Lenny Bates is the overnight leader of the Speedway Sedans Australia, Coopers National Street Stock Title at Adelaide Motorsports Park, going through the night undefeated.
Not only did Bates win all three of his heats on the opening night, the current Australia number two, will have a front row start on Saturday night, giving him a massive chance to start on the front row of the National Final.
The night was plagued by incidents with 42 restarts throughout the night, 26 of them in the opening round of heats, which took two hours and fifteen minutes to complete. Behind Bates, three drivers have recorded two wins and a second placing, with Mark Jennings, defending Champion Rhys Heinrich and Nigel Reichstein all just eight points behind Bates
Track conditions in the opening round of ten heats became treacherous as the heats unfolded, with the opening heat setting the tone, with four stoppages in the first seven laps. Bailey Heinrich would take the opening heat after starting on the front row, while Morris Ahearn would finish second and Mick Clark third.
Evan Wakefield would win heat two by 4.661 seconds after two stoppages on the opening two laps, as a result of Daniel Ameduri and Jacob Mills both spinning. Carey Weston and Jason Duell would complete the podium, well behind Wakefield.
Ethan Genev and Rhys Heinrich would both spin in turn one on the opening lap, resulting in an early stoppage. Mark Gartner would lead all the way to defeat Heinrich and Genev.
Corey Sandow would have a big lead, with resulted for naught after a restart when Rod Berry spun in the main straight. This allowed Peter Walker from Western Australia to take the lead and record a narrow win, defeating Sandow and Chris Stewart who started from position nine.
Heat five continued the stoppage trend when Andy Maxwell Jnr hit the fence in turn four. Gerrard Mabbett would also spin, this time in front of the field resulting in yet another stoppage. Mark Jennings drove a good race, coming from position nine to take the victory, while Peter Dowie who came from the back mark and Cody Heinrich filled the minor placings.
Anthony Beare came under enourmous pressure in the concluding stages of heat six from Jace Kempton from Western Australia. Beare would hold on downing Kempton and Cody Avins, with Avins beating Scott Merrett by 0.005.
Heat seven would see Chris Hay crash into the fence on lap three resulting in the eighteenth stoppage of the night. Jason Duell and Lenny Bates had a great battle for the lead, before Bates got the upper hand in the concluding stages, defeating the fast finishing Michael Hamon narrowly while Duell finished third.
Darren Giacometti would record a big victory in heat eight after original leader Damon Thomson made contact with a back marker, resulting in a stoppage and being sent to the rear of the field. Giacometti easily accounted for Felicity Roycroft and Colin Peadon. Heat nine was a protracted affair with three drivers failing to complete half the race. Nigel Reichstein who started from position five would easily defeat Jayden Edwards who started on the back row and Simon Spitzbarth.
Craig Buchanan was a mile in front in heat ten, but had to survive a late stoppage, narrowly hanging on to win by just 0.770, defeating Brad McClure and Darryl Atkinson.
After an extensive track grade, the drivers were greeted by a much smoother surface and it would see the first heat go the distance without incident. Neville Nitschke would defeat Evan Wakefield and Robbie Faux, in heat eleven.
Heat twelve would see a much closer margin than the heat that proceeded it, with Ricky Throckmorton seeing off the challenges of Mark Jennings and Mick Clark, before Jennings came back on the last lap to set up the narrow win. Mick Clark would finish third. Jacob Mills would come from position nine to win heat thirteen, with the race again going without incident. Mills had a good battle with Tasmanian Matt Atkinson before driving straight past, ultimately recording an easy win. Atkinson and Queensland based Travis Hutchison would fill the minor placings.
Rhys Heinrich would home Bailey Heinrich in heat fourteen, with the Natonal Champion leading all the way. Corey Sandow would started from position nine, did a great job to finish third.
Jack Barnewall thrashed the opposition in heat fifteen. Barnewall won by 6.640 easily accounting for Corey Bauld and Andy Maxwell Jnr.
Jace Kempton would win heat sixteen, leading all the way. Darren Forrest drove well to finish second while Jaidyn Dredge held off several challenges to finish third.
Anthony Beare would ride the wall on the second lap of heat seventeen, ending the race for the three times Champion. Paul Briggs would open a handy lead early in the race, but the gap closed in the latter stages with Shane Henry and Brad McClure finishing second and third.
Michael Hamon would make it four West Australian wins in succession, when Hamon won heat eighteen. The drive was full of merit, winning by 5.109, starting at the back of the field and recording the quickest twelve lap time of the night. Grant Harris and Cade Cox would fill the minor placings.
Lenny Bates would win again in heat nineteen, coming from position ten. Nigel Reichstein had a significant lead but it was whittled away by Bates, who then had a late restart help his cause, demoting Reichstein late in the race to second, with Matt Nelson finishing third. Peter Herbert was elated after winning heat twenty, with the West Australian coming from mid page to take the win. Sam Brumfield and Nathan Barbeler had a good battle for the minor placings with Brumfield finishing second.
Robbie Faux made a great outside run on the field in the opening lap to set up his win in heat twenty one. Hayden Norman from Western Australia did not let Faux get away, with the two times National Champion winning by a car length, with Steven Watts third.
Mark Jennings had a comfortable win in heat twenty two, before Neville Nitschke impressed by winning heat twenty three narrowly.
Jack Barnewall appeared to blow a power steering hose on the opening lap on heat twenty three. Mills would drive right away from the opposition to down Morris Ahearn and Andy Maxwell Jnr.
