A mixed bag of contrasting fortunes for the six USC Chase Championship contenders, including a win for defending champion Jamie Veal sees the points situation coming into the final round next Saturday night at Valvoline Raceway come down to the wire.
Disappointments for 1st and 2nd placed Chase contenders Robbie Farr and Sam Walsh coming into the fifth round last night coupled with strong finishes for Shaun Dobson and Max Dumesny now sees the title open up considerably.
Matt Dumesny too, who led for several laps of the 35-lap A-Main last night ended up with disappointment several hampering his Chase aspirations after going into the round in fourth place.
Jamie Veal’s win was far from an easy affair for the Warrnambool hero with Matt Dumesny serving it up to the #35 SWI Engineering Maxim until the young Sydneysider jumped the cushion in turn three and four and half spun back on to the track.
With the front wheels high in the air Dumesny came into the path of the hapless Sam Walsh (running in third at the time) and the pair became locked together bringing on the cautions.
Tragically for Walsh, who had bettered his own one-lap track record in qualifying in the #92 Rocket Industries GF1 with a stunning 11.500s lap, his car was too badly damaged to restart.
This caused a major speed bump in Walsh’s path to possible Chase victory with the further agony of knowing that series leader Robbie Farr would later finish in a disappointing 9th position.
Veal was rock solid with the Jeff Judd/Dylan Buswell spannered #35 and racked up his 14th career victory at the VR clayway.
The fact hat his beloved Essendon Bombers AFL Team looked to record their second consecutive win not long after he crossed the line was not lost on the Victorian superstar.
“I really can’t thank these boys enough,” he explained, “Matty (Dumesny) did a great job there and I had to really keep him in my sights in the traffic. It’s great that we could come up with the win and let’s see what happens next week I guess.”
Tasmanian Shaun Dobson was speedy and consistent in the Quantum Quartz / Essendon Ford #21 to finish in a healthy fourth position behind USC podium debutant Jay Waugh in third.
The top-four result does no harm at all to 2017 The Scott Darley Challenge winner’s USC Chase dream.
Canberra based expat Kiwi Waugh paid tribute to his family members, friends and partner Kaara stating ‘this is a great result for our little team to get this third place. It was great to run up the front with these guys and I hope it continues.”
James Thompson was resilient and effective in the Stahlwille Tools #22 for his stout second place despite battling effects of the flu.
“I’m feeling really under the weather tonight it’s so good to get a result like his for all our team. The wheels never fall off this car, the boys always give me such a great car.”
Thompson also paid tribute to the track staff for the wide and racy surface.
“My hat’s off to the track guys here, this place was old school Parramatta and it was a pleasure to race on. I know that they’ve had a huge job getting the place ready with all the rain but it was back to its best tonight.”
Max Dumesny was his typical rock-solid self in the Valvoline Maxim slipping silently into the top six and garnering some critical points to overtake son Matt in the Chase points coming into April 8.
Max Johnston wheeled the Airplant Services #38 to a stirring top-five finish showing everyone how keen he was to be back behind the wheel after the interminable two-month lay off with Sydney’s unseasonal wet weather patterns.
Jackson Delamont ran a strong seventh ahead of VR debutant Darren Mollenoyux (keeping him in the hunt for a possible top five Chase result) over Robbie Farr in ninth and Michael Pickens tenth in the Style Homes / Century Batteries Eagle.
For Chase points leader Robbie Farr a critical jumped cushion in turns three/four whilst haggling near the front proved costly as the #7 ECP/Hi-Tec Oils Cool dropped several positions to only just remain inside the top ten.
Michael Pickens came from the B-Main to run a creditable top ten in his VR Sydney Sprintcar debut and show his undeniable quality in an unfamiliar package owned by Sid Moore and spannered by Brett Morris.
Remaining finishers were Toby Bellbowen 11th, Darryl Campbell 12th, Daniel Sayre (who was a lively customer and ran within sight of the top five for some time) 13th, Danny Reidy 14th, Matt Geering 15th, Kim Becker (who ran as a two-car team with son Jesse who made his first USC A-Main appearance) 16th and Warren Ferguson 17th.
