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Kicking Up The Dirt - Australian Sprintcar Open - Night 2
Joanne White posted Sunday January 6, 2019.

Last night Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway played host to the final night of competition in the Titan Garages Australian Sprintcar Open, which also doubled as Round 6 of QSS World Series Sprintcars. The two night affair culminated in a thrilling 50-lap A-Main and while eighteen of the twenty starters finished the event, which ran the first forty-eight-laps without a stoppage, it was once again Donny Schatz who collected the win, adding another tally to the list of Australian Open events he has won. Logan Schuchart initially secured the lead and went on to lead most of the first half the race, surrendering the lead to Schatz in lapped traffic just before the half-way point of the race. Schuchart went on to finish second, while Kerry Madsen rounded out the podium ahead of Steven Lines and Jamie Veal. Queensland young gun Lachlan McHugh had a truly brilliant drive, crossing the line in sixth, after initially starting from position nine in the B-Main, earning a transfer and then charging through the A-Main field. McHugh was awarded the Hard Charger Award for his efforts.

Heat seven of the weekend got underway with Kevin Titman and Michael Saller sharing the front row, ahead of Queensland young guns Randy Morgan and Ryan McNamara. Titman got the jump first time around but it was Saller who secured the lead on the second attempted start. Titman settled into second in advance of McNamara, while Morgan defended his position from Brooke Tatnell as Tatnell tried to race up the inside of the Q54 racer. Jye O'Keefe got around Peter Lack and started challenging Tatnell, while Jessie Attard made his way underneath Lachlan McHugh and had a brief look on the low side of Lack. McNamara surrendered his position to Morgan, who charged around the outside, with Tatnell, O'Keefe and Lack getting underneath McNamara half a lap later. McNamara valiantly fought back in an effort to regain a position from Lack but found himself under pressure from Lachlan McHugh and Steven Lines. A caution for the spun car of Sean Rose with four laps left to run bunched the field back up with Saller and Titman to lead them back to the green. Lack challenged O'Keefe as the race resumed, charging hard on the bottom but was unable to find a way through, Jessie Attard and Lachlan McHugh traded places back and forth a few times deep in the field. Michael Saller got the win ahead of Kevin Titman and Brooke Tatnell while Jye O'Keefe finished fourth. Steven Lines had a mesmerising run on the high line on the final lap of the race, getting around Peter Lack and racing wheel-to-wheel across the line with Randy Morgan. Lines stole fifth as they crossed the line, beating Morgan by just 0.128 seconds, leaving Randy Morgan in sixth ahead of Peter Lack, Lachlan McHugh, Jessie Attard, Darren Jensen, Ryan McNamara and Sean Rose.

Mitchell Wormall started heat eight from pole position with Queenslander Tony Wynne alongside. Wormall got the jump when the green flag flew, quickly settling into the race lead with Wynne initially holding down second. Jayden Peacock and Carson Macedo raced either side of Andrew Corbet on the start while Schatz had raced underneath Jock Goodyer and Logan Schuchart before the trio rounded the first turn. Macedo raced up the inside of Danny Porter before getting underneath Wynne to move into second with barely half a lap completed, while behind them Schatz began looking underneath Corbet just as Corbet looked to get back underneath Peacock, the trio going three abreast as they raced through turn three. Peacock got a little too high in turn four, leaving the middle of the track open just enough for Schuchart to charge through between Peacock and Schatz, leaving Peacock to try and defend his position from Jock Goodyer and Rusty Hickman. Schuchart and Schatz made their way underneath Corbet a lap later, with Schatz chasing hard and searching for a way in front of his fellow American. A caution for the spun car of Peacock in turn one paused the race for a few minutes with Wormall leading the restart from Macedo and Porter with seven laps still to run. Schuchart and Schatz quickly made their way past Wynne while deeper in the field Goodyer and Hickman had a great battle amongst themselves as they tried to close in on Wynne. Mitchell Wormall got the win ahead of Carson Macedo and Danny Porter, while Logan Schuchart crossed the line in fourth ahead of Donny Schatz and Tony Wynne. Jock Goodyer looped the T22 racer coming out of the final turn, handing seventh to Rusty Hickman, but was able to straighten the car and hold off Andrew Corbet as they raced to the chequered flag to secure eighth. Andrew Corbet finished ninth ahead of Dave Whell while Jayden Peacock failed to finish the ten-lap journey.

