|Posted on May 21, 2017 at 8:35 AM|
Saturday Night saw Sunline Speedway play host to the 2016/17 SA Street Stock Title, proudly sponsored by United Speedway Association, Active Motor Wreckers and Jack Daniels. 25 drivers fought hard over the 3 rounds of heats to earn points towards their starting positions for the 25 Lap main event. It was an early shower for Matthew Maynard, who was out for the night after the first lap of the first heat. There would be more hard luck stories throughout the night with numerous drivers striking trouble at some stage. Once everything had settled, Mark Gartner looked like the man to beat with 3 heat wins from his 3 heats to claim pole position. As the cars entered the track for the presentations ahead of the Title, the car of Corey Sandow, who had qualified 7th, failed to show. Unfortunately for Sandow the gearbox had cried enough in the pits and he had to watch from the sidelines. That left 19 cars to battle for the converted SA #1 and those present were treated to some great racing. At one stage it looked like it would be last car standing as drivers pulled out at regular intervals with car issues (over half the field failed to finish). After his dominate run, Gartner looked to have the Title in the bag, only to get a flat tyre 4 laps from the end. Gartner’s misfortune was Matt Nelson’s good fortune and raced on to claim the Title ahead of Rhys Heinrich, whilst Gartner was able to limp home and claim 3rd. A small consolation for Gartner is that he now holds the 1 lap track record which he lowered earlier in the race.
Junior Sedans contested Round 4 of their Track Championship whilst supporting beyondblue. During the night, drivers walked around the Venue rattling their tins with the crowd digging deep with their donations. The Thonre brothers of Heath and Nathan elected to shake things up this meeting by starting all of their races from the rear of the field. Whilst this opened up the potential for some new winners during the 3 heat races, Heath claimed 2 heat wins whilst Nathan claimed the other. The feature saw Paige Goldsack-Gwynne and Ashlee McEwin start from the front row, with Nathan and Heath starting rear, in 11th and 12th. However, it didn’t take long until there was a familiar look to the front of the running order and Heath claimed the win ahead of Nathan. Goldsack-Gwynne unfortunately retired mid race whilst McEwin put in a strong race to be best of the rest in third followed by Rory Moroney and Tom Richter. With 1 Round left in the Track Championship, Heath holds a narrow 8 point lead over Nathan, whilst it looks like an exciting battle for 3rd with McEwin, Richter and Lachie Gwynne separated by just 28 points.
AMCA Nationals held their annual Spectacular, proudly sponsored by Load 28 with a smaller field from what graced the Venue last meeting for their State Title with 9 drivers in attendance. Benny Aworth started the night strong, establishing a new 8 lap track record in the first race of the meeting. Darren McCarthy would claim the 2nd heat to set up an all Victorian front row for the 20 lap Spectacular. Aworth proved too strong in the feature, claiming the win ahead of Tasmanian Rod Bassett and Victorian Frank Thierry, showing up the local drivers with Travis Litterini the best South Australian in 4th.
Modlites had a small field of 7 cars, but welcomed Sprintcar driver Matt Egel for the night in the Michael Brown #52 machine. Whilst Brian Chadwick claimed the first heat, Egel took the second heat and appeared to be at home driving one of these pocket rockets. The feature race will be one that’s spoken about for some time to come. After several stoppages, the finish was set up with a 2 lap dash. Chadwick led with Scott Webb and Egel close on his heels. On the last lap, Egel got a great run out of turn 2 and was able to go around the outside of both of them on the last corner to claim a narrow win on debut. Chadwick held on to second from Webb and Jake Lewis.
In a pleasing sign to many, Modified Sedans had 8 competing which hopefully is a sign that the class is starting to rebuild after a long period of low numbers locally. Adam Haseldine claimed the win in heat 1, whilst Trevor Raams seems to finally be on top of his long time car issues and powered to the win in heat 2. After consistent results in the heats, Justin Demaine and Ben Tuttle started the feature from the front row. Tuttle got the early jump and was quickly followed by Trevor Raams, who pushed Tuttle hard all race. However, most eyes were on the battle for 4th with Marty Raams and Matt McClure racing each other hard with plenty of panel rubbing. Tuttle claimed the win ahead of Trevor Raams, Demaine, McClure and Marty Raams.
Wingless Sprints rounded out the program and enjoyed the track conditions as 2 track records were lowered during the night. Keir Doe started the night with a win in heat 1 before his brother Aaron claimed heat 2 and lowered the existing 8 lap track record. The 2 brothers would start from the front row in the feature, which needed 2 attempts to get under way. Aaron went in too hot into turn 1, which turned Keir, who was collected by Dan Evans. Both brothers were able to resume but unfortunately for Evans the race was over with a flat left rear tyre. On the 2nd attempt, the Doe brothers were overpowered by Travis Beasley who would go on to claim the win and lower the 12 lap record. 2nd place went to Aaron Doe, followed by Brad Beasley, Keir Doe and Lucy Evans.
Sunline Speedway’s final meeting for the 2016/17 season will be the traditional day meeting, to be held on Sunday the 11th of June. Street Stocks will be back in action with the running of the Steve Butcher Memorial, sponsored by Active Batteries. Junior Sedans will contest the Final Round of their Track Championship. Modified Sedans will be racing for their Track Championship, proudly sponsored by Haseldine Automotive & Active Motor Wreckers, whilst Wingless Sprints, Super Sedans, Modlites and AMCA’s round out the big program. As this is a day meeting, gates will open at 10am with racing from 12 noon.