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Kicking Up The Dirt - USC Queensland - Round 1
Joanne White posted Sunday September 24, 2017.

Sprintcars returned to the high banks of Hi-Tec Oils Speedway in Toowoomba last night for the Carnival of Power and the opening night of the Queensland Ultimate Sprintcar Championship. There could not have been a better way to start the USC in Toowoomba than the show Sprintcars Queensland put on, with the night culminating in a spectacular, emotional and long overdue maiden win for Brent Kratzmann in the BK Trading Q2 racer. Robbie Farr led the first twenty-six laps of the A-Main but tragically stalled the Q7 racer in turn four whilst trying to get around an upturned lapped car. Farr restarted at the rear of the field but with only four laps left to run victory was out of his reach. Kratzmann, who had held down a very solid second for most of the race, inherited the race lead and was unstoppable as he raced to victory, with Peter Lack and Luke Oldfield joining him on the podium. Andrew Scheuerle managed to climb his way to fourth in the last nine laps of the race, having spent the first two thirds of the race back in seventh, while Jayden Peacock, who for several laps had a breath-taking battle with Peter Lack as the pair argued over third, faded to fifth by the fall of the chequered flag.

When qualifying got underway it was young Cody Maroske who locked in the fastest time in the thirty-two car field. Maroske stopped the clock at a very impressive 11.236 seconds, beating a host of more experienced rivals, with Robbie Farr the second quickest but 0.116 seconds slower than Maroske. Brent Kratzmann was third quickest, laying the ground work early for what turned out to be a night he will not soon forget, while Jayden Peacock and Peter Lack rounded out the fastest five. Nineteen cars managed to qualify in the 11-second bracket, with the quickest 24 cars separated by less than one second.

The format in Toowoomba is a little different to the format we race to in Brisbane, with the first round of heats last night starting with the fastest qualifiers to the front. Cody Maroske and Brent Kratzmann shared the front row for the start of heat one and while Maroske got his nose in front when the lights went green, Kratzmann was sensational on the high side as he sailed around the top in the first two corners to secure the lead. Kratzmann immediately started opening a comfortable margin over his rivals while Andrew Scheuerle, who started from position four, quickly followed Kratzmann around the topside making his way around Maroske as they rounded turns three and four for the first time. Maroske put up a great fight on the bottom but in the end Scheuerle simply had too much momentum and managed to secure second. Mid-field Lachlan McHugh was trying to gain the advantage over Andrew Corbet, while Glen Sutherland searched for a way through. Sutherland made his way past McHugh before sliding underneath Corbet and leaving Corbet to once again try and defend his position from McHugh. Callum Walker was in magnificent form and gradually started closing the gap to Maroske, catching him in the final few laps of the race and challenging him for third in the final corner of the race. Brent Kratzmann took the win almost two seconds ahead of second placed Andrew Scheuerle, while Cody Maroske crossed the line in third. Callum Walker finished fifth and led Glen Sutherland, Lachlan McHugh, Andrew Corbet, Blake Skipper and Mitch Gowland across the line. Brendon Claridge and Brett Sullivan both failed to finish the event.

Peter Lack and Dylan Menz led the field to the green in heat two, with Menz getting a brilliant start on the high line in the Q46 racer. Menz was magnificent as he raced around the outside of Lack to secure the lead, with Lack then moving up track and opening the door for Allan Woods on the bottom. Woods did not hesitate and swiftly slipped underneath the Q5 racer as they headed towards turn three, while behind them Luke Oldfield made his way underneath Daniel Sayre before setting his sights on Lack and Woods. By the end of the first lap Oldfield had a massive look underneath Lack but got momentarily slowed as Woods began to slow on the bottom, mechanical dramas on board the Q28 racer seeing him pull out of the race half a lap later. Oldfield continued to pursue Lack while Lack remained committed to the high line and began pulling away, just as Sayre started challenging Oldfield on the bottom. Danny Reidy soon forced Sayre on the defensive, leaving Oldfield to chase down Lack and they closed in on Menz and all thee began approaching lapped traffic. Menz was doing an absolutely sensational job out in front, until he spun the Q46 racer whilst trying to race under a lapped racer. Contact with Lack then left Menz with enough damage to end his race. Peter Lack inherited the race lead with just a couple of laps left to run, with Oldfield, Sayre and Reidy now right on his tail. Reidy wasted no time when the race resumed and quickly raced under Sayre and into third before turning his attention to Oldfield, only for Sayre to come back strong on the bottom and slide straight back past Reidy as they navigated turn four. With just one lap left on the board Reidy again committed to the bottom and raced beautifully underneath Sayre in a truly brilliant exchange that captivated the crowd. Peter Lack took the win ahead of Luke Oldfield with Danny Reidy holding on to finish third ahead of the hard-charging Daniel Sayre. Mark Pholi crossed the line in fifth and led Karl Hoffmans and Kristy Bonsey home. Dylan Menz, Bryan Zelinski and Allan Woods all failed to finish the ten-lap journey,

