You can barely click your fingers in 0.2 seconds (it’s that quick) yet that was the narrow margin of victory that Jason Sides registered over early leader and fellow American Jason Johnson in tonight’s 20 lap preliminary WSS main event at Sydney Speedway.
(Round Seven of the ENZED World Series Sprintcars Championship, presented by Hogs Breath Cafe, is a two-night affair – the first of which was held tonight).
Sides effectively pick-pocketed the win from the hapless Johnson with the chequered flag in sight, coming home 0.286 of a second ahead in his #7S Inglis Engines Maxim.
Johnson led 19 laps of the 20 lap main event after starting on the front row alongside Sides.
“Jason’s (Sides) a great driver and a proven World of Outlaw feature winner,” conceded Jason Johnson on the podium, “so any time you get beaten by somebody like that you realise that you’re racing against one of the best around. I’m disappointed he got me but I guess I was snoozing. I can’t say enough about this HM Racing Team and how hard they’ve been working.”
Sides was naturally pleased to get the win, even by the barest of margins.
“Anytime you get a win, if it’s by a second, or twenty seconds, you take it,” smiled the Tennessee throttle stomper, “and whether it’s a heat race, a preliminary main event or a main event, it’s always good to get a win. Scott (Inglis) gave us a new motor to run tonight and it was right on the money. This whole team have been doing an awesome job and tonight we got a reward for them.”
Shane Stewart completed the American trifecta in his Monster Energy / Monte Motorsport J&J with a solid third place in the third chassis the team has built up in nine events so far this season.
“My guys have been working real hard,” Stewart explained, “they’ve been prepared to do whatever it takes to get us back to the front, including build up this third chassis tonight in nine races we’ve been here. I feel like we’re really getting a handle on this car and I think tomorrow night we’ll have something fast for these guys.”
Five Americans finished in the top ten in fact on a night that followed a 46 degree Celsius heatwave where Sydney sweltered.
8 times WSS champion Brooke Tatnell came from 8th to 4th in the Steve Caunt Racing #9 KPC in a storming run to edge Sydneysider Roddy Bellbowen out of the top four and into fifth, whilst American Kyle Hirst ran sixth, Daryn Pittman seventh, Australian Champion James McFadden eighth, Steven Lines ninth and Luke Dillon tenth.
NSW youngster Matt Smith placed eleventh, Tim Kaeding twelfth, Ian Madsen (who came from the B-Main) thirteenth, Trevor Green fourteenth, Garry Brazier fifteenth, Ben Atkinson sixteenth, Jamie Veal seventeenth, Damien Abbott eighteenth, Daniel Pestka nineteenth and Warren Ferguson rounding out the 20 finishers.
Night Two of the 7th round of ENZED World Series Sprintcars at Sydney Speedway will be held tonight (January 19) from 6pm.