Defending World Series Sprintcars Champion James McFadden set Revolution Racegear Quick Time in qualifying and later won the 20 lap preliminary main event on Night One of the 2013 Performance Wholesale Australian Open tonight, leading home Donny Schatz and Andrew Scheuerle.
Round Six of the ENZED World Series Sprintcars tournament, presented by Hogs Breath Cafe, doubles as the Australian Open and tonight was the first chance for Queensland fans to get a dose of WSS competition in 2013.
McFadden led the main event without interruption in his Totally Workwear #25 Cool Chassis leading home the world’s best Sprintcar driver in front of a good crowd for a Friday night.
“20 lap races are like a long heat race really,” explained the winner, “you barely get going and it’s time to get the chequer. You can’t really throw a big race set up into the car because you’re not out there that long.”
Donny Schatz too was nonplussed by the 20-lap distance.
“They suck,” he mused, “you can’t get a run going on anyone because there’s really not any lapped traffic to contend with. James did a good job tonight but I was never gonna knock down the walls chasing him. Tomorrow night is our focus.”
McFadden concurred with Schatz’s view.
“Donny’s right, it’s all about tomorrow night for all of us. It’s still good to get a win on a night like this though and carry some points into tomorrow night. That’s the one we really want to win.”
McFadden originally started the A-Main from the second row, but a coming together between original #2 position starter Steven Lines and inside second row starter David Murcott saw the duo locked together and spin to the infield bringing on the cautions.
Lines couldn’t restart but Murcott began again from the rear after the yellows.
Andrew Scheuerle was pleased with his third place finish in the Ausdeck #25.
“Considering we dug ourselves a hole a couple of times tonight I’m pretty pleased with our progress just now. We banged wheels with Brooke pretty hard on the back straight but we got the car home OK and I’m pleased with the podium.”
Scheuerle had a spirited battle with Brooke Tatnell in the Steve Caunt Racing #9 KPC Chassis before Scheuerle got the nod for third, Tatnell placing fourth and Tim Kaeding finished fifth in the Krikke Motorsport #2 Cool.
“We were kinda lucky to finish fifth tonight,” lamented Kaeding, “we lost the left rear shock with five laps to go so I had to stop slamming the cushion and just get it home.”
Tatnell was impressive on debut with the Caunt operation.
“This is a good little team and the car is nice. Andy (crew chief) Hibberd is very capable and I think we’re in with a shot here,” explained the multiple WSS and Aussie champ.
Sixth place finisher was the consistent Grant Anderson ahead of Luke Dillon, Jason Johnson, Robbie Farr, Cameron Gessner, Peter Lack, Shaun Dobson and Shaun Bradford rounding out the field.
Drivers classified as “did not finish” included Jack Dover, Kyle Hirst, Danny Reidy and Steven Lines.
Todd Wanless and Ricky Maiolo both had spectacular exits from competition in different incidents during their qualifying heats, with both suffering extensive damage after what seemed to be component failure forcing them randomly into the concrete wall.
The second and final night of the Australian Open, featuring the 50 lap A-Main, is held tonight, Saturday, January 5, 2013 at Supercheap Auto Archerfield Speedway.
Sign up to receive all of the latest news via email FREE simply by following this link: http://eepurl.com/etZbY.
Feeling social? The new, official, World Series Sprintcars Facebook group can be found online by visiting facebook.worldseriessprintcars.com.
You can also find WSS in the App Store: WSS Live.