In a race that produced action aplenty, young Lee McKinnell powered to victory in