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Hockett-McMillin Memorial Spotlight: ASCS championship leader Martin looks to add Lucas Oil Speedway success

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WHEATLAND, MO. (Sept. 12, 2023) - Jason Martin fell in love with open-wheel racing when he was a youngster after his parents took him to the races in his native Kansas. It didn't take Martin long to decide what he wanted to make racing his career calling.

"You come to the races one time and you'll be bit," Martin said of instant enthusiasm for the sport. "I was a really young kid and my parents took me to the races pretty often and it was an easy pretty choice of what I wanted to do growing up. I wanted to drive a sprint car. Dad got me into go-karts early and I was about 17 when I got into a sprint car."

Hundreds of wins and multiple track championships later, the 41-year-old from Liberal, Kan., is enjoying one of the best seasons of his career. Martin leads the American Sprint Car Series championship chase as the circuit makes its annual visit to Lucas Oil Speedway this week for the 13th annual Jesse Hockett-Daniel McMillin Memorial.

"It's up there at the top of the payouts and it's a huge car count," Martin said of the Hockett-McMillin, which begins Thursday night and concludes with a $10,000-to-win feature on Saturday for the winged cars. "It's always really fun event and we always really enjoy going and racing there."

The POWRi WAR non-wing sprints also will be in action with a $4,077-to-win feature on Saturday night. Both divisions will run split qualifying programs with half of the fields racing Thursday night and the other half on Friday, gathering points toward starting positions on the final night.

Because of a large car count, this marks the first time the split qualifying nights have been used for the ASCS at the Hockett-McMillin. Martin said applies added pressure. Getting a prime starting position for the big Saturday finale is vital and there's little room for error on the preliminary night, which is Friday in Martin's case.

"In the past you always got three nights on the track and were able to make a bunch of changes and got really good by the third night," Martin said. "This year puts a little bit of a curve ball in where you split the field in half. But we have pretty good notes, so hopefully we'll be able to roll out of the box right away.

"It puts a lot more stress on just one night. Before you had kind of a mulligan, where you if you had a bad night you could recover. Now you have one chance as far as your qualifying night goes. It's a lot more pressure to perform and have good luck."

No matter what happens this weekend, it's been a heck of a year for Martin with nine ASCS wins and 16 top-five finishes in 23 events to built a 99-point lead over Matt Covington. Overall, Martin has 12 feature victories this season.

"We've never spent a bunch of time chasing points championships," Martin said. "This is our second year running for the ASCS national points. It's been good. We've been able to get to a lot of the race tracks we were at last year and go back to our notebook. We've been able to improve on a lot of those finishes.

"We've won 12 races so far. There were years in the past where we've won 15 or 16, so it's not our highest win total, but for the cars and caliber of the series we're racing … I'm happy with our season and we've got a little bit left to go to try and close it out and try to win a championship."

Among his accomplishments, Martin won The Steve King Memorial at Dodge City Raceway Park in 2009 as well as in 2011 at The Jetmore Motorplex. He's also one of handful of racers who can say they have made the A-Mains at both the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa and the Knoxville Nationals in Knoxville, Iowa in the same year as a rookie in these events.

Martin has raced in 34 different states plus Canada and won races at 20 different tracks in eight states, driving both winged and non-winged sprints, plus midgets and micro sprints. While he's yet to win in limited appearances at Lucas Oil Speedway, Martin said he feels good about the track surface and plans to use Thursday night to scout how the track changes throughout the evening and how the maintenance crew adjusts.

"Typically, I really do like the track there," Martin said. "They do a really good job with the track prep. Most of the time it's slick and wide and that's what I prefer it to be, when the cushion gets up there by the fence.

"We'll kind of see (Thursday) what the track prep guys do. If it's really wet and they let it go, or if it gets slick early and they have time to go re-prep it. Just watch and see what the track surface changes look like, what the non-wing cars do to the track. Just pay attention to what happens. It's a good learning tool."

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.

Programs each of the first two nights will find $3,000-to-win features for the winged cars and $2,000 for the wingless. Drivers will earn points each time they hit the track - qualifying, heat races and features - Thursday and Friday nights to help determine their starting position for the final night.

The finales on Saturday night, following last-chance qualifiers and B-Mains will be $10,000 for the ASCS winner and $4,077 for the WAR first-place finisher.