DNF’s were Ben Atkinson, Alex Orr, Jesse Attard, Jordyn Brazier, Guy Stanshall and Matt Dumesny.
Guy Stanshall unfortunately had the biggest exit from the A-Main when he made contact with Bennie Atkinson and flipped many times into turn three before thankfully emerging unscathed.
Heat wins went to Jamie Veal, Matt Dumesny, Ben Atkinson and Shaun Dobson.
The C-Main win went to James Duckworth with Adam Hourigan also making the transfer.
The B-Main went to Darryl Campbell with Michael Pickens, Alex Orr and Kim Becker also making the transfer to the A-Main.
Official results in the A-Main were:
1. Jamie Veal 2. James Thompson 3. Jay Waugh 4. Shaun Dobson 5. Max Johnston 6. Max Dumesny 7. Jackson Delamont 8. Darren Mollenoyux 9. Robbie Farr 10. Michael Pickens 11. Toby Bellbowen 12. Darryl Campbell 13. Daniel Sayre 14. Danny Reidy 15. Matt Geering 16. Kim Becker 17. Warren Ferguson
The time-honored “Bendy 500” event for Fender Benders saw the large crowd on hand thrill to the “David and Goliath” battle that played out in the epic 15-lap final.
David Browne snatched the win in the “Shrek Mini” from the massive Coupe of Kenny Moxon on the final corner sending the crowd into raptures as the pair crossed the line.
The “Benders” once again showed that they could wow the crowd with their hilarious antics, their big crashes and their larger than life characters in the fields.
The Wingless Sprint A-Main saw the often-unstoppable Dean Thomas take another victory in the Flair Dancewear #51 but it was Harley Smee who proved the most spectacular charging from deeper in the pack to an eventual second place in the Chief Fluid Systems #57.
Front row starter Sean Dicker was solid in the Craft Differentials #21 for third place whilst Daniel Flood pulled fourth and still NSW #1 Jason Bates rounding out the top five.
Sean Mayo was consistent for sixth place whilst the ever-hectic Blyton family again proved to be a force with seventh for Marshall, eighty for Mark and thirteenth for Jamison.
Sydney youngster Zac “Patch” Pacchiarotta impressed with his first ever heat win earlier in the night and then backed it up with ninth place in the A-Main ahead of the newly returned Brian Briton in the Craft Differentials #81.
Heat winners included Sean Mayo, Zac Pacchiarotta, Daniel Flood, Jason Bates, Mark Blyton and Marshall Blyton.
The B-Main victory went to Jeff Neve over Michael Sammut, Peter Granger and Cody Boulding.
Wingless Sprints A-Main
1. Dean Thomas 2. Harley Smee 3. Sean Dicker 4. Daniel Flood 5. Jason Bates 6. Sean Mayo 7. Marshall Blyton 8. Mark Blyton 9. Zac Pacchiarotta 10. Brian Briton 11. Jarrad Rust 12. Ashleigh Jack 13. Jamison Blyton 14. Jamie Dicker 15. Nikki Briton 16. Cody Boulding 17. Rodney Baker 18. Troy Baker 19. Jeff Neve 20. Michael Sammut 21. Luke Sayre 22. Peter Granger 23. Mitchell O'Brien
Fender Benders Bendy 500:
1. SHREK! Dave Browne 2. Black Betty - Ken Moxon 3. Neil White
An excellent crowd turned out on “Ultimate Footy Fan Night” with Nine Network “The Footy Show” personality Beau Ryan shooting his popular ‘Beau Knows” segment with fans and racers alike.
Ryan reluctantly took the passenger seat of the Aeroflow / Rocket Industries two-seater Sprintcar and did several high speed laps including a rare spin from chauffeur Brett Loadsman but seemed a bit perplexed after the experience.
“I’m thanking God for my life right now,” he groaned, “I just couldn’t wait for it to be over. These guys that drive these things are crazy!”
The NRL Footy Show will either air the Speedway segment this week or the following week. Valvoline Raceway will advise broadcast times and date.
Next Saturday night, April 8 sees the Grand Final of the USC Chase and also the Ultimate Sprintcar Championship NSW finale.
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