This is it; the final chance for Sprintcar teams to hit the track and fine-tune their preparations in readiness for the arrival of World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz and fellow WoO star Logan Schuchart. It is not surprising therefore that a 35-car field has nominated for round six of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship this Saturday night (December 8) at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway. Given that this is the last Archerfield show before Schatz arrives on December 26 (with Schuchart following on December 29), the time has arrived for drivers to make sure they, their team and their equipment, are in peak condition to take the challenge to the American invaders.
With another huge support program featuring round four of the Polar Ice Midget Track Championship and round two of the Shock Absorber Therapy AMCA Nationals Track Championship plus Modlites and Ford versus Holden versus Sigma sedans, the pits will be jam-packed with more 100 cars set to carve up the Archerfield clay.
Defending Sprintcar track champion Andrew Scheuerle comes into the event in winning form after storming to victory in the previous round last Saturday night and is primed to assume the series lead this weekend in the absence of current point leader Peter Lack. However, Gold Coast gun Lachlan McHugh is back in town and his return from a southern tour ups the ante somewhat as he is the only driver to have won two ECL series rounds so far this season. Of course, Luke Oldfield has also been victorious this season and this trio are again expected to be at the forefront of the fight for feature race success against what will be the toughest field of the season thus far. At the moment, Scheuerle sits just six points adrift of the championship lead, with Allan Woods third overall ahead of Brent Kratzmann and Queensland champion Mitchell Gee, all of whom are in the field again this weekend. Woods, Kratzmann and Gee have all featured on the podium during the first five rounds and could pick no better time than this Saturday to conjure a visit to victory lane and fire a warning shot at the international invaders.
A win for any of the aforementioned aces is, of course, easier said than done given the quality and quantity of their opposition, several of whom have also been in terrific form of late to announce themselves as genuine contenders, with Kevin Titman producing his best performance of the season last Saturday night to secure a runner-up result. For much of that race, Brock Dean ran in second spot and was actually closing in on Scheuerle until a solitary mistake proved costly and resulted in him eventually finishing fifth behind Kristy Bonsey, who is the epitome of determination and perseverance. Every week, Bonsey has been toiling away against myriad teams with considerably more resources at their disposal and now finds herself upstaging many of these operations on a regular basis, culminating with her best result thus far last weekend when she finished fourth in the feature race behind Scheuerle, Titman and Lack, a fitting reward for her hard work and perhaps the start of even bigger things to come.
In the absence of several regular front runners, the Polar Ice Midget action looms as a battle between Darren Vine, Charlie Brown and previous round winner Rusty Whittaker. Neither Vine nor Brown were able to fire a shot at the last round, ending their nights early and leaving Whittaker to score a largely unchallenged victory in the feature race. Vine’s record speaks for itself, while Brown’s recent Toowoomba heroics place them as the most likely to prevent another Whittaker win. With Scott Doyle thus far unable to match the pace of teammate Whittaker, it seems as though Cal Whatmore, Mitchell Rooke and Brad Harrison will most likely find themselves in a position to benefit should the top three falter. Rookie Bodie Smith looked sharp at the previous round before making an unceremonious exit, while fellow category newcomer Tom Clauss continues to improve with each outing.
If the first round of their track championship was any indication, this season looks set to be a boon for the AMCA Nationals division with a return to the big fields and intense competition upon which they built their reputation. Any field that includes a collective of category hotshots such as Steve Potts, Nathan Durston, Matt Hardy, Steve Price and Lee McKinnell is going to deliver action aplenty. Add category veteran Jim Knight and fellow New South Welshmen Tony Blanch, Paul Reeves and the Gamble brothers (Lewis and Matt) into the mix, along with the likes of Michael Mason and Russ Hardy, and you have more than half the 24-car field as genuine podium contenders.
Whilst they have had plenty of racing at other tracks, Modlites are making their first Archerfield appearance for the season and they have answered the call in force with more than 20 drivers entered. Following his runner-up result in the Dirt Modified feature race last Saturday, Klinton Hancey heads the entry list. Hancey has completely dominated the category of recent times, accumulating national and state championship wins to take over the mantle as category top dog. However, the man he dethroned in Terry Leerentveld will be out to reassert his authority, all the while having to fend off the advances of Rodney Pammenter, Sam Gollaschewsky, Nathan Politch, Chris Were, Neil Gregson and more than a dozen others.
Ford vs Holden vs Sigma sedans, which of late have been dominated by the blue oval representatives, complete a packed program, with gates opening at 4.00pm and early racing from 5.00pm. Sprintcar qualifying will commence at 5.30pm and the main program will fire into life from 6.00pm.
East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship round six nominations: Adam Butler, Allan Woods, Andrew Baumber, Andrew Corbet, Andrew Scheuerle, Anthony Lambert, Anthony Vanderreyden, Brent Aprile, Brent Kratzmann, Brett Minett, Brock Dean, Bryan Zelinski, Clem Hoffmans, Dan Murray, Darren Jensen, Justin Snellman, Kevin Titman, Kris Jennings, Kristy Bonsey, Lachlan McHugh, Libby Ellis, Luke Oldfield, Mark Pholi, Mitch Gowland, Mitchell Gee, Nicholas Whell, Paul Rooks, Phil Foster, Randy Morgan, Ryan McNamara, Scott Johnson, Sean Rose, Steven Greer, Steven Johnson, Tony Michelle
Polar Ice Midget Track Championship round four nominations: Audie Malt, Bodie Smith, Brad Harrison, Cal Whatmore, Charlie Brown, Darren Vine, Gavin McDowell, Mitchell Rooke, Nathan Mathers, Riki Harrison, Rusty Whittaker, Scott Doyle, Tim Farrell, Tom Clauss
Shock Absorber Therapy AMCA Nationals Track Championship round two nominations: Ben Manson, Chris Wright, Dan Evans, Darren Miller, Jim Knight, Kevin Stow, Lee McKinnell, Lewis Gamble, Mark Brownsey, Matt Gamble, Matt Hardy, Michael Denning, Michael Mason, Nathan Durston, Nick Storey, Paul Reeves, Ray O’Neill, Russ Hardy, Scott Hitchcock, Shaun Knight, Steve Potts, Steve Price, Stuart Jefferies, Tony Blanch
Modlite nominations: Abi Meehan, Adam Walker, Anthony Stewart, Brayden Preston, Chris Crowe, Chris Were, Dan Lewis, Dylan Hunter, Jared Stephenson, Jim Lindsay, Jim Smith, Joshua Smith, Klinton Hancey, Nathan Politch, Neil Gregson, Richard Mapp, Rodney Pammenter, Sam Gollschewsky, Sean Egan, Sean Rose, Steve Collins, Terry Leerentveld, Troy Carnall
Ford vs Holden vs Sigma nominations: Aaron Wells, Bernie Wright, Braydon Bateman, Cher Tookey, Daniel Wright, David Tookey, Michael Laver, Mickey Mitchell, Peter Bayliss, Robert Kynaston, Travis Maher, Troy Price
Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway is proudly supported by: Ausdeck Patios and Roofing East Coast Logistics Polar Ice Queensland Speedway Spares
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