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Kicking Up The Dirt - ECL Series Round 8 - USA Night 2
Joanne White posted Sunday December 30, 2018.

Luke Oldfield got the win in Round Eight of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Series at Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway in an action-packed affair that saw Andrew Scheuerle and Logan Schuchart share the podium after the race was declared with one lap left to run. A light drizzle of unexpected rain in the early part of the race saw the track quickly get greasy, while Donny Schatz rode the wheel of a lapped car, while running in second, and inverted the beautifully presented U15 racer out of the event. A little bit of wheel-packing and a few hot laps brought the track back in and allowed us to complete the final twenty-one laps, but the race was declared when Brent Kratzmann, who had spent most of the race running inside the top four, clipped the wall in turn three with one lap remaining, tipping the always immaculately presented Q2 racer on its side and bringing the race to a stop. Mitchell Gee inherited fourth while Darren Jensen completed the top five, and Peter Lack had an impressive run to finish sixth after transferring from the B-Main.

Thirty-seven cars took to the track for qualifying, and with changing track conditions we were left with an interesting mix of qualifying results. Luke Oldfield topped the leader board with an 11.496 second lap, a staggering 0.227 seconds quicker than Jessie Attard, who locked in the second quickest time after stopping the lock at 11.723 seconds. Logan Schuchart, in his first Brisbane appearance this summer, got his 2018-2019 Australian Summer tour off to a great start, securing third in qualifying with an 11.778 second lap, narrowly beating fellow American Donny Schatz (11.793). Ben Hilder (11.920) rounded out the fastest five, while Paul Rooks and Mitchell Gee also managed to get into the 11-second bracket. Brock Dean, who celebrated his birthday yesterday, beat Andrew Corbet by just three thousandths of a second, while Brett Minett was just two thousandths of a second quicker than Dave Whell.

Heat one started with Nelson Reddacliff and Brent Kratzmann sharing the front row for the start, and while Kratzmann got a brilliant start and quickly secured the race lead, Reddacliff immediately came under pressure from a hard-charging Peter Lack. Lack had a look underneath Reddacliff as they rounded turn one, before emerging in front as they exited turn two, while Ryan McNamara had a bold, but unsuccessful, look around the outside. Lack settled into second ahead of Reddacliff, while McNamara surrendered positions to Mitchell Gee, Kristy Bonsey and Luke Oldfield and while Oldfield persisted in trying to find a way around Bonsey, Gee made his way underneath Reddacliff and set out after Lack and Kratzmann. Lack was all over the back of Kratzmann, searching high and low for a way into the race lead, while Oldfield committed to the high line and made his way ahead of Bonsey before starting to challenge Reddacliff for the minor places. Nathan McFarlane brought the race under caution moments later when he spun to a stop in turn three. Kratzmann led the restart from Lack and Gee, while Oldfield spent a couple of laps looking for a way underneath Reddacliff before racing around the outside as the pair headed down the back straight. Kristy Bonsey held off a hard-charging Paul Rooks and started opening a small margin on the Q64 racer, while behind them Allan Woods and Adam Butler came together in turn two, leaving Butler with the front end knocked out of the Q10 racer. Kratzmann, Lack and Gee again led the restart with five laps still to run, while Bonsey had a massive look underneath Reddacliff, only for Reddacliff to fight back on the top side to maintain his position. Bonsey soon came under pressure from Woods, with Woods getting underneath the Q42 racer as they headed towards turn three. A small mistake from Woods moments later saw Bonsey regain her position, with McNamara also capitalising and following Bonsey underneath Woods. Brent Kratzmann went on to take the win ahead of Peter Lack and Luke Oldfield, with Mitchell Gee forced to settle for fourth. Nelson Reddacliff finished fifth ahead of Kristy Bonsey, Ryan McNamara, Allan Woods, Phill Foster, Paul Rooks and Libby Ellis. Adam Butler and Nathan McFarlane failed to finish the event.

