Double the action with Sprintcar twin features

Not for the first time this season, pit parking will be at a premium at Archerfield Speedway this weekend with more than 130 competitors nominated for competition, including 35+ combatants contesting round ten of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship. As has proven to be the case throughout the 2020/2021 Archerfield season, a jam-packed pit area invariably makes for a spectacular night of racing action and, therefore, race fans can again expect something very special come Saturday night (March 20). The massive program will also feature round seven of the Shock Absorber Therapy AMCA Nationals Track Championship and round six of the Done Right Paint Worx Formula 500 Series, plus Wingless Sprints, Compact Speedcars, Open Sedans and Ford vs Holden vs Sigma sedans.

Despite the abundance of competitors who have converged on Archerfield for each round of the ECL Track Championship, there has been a remarkably familiar feel to the feature race podium at every event with a very small group of drivers dominating the results, and none more so than Lachlan McHugh. The Gold Coast-based gun has won 10 of 13 feature races contested at Archerfield so far this season in a display of dominance that has not been seen for many years. In addition to his feature race supremacy, McHugh has topped qualifying with KRE Quick Time on six occasions and currently has more heat wins than any other driver. Sure, World of Outlaws superstar Donny Schatz has proven all but unbeatable during his yearly visits to Brisbane, but nobody in recent memory has sustained such an extended run of success in a track championship campaign. Of the 64 drivers who have competed at Archerfield so far this season, Callum Walker, Cody Maroske and Tasmania’s Jock Goodyer are the only others to visit victory lane and just six others have featured on the podium. In fact, although he remains winless thus far, it is Luke Oldfield who has proven to be McHugh’s most consistently persistent rival, having accumulated nine top-three results with his typically crowd-pleasing displays of high-line heroics, the most recent of which was a dazzling display in advancing from 14th to finish third. So, other than Oldfield breaking though for a win that seems inevitable at some stage in the weeks ahead, who is the most likely to emerge from the also-rans to secure membership into what has thus far proven to be a very exclusive club?

Although he has only made a solitary podium appearance thus far in his 2020/2021 campaign, third-generation racer Aaron Kelly certainly has plenty of motivation to up the ante in the weeks ahead. As the defending track champion, Kelly knows that he must crack a win (or two) in the remaining rounds if he is to hold out any hope of retaining his crown. Of the rest, Kevin Titman, Randy Morgan and Nicholas Whell have also featured on the podium on just one occasion, with Dave Fanning, Brent Kratzmann, Allan Woods, Darren Jensen and Tim Farrell the only others to come close, with a singular top-five result each. Farrell was very impressive at the previous round, having qualified on pole position before ultimately finishing fifth behind McHugh, Maroske, Oldfield and Jensen, is perhaps the most experienced driver in the field. Another standout in round nine was NSW-based Jackson Delamont, who clocked KRE Quick Time and finished sixth in the feature race. In the wake of such a strong showing, Delamont has lured some fellow southerners across the border to try their luck, with Alex Orr, Brendan Scorgie and Lachlan Caunt amongst the entries. Meanwhile, Northern Territory racer Kale Quinlan also returns after a solid Brisbane debut and 16-year-old Jy Corbet will make his second appearance in the big show after transitioning from the Junior ranks.

The format for the event certainly provides the best possible opportunity for somebody, or several, to break through and upstage those who have thus far dominated the results. With two 20-lap feature races to be run, every driver who starts the event will be afforded the opportunity to make any necessary adjustments/repairs after 20 laps of racing to elevate themselves into contention during the second segment. It sets the scene for an intriguing course of events in which tactics and set-up prowess will prove even more important than ever.

Anytime Wingless Sprints appear at Archerfield, interstate rivalry ensues and the last couple of outings have seen New South Wales-based drivers emerge on top with Mark Blyton and Dave Eggins sharing the feature race spoils. If the locals hope to reverse that trend this weekend, they will need to bring their very best form because Australian champion Kyle Mock has been despatched northward in a bid to inflict another hometown humiliation on the locals. Mock is no stranger to making long hauls in his quest for success, having trekked from Sydney to Kalgoorlie in Western Australia to clinch the national crown. Other interstaters in the field include Jamie Usher and Michael Butcher, while leading the locals into battle will be Lachlan Robertson, who is the only Queenslander in the field to have scored a feature race win at Archerfield so far this season. Fresh from a last-start feature win in Kingaroy two weeks ago and having finished inside the top five in all six Archerfield rounds (including three podium results), Paul Robinson also looms as a formidable defender of local pride, with Liam Atkinson and Jayden O’Toole also expected to offer strong resistance to the interstate invaders.