Brent Aprile started heat nine from pole position with Brad Keller alongside. Aprile got the better start when the lights went green, and while Keller settled into second he immediately came under fire from a very hard-charging Andrew Scheuerle. Scheuerle however soon surrendered third to Jason Pryde, while behind them Danny Reidy got the better of Jack Lee before beginning to challenge Scheuerle. Lee fought back on the inside of Reidy, the pair racing two-wide into turn three, only for Reidy to get too high in turn three, making heavy contact with the wall and ending not only his race but his weekend of competition. Aprile led the restart from Keller and Pryde with nine still on the board, but all eyes were on the mid field as Scheuerle raced up the inside of Pryde as they entered turn two, only for both drivers to end up loosing speed coming out of the turn, leaving the bottom of the track open for Jack Lee and Kerry Madsen to slip through. Scheuerle fought back hard on the top side, getting around Madsen before looking underneath Lee moments later. While the two #25s (Scheuerle and Lee) argued over minor positions, Madsen sat behind them, waiting for an opportunity to make his move while defending his position from the pair of #17 racers, James McFadden and Luke Oldfield, behind him. McFadden got underneath Madsen as they rounded turn one, only for Madsen to immediately return serve as they negotiated turn two. Oldfield had a big look on the inside of McFadden but soon found Jamie Veal on his tail, while Scheuerle eventually succumbed to unrelenting pressure from Madsen. Brent Aprile easily got the win, a small change in fortune from his recent run of bad luck, with Brad Keller home in second ahead of Jack Lee. Kerry Madsen finished fourth and led Andrew Scheuerle, James McFadden, Luke Oldfield, Jamie Veal, Jason Pryde and Mitch Gowland across the line. Danny Reidy did not finish the event.

Queenslanders Darren Jensen and Tony Wynne led the field to the green when heat ten hit the track. Jensen got a brilliant start and quickly secured the lead while Jason Pryde got underneath Wynne to take over second. Andrew Scheuerle and Kevin Titman both tried to race simultaneously underneath Wynne, while behind them Jack Lee and Brooke Tatnell came together as they headed down the back straight. Lee looped the V25 racer high on the track, while quick reflexes from the rest of the oncoming field avoided a more serious incident. Lee managed to limp the V25 racer as far as the main straight before coming to a stop and bringing the race under caution. Jensen led the restart from Pryde and Scheuerle but deeper in the field Brooke Tatnell was searching for a way past Tony Wynne, sliding underneath the NQ8 racer as they rounded turn four, with Schatz looking to slip through on the inside. Wynne fought back, finding a narrow gap between Schatz and Tatnell, only for Tatnell to again power around the high side. Wynne surrendered his position to Schatz half a lap later while behind them Kevin Titman was trying to keep Steven Lines behind him. Lines proved too quick on the high side, getting around Titman and turning his attention to Wynne, making his way around the NQ8 racer a few laps later. Wynne however soon spun the car as he raced through turn three, leaving Jessie Attard nowhere to go, the N53 racer making heavy contact with the side of the stranded Wynne car. Wynne was unable to restart the event. Jensen led the restart from Pryde and Scheuerle but Schatz was on a charge on the bottom, getting underneath both Scheuerle and Pryde in less than a lap and setting his sights on Jensen. While Jensen had a reasonable comfortable lead, it took Schatz just a couple of laps to not only close the gap but slip underneath Jensen and take control of the race. Jensen of course fought back, having a brief but unsuccessful look underneath Schatz half a lap later, while behind them Steven Lines and Andrew Scheuerle traded places while searching for a way past Pryde. Donny Schatz went on to take the win ahead of Darren Jensen and Steve Lines, with Jason Pryde fourth across the line. Andrew Scheuerle was fifth to greet the chequered flag and led Brooke Tatnell, Kevin Titman, Dave Whell and Jessie Attard home. Tony Wynne and Jack Lee did not finish the event.

