After kicking off his 2018/2019 Australian campaign with a most emphatic win in round seven of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship on Wednesday night, American superstar Donny Schatz returns to Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway this Saturday night (December 29). On Wednesday, Schatz was a class above the 35+ other drivers who dared to dream of a win against the worlds best and Saturday will see a similar number of challengers taking on the 10-times World of Outlaws champion. However, amongst the entries this time will be fellow WoO star Logan Schuchart, who finished sixth in the 2018 World of Outlaws championship and, as a proven race winner at Archerfield, is another significant challenge for the locals in their bid for feature race success.
As always at Archerfield, a packed program is on offer with the final round of the Super Sedan Summer Slam also to be decided with upwards of 25 cars from Queensland and interstate amongst the entries, while AMCA Nationals have mustered another big field for the latest round of their Shock Absorber Therapy Track Championship. In fact, with Open Sedans also on the card, there are 120 competitors nominated.
In what was his best performance of the season, Brent Kratzmann took the challenge to Schatz in the early stages of the feature race on Wednesday and, despite being unable to match the Americans pace for the duration, he demonstrated a sustained level of determination and resolve to keep previous round winner Luke Oldfield at bay to secure a second-place finish. Allan Woods and defending track champion Andrew Scheuerle were the only other drivers who did not fall a lap in arrears to Schatz, although a late restart proved a reprieve for Gee and enabled him to usurp Scheuerle from the top five. Whilst it seems likely that this group will again be the biggest threat to Schatz and Schuchart, Brent Aprile will only need an ounce of luck to make an impact. Aprile has been super-quick every time he has made the trip from his North Queensland base this season, only to endure misfortunes of varying degrees that have prevented him from converting his pace into results. Other standouts from Wednesday include Peter Lack, who bounced back from a early setback to salvage another strong result, along with Brett Minett and Mitch Gowland, both of whom rose to the occasion and produced their best performances of the season. All of these guys (and plenty more) will be back on track this weekend in search of a win against the best in the business.
As the result of a rain-out earlier in the season, the Summer Slam will mark the first appearance of Super Sedans at Archerfield for 2018/2019 and they have marked the occasion by securing a very strong list of nominations, all of whom will hopefully make it through the opening night of Summer Slam action in Gympie on Friday night. The line-up includes three of the best drivers in the history of the division in Matt Pascoe, Darren Kane and Wayne Randall, a trio who have amassed an extensive collection of state and national championship wins almost impossible to tally. Toowoombas Sean Black is now a podium regular and is leading the next generation of sedan racers against the old guard, while the Rockhampton-based trio of Matt Williams, Leigh Williams and Gavin Northfield are also serious contenders for feature race honours. Others to watch include Mark Pagel, Justin Randall and Sam Roza, who recently contested several events interstate and is no doubt looking to make his mark on home soil, while Tania Smith leads a three-pronged attack from New South Wales.
It would be futile and foolhardy in attempting to predict who might prevail from amongst the 30-car AMCA Nationals field given the closeness of the competition that they have delivered the season and the number of proven race winners amongst them. Nathan Durston, Steve Potts, Matt Hardy, Steve Price, Lee McKinnell, Tony Blanch, Russ Hardy and Lewis Gamble were all in the mix at the previous round and there seems little reason to believe they wont be at the forefront of the action again on Saturday.
Gates open at 4.00pm (3.30pm for online ticket holders) and, with over 25 Open Sedans also nominated, the huge night of action will get underway with early racing from 5.00pm. Sprintcar time trials will commence at 5.30pm and the main program will launch from 6.00pm.
East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship round seven nominations: Adam Butler, Allan Woods, Andrew Baumber, Andrew Corbet, Andrew Scheuerle, Anthony Lambert, Ben Hilder, Brent Aprile, Brent Kratzmann, Brett Minett, Brock Dean, Brodie Tulloch, Clem Hoffmans, Dan Murray, Darren Jensen, David Whell, Donny Schatz, Jessie Attard, Kevin Britten, Kevin Titman, Kris Jennings, Kristy Bonsey, Libby Ellis, Logan Schuchart, Luke Oldfield, Mitch Gowland, Mitchell Gee, Nathan Black, Nathan McFarlane, Nelson Reddacliff, Paul Rooks, Peter Lack, Phil Foster, Ryan McNamara, Sean Rose, Steve Greer, Steven Johnson, Tim Farrell
Super Sedan Summer Slam nominations: Bob McCosker, Brendan Doyle, Craig Shaw, Dale Christensen, Darren Anning, Darren Hawkings, Darren Kane, Darren Saunders, David Musch, Ed Doherty, Gavin Northfield, Gordon Shaw, Graeme Elliott, Justin Randall, Leigh Williams, Mark OBrien, Mark Pagel, Matt Pascoe, Matt Williams, Nicholas OKeefe, Sam Roza, Sean Black, Tania Smith, Tony Brinkmann, Wayne Dick, Wayne Randall
Shock Absorber Therapy AMCA Nationals Track Championship round three nominations: Aaron Knox, Andrew Butcher, Brock Lehfeldt, Chris Wright, Cody Simmons, Damien Groer, Dan Evans, Gavin Wootton, Jim Knight, Kevin Stow, Lee McKinnell, Lewis Gamble, Mark Brownsey, Matt Hardy, Michael Denning, Nathan Durston, Nathan Tomkins, Neville Norton, Nick Storey, Paul Reeves, Russ Hardy, Scott Hitchcock, Shane McKinnell, Shaun Knight, Steve Potts, Steve Price, Stuart Jefferies, Thomas Vickery, Tim Gamble, Tony Blanch
Open Sedan nominations: Bob Ware, Colin Kane, Daniel Taylor, Dave Mortimer, Les Eisenmanger, Michael Taylor, Robin Bains, Wayne Kirkman, Greg Town, Greg Trezise, Aaron Buchanan, Ben Taylor, Chris Van Der Ryken, Haiden Grantz, Hans Van Der Ryken, Josh Manser, Mark Anderson, Maximo Hofmann, Neil Crawford, Rachael Hawkins, Ricky Price, Russell Davies, Scott Taylor, Shane Knights, Steve Bradford
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