WHEATLAND, Mo. — Oklahoma teenager Ryan Timms earned a wire-to-wire victory in the ASCS Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series portion of the 13th annual Jesse Hockett-Daniel McMillin Memorial Thursday night at Lucas Oil Speedway.
Meanwhile, Indiana driver Isaac Chapple captured the POWRi WAR Sprint main event on the opening night of the three-day event.
The Hockett-McMillin Memorial recognizes the legacy of Jesse Hockett, from Warsaw, Mo., who was a star in both the winged and non-winged 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.
Timms started on the pole and set the early pace with Blake Hahn giving chase in second and Jamie Ball in third. By lap five, the leader already had a 1.2-second lead and expanded that to 1.4 as he caught lapped traffic by lap 10.
That’s when a caution slowed the action for Chris Martin’s spin in turn four. After the restart, Timms moved to the high groove to open up a 1.1-second lead and, with a clear track in front of him, gradually built on the margin.
Timms was 2.2 seconds in front by lap 17, but once he caught lapped traffic it allowed Hahn to cut into the gap. The difference was one second by lap 20, but Timms had the checkers in sight when three cars tangled in turn four on the white-flag lap to bring out a caution.
The 17-year-old from Oklahoma City was up to the challenge of a green-white-checkered finish, holding off Hahn to become the ASCS Series’ 16th winner of the season.
He finished 1.2 seconds clear of Hahn, with Ball, Derek Hagar and Garet Williamson completing the top five.
“There at the beginning, I didn’t really think it going to lay rubber,” Timms said. “I thought I was going to be right around the bottom and didn’t think it was gonna go away. I could hear Blake above me, three or four yellows in, so I figured it was time to move up there.
“When I got up there I started smelling rubber and I was kind of free, so I trunked the wing. It was really good, then I started getting really tight so I switched it back forward and we were able to put it in victory lane.
“This gives me a lot of confidence going into Saturday night. It’s really cool to win a Jesse Hockett prelim night with how much this race means to everyone, and me. Hopefully we can do the same Saturday.”
Hahn, a former Hockett-McMillin final-night winner, said it was a solid run for him but not good enough to track down Timms.
“Ryan did a really good job there and had a really good car,” Hahn said. “We made some good moves toward the end of the race when the track started getting one lane. To be able to start the weekend like this is a good start. Hopefully we can be one step better on Saturday.”
Williamson set fast qualifying time of 13.549 seconds, a track record for the ASCS Series.
Feature (25 Laps): 1. 5T-Ryan Timms; 2. 52-Blake Hahn; 3. 4W-Jamie Ball; 4. 9JR-Derek Hagar; 5. 12X-Garet Williamson; 6. 3-Howard Moore; 7. 1JR-Steven Russell; 8. 10C-Jeremy Campbell; 9. 55B-Brandon Anderson; 10. 51B-Joe B Miller; 11. 6-Christopher Townsend; 12. 1K-Kelby Watt; 13. 7M-Chance Morton; 14. 8-Alex Sewell; 15. 91-Michael Day; 16. 10-Landon Britt; 17. 2-Chase Porter; 18. 14T-Tim Estenson; 19. 23M-Lance Moss; 20. 6Z-Zane DeVault; 21. 8M-Kade Morton; 22. 86-Timothy Smith; 23. 79-Gage Montgomery; 24. 44-Chris Martin; 25. 45X-Kyler Johnson