Heat three started with Robbie Farr from pole position with young Jayden Peacock alongside. Robbie Farr easily secured the lead when the green flag flew, settling into a comfortable lead while Jayden Peacock and Mitchell Gee negotiated over second and third. Gee had a massive look on the inside of Peacock as they rounded the second corner but Peacock had the speed on the top side and beat Gee to turn three, locking into second and turning his attention to Farr. Meanwhile Michael Saller switched to the low side to race under Gee, just as Shaun Dobson began closing in as well. At the rear of the field Simon Jupe, Nelson Reddacliff and Brett Minett had a thrilling battle over the minor places, the trio soon closing in on the tail of Stewart Craig. Still, there was no stopping Robbie Farr out in front, seemingly effortlessly weaving his way through lapped traffic and taking the win ahead of Jayden Peacock and Mitchell Gee. Michael Saller crossed the line in fourth and led Shaun Dobson, Travis Woods, Dave Whell, Stewart Craig, Simon Jupe, Nelson Reddacliff and Brett Minett across the line. Jupe however was disqualified for failing to go to the scales at the conclusion of the race.

Andrew Corbet and Lachlan McHugh shared the front row for the start of heat four, with Andrew Scheuerle and Callum Walker right behind. Scheuerle got a great start on the bottom and quickly raced under Corbet and into second, challenging McHugh on the high side for the lead. Walker committed to the high line and raced around Corbet and Scheuerle in spectacular fashion coming out of turn two, with Cody Maroske attempting to follow the Q33 racer of Walker on the top side. Corbet got a little sideways in turn four, where he was promptly collected by Brent Kratzmann, who had been left with nowhere to go, with Brett Sullivan and Blake Skipper also involved. Further back in the field Mitch Gowland and Brendon Claridge also became involved, with Claridge inverting the Q31 racer before landing back on all four wheels. Claridge managed to restart the event but later pulled out of the race. On the restart Corbet was relegated to the rear of the field as primary cause, while Andrew Scheuerle was penalised one row for an unfair start first time around, thus elevating Brent Kratzmann to pole position for the restart alongside Lachlan McHugh. Scheuerle again committed to the bottom when the lights went green and immediately raced past Kratzmann and into the lead as they rounded turn one. McHugh however was quick on the topside and by the time they exited turn two he had not only raced around the outside of Scheuerle to steal the lead, but had already started opening a significant margin over the rest of the field. Scheuerle came under pressure from a hard charging Kratzmann while young Callum Walker raced around Glen Sutherland and began searching for a way underneath Kratzmann. Walker got his nose in front of Kratzmann a couple of times, but Kratzmann was too quick on the top and managed to maintain the advantage, all the while Cody Maroske was waiting for the right opportunity to make his move. Maroske slid beautifully underneath Walker in turn three, attempting to get underneath Kratzmann as they rounded turn four while Walker fought back on the bottom, the trio three-wide as they exited turn four. Kratzmann soon emerged in front, leaving Walker and Maroske to negotiate over the minor places, with Glen Sutherland soon joining the battle. McHugh began weaving his way through lapped traffic but it was hard to tear your eyes from the mid-field battle as Sutherland made his way past Walker and Maroske before closing in on the tail of Kratzmann. Lachlan McHugh took the win with a margin of two seconds back to Andrew Scheuerle in second while Brent Kratzmann drove an exceptional race to finish third. Glen Sutherland crossed the line in fourth and led Callum Walker, Cody Maroske, Andrew Corbet, Brett Sullivan, Blake Skipper and Mitch Gowland past the chequered flag. Brendon Claridge was the only driver who failed to finish heat four.

