Schuchart Scorches to Archerfield Win
Author : Archerefield Speedway
Pennsylvanian Logan Schuchart delivered a masterful display at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Thursday night (December 28), chasing down World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz to win round eight of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship. Although Schuchart started the race from pole position, it was Schatz who led the through the first half of the event before Schuchart pounced on lap 20 and powered through the remaining laps to score a memorable win. Perhaps not surprisingly, the best of the locals in third spot was Luke Oldfield, with Peter Lack flying into fourth ahead of Mark Pholi and Bryan Mann.
Postponed from two nights earlier, 36 cars returned to do battle and it was Pholi who fired the first shot when he stopped the clock at 12.819 to emerge with KRE Fast Time ahead of Lack (12.904), Mann (12.984) and Brent Kratzmann (13.047), whose drive in the early laps of the feature was impressive indeed. Dan Murray was next best in advance of Schatz, with Brodie Tulloch, Schuchart, Steve Rowell and Oldfield rounding out the top ten.
Schatz was sublime in the opening heat, advancing from seventh to second on the opening lap and then taking control from Anthony Lambert on lap two to win in a canter. Lambert remained second at the chequer, with Pholi advancing to third after starting alongside Schatz on row four.
Dirt Modified deity Kevin Britten continued his Sprintcar apprenticeship with an impressive win in heat two ahead of Mitchell Gee and Schuchart, while Callum Walker proved too pacy in heat three, leading home Andrew Scheuerle and Kaiden Manders.
Scheuerle had to settle for second once again in heat four, following Dave Whell to the chequer, with Britten third on this occasion, while heat five saw Maroske prevail over Schatz and Schuchart.
The final heat produced the only major incident of the preliminaries when Mitchell Gee flipped out in turn three on the opening lap. Once the race resumed, Walker was unstoppable in delivering another daring display to win again, leading home Lambert and Mann in this instance.
Kristy Bonsey bested a small field to win the C Main, leading home Mitch Gowland, Karl Hoffmans, Bryan Zelinski and Steven Greer, with neither James Grady nor Kris Jennings making it to the finish.
Manders encountered little resistance on his way to winning the B Main, leaving all interest on the battle for the remaining transfer positions into the feature. It was Peacock, Lambert and Britten who secured those spots, leaving Paul Rooks to reflect on what might have been. Rooks was running inside the top four until he cuddled the concrete in turn four and lost momentum, surging back strongly but ultimately falling short.
It was Schatz who emerged at the top of the table upon the completion of qualifying, only to draw position five in the Dash. Mann and Kratzmann snared the front row berths and it was the latter who looked on track to take the race until a last lap pass from Schuchart carried him to victory and a pole position start in the feature. Schatz advanced to third ahead of Mann and Oldfield, with Scheuerle, Lack and Pholi trailing the field.
At the start of the feature, Schuchart had no answer when Schatz sliced through into the lead, the two Americans distancing themselves from the field until Kratzmann, who had been having a great run in third spot, jumped the cushion and tagged the wall on lap nine to bring about a restart. The order at the front remained unchanged through a subsequent restart a few laps later when Brock Dean crashed out in turn one. Remaining glued to the cushion high on the track, Schuchart chased down Schatz and surged to the front on lap 20, putting some lapped cars between them before his advantage was annulled when Scheurele tipped over on lap 24 in turn three and was collected by Walker. Once underway again, Schuchart maintained his advantage through the final eleven laps to lead Schatz home, with Oldfield moving to third after an extended battle with Mann, who was subsequently relegated further by Lack and Pholi, both of whom started on the fourth row. Behind Mann came Maroske, with Tulloch, Peacock and Murray rounding out the top ten. Rowell, Britten and Whell were the only other finishers.
Australian Lightning Sprint champion Kurt Wilson scored his maiden Formula 500 feature race win when he took out the opening round of the Ian Boettcher Race Parts Stampede Series, leading home Tomas Partington, Nathan Pronger, Mitchell Whittaker and Brady Argles.
Wilson started the night strongly when he took out the opening heat over Marshall Lewis and Cameron Bertuch before Partington won the remaining two heats.
The Compact Speedcar Presidents Cup feature race produced a thrilling finish when Robbie Stewart charged around the outside of Tim Farrell in the final corner to snatch the win. Early leader Dave Swan finished in third spot, followed by Mitchell Rooke and Mark Maczek.
On a night of very close competition, heat wins were shared between Stewart, Trent Usher, Wayne Corbett and Graeme Flynn, with Riki Harrison finishing second in both of his heats before riding out a heavy flip in the feature race.
Klinton Hancey continued his domination of Modlite competition with another feature race win, chasing down Queensland champ Terry Leerentveld to take out round four of the Pro Series. Graham Knuckey from South Australia finished second by the merest of margins, relegating Kyle Honour to third, with Chris Were also moving ahead of Leerentveld to secure fourth.
Heat wins went to Hancey, Honour, Leerentveld and Sean Rose, who finished outside the top ten in a feature race that saw Australian champion Aaron Prosser as the only driver in the 15-car field who failed to go the distance.
In Junior Formula 500 action, race wins were shared between Bodie Smith (2), Trent Vardy and Nick Whell, with Tarhlea Apelt finishing inside the top three on each occasion.
Racing continues at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday night (December 30) with round nine of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship plus round three of the Super Sedan Summer Slam Tour, along with Lightning Sprints and AMCA Nationals.