On Thursday and Friday, pit gates open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5, hot laps at 6 and racing at 7:05. On Saturday, pit gates open at 3 and grandstands at 4 with hot laps at 5:30 and racing at 6:35.

ASCS purse structure for Thursday and Friday:

A-Feature: 1. $3,000; 2. $1,500; 3. $1,100; 4. $1,000; 5. $800 6. $700; 7. $600; 8. $500; 9. $475; 10. $450; 11. $425; 12. $400 13. $400; 14. $400; 15. $400; 16. $400; 17. $400; 18. $400; 19. $400; 20. $400; 21. $400; 22. $400; Any non-transferring driver will be paid $100.

The finales on Saturday night, following last-chance qualifiers and B-Mains will be $10,000 for the ASCS winner and $4,077 for the WAR first-place finisher.

ASCS purse structure for Saturday:

A-Feature: 1. $10,000; 2. $5,000; 3. $2,500; 4. $1,500; 5. $1,250; 6. $1,150; 7. $1,100; 8. $1,000; 9. $900; 10. $800; 11. $700; 12. $600; 13. $550; 14. $525; 15. $500; 16. $475; 17. $450; 18. $425; 19. $400; 20. $400; 21. $400; 22. $400; Any non-transferring driver will be paid $100.

POWRi WAR purse for Thursday and Friday:

A Feature - 1, $2,000; 2, $1,000; 3, $600; 4, $500; 5, $400; 6, $325; 7, $300; 8, $275; 9, $250; 10, $230; 11, $225; 12, $220; 13, $215; 14, $210; 15, $205; 16-22, $200.

POWRi WAR purse structure for Saturday

A Feature - 1, $4,077; 2, $1,500; 3, $1,000; 4, $700; 5, $600; 6, $550; 7, $525; 8, $500; 9, $475; 10, $450; 11, $445; 12, $440; 13, $435; 14, $430; 15, $425; 16-24 - $400.

Wayne Johnson won last year's ASCS Winged Sprint portion of the event while Chase Randall captured the POWRi WAR Sprint feature.

Thursday, Sept. 14 admission

Advance Discount Tickets online only (16 and up) - $22

Adults (16 and up) - $25

Seniors (62 and up)/Military - $22

Youth (6 to 15) - $10

Kids (5 and under) - FREE

Family Pass - $60

Pit Pass - $45

3-Day Pit Pass - $135

Friday, Sept. 15 admission

Advance Discount Tickets online only (16 and up) - $22

Adults (16 and up) - $25

Seniors (62 and up)/Military - $22

Youth (6 to 15) - $10

Kids (5 and under) - FREE

Family Pass - $60

Pit Pass - $45

Saturday, Sept. 16 admission

Advance Discount Tickets online only (16 and up) - $32

Adults (16 and up) - $35

Seniors (62 and up)/Military - $32

Youth (6 to 15) - $10

Kids (5 and under) - FREE

Family Pass - $80

Pit Pass - $45

For information on any event at Lucas Oil Speedway in 2023 contact admissions director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or email her at nichole@lucasoilspeedway.com for more information.


Danny Lorton

Lucas Oil Speedway General Manager

Office: (417) 282-5984


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Complete Lucas Oil Speedway event information, archived race recaps, previews and driver features, along with ticket information and schedules can be found by visiting LucasOilSpeedway.com.

Lucas Oil Speedway is located at Highways 83 and 54 in Wheatland, Missouri. A campground with shower and bathroom facilities is also available. With its entrance located just outside the pit gate this sprawling scenic camping facility will continue to enhance the racing experience at the Diamond of Dirt Tracks.

Click LucasOilSpeedway.com for more information and detailed directions to the speedway or call the Track Hotline at (417) 282-5984. The Lucas Oil Speedway EZ Texting number is (417) 804-4141.

In addition, fans can get social with Lucas Oil Speedway by following @LucasSpeedway on Twitter, clicking "Like" at www.facebook.com/LucasOilSpeedway and on www.youtube.com/LucasOilSpeedway

About Lucas Oil Speedway
Lucas Oil Speedway is considered by fans, drivers and industry insiders to be one of the top five racing facilities in the nation. Located in Wheatland, Missouri, approximately an hour from Springfield, Missouri, and just an hour and a half from the Kansas City metro area, the "Diamond of Dirt Tracks" lives up to its title.