Daniel Sayre and Danny Reidy started alongside each other on the front row for the start of heat five, with Dylan Menz out of position three in the absence of Allan Woods who was unable to start due to mechanical issues in the Q28 racer. Sayre got a brilliant start when the green flag flew, quickly securing the race lead while Reidy was forced to settle for second ahead of Luke Oldfield and Dylan Menz. Oldfield had a massive look up the inside of Reidy as they rounded turn four, while Peter Lack raced beautifully underneath Dylan Menz before setting out after Oldfield and Reidy. Oldfield had another look underneath Reidy, but Reidy was too quick on the top side, leaving Oldfield to defend his position from Lack, the pair exchanging positions several times as they raced towards the chequered flag. Daniel Sayre got the win ahead of Danny Reidy and Luke Oldfield, with Peter Lack home in fourth. Dylan Menz finished fifth and led Karl Hoffmans, Mark Pholi, Kristy Bonsey and Bryan Zelinski across the line.

Heat six started with Travis Woods from pole position with Shaun Dobson alongside. Dobson quickly secured the lead as the field raced into turn one, with Woods holding down second while Jayden Peacock, Michael Saller and Mitchell Gee raced three-wide through turn two. Unfortunately Woods soon brought the race to a stop when he collided with the turn four wall and while his race was over he would return to the track later in proceedings. Dobson led the restart from Gee, Saller and Peacock and while the mid-pack continued to argue over positions, at the tail of the field Stewart Craig, Brett Minett, Nelson Reddacliff and Simon Jupe resumed their battle from the earlier heat. Robbie Farr sat in sixth and began searching for a way past Dave Whell, spending a couple of laps following the Q4 racer before making his move and setting out after Saller in the N56 racer. Race leader Dobson began weaving his way past lapped traffic but spun the VA21 racer in turn four with just three laps left to run. Dobson restarted at the rear of the field while Mitchell Gee inherited the race lead and proved unstoppable as he raced towards the chequered flag and took the win in the final heat of the night. Jayden Peacock came home in second and led Robbie Farr, Michael Saller, Dave Whell, Simon Jupe and Stewart Craig across the line. Brett Minett and Nelson Reddacliff had a breath-taking battle for the final three laps of the race, trading places numerous times and clearly having a lot of fun at the same time. Minett crossed the line in eighth ahead of Reddacliff in ninth. Shaun Dobson and Travis Woods both failed to finish the event.

The fifteen lap B-Main started with Mark Pholi and Andrew Corbet from the front row and a further thirteen cars behind them. Contact between Pholi and Corbet on the start sent Pholi into the fence in turn one, but in the chaos that followed as the rest of the field took evasive action, Brett Minett rode the right rear of Mitch Gowland and launched into the air. It was a nasty wreck for Minett, who was later taken to hospital for tests and observations, with both Pholi and Kristy Bonsey also getting up-side-down. Shaun Dobson inherited pole position for the restart with Andrew Corbet alongside but it was Dobson who got the better start and quickly secured the race lead. Travis Woods faded on the start but came back strong, gradually racing his way into a transfer position. Dobson had a significant lead over Corbet, while Karl Hoffmans and Stewart Craig held down third and fourth respectively, though both would soon come under pressure from Simon Jupe and Travis Woods. Jupe raced underneath Craig and into the final transfer position only to spin moments later, bringing the race under caution. Jupe restarted at the rear of the field and set about making up lost ground, while Dobson led Corbet, Hoffmans and Craig as the race resumed. Woods raced underneath Craig as they rounded turn four, moving into fourth, only for the race to almost immediately be brought under caution as Bryan Zelinski spun to a stop behind them. Dobson led the restart once more with Corbet still a strong second and Hoffmans running third, while Craig restarted back in front of Woods. Woods committed to the bottom on the restart and started challenging both Craig and Hoffmans for position while behind them Nelson Reddacliff and Mitch Gowland traded places several times just outside of the top four. Shaun Dobson went on to take the win ahead of Andrew Corbet with Travis Woods crossing the line in third. Karl Hoffmans drove an incredible race, crossing the line in fourth and, for the first time in his Sprintcar racing career, earning a transfer to the A-Main event. Stewart Craig finished a very respectable fifth ahead of Nelson Reddacliff, Simon Jupe, Mitch Gowland, Bryan Zelinski and Kristy Bonsey. Blake Skipper, Brett Minett, Brett Sullivan and Mark Pholi all failed to finish the event.

