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Wheatland, MO (September 21, 2018) - The fans in attendance at Lucas Oil Speedway on Friday night were treated to a thrilling show as the Jesse Hockett/Daniel McMillin Memorial continued on with the Rockwell Security qualifying night. Another field of 39 POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprints League competitors signed-in for action, giving us a new event record of 78 total entries this weekend. At the conclusion of Friday's show, another new winner rose to the top as Anthony Nicholson of Millingston, Tennessee outlasted a fleet of challengers in the green-to-checkered 25-lapper to score the preliminary triumph at the 'Diamond of the Dirt Tracks."
Opening the night with another four-set series of group qualifying hot laps, quicktime honors were taken by Kyle Cummins (16.053), Anthony Nicholson (15.771), Danny Smith (16.055) and Colten Cottle (15.358) as the Rockwell Security qualifying night fired off. In heat race action, Hinchman Racewear heat one was taken by Kyle Cummins, Bell Racing USA heat two was won by Chad Goff, Schure Built Suspension heat three was claimed by Wyatt Burks and Wilwood Disc Brakes heat four went to Mitch Wissmiller. A trio of ten-lap qualifiers was next, which saw Riley Kreisel score High Side Design qualifier one, Quinton Benson take Indy Race Parts qualifier two and Matt Moore steal Chalk Racing Stix qualifier three.
With another eight-car inversion mixing up the feature field, it was Anthony Nicholson and Mitch Wissmiller leading us to the green flag. However, neither would command the opening circuit, as third-starter Matt Moore methodically hit the bottom and snuck by both to lead the first lap. Lead change after lead change would follow as Nicholson took the lead on lap two, before Wissmiller held the point on the third circuit.
As Wissmiller remained committed to the cushion, Burks approached him by rolling the bottom and overtook him for the lead on the tenth circuit. While a new leader emerged, a hectic battle ensued for the runner-up spot as Wissmiller, Nicholson, Kreisel, Cummins and Moore were practically competing under a blanket. Taking over second just past halfway, Kreisel looked to be the firm challenger for Burks' lead, but a mistake on the cushion sent Kreisel fading and moved Nicholson up to P2 with ten to go.
Reeling in Burks lap-after-lap, Nicholson re-appeared after falling to fourth and was there to contend in the late running. As Burks slipped off the bottom of turns one and two, Nicholson capitalized and drove by him to reclaim the top spot on the 20th circuit. From there, Nicholson went unchallenged en route to a victory.
The Friday night triumph marked the first of Nicholson's POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprints League career. It was an emotional win for the Tennessee native, who admittedly had a troubling 2018 season, prior to this huge breakthrough on a big stage. Nicholson's victory also made it 19 different winners in 26 WAR races this season, with 11 of those being first-time winners.
Following Nicholson to the line on Friday night was Wyatt Burks in the second spot after leading ten laps around the midway point. Entering the feature as the LRB, Inc. #HighPointMan, Kyle Cummins continued his stellar night and grabbed an eighth-to-third charge in the feature. Making a last-lap pass to take the fourth position, Oklahoma's Matt Moore continued his streak of never finishing outside the top five with WAR, as tonight marked his third race with the league. Falling to fifth after a nearly-disastrous last-lap encounter with lap traffic, Warsaw, Missouri's Riley Kreisel hung on to round out the top five in his No. 90. Closing out the top ten was Colten Cottle in sixth, Danny Smith in seventh, Zach Daum in eighth, Andrew Deal in ninth and Quinton Benson in tenth.
With both preliminary nights now complete, all that remains for the 2018 Jesse Hockett/Daniel McMillin Memorial is the Saturday night championship finale. With the new format, Saturday's program includes two C-Mains, two B-Mains, a pole shuffle and the final main event, to decide this year's champion.
Group Qualifying Session One (3 Laps):
Group Qualifying Session Two (3 Laps):
Group Qualifying Session Three (3 Laps):
Group Qualifying Session Four (3 Laps):
Hinchman Racewear Heat One (8 laps):
Bell Racing USA Heat Two (8 laps):
Schure Built Suspension Heat Three (8 laps):
Wilwood Disc Brakes Heat Four (8 laps):
High Side Design Qualifier One (10 Laps):
Indy Race Parts Qualifier Two (10 Laps):
Chalk Racing Stix Qualifier Three (10 Laps):
Hoosier Tire B-Main One (10 laps):
Speedway Motors B-Main Two (10 laps):
POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprints League Main Event (25 Laps):
Lap Leader(s): Moore 1, Nicholson 2, Wissmiller 3-9, Burks 10-19, Nicholson 20-25.
Hard Charger(s): Daum +6