Twenty-One VIP Luxury Suites, HD Jumbo-Tron Screen, Stadium Style Musco Sports Lighting, a Bose Sound System, Go-Kart Slick Track, The Diamond Bar, Track Treasures Gift Shop, the best track food in the country and paved pits are a few of the spectacular amenities setting the Diamond of Dirt apart. This year marks the 12th season for the Liquid Quarter Mile Drag Racing Lake, "Lake Lucas." New for 2017 was all-purpose built Off Road facility featuring a host of regional events.

Lucas Oil Speedway's dirt oval track plays host to some of the largest and most-popular events in the Midwest with national and regional touring series appearing frequently including: The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, POWRi Midget National Series, Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League, United States Modified Touring Series, ASCS Sprint Cars and the Lucas Oil MLRA.

In addition to the special events, the Lucas Oil Speedway Weekly Racing Series features the Late Models, USRA Modifieds, USRA Stock Cars and USRA B-Mods.

2023 Official Lucas Oil Speedway Marketing Partners

Arizona Sport Shirts
"The Official Merchandise Provider" of Lucas Oil Speedway

Bill Roberts Chevrolet-Buick
"The Official Truck" of Lucas Oil Speedway

Dixie Chopper
"The Official Mowers of Lucas Oil Speedway"

General Tire
"The Official Tire" of Lucas Oil Speedway

Lucas Oil Products
"The Official Oil" of Lucas Oil Speedway

"The Official Television Network" of Lucas Oil Speedway

Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper
"The Official Soft Drink" of Lucas Oil Speedway

"The Official Classifieds" of Lucas Oil Speedway

Rugged Radios
"The Official 2-Way Communications Provider" of Lucas Oil Speedway

Summit Racing Equipment
"The Official Sponsor" of Lucas Oil Speedway

Sunoco Race Fuels
"The Official Fuel" of Lucas Oil Speedway

Super Clean
"The Official Sponsor" of Lucas Oil Speedway

2023 Lucas Oil Speedway Supporters Include:
AM Pyrotechnics, Alliance Sport Marketing, Arctic Food Equipment, Arizona Sport Shirts, Berry Tractor and Equipment Co., Big Adventure RV, Bill Roberts Chevrolet-Buick, Bolivar Auto Sales & Detailing, Bolivar Farmers Exchange-MFA, Boone's BBQ Barn, Boubin Tire/American Racer, Branstetter & Lightfoot LLC, Bridal Cave, BWI Sanitation, Camden on the Lake Resort, Candlelight Creations-Dick's Wild Root Horseradish, Casey's, Cedar Creek Beef Jerky, Citizens Memorial Healthcare, City Magnet, Clearlight Inn, Dirt Track Specialist, Dixie Chopper, Eagle Vision Paving LLC, Eibach Springs, Farmers Insurance Agent Kristy Reynolds, Fast Shafts by Axle Exchange, Foley Equipment-Cat Rental Store, Frog Signs, Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare, Hermitage Lumber, HICKAMO Country Store, Hobbytime Motorsports, Impact Signs Awnings Wraps, In the Garden of Eden, KC Bobcat, Kettle Treats, Keyser Manufacturing, Kluhsman Racing Components, Kona Ice, Lucas Cattle Company, MD3, Midwest Sheet Metal, Miller Welding, Missouri Division of Tourism, MyRacePass, Nutrien Ag Solutions, OakStar Bank, O'Bannon Bank, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Ozark Golf Cars, Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper, Ozarks Community Health Center, PEM, Pitts Homes, Pitts Realty, Pitts Cattle, Pomme de Terre Resort, ProThings Apparel, RACEceiver, Racinboys.com, RacinDirt.com, RacingJunk.com, Rains Ice Company, Real Racing Wheels, Reed Environmental, River's End Motel & RV Park, Rod End Supply, Ron Jenkins Accounting & Tax Service, Rugged Radios, Ryan E. Murphy Law Firm LLC, SBU Athletics, Safety Kleen, Scott Furniture, Sidetrack RV Park, Simpson Racing Products, SMC, Southwest Electric Cooperative, State Tech, Stillwater Resort, Summit Racing Equipment, Sunoco Race Fuels, US Army Corps of Engineers-Pomme de Terre, Vietti Marketing Group, Wasoba Seed & Trucking, Wheatland Motel, White's Marine Center, Wieland, Wild Animal Safari, Woods Supermarkets.