Clem Hoffmans and Dan Murray shared the front row for the start of heat two, and while the pair raced side-by-side towards the first corner it was Hoffmans who led the way through the turn. Murray settled into second ahead of Dave Whell while behind them Jessie Attard got the better of Ben Hilder and Mitch Gowland in quick succession before turning his attention to Brock Dean. Tim Farrell challenged Whell for third as both Dean and Attard closed in, and while Whell was able to pull slightly ahead of his rivals, Farrell was forced on the defensive as Dean began challenging for position. Attard raced underneath Dean as they entered turn one, just as Nathan Black, towards the rear of the field, brought to race to stop when he inverted the Q37 racer in turn three. Hoffmans led the restart from Murray and Whell but all eyes were on Attard as he dived to the bottom as the race resumed, getting underneath both Dean and Farrell as they rounded turn one, before switching to the top side to get around Whell half a lap later. Mitch Gowland challenged Dean for position mid-field, with Ben Hilder soon joining the battle and slipping between the pair for a short time before making his way ahead of Dean and setting his sights on Farrell. Clem Hoffmans got the win with Dan Murray coming home in second ahead of Jessie Attard and Dave Whell. Tim Farrell held off a hard-charging Ben Hilder to claim fifth, with Hilder sixth across the line ahead of Brock Dean, Mitch Gowland, Kris Jennings, Steve Greer and Trent Vardy. Nathan Black did not finish the event.

Kevin Titman started heat three from pole position with Brent Aprile alongside and Brett Minett and Andrew Scheuerle right behind. Titman got the jump on the start and quickly settled into what would become an unassailable lead, with Aprile settling into second for a few laps but almost immediately under pressure from a determined Andrew Scheuerle. Donny Schatz and Logan Schuchart traded places deep in the field before Schuchart got the better of Darren Jensen as they rounded turn two a few laps in. Jensen immediately fired back, slipping back underneath Schuchart half a lap later, while Schatz took to the high line and began to make his way forward, getting past Schuchart and Jensen and setting out after Andrew Corbet. Schatz made it look easy as he raced around Corbet and Brett Minett, but there was no stopping Kevin Titman out in front as he raced to victory ahead of Andrew Scheuerle and Brent Aprile. Donny Schatz finished fourth ahead of Brett Minett, Andrew Corbet, Logan Schuchart, Darren Jensen, Kevin Britten, Steven Johnson, Sean Rose and Andrew Baumber.

Nelson Reddacliff and Dan Murray started alongside each other on the front row for the start of heat four, with Reddacliff getting the better start and quickly securing the race lead. Kevin Titman, from position three, quickly followed Reddacliff to get the better of Murray as they rounded the first corner, while Kristy Bonsey tried to follow Titman on the low line. Brent Kratzmann raced ahead of Bonsey before getting underneath Murray as they rounded turn two, with the Q2 racer quickly slipping underneath Titman as they rounded the final corner of the first lap. Kratzmann finished the first lap in second and began chasing down Reddacliff and the race lead, While Bonsey defended her position from Brock Dean and Mitchell Gee before racing underneath Murray to move into fourth. The race was brought under caution when Nathan McFarlane rode the turn three wall and came to a stop, the front right wheel still resting on the fence. Reddacliff led the restart from Kratzmann and Titman and while Reddacliff initially opened a small lead, Kratzmann was quick to close the gap and challenge the Q85 racer for control of the race. Kratzmann searched high and low for a way past Reddacliff, with Titman closing in behind, while further back in the field Luke Oldfield made his way past Brock Dean and began negotiating with Dan Murray over mid-field positions. Titman challenged Kratzmann for second with a bold look on the inside of the Q2 racer as they raced through turn four, with Kratzmann maintaining second before attempting to dive underneath Reddacliff half a lap later. Contact between Kratzmann and Reddacliff turned Reddacliff around and brought the race under caution, with Reddacliff unable to restart the race and Kratzmann inheriting the race lead. Kratzmann led the restart from Titman and Bonsey and while Oldfield quickly found a way around Murray one lap into the restart, his next target was a very much in-form Bonsey. Oldfield was unrelenting in his pursuit of third but Bonsey was determined and ran a strong and consistent race, denying Oldfield every time he showed his nose. With the white flag in the air Oldfield had a massive look on the high side of Bonsey, but Bonsey refused to surrender, fighting back hard on the bottom and keeping the Q17 behind her all the way to the chequered flag. Brent Kratzmann got the win ahead of Kevin Titman and Kristy Bonsey, with Luke Oldfield forced to settle for fourth. Dan Murray came home in fifth and led Brock Dean, Mitchell Gee, Kevin Britten, Adam Butler, Phill Foster and Libby Ellis across the line. Nelson Reddacliff and Nathan McFarlane did not finish the event.