Heat eleven saw Michael Saller and Ryan McNamara share the front row with Jayden Peacock and Brent Aprile close behind. Saller quickly secured the lead when the race got underway, with McNamara in second, while Jock Goodyer had a phenomenal drive from position six, racing straight between Peter Lack and Brent Aprile and looking to get around the top side of Peacock, all before the race was even half a lap old. Lack took to the bottom, and, with Aprile running mid track, raced back underneath Goodyer in turn three before getting past Peacock half a lap after that. Goodyer followed Lack under Peacock and then challenged the Q5 racer for position, diving underneath the always immaculately presented Mega Fuels racer as they rounded turn three. Logan Schuchart joined the battle between Goodyer and Lack, while James McFadden began challenging Jayden Peacock for mid-field positions. A caution for the spun car of Peacock followed soon after with Saller to lead the restart from McNamara and Schuchart with five laps still to run. Lack and Goodyer continued their battle, with McFadden closing in fast, until Goodyer looped the T22 racer and surrendered his position to McFadden. Michael Saller went on to get the win ahead of Logan Schuchart and Peter Lack, while James McFadden led Ryan McNamara, Brent Aprile, Rusty Hickman, Jock Goodyer, Jamie Veal and Mitch Gowland across the line. Jayden Peacock did not finish the event.

Andrew Corbet and Mitchell Wormall led the field to the green for the start of the final heat of the weekend, and while they raced side-by-side into the first corner it was Wormall who emerged in front and took control of the race. Corbet settled into second ahead of Brad Keller, while Lachlan McHugh and Carson Macedo tried to find a way past Randy Morgan. McHugh and Macedo came together as they approached turn three, with Luke Oldfield and Kerry Madsen right on their tail, with McHugh spinning sideways in front of Oldfield. Contact between the two saw McHugh spin to a stop on the edge of the infield while Oldfield completed a full 360-degree loop before straightening the car and driving away from the incident. McHugh was unable to restart the event. Wormall led the restart from Brad Keller, who had managed to get the better of Corbet, with Corbet sitting in third. Madsen immediately challenged Oldfield for position as they took the green while Macedo continued to try and find a way past Morgan. Morgan ran an exceptional race, getting underneath Corbet and really holding his own against some vastly more experienced rivals. Macedo raced around Corbet, moments before Madsen got underneath the Q78 racer, only for Macedo to surrender his position to Madsen soon after. Madsen and Macedo chased Morgan, with Madsen eventually getting through on the bottom, while Oldfield challenged Macedo behind them. Macedo and Oldfield traded places back and forth several times in the final few laps of the race but there was nothing anyone could do about Mitchell Wormall as he took the win ahead of Brad Keller and Kerry Madsen. Randy Morgan finished fourth after a truly impressive run, while Carson Macedo crossed the line in fifth and led Luke Oldfield, Jye O'Keefe, Andrew Corbet, Danny Porter and Sean Rose across the line. Lachlan McHugh did not finish the race.

