Feature (25 laps): 1. 3-Ayrton Gennetten[4]; 2. 47X-Dylan Westbrook[1]; 3. 11-Roger Crockett[9]; 4. 187-Landon Crawley[6]; 5. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[2]; 6. 24-Garet Williamson[3]; 7. 52-Blake Hahn[16]; 8. 8B-Brad Bowden[8]; 9. G6-Cody Gardner[5]; 10. 12-Jeffrey Newell[19]; 11. 43M-Mark Smith[7]; 12. 9-Chase Randall[12]; 13. 84-Scott Bogucki[15]; 14. 95-Matt Covington[10]; 15. 2C-Wayne Johnson[18]; 16. 22-Riley Goodno[17]; 17. 98P-Miles Paulus[25]; 18. 14E-Kyle Bellm[11]; 19. 36-Jason Martin[21]; 20. 3M-Howard Moore[13]; 21. 99-Blake Jenkins[14]; 22. 13-Chase Howard[22]; 23. 21-Gunner Ramey[20]; 24. 10-Landon Britt[24]; 25. 1X-Tim Crawley[23]