Brent Aprile started heat five from pole position and quickly secured the lead over fellow front row starter Clem Hoffmans when the lights went green. Aprile immediately set about opening a significant lead while Ryan McNamara got past Hoffmans to take second, leaving Hoffmans and Darren Jensen to argue over third. Jessie Attard took to the high line to try and get around Mitch Gowland and Andrew Corbet, only for Corbet to move ahead slightly and begin challenging Hoffmans, who had surrendered third to Jensen. Ben Hilder had a big look underneath Attard and Gowland, while Steven Johnson tried to find a way underneath Steve Greer, the pair exchanging positions a few times as the race wore on. Trent Vardy had a great battle with Andrew Baumber towards the tail of the field but there was no stopping Brent Aprile out in front as he sailed to victory, an impressive 3.866 seconds ahead of Darren Jensen in second. Ryan McNamara crossed the line in third, with Jessie Attard, Andrew Corbet, Ben Hilder, Clem Hoffmans, Mitch Gowland, Steven Johnson, Steve Greer, Trent Vardy and Andrew Baumber rounding out the finishers.

The sixth and final heat of the night started with Dave Whell and Brett Minett from the front row, with a big field of hard-chargers close behind. Whell and Minett raced wheel-to-wheel into the first corner when the green flag flew but it was Whell who led the way as they exited the first corner. Whell settled into the lead while Minett held down second and Andrew Scheuerle began closing in on the leaders. Logan Schuchart had a brilliant drive on the bottom, racing underneath Paul Rooks, Tim Farrell and Peter Lack with less than half a lap completed. Lack fought back on the top-side as he and Schuchart started closing in on Andrew Scheuerle, while Donny Schatz and Allan Woods started making their way forward. A caution for the spun car of Nathan Black in turn four with six laps to run bunched the field back up, with Dave Whell set to lead them back to the green ahead of Andrew Scheuerle and Brett Minett. Schuchart and Minett had a great battle on the opening lap, though Schuchart made a small mistake in turns three and four and surrendered positions to both Peter Lack and Donny Schatz. Schatz made his way underneath Lack a lap later before going around Minett soon after, leaving Minett to try and defend his position from Lack and Schuchart. Dave Whell went on to take the win, successfully holding off Andrew Scheuerle, with Scheuerle securing second ahead of Donny Schatz. Peter Lack crossed the line in fourth and led Logan Schuchart, Brett Minett, Allan Woods, Paul Rooks, Tim Farrell, Kris Jennings, Sean Rose and Nathan Black across the line.

Nine cars took to the track for the C-Main with Kris Jennings and Adam Butler to lead them away. Jennings quickly secured the lead in advance of Butler, the pair immediately opening a small margin on the rest of the field, while Trent Vardy and Andrew Baumber battled mid-field, running two abreast for several laps and trading places back and forth on several occasions as they closed in on the back of Sean Rose. A caution for the spun car of Phill Foster, who had been challenging for second when he spun the Q66 racer in turn four, bunched the field back up, but no one had anything for Jennings and Butler as the race resumed. While Jennings and Butler again opened a small lead, Vardy raced underneath Rose and into third, leaving Rose to defend his position from Andrew Baumber and Libby Ellis. Ellis was having perhaps the best drive she has had in a Sprintcar, working her way past Nathan McFarlane on the opening lap, and Nathan Black soon after. Ellis set her sights on Baumber and Vardy, watched them exchange positions for a few laps before the stoppage for Foster, and, just one lap into the restart, raced her way beautifully underneath Baumber as they rounded turn one. Baumber fought back but Ellis refused to surrender the position, leaving Baumber to defend his position from McFarlane as she set about trying to catch Rose. Kris Jennings went on to take the win ahead of Adam Butler, both drivers earning a start at the back of the B-Main, with Trent Vardy crossing the line third ahead of Sean Rose and Libby Ellis. Andrew Baumber, Nathan McFarlane, Nathan Black and Phill Foster rounded out the finishers.