Jye O'Keefe took out the Bronze Shootout, stopping the clock at 14.569 seconds, while Kerry Madsen (14.646) was second quickest and transferred to the Silver Shootout with O'Keefe. Jessie Attard and Rusty Hickman were eliminated from the Shootout events. The Silver Shootout saw Madsen step up the pace and secure quick time, and a transfer to the Gold Shootout, his 14.211 second lap beating Logan Schuchart by just one thousandth of a second. Jye O'Keefe and Luke Oldfield were eliminated as Steven Lines and Donny Schatz joined Madsen and Schuchart on track for the Gold Shootout. This time it was Schuchart who led the way, stopping the clock at 13.772 and securing pole position for the main race, while Donny Schatz waited until the final qualifying lap to lock in second quickest, a 13.898 second lap, and made it an all American front row for the upcoming feature event. Steven Lines (14.083) and Kerry Madsen (14.086) rounded out the Gold Shootout contenders.

With several drivers from Friday night not returning for the Saturday night show, and with Danny Reidy out of contention, the C-Main was abandoned and nineteen cars took to the track for the twenty-lap B-Main affair, with only the top six finishers to make the transfer. Brad Keller and Jack Lee led them to the green, the pair racing side-by-side until the race was brought under caution for the spun car of Michael Saller in turn two. A full restart followed with Lee this time securing the advantage, while Kevin Titman had a brilliant run on the bottom, as Andrew Scheuerle raced around the top, the pair going either side of Mitchell Wormall as they rounded turn two. The race was quickly brought to a stop when Ryan McNamara got too high in turn two and inverted the Q88 racer. McNamara was unscathed but unable to restart the event. Another full restart followed, and while Keller and Lee again raced wheel-to-wheel into turn one, this time it was Keller who led them out of turn two. Scheuerle settled into third while Titman tried to find a way underneath Porter and Wormall. Jason Pryde got the better of Randy Morgan, with Lachlan McHugh beginning his run towards the front by getting past Morgan and quickly displacing Pryde as well. McHugh turned his attention to Aprile, racing underneath the NQ42 racer, setting out after the group in front, while Titman made his way underneath both Wormall and Porter in a fantastic run on the bottom. McHugh was quick to follow Titman, using the bottom to get underneath Wormall and Porter, the trio three abreast through turn two, before focussing on reeling in Titman and Scheuerle. McHugh was clearly on a mission and wasted little time closing the gap before racing underneath Titman as they rounded turn four. Titman tried to fight back, having a big look underneath McHugh half a lap later, but contact between the pair saw Titman spin the Q59 racer to a stop in turn one, leaving Wormall, Porter and Pryde nowhere to go. Titman and Pryde were both unable to restart the event. Jack Lee had taken control of the race and led Brad Keller, Andrew Scheuerle and Lachlan McHugh to the restart, with seventeen laps still to run. McHugh spent a few laps challenging Scheuerle for third before eventually getting underneath the Q25 racer as they raced through turn four. Scheuerle fought back but McHugh soon opened a small margin as he began to close in on the back of Keller, while Randy Morgan and Brent Aprile began closing in on Scheuerle. Morgan challenged Aprile for position while Aprile focussed on getting past Scheuerle, pulling away slightly after eventually getting past the Q25 racer. Morgan ran the bottom, patiently working the low line as he searched for a way underneath Scheuerle, eventually moving past the Q25 racer and into fifth. Jack Lee got the win ahead of Lachlan McHugh and Brad Keller with Brent Aprile, Randy Morgan and Andrew Scheuerle next across the line. All six secured a transfer to the back of the A-Main field with Andrew Corbet narrowly missed a transfer spot after crossing the line in seventh. Dave Whell came home in eighth and led Michael Saller, Mitch Gowland, Darren Jensen, Mitchell Wormall, Danny Porter, Tony Wynne and Sean Rose past the chequered flag. Jayden Peacock, Kevin Titman, Jason Pryde and Ryan McNamara all failed to finish the twenty-lap journey.