Rhys Heinrich would record a big victory in heat twenty five, winning nearly half a lap. Heat twenty six would see Matthew Maynard lead early before a great battle with Michael Hamon. Both would be caught by Bates, before the trio ran side by side. Hamon would suffer a flat tyre five laps from the end, while Bates would win and be undefeated at the end of the night.
Anthony Beare would win heat twenty seven, but not until after he was forced to see off the challenge of Matt Nelson, who eventually retired and Craig Buchanan, with Buchanan losing narrowly while Chris Whatmore finished third.
Jayden Edwards led all the way in heat twenty eight, downing the fast finishin Brad McClure, before Darryl Atkinson won an entertaining heat twenty night, with the lead changing several times between Atkinson and Sam Brumfield. Peter Herbert would steal second place right on the line, deposing Brumfield to third.
The final heat of the night would have some drama for Damon Thomson who lost a wheel after four laps. Upon the resumption Nigel Reichstein would prove too good, accounting for Leigh Gooding and Wayne Sheerman.
Racing commences at 5.00pm CDST on Saturday
Points 1. V74 Lenny Bates 108 2. S21 Mark Jennings 100 3. A1 Rhys Heinrich 100 4. S14 Nigel Reichstein 100 5. W56 Jace Kempton 87 6. S58 Neville Nitschke 82 7. S87 Jayden Edwards 81 8. N111 Jacob Mills 80 9. V24 Brad McClure 79 10. V122 Corey Sandow 79 11. S46 Anthony Beare 76 12. S86 Bailey Heinrich 74 13. W49 Peter Herbert 74 14. V32 Darren Giacometti 72 15. V37 Darryl Atkinson 72 16. S7 Craig Buchanan 72 17. W221 Evan Wakefield 70 18. W78 Michael Hamon 66 19. S38 Mark Gartner 66 20. S17 Carey Weston 66 21. V54 Morris Ahearn 64 22. V29 Chris Stewart 64 23. W85 Peter Dowie 64 24. V127 Jason DeGoldi 63 25. V182 Ricky Throckmorton 62 26. V115 Robbie Faux 61 27. W92 Paul Briggs 59 28. V141 Darren Forrest 58 29. V5 Steven Watts 57 30. W181 Peter Walker 57 31. S15 Sam Brumfield 56 32. W16 Jack Barnewall 55 33. T135 Matt Atkinson 55 34. V112 Leigh Gooding 53 35. V48 Mick Clark 52 36. S132 Andy Maxwell Jnr 37. S63 Cody Heinrich 51 38. V102 Mick Dann 51 39. V65 Felicity Roycroft 49 40. V61 Matt Nelson 46 41. V42 Chris Whatmore 46 42. S18 Jason Duell 44 43. W76 Hayden Norman 43 44. V33 Shaun Henry 43 45. V114 Megan Forrest 43 46. S6 Grant Harris 41 47. N53 Kasey Staker 40 48. T177 Corey Bauld 40 49. V94 Dean Jenkins 40 50. N73 Colin Peadon 40 51. S27 Cade Cox 39 52. Q75 Travis Hutchison 38 53. V13 Jaidyn Dredge 38 54. S55 Matthew Maynard 37 55. W51 Cody Avins 37 56. NT143 Simon Spitzbarth 37 57. V82 Shane Roycroft 35 58. V41 Scott Merrett 35 59. V93 Andrew Burgoyne 35 60. V183 Brooke Ferguson 33 61. T28 Dale Riley Jnr 32 62. V169 Wayne Sheerman 32 63. Q88 Nathan Barbeler 31 64. W101 Damon Thomson 31 65. V39 Gerrard Mabbitt 29 66. W35 Daniel Ameduri 29 67. T44 John Riley 28 68. V145 Robert Smith 28 69. V83 David Barrie 27 70. V119 Eugene Bennett 27 71. S23 Ben Whitehead 27 72. V67 Corey Knox 27 73. W34 Ethan Genev 26 74. V47 Jason Faux 25 75. V89 Andrew Jordan 25 76. S69 Matthew Seidl 25 77. V68 Dale Blomeley 24 78. Q99 Peter Thompson 24 79. W9 Marty Kelly 24 80. S12 Darren Flatman 23 81. S96 Wayne Fosteris 23 82. T71 Luke Williams 22 83. S22 Tony Prideaux 22 84. S25 Jamie Crutchley 22 85. S31 Adrian Wright 22 86. T10 Matt Hammond 20 87. S8 Paul Hayes 19 88. V43 Nathan Dunn 19 89. W104 Donna Vanzetti 18 90. T124 Ben Riley 17 91. W125 Craig Clayton 17 92. V118 Scott Secombe 17 93. NT3 Eric Donaldson 17 94. S2 Anthony Buchanan 16 95. V81 Dylan Campton 16 96. Q188 Josephine Thompson 15 97. V142 Chris Hay 15 98. V144 Jared Wilkinson 15 99. S91 Darren Brumfield 14 100. V95 Scott Purdie 14 101. S97 Jamie Stewart 14 102. Q184 John Stoward 14 103. S62 Trae Ballantyne 14 104. S0 Moss Buchanan 14 105. V64 Jayden Blomeley 13 106. S66 Keenan Richards 13 107. NT72 Rod Berry 13 108. W138 Bob Wakefield 13 109. T45 Brendon Green 12 110. NT98 Corey Greening 12 111. V57 Matthew Glab 11 112. V77 Melissa Crutchley 10 113. V113 David Missen 9 114. S11 James Jamieson 8 115. NT164 James Dennis 8 116. S36 Adrian Jones 6 117. S19 Phil Watson 6 118. S59 Haydon Jolly 5 119. V79 Wade Fell 3