George Tatnell would have been proud.
Proud of the race that honours his memory – the George Tatnell Cup – held for the first time this year in conjunction with Round 8 of the ENZED World Series Sprintcars (presented by Hogs Breath Cafe) at Speedway City Virginia tonight.
And what a race it was.
James McFadden led every one of the 30 lap main event, until the last corner of the last lap when Steven Lines crashed the party and pulled off a stunning three wide outside move that snared him the victory with 20 metres to run.
“I had to have a go, you always have to have a go,” smiled a satisfied Lines post-race as he explained his 11th hour pass, “things are rolling our way right now and we were lucky enough to see the outside line clear up when James went to the bottom on the lapped car. We squeezed up the outside and snuck away with the win. I know how James (McFadden) feels, because it happened to me last week.”
The win also moves Lines into second place in the series with four rounds still remaining.
McFadden could do little but shrug his shoulders after the race.
“I didn’t realise Steve was up there, but I went to the bottom on the lapped car so that I didn’t leave myself exposed in the last corner but I honestly didn’t think anyone was close enough anyway. I guess I was wrong.”
Robbie Farr trailed the lead duo home in third place after earlier battling for several laps for second place with Steven Lines.
“I didn’t want to get into a battle for position with Linesy for second because James would be able to get further away if we kept going at it but neither one of us wanted to give up our spots either,” mused the West Australia based Sydney born former WSS Champ.
American Kyle Hirst scored his best WSS result with 4th place in the Highrace Towing #99 Maxim, the night before he returns home to California where he’ll prepare for the World of Outlaws events in Las Vegas.
“I’ve had a blast in Australia but it’s time to go home and get ready for our new season. I can’t thank the Ruhs Family and Michael Cunningham for the opportunities they’ve given me and I hope to come back next year if they’ll have me.”
Fellow American Shane Stewart had to come from position 15 in the A-Main after winning the B-Main in the Monster Energy #7 where along the way he earned the Rick Martino (Martelco Equipment Hire) “Hard Charger” award. He was also able to move past initial series leader Luke Dillon into third place in the WSS Championship.
“I feel like we turned the corner a bit tonight,” Stewart admitted, “we improved 20 positions in qualifying from the first night of World Series here, and even though I got us crashed up and rolled the car in our first heat the team never gave up and got us back out there. I’m very grateful for that. I don’t think I’ve ever, at any time in my career, had a run this bad when it comes to bad luck or bad decisions on my part. It’s been a nightmare. ”
Trailing home Stewart was the consistent Brad Keller in the #19 Fatchen Cartage Contractors entry with fellow South Aussies Luke Dillon, Jamie Cobby and Ryan Jones rounding out the top nine consecutively with Tim Kaeding coming home in tenth in the Krikke Motorsport #2 Cool.
Dillon’s 7th place finish was not enough to stem the flow of Steven Lines and Shane Stewart in their respective attacks on his initial second place in the series overall.
“We needed a better result,” Luke conceded with a frown, “7th place in a field like this just isn’t going to cut it. We need to get back into form quickly so we can still stay in touch with the lead.”
Outside the top ten were Trevor Green, Jamie Veal, Hayden Pitt and Jordyn Brazier in 14th as the last officially placed car.
David Murcott was dead unlucky in the #83 Mainline Dynolog Dynamometers Eagle Chassis, running fast in second place for the first 16 laps before he slammed a large rut in turn three, filled up the right rear wheel with clay and then moments later ‘biked’ the #83 Eagle before slamming the way and pulling out with a crippled racecar.
DNF’s included Daniel Pestka (flat left rear tyre) Shaun Bradford (crash) Jake Tranter (slight roll) David Murcott (crash) and Steve Caunt (crash).
Earlier in the night was marred by a big crash involving Queensland young gun David “Blingy” Muir.
Muir flipped the Titan Garages Maxim hard coming out of turn four in his heat race and the car landed awkwardly landing on the tail tank giving its driver a tremendous amount of back pain as he was assisted from the car and into the ambulance before eventually being transported to hospital for further medical assessment.
Later that night Muir was fortunately released from hospital with no broken or fractured bones but still with severe bruising.
“He’s in a lot of pain,” explained Team owner Reeve Kruck, “but the good news is that there’s no permanent or more significant injury. He’s going to be very sore tomorrow but at least he’s escaped more serious injury.”
An excellent crowd greeted the 31 teams on hand to participate in Revolution Racegear Qualifying and see Steven Lines set quick time in his #3 Halls Motorsport KPC chassis.
James McFadden won the Vortex Race Products “Top 8 Shootout” and qualified the #1 Totally Workwear COOL on pole position for the 30 lap A-Main.
The ninth round of the 2013 ENZED World Series Sprintcars Championship, presented by Hogs Breath Cafe, is scheduled for this Friday night at Manjimup Speedway in Western Australia.