A huge field of twenty cars lined up for the start of the A-Main event, a gruelling 30-lap affair that was the perfect way to end the night. The racing was intense, with Robbie Farr, who started from pole position, quickly securing the lead when the green flag flew. Brent Kratzmann had a look on the inside of Peter Lack as they rounded the first corner but Lack was too quick on the top side and managed to settle into second for a lap before Kratzmann had another go and this time made it stick. Kratzmann and Lack have both been quick around the Toowoomba circuit in recent years and while they tried to close in on Farr they soon found Jayden Peacock on their tail. Peacock was in truly magnificent form and while he managed to hold off the advances of Luke Oldfield, Mitchell Gee and Andrew Scheuerle, an impressive effort in itself, he also managed to close the gap to Lack. Callum Walker and Lachlan McHugh, both deep in the field, took to the high line in an effort to make their way forward, with Walker searching high and low for a way past Danny Reidy, eventually sliding underneath the Q19 racer in turn two, while McHugh lost a position to Glen Sutherland. Reidy slid straight back underneath Walker as they raced towards turn three, and while Walker was strong on the top side as he searched for way back around Reidy, Sutherland had closed in and was trying to make his way underneath Walker. The race however was soon brought to a stop when Cody Maroske stopped in turn two after contact with the inside concrete wall. Unfortunately for Maroske he was unable to take to the restart.

Robbie Farr led the restart from Brent Kratzmann, Peter Lack, Jayden Peacock and Luke Oldfield with twenty-two laps still to run. Farr got another brilliant start and immediately opened a lead of several car lengths on Kratzmann and Lack. Lack had a brief look underneath Kratzmann but couldn’t quite get the job done, with Kratzmann soon pulling slightly ahead and leaving Lack with Peacock right on his tail. Mid-field Walker, Sutherland and Reidy resumed their battle as if there had been no stoppage, while closer to the front of the field Peacock found his way in front of Lack and began closing in on Kratzmann. Lachlan McHugh made his way past Glen Sutherland before joining Callum Walker in a thrilling battle as Walker persisted on the high side and tried to find a way past Danny Reidy. Farr and Kratzmann began navigating lapped traffic, while Lack closed in on Peacock as they too started trying to make their way through the back markers. Lack used the traffic to his advantage and raced around Peacock and back into third before opening a small margin on his rival. Mitchell Gee soon brought the race under caution when he cut down a right rear tyre and tried to limp the Q36 racer from the circuit with eight laps still to run.

Robbie Farr again led the restart from Brent Kratzmann and Peter Lack, the leading trio quickly opening a small margin over the rest of the field while Luke Oldfield and Jayden Peacock argued over fourth and behind them Lachlan McHugh and Callum Walker were making their way forward. Just three laps later and the race was brought back under caution when Travis Woods tipped the NQ28 racer on its side in turn four. Race leader Farr unfortunately became involved in the stoppage and, along with Daniel Sayre who also stopped, was forced to the rear of the field with only four laps left to run. Brent Kratzmann inherited the race lead for the restart and was unstoppable as he raced to his first Sprintcar A-Main victory, despite being almost out of fuel as he crossed the line. Kratzmann has an unwavering passion and determination that has been a constant in his racing career, and has worked long and hard for this win. He credits this win as one of his biggest achievements, and it is pretty safe to say it is one he, his crew chief Drew Gessner, and his team will not soon forget. Peter Lack crossed the line in a very strong second after holding off a hard-charging Luke Oldfield, while Andrew Scheuerle made his way underneath Jayden Peacock in those final few laps of the race to secure fourth. Peacock tried to fight back but was forced to settle for fifth at the fall of the chequered flag. Michael Saller crossed the line in sixth and led Shaun Dobson, Lachlan McHugh, Danny Reidy, Glen Sutherland, Robbie Farr, Andrew Corbet, Daniel Sayre, and Dylan Menz across the line, with Callum Walker stopping in turn three less than half a lap from home. Walker was classified as 15th. Travis Woods, Mitchell Gee, Cody Maroske, Karl Hoffmans and Dave Whell all failed to finish the event.

Sprintcars Queensland will take next weekend off before returning to AusDeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway the following weekend, on Saturday 07 October 2017, for Round Two of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Series. Can Brent Kratzmann get back-to-back wins? Will Andrew Scheuerle get his second win of the season? Or will someone else get their chance to stand atop the podium? The racing so far this season has been nothing short of sensational and with every race and every point of critical importance to the championship chase, you can be sure that next time will not be any different. Hope to see you all there!

 

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