Luke Oldfield led the points heading into the dash event but in something that has become just about as predictable as the consistency of Andrew Scheuerle in a championship points chase, Oldfield, predictably, and not for the first time, drew an eight in the pre-dash draw, inverting the entire eight car Dash field and elevating Brent Kratzmann to pole position. Kratzmann shared the front row with Andrew Scheuerle for the six-lap affair and while Kratzmann got his nose in front as they raced towards the first corner, Scheuerle was too quick on the high line and powered into the race lead. Ben Hilder sat in third but immediately came under pressure from Mitchell Gee and Donny Schatz. Gee had a big look underneath Hilder as they rounded turns three and four, but surrendered his position to Schatz and Luke Oldfield who were charging around the top side. Schatz and Oldfield continued to work the high line, skilfully making their way around Hilder as the laps wore on, with Schatz then quickly catching Kratzmann and beginning his challenge for second. Kratzmann fought back hard and managed to hold Schatz back for a couple of laps, but in the end Schatz was simply too quick on the top and made his way into second as they exited the final corner of the race. Andrew Scheuerle got the win, and, unsurprisingly, turned down the BK Trading Challenge, which would have inverted the top fourteen starters in the A-Main. Donny Schatz crossed the line in second ahead of Brent Kratzmann, Luke Oldfield, Ben Hilder, Mitchell Gee, Logan Schuchart and Jessie Attard.

The B-Main rolled onto the track with sixteen cars set to battle it out over fifteen laps for four transfer positions, with Brent Aprile and Ryan McNamara to lead them to the green. Aprile got a brilliant start and quickly secured the lead, leaving McNamara in second but under pressure from a determined Peter Lack. Deep in the field Steven Johnson, Steve Greer, Tim Farrell and Adam Butler negotiated over minor positions, while Allan Woods tried to make his way forward and raced side-by-side with Nelson Reddacliff as the pair tried to close in on a transfer position. Steven Johnson eventually managed to secure the advantage over Greer, Farrell and Butler before racing past Kevin Britten and setting his sights on Reddacliff and Woods. The race was soon brought under caution for a completely luckless Brent Aprile who had spun the NQ42 racer in turn three, while leading, with only seven laps left to run. Lack led the restart from McNamara and Mitch Gowland, with Dan Murray sitting in fourth but under pressure from Brett Minett and Nelson Reddacliff. Reddacliff made his way underneath Minett to secure fifth while Kevin Britten and Steve Greer got the better of Paul Rooks moments before Rooks got too sideways in turn two. Rooks went spinning towards the infield, creating a massive dust cloud, but when Steven Johnson came out of the dust cloud and back onto the track contact with Adam Butler saw Johnson invert the Q11 racer in an end-to-end roll on the back straight. Johnson was unscathed in the incident but was unable to continue the event, with Rooks also out of the race. Lack led the restart from McNamara, Gowland and Murray, with Reddacliff and Minett searching for a way into a transfer position. Murray raced his way underneath Gowland, while Reddacliff tried to defend his position from Minett on the high side, and Britten on the bottom. Reddacliff however soon looped the Q85 racer in turn four and brought the race under caution, throwing away his shot at a transfer, while Lack, McNamara and Murray again led the restart. Gowland sat in fourth but soon surrendered his position to Minett, who was having a spectacular run around the top side, and while Minett charged around the outside of Murray soon after, he promptly clipped the wall coming out of turn two, flipping the Q94 racer out of the race. While Minett walked away from the wreck, the race, which had already endured numerous stoppages, was declared with Peter Lack credited with the win ahead of Ryan McNamara and Dan Murray. Mitch Gowland scored the fourth and final transfer to the A-Main, with Kevin Britten officially fifth ahead of Brent Aprile, Steve Greer, Adam Butler, Tim Farrell, Kris Jennings and Clem Hoffmans. Brett Minett, Nelson Reddacliff, Paul Rooks, Steven Johnson and Allan Woods all failed to finish the event.