The fifty-lap final of the Australian Sprintcar Open is always something special and last night, with a particularly strong field of Sprintcars gathered, was certainly no exception to the rule. Twenty cars lined up for the start, with Americans Logan Schuchart and Donny Schatz to lead them way, and what followed was an epic affair, running an incredible forty-eight laps without a stoppage and with only two withdrawals the entire race. Schuchart and Schatz led them to the green, the pair staying side-by-side until Schuchart managed to secure the advantage coming out of turn two. Schatz settled into second in advance of Kerry Madsen, while Luke Oldfield attempted to run around the outside and into fourth. Steven Lines denied Oldfield though, taking fourth place for himself, while Rusty Hickman and Carson Macedo were left to battle Oldfield. Lachlan McHugh began making his way forward, challenging Brooke Tatnell and James McFadden while defending his position from Peter Lack, while back towards the front of the field Hickman made his way past both Oldfield and Lines. McHugh got underneath Tatnell, while Macedo soon made his way ahead of Oldfield, leaving Oldfield to battle Jamie Veal for mid-field positions. Schuchart continued to lead as he and Schatz began navigating lapped traffic, weaving their way past the back markers as Schatz kept edging closer to the leader. Rusty Hickman began challenging Madsen for third as they made their way through lapped traffic. Schuchart led most of the first half of the race, before surrendering the lead to Schatz when they got caught behind a lapped car for several laps, with Schatz getting underneath Schuchart as they rounded turn four. Schatz remained stuck behind the lapped car for another few laps before eventually finding a way past, immediately pulling away and leaving Schuchart to find his own way past the traffic. Lachlan McHugh continued his impressive run through the field, the home track experience paying dividends as the Gold Coast based racer made his way forward from the back of field and searched for a way past Jamie Veal. James McFadden and Jessie Attard negotiated over mid-field positions, while Peter Lack closed in and Donny Schatz prepared to put all three a lap down. Rusty Hickman continued to challenge Kerry Madsen, while Steven Lines and Jamie Veal fought over the minor positions. James McFadden and Luke Oldfield put on a great show while Schatz followed closely looking for a safe way through to put the pair a lap down. With only two laps left to run though the lapped car of Jack Lee made contact with Rusty Hickman in turn two and brought the race under caution, leaving a two lap sprint to the finish, with a very slick track and some very worn tyres. Both Hickman and Lee restarted, with Hickman in ninth, the last car on the lead lap, and Lee at the rear of the field.

Donny Schatz led the restart from Logan Schuchart and Kerry Madsen, with Steven Lines in fourth ahead of Jamie Veal. Madsen challenged Schuchart for second on the opening lap of the restart but Schuchart refused to surrender while behind them Lachlan McHugh, who restarted in seventh, started looking underneath Carson Macedo, slipping underneath the N99 racer as they rounded turn four with one lap left to run. Macedo immediately came under fire from James McFadden, who was looking to follow McHugh through on the bottom, while both Jessie Attard and Jock Goodyer got the better of Luke Oldfield in those final two laps. Donny Schatz got the win ahead of Logan Schuchart and Kerry Madsen, with Steven Lines home in fourth and Jamie Veal rounding out the top five. Lachlan McHugh crossed the line in a very impressive sixth, a hard-fought and well-deserved result after a tough week on the road with WSS Speedweek down south. James McFadden finished seventh ahead of Carson Macedo, with Rusty Hickman the last car to finish on the lead lap, crossing the line in ninth. Jessie Attard finished tenth and led Jock Goodyer and Luck Oldfield across the line, while Peter Lack, Andrew Scheuerle, Jye O'Keefe, Brent Aprile, Randy Morgan and Jack Lee rounded out the finishers. Brad Keller and Brooke Tatnell retired from the event early in the race.

Sprintcars Queensland, Donny Schatz, Logan Schuchart and the World Series Sprintcars contenders will be back at Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway this coming Wednesday night, 09 January 2019 when Performance Wholesale presents Round 7 of World Series Sprintcars. It will another huge night of Sprintcar racing, and the last chance for the Aussies to have a run at the Brisbane venue before the Australian Sprintcar Title rolls into town at the end of the month, so be sure to get yourself trackside this special Wednesday night for another thrilling night of Sprintcar racing action. See you trackside!


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