In an epic 35-lap feature race at Eastern Creek Speedway on Saturday night (April 1), Marcus Dumesny created history when he joined his father and brother as a winner of the New South Wales Sprintcar Championship. In a drive reminiscent of his national title win in Brisbane last season, Dumesny started from row five and was clinical in his advance through the field, chasing down current Australian champ Jock Goodyer and Grand Annual Classic winner Brock Hallett to hit the front with 10 laps remaining. Goodyer went back to the front momentarily following a final restart with eight laps to run, but Dumesny was not to be denied, sliding back under Goodyer through turn two to reclaim the lead to clinch a memorable win. Having led for much of the running, Hallett regained one spot late in proceedings to push Goodyer back to third, with Queensland young gun Jy Corbet flying into fourth ahead of Luke Stirton, Lachlan Caunt, Randy Morgan, Aaron Kelly, Kaidon Brown and Michael Stewart.
With the likes of Brendan Scorgie, Kyle Mock, Blake Darcy and Zac Pacchiarotta amongst those who failed to survive opening night, and with team owner Michael Saller already on the sidelines as a result of injuries sustained in a crash the previous evening, the field was reduced further when an engine fire in hot laps also rendered Robbie Farr a spectator.
Having endured a miserable opening night, Jessie Attard started his Saturday campaign in the best possible way, leading throughout to win the first heat of the night. Outjumped from pole by Luke Sayre at the first attempted start, contact between Brown and Grant Anderson in turn two sent the latter bicycling and bouncing into a spin, prompting a restart from which Attard emerged with the lead. Sam Walsh advanced to finish second ahead of Brown as Sayre slipped to fourth.
Heat eight produced a Queensland quinella with Randy Morgan home first ahead of Kelly, with Daniel Sayre in third spot.
Dumesny pounced from row two to assume the lead on the opening lap of heat nine and crushed the field to finish a whopping eight seconds clear of runner-up Warren Ferguson, with Troy Little even further back in third.
Morgan doubled up to win heat ten over Stewart and Hallett, with a series of tit-for-tat slide jobs between Corbet and Dumesny falling in favour of the latter.
Running third through the first half of heat eleven, Daniel Sayre relegated Jakes Baines and Luke Sayre on consecutive laps to grab the lead. A subsequent spin from Baines would trigger a restart that would bring bigger trouble when Ben Atkinson looked to occupy a non-existent gap under Warren Ferguson in turn one, the resultant contact sending Atkinson into a flip and pitching Ferguson into the path of Jai Stephenson, who finished upside down. The green-white-chequer restart proved a family affair with Daniel Sayre home first ahead of Luke, while a somewhat fortuitous third-place finish from Stirton was sufficient to secure a front row start in the main event.
The final heat of the weekend went the way of Jessie Attard once again, this time in advance of Anderson and Kelly.
A small field contested the B Main and the first three positions were never in doubt as Kelly cruised home ahead of Luke Thomas and Baines, while Ashleigh Jack looked to have the final transfer spot in her keeping, only for a late charge from Stephenson that saw him round up Brad Stacey and Jack to secure a feature race start.
With some inclement weather threatening to disrupt proceedings, the Pole Shootout was cancelled and the championship feature race was brought forward with Hallett to launch from pole position alongside Stirton. Row two encompassed Goodyer and Caunt, with Brown and Corbet behind them. Troy Little and Matt Dumesny, the only two previous winners of the event in the field, shared row four, with Marcus Dumesny and Jordyn Brazier completing the top ten qualifiers. At the drop of the green, Stirton shot to the front, only to be brought back to the field when Atkinson, Baines and Stephenson found trouble in the back straight, while a stuck throttle would force Matt Dumesny into shutting down the Valvoline #57 and exiting the contest. With Stirton leading away again at the restart, Hallett seemed somewhat content to sit second for a few circulations before making his move on lap seven. Goodyer moved ahead of Stirton on lap 12 and Marcus Dumesny followed suit on lap 15, having already rounded up Little, Corbet, Brown and Caunt. From this point, a superb race ensued as three of the very best in the business swapped spots. Goodyer moved to the front for the first time on lap 21, with Dumesny also slipping ahead of Hallett a lap later, only for Hallett to bite back immediately and reclaim second. Dumesny would soon be back in second spot and would slide under Goodyer through turn two with 10 laps remaining to assume the lead. When Walsh stopped high in turn four on lap 27 after contact with Anderson, a final restart ensued and it was Goodyer who pounced to snatch the lead again with a slide-job through turn four, only for Dumesny to replicate the move in turn two on the next lap. Dumesny would face no further challenges as he surged to the chequer for a stirring win, with Hallett relegating Goodyer to third through the final laps. After falling back early, Corbet rallied to secure fourth ahead of Stirton, Caunt, Morgan and Kelly, who advanced more than ten spots to salvage a respectable result. Brown, Stewart, Little and Attard rounded out the first dozen, with Thomas, Anderson, Ferguson and Luke Sayre the remaining finishers.
Andrew Sayre shot to the front at the commencement of the opening Wingless Sprint heat race, only to slow suddenly in turn four on lap two and baulk Brayden Shute, who would lose four spots as Jason Davis snatched the lead. Shute would regain some ground to finish fourth behind Bailey Goodwin and Zac Pacchiarotta.
Blaine Densley advanced from the third row to the front of heat two after just three laps, leading the remainder to finish ahead of Blake Darcy and Mark Blyton.
Brad McCarthy led every lap of heat three to finish ahead of Blyton, while a great scrap for third would fall the way of Goodwin over Darcy by a narrow margin.
Sean Dicker also led from go to whoa in the final heat, with the battle for second providing all the excitement on this occasion with five drivers fighting it out. Having started back in the pack, Shute would ultimately prevail over Guy Stanshall, Densley, John Egan and Warren White.
In the Dash, Pacchiarotta occupied the lead when the race was declared a lap early with Densley in need of medical assistance after parking on the infield. Dicker, Darcy and Blyton were next in line, with Goodwin, McCarthy and Shute rounding out the field.
Dicker got the best of the start to lead the first of 20 laps in the feature race before succumbing to Pacchiarotta on lap two. Blyton moved to second on lap four but, with the race running for an extended period without interruption, Pacchiarotta was able to slowly extend his lead. Goodwin slotted into third and it looked as though that is how the order would remain, only for a spin from Shane Ross to bring about a restart with five laps remaining. Back underway and Blyton was now within reach of another win, immediately diving under Pacchiarotta to grab the lead. With Blyton in control out front, Pacchiarotta now found himself under threat from McCarthy, who finished with a flourish to grab second spot on lap 19. Pacchiarotta placed third ahead of Goodwin, Egan, Williams and Dicker, with White, Darcy and Shute completing the top ten in a field that saw 19 of the 21 starters greet the chequer.
The opening Street Stock heat saw Sean Davoodi somehow secure a win after the worst start imaginable, falling a long way back after running way wide through turn one on the opening lap. Aided by a couple of restarts, Davoodi was able to work his way to the front and finish more than five seconds clear of second-placed Charlie Dodson who moved ahead of Jak Davies on the final lap.
Heat two also saw a win by more than five seconds, with Troy Dawes the victor on this occasion, albeit from the front row. The final lap proved costly for Mark Alexander as he slipped from second to fourth as Matt Alexander and Steven Walsh advanced to secure the minor placings.
Heat three saw Davoodi pounce from the second row of the grid to be leading before the field reached turn two, although on this occasion he found himself under persistent pressure from Shannon Alexander who, despite cutting the quickest lap of the race and serving up a couple of love taps to Davoodi, couldn’t find a way to the front. Rick Aberley finished in third spot.
The final heat saw Matt Alexander lead from the outset and hold firm despite a smoky engine over the closing laps, with Danny Glover home in second spot ahead of Dawes.
The feature race was a stop-start affair due to a series of incidents in the early going that would see more than half the field on the infield with only six laps completed. In the end, there was no stopping Davoodi though as he proved successful in his pursuit of back-to-back feature race victories. Matt Alexander finished in second place ahead of Dawes, Rick Aberley, Chris Eveleigh, Chrissie Basford and the final finisher in Blake Saunderson.
The next meeting at Eastern Creek Speedway is Saturday, April 15 featuring Sprintcars, Wingless Sprints, AMCA Nationals and Lightning Sprints.