Andrew Scheuerle and Donny Schatz shared the front row for the start of the A-Main event, with Brent Kratzmann and Luke Oldfield from the second row. Scheuerle got a brilliant start and not only secured the lead but opened a small margin as he raced through the first couple of corners. Schatz sat in second while Oldfield and Kratzmann briefly picked up their battle from boxing night before Oldfield secured the advantage and started challenging Schatz for second. A caution just two laps in when Jessie Attard, Brock Dean and Andrew Corbet became stopped in turn two soon followed, with Scheuerle, Schatz and Oldfield to lead the restart. Mitchell Gee and Logan Schuchart battled over fifth and sixth, while deeper in the field Kristy Bonsey had a massive look underneath Darren Jensen. Schuchart got the better of Gee and quickly closed in on Kratzmann, challenging him for fourth, while the battle between Scheuerle, Schatz and Oldfield for control of the race was starting to heat up. Another caution just a few laps later, for the spun car of Jessie Attard spelt the premature end of his race, and left the field with thirty-laps still to run.

Andrew Scheuerle led the restart from Donny Schatz, Luke Oldfield, Brent Kratzmann and Logan Schuchart. Scheuerle was quick and immediately opened a small lead over Schatz, while Kratzmann was busy trying to defend his position from Schuchart. Kristy Bonsey continued to challenge Darren Jensen, with Kevin Titman closing in quickly, while Peter Lack took to the high line and started making his way forward. Scheuerle and Schatz extended their lead with each lap, with Schatz relentlessly chasing Scheuerle and searching for a way past. After only a few laps the pair approached lapped traffic, as a light sprinkle of rather unexpected rain began falling over the venue. Schatz searched high and low for a way past Scheuerle, but Scheuerle denied him every time, the pair entering lapped traffic a few laps into the restart and weaving their way expertly past the back markers. Scheuerle got around Mitch Gowland and Brock Dean before getting underneath Dan Murray and looking on the low side of Ryan McNamara. Meanwhile Schatz was trying to weave his way through the back markers, and while he got around Gowland, he was attempting to get around the outside of Dean, as Dean raced around the outside of Murray, when he rode the right rear of Dean and crashed spectacularly into the turn three catch fence. Schatz walked away from the wreck but was out of the race. The stoppage allowed the light shower of rain to soak the track, but, with the rain having passed, the team at Archerfield Speedway were determined to get the last twenty-one laps run. After carefully getting all remaining cars restarted, the field did a few laps to pack the track, plus a few more hot laps before reforming to resume the race.

Andrew Scheuerle led the restart from Luke Oldfield and Brent Kratzmann and while Scheuerle initially controlled the race, Oldfield raced around the outside a few laps in and took the lead for himself. Oldfield, Scheuerle and Kratzmann began weaving their way through lapped traffic again after just a few laps, though Kratzmann surrendered third to Logan Schuchart when he looped the Q2 racer in turn two. Fortunately for Kratzmann he was able to keep the car moving, only loosing the one position, but soon had both Darren Jensen and Mitchell Gee on his tail. Jensen had an unsuccessful look underneath Kratzmann as they rounded turn four, only to surrender his own position to Gee half a lap later. Gee went on to challenge Kratzmann for several laps while behind them Peter Lack was closing in fast, having made his way forward from the back of the field and was now searching for a top five finish. With just one lap left to run Kratzmann, still running in fourth, got too high in turn three, clipping the wall and tipped the Q2 racer on to the side, bringing the race under caution. With time now an issue the race was declared with Luke Oldfield the winner and Andrew Scheuerle and Logan Schuchart joining him on the podium. Mitchell Gee was credited with fourth ahead of Darren Jensen and Peter Lack, while Kevin Titman led Kristy Bonsey, Ben Hilder, Ryan McNamara, Dave Whell, Brock Dean, Dan Murray and Mitch Gowland across the line. Brent Kratzmann, Clem Hoffmans, Donny Schatz, Jessie Attard and Andrew Corbet all failed to finish the event.

And that ladies and gentlemen, is us done for 2018. Sprintcars Queensland will return to Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway on Tuesday 01 January 2019 to kick the year off with a MASSIVE night of Sprintcar racing action. You will definitely not want to miss this one as the best in Queensland take on Americans Donny Schatz and Logan Schuchart. Can our local superstars do it again? Get yourself track side to see it all for yourself…

From all of us at Sprintcars Queensland we wish you all a very Happy New Year – be safe, however you choose to see in the New Year, and we hope to see you all at Archerfield Speedway on Tuesday night!


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