When you have a field that pitches Steve Potts, Bruce Marshall, Steve Price, Thomas Vickery, Nathan Tomkins and more than a dozen others into battle against Australian champ Matt Hardy, you can rest assured that the racing will be sensational. Round seven of the Shock Absorber Therapy AMCA Nationals promises to deliver action aplenty as all previous rounds have proven to be hard fought, closely contested affairs. From these, Potts has proven the most successful with three wins from six starts, none of which have come easily. Marshall, meanwhile, has visited victory lane on two occasions, with Hardy thus far confined to a lone success. Price, Vickery and Tomkins always feature prominently in the action and have all finished on the podium on one or more occasions in track championship action this season. Brett Robotham recently announced himself as a genuine contender with a podium result and with the likes of Troy Price, Michael Denning, Matt Ingrey and Paul Reeves also in the mix, the racing will be sensational.

Liam Williams and James Kennedy are expected to continue their rivalry in round six of the Done Right Paint Worx Formula 500 Series, with a couple of young guns in the form of Ryan Newton and Brodie Davis looking to continue their rapid trajectory up the pecking order. Newton finished third behind Williams and Kennedy at the previous round and, although Davis was an early casualty in the feature, he certainly delivered a statement of intent by qualifying on the front row in a very strong field. Whilst Kurt Wilson, Brady Argles, Bryn Upshall and Mitchell Whittaker have also proved pacey at various times, if Williams is again afforded a pole start in the feature event, it might take a bit of luck as much as anything else, to deny the former national champion his fifth consecutive win at Archerfield.

Compact Speedcar events will, quite literally, be on for young and old as the bravado and raw talent of teenagers Bodie Smith and Harry Stewart is pitted against the guile and experience of Steve Swingler and previous round winner Dave Collins, while Justin Randall will again take his trusty Torana into battle against a collective of Super Sedans and Late Models in the Open Sedan events.

Gates open at 1.00pm for competitors and online ticket holders only, with general admission ticket sales and entry from 3.30pm. Early racing will hit the track from 5.00pm and the main program, which will also feature Ford vs Holden vs Sigma sedans, will get underway from 6.00pm. There is no reserved seating for this event, however all patrons must maintain 1.5m social distancing.

East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship round ten nominations: Aaron Kelly, Adam Butler, Alex Orr, Allan Woods, Andrew Baumber, Andrew Corbet, Ben Hilder, Brad Ayers, Brendan Scorgie, Brendon Claridge, Brent Kratzmann, Brodie Tulloch, Callum Walker, Cody Maroske, Dan Murray, Darren Jensen, Dave Fanning, Jackson Delamont, Jayden Peacock, John White, Jy Corbet, Kale Quinlan, Kevin Britten, Kevin Titman, Lachlan Caunt, Lachlan McHugh, Libby Ellis, Luke Oldfield, Mark Pholi, Mitch Gowland, Nicholas Whell, Paul Rooks, Randy Morgan, Sam Bylsma, Taylor Prosser, Tim Farrell, Zac Howell

Shock Absorber Therapy AMCA Nationals Track Championship round seven nominations: Brett Robotham, Bruce Marshall, Dylan Stacey, Graeme Holland, Jay Allen, Mark Taylor, Matt Hardy, Matt Ingrey, Michael Denning, Nathan Tomkins, Paul Reeves, Robert Turner, Sam Turner, Shane Stacey, Stephen Ward, Steve Potts, Steve Price, Thomas Vickery, Troy Price

Wingless Sprint nominations: Ben Jennings, Ben Manson, Brett Russo, Chris Catchpole, Corey O’Toole, Ian Milnes, James Barton, Jamie Usher, Jayden O’Toole, Kyle Mock, Lachlan Robertson, Lance Dawson, Liam Atkinson, Marin Kusturin, Michael Butcher, Mick Reid, Paul Robinson, Ross Guy, Scott Mortenson, Shaun Knight, Steve Pilkington

Done Right Paint Worx Formula 500 series round six nominations: Adrian Farrell, Brady Argles, Brock Thornton, Brodie Davis, Bryn Upshall, Dekota Gay, James Kennedy, Jared Boys, Kurt Wilson, Liam Williams, Libby Ellis, Mitchell Whittaker, Royce Harvey, Ryan Newton, Taylor Morgan

Compact Speedcar nominations: Andrew Parkes, Andrew Rooke, Bodie Smith, Brock Byrne, Clay Seaborne, Dave Collins, Dave Swan, Harry Stewart, Martin Hattersley, Matt Warn, Mitchell Rooke, Richard Rooke, Richard Treanor, Steve Swingler

Open Sedan nominations: Bob Ware, Colin Morris, Dave Sansby, Gary Kivela, Greg Akers, Haiden Grantz, Joel Gilson, John Woolf, Justin Randall, Keith Craft, Les Eisenmenger, Mark Anderson, Merv Price, Ricky Price, Robert Gorman, Robin Bains, Ron Hornbuckle, Tim Swart, Trevor Polzin

Ford vs Holden vs Sigma sedan nominations: Brad Summerville, Jake Besgrove, Kim Dack, Linkon Allan, Maverick Dack, Mickey Mitchell, Terry Russell, Will Kelly

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