Goodyer, McHugh or somebody new
A whopping 40+ competitors have nominated for round nine of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship at Archerfield Speedway this Saturday night (February 27), over 30 of whom are still chasing their first ECL podium finish for the season. With recent rounds having been dominated by series leader Lachlan McHugh and Tasmania’s Jock Goodyer, the two young guns are again expected to feature prominently in proceedings from the opening moments of qualifying until the flag falls to end the 30-lap feature race. Wingless Sprints and AMCA Nationals will once again be providing great support as both categories have again secured strong fields, in both quality and quantity, and with Compact Speedcars, Open Sedans and Ford vs Holden vs Sigma sedans also on the program, more than 120 competitors will again ensure the pits are overflowing and the action non-stop.
There have been 57 Sprintcar drivers compete at Archerfield so far this season, yet only 10 have been able to procure a top-three result in a feature race. Remarkably, of the 36 podium places that have been up for grabs across the 12 feature races contested thus far, 31 of these have been shared amongst just five drivers, only four of whom have found their way to victory. Of course, Lachlan McHugh has been the dominant performer with nine feature race wins, the most recent of which came in the previous round two weeks ago. Goodyer, Callum Walker and Cody Maroske have all secured solitary successes and, along with Luke Oldfield, have been the only drivers to offer up any sustained resistance to the McHugh juggernaut. Having won round seven of the ECL Championship, Goodyer finished second in the previous round and then upstaged McHugh again to win in Toowoomba last weekend. With the same names again dominating the results, Maroske was gifted third spot in Toowoomba behind McHugh when Oldfield crashed out with three laps to run. In fact, other than McHugh, it has actually been Oldfield appearing on the podium more than other driver so far this season, having secured seven top-three results at Archerfield without yet cracking a win.
Nicholas Whell, Randy Morgan and current track champion Aaron Kelly are the only other drivers in the field who have thus far been able to conjure a podium appearance, with each of the youngsters enjoying a solitary moment in the spotlight. It has been sheer consistency from Kelly that currently sees him placed second overall behind McHugh in the championship standings, but he will need to find something extra in the weeks ahead if he intends to defend his title. Of those nominated this weekend, Mitchell Gee, Allan Woods, Brent Kratzmann, Dylan Menz, Dave Fanning and Jessie Attard have all registered top-five results, with Gee having done so on three occasions to be the best performed of this bunch. After struggling in recent rounds, Kratzmann enjoyed a strong result in Toowoomba last weekend with a fourth-place finish that suggests he might be returning to his best form. As has been the case all season, several interstaters will take on the locals again this weekend, with Attard being joined by fellow NSW-based racer Jackson Delamont, who qualified inside the top five in round eight and finished seventh in the feature, while Kevin Quinlan is trekking from the Northern Territory to make his Archerfield debut.
Round five of the Petzyo Sprintcar Development Series will also be decided, with Brant Chandler aiming to continue his successful transition from the Wingless Sprint ranks. Looking to challenge Chandler will be fellow Wingless graduates Jason King, Dave Jobe and Brad Keiler, along with a trio of north Queensland visitors in Wes Jenkins, Cameron King and Zac Howell, plus a couple of lady racers in Libby Ellis and Erin Vanderreyden.
When it comes to close racing, AMCA Nationals have been leading the way this season, with each round of the Shock Absorber Therapy Track Championship delivering top notch competition. Whilst Bruce Marshall and Steve Potts were the standouts in the opening two rounds with two feature race wins apiece, it was two-time national champ Matt Hardy who rediscovered his winning ways in round five, and all three drivers are amongst the starters this weekend. Regular front runners in Lee McKinnell, Thomas Vickery and Nathan Tomkins are also in the field, as is current and two-time Queensland champ Tony Blanch, who has emerged from hibernation to make the trip north from his Grafton base for his first Archerfield appearance of the season.
Wingless Sprints will feature a much larger New South Wales contingent, with six interstaters amongst the 25 nominations. The fact that their previous round of racing was won by a southerner will provide plenty of motivation for the locals to lift their game this week and send the visitors home empty-handed. The fact that each of the five feature races contested at Archerfield this season has been won by a different driver is testament to how tough the competition is in the category. Although yet to score a win, Paul Robinson is the only driver in the field to have finished inside the top five in every feature race at Archerfield this season, so maybe this is the week that will see the #28 land in victory lane.
In Compact Speedcar action, expat New Zealander Michael Kendall will be out to avenge his Queensland Championship defeat last weekend. For Kendall, winning is second nature and rest assured he will be desperate to bounce back from a rare defeat with an emphatic reminder of his considerable skills. Category veteran Steve Swingler, who finished third in the state championship feature, looms as the man most likely to kybosh a Kendall victory, although teenager Harry Stewart will relish the opportunity to upstage his more experienced rivals in what has already been a stellar rookie season.
Gates open at 2.00pm 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 Open Sedans and 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 nine nominations: Aaron Kelly, Adam Butler, Allan Woods, Andrew Baumber, Andrew Corbet, Anthony Lambert, Ben Hilder, Brad Ayers, Brad Keiler, Brant Chandler, Brendon Claridge, Brent Kratzmann, Callum Walker, Cameron King, Cody Maroske, Dan Murray, Darren Jensen, Dave Fanning, Dave Jobe, Dylan Menz, Erin Vanderreyden, Jackson Delamont, Jason King, Jessie Attard, Jock Goodyer, John White, Kevin Quinlan, Lachlan McHugh, Libby Ellis, Luke Oldfield, Mark Pholi, Mitch Gowland, Mitchell Gee, Nicholas Whell, Paul Rooks, Randy Morgan, Steve Woods, Taylor Prosser, Tim Farrell, Wes Jenkins, Zac Howell
Shock Absorber Therapy AMCA Nationals Track Championship round six nominations: Ben Anderson, Bruce Marshall, Darren Miller, Dylan Stacey, Graeme Holland, Heath Parker, Jay Allen, Lee McKinnell, Mark Taylor, Matt Ingrey, Michael Denning, Nathan Tomkins, Robert Turner, Scott Hitchcock, Shane Stacey, Stephen Ward, Steve Potts, Thomas Vickery, Tim Luscombe, Tony Blanch, Troy Price
Wingless Sprint Club Championship round eleven nominations: Anthony Joyce, Ben Manson, Ben Matchett, Brett Russo, Chris Catchpole, Corey O’Toole, Dave Eggins, Ian Milnes, James Barton, Jamie Usher, Jayden O’Toole, Lachlan Robertson, Lance Dawson, Liam Atkinson, Marin Kusturin, Mark Brownsey, Michael Braggs, Michael Butcher, Mick Reid, Paul Robinson, Ross Guy, Scott Mortenson, Shaun Knight, Steve Pilkington, Tim Harris
Compact Speedcar nominations: Andrew Parkes, Andrew Rooke, Brock Byrne, Clay Seaborne, Dave Collins, Dave Swan, Dion Wilson, Harry Stewart, Michael Kendall, Mitchell Rooke, Richard Rooke, Richard Treanor, Steve Swingler
Open Sedan nominations: Aaron Wells, Ben Robertson, Bob Ware, Colin Morris, Dave Sansby, Haiden Grantz, Joel Gilson, John Woolf, Les Eisenmenger, Mark Anderson, Merv Price, Michael Laver, Ricky Price, Robert Gorman, Robin Bains, Ron Hornbuckle, Trevor Polzin
Ford vs Holden vs Sigma sedan nominations: Brad Summerville, David Tookey, Jake Besgrove, Kim Dack, Linkon Allan, Maverick Dack, Terry Russell, Will Kelly
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