A host of eastern invaders headed West after the Australian Sprintcar Title Race in Warrnambool a fortnight ago, including the new #A1 Lochie McHugh, Jock Goodyer, Marcus Dumesney, Jordyn Charge, Jamie Veal, Luke Oldfield, Matt Egel, Jy Corbet, Glenn Sutherland and Ryan Newton.
Affectionately known as ‘Mr Sprintcar,' the two-night race honours WA Legend Alf Barbagallo, Goodyer wasted no time in making a statement – breaking the eight-year-old lap record with a 12.904s on the first lap of qualifying.
Goodyer was later disqualified from qualifying after the crew were deemed to have added fuel to the car before it was weighed for legality, effectively relegating him to the bottom of the qualifying list and elevating Daniel Harding to the quicktime position.
McHugh started from pole in Heat 1, with hot conditions facing racers under the scorching WA summer.
McHugh and Veal led home Dayne Kingshott as the first of the locals, with Goodyer scything through the field to narrowly miss fourth position to Trent Pigdon after starting from the rear.
The Eastern onslaught continued with Mat Egel taking the victory in Heat 2 from Dumesney, with WA hot shoe Brad Maiolo bringing it home in third.
Heat 3 began in dramatic fashion with Jason Kendrick misjudging a slide job on Jamie Maiolo for the lead, resulting in Maiolo making hard contact with the outside wall and effectively destroying the chassis on the #99 car.
Kendrick was sent to the rear of the field for initiating the contact.
The heat was won by Jason Pryde, from Ryan Newton and Jy Corbet.
The twin dashes were won by Jamie Veal and Matt Egel, filling in for the injured Mitch Wormall in the #97 car.
Jordyn Charge took the B-Main in convincing fashion from Kaidon Manders, Taylor Milling and Jock Goodyer who would be a shock last-place starter in the A-Feature.
The feature race got off to a premature start with Kris Coyle ending upside down for the second time on the night after taking a tumble in the mid pack dash as well as Lap 1 of the feature race.
Veal and Egel resumed the front row with veal stretching the legs of the Monte Farms #17 to take the early lead from Egel, Kingshott and Dumesney who was having a solid outing in the Valvoline #47.
Traffic came into play early in the race with only six laps in the books before Veal came into lapped cars.
With the Lap 1 incident notwithstanding, the race went for a long green flag run despite the track slickening off due to the scorching temperatures of over 40 degrees during the day sapping the track of moisture.
The Australian Champ McHugh pulled to the infield while he was running inside the top 10 with an issue, as did James Inglis a lap later.
With 25 green flag laps in the books, the red lights came on for a crash involving Jason Kendrick, David Priolo and Taylor Milling, providing a six-lap dash to the chequered flag on the dusty Motorplex surface.
Dumesney was unable to take the restart after retiring due to engine issues, leaving local hero Callum Williamson to move to second position to take his shot at Veal, who had led every lap up until that point.
Kingshott and Williamson traded positions for the next two laps with Matt Egel closing as well, until Jack Williamson in the #24 contacted the concrete in Turn 4.
The old adage that ‘Cautions breed Cautions' never rang truer, with another stoppage on the restart involving Jason Pryde spinning into the wall and innocent party Jaydee Dack arriving on the scene with nowhere to go only a second or so later.
The carnage meant that only 13 cars would start, with almost half of the 24-car starting field wiped out due to mechanical or crash damage.
Jamie Veal took the victory, from Callum Williamson and Matt Egel rounding out the podium.
Jock Goodyer had a sterling drive from dead last to fifth.
Veal Said after the win “Felt good tonight, the team gave me an unbelievable car. Theres a lot of racing coming up and I'm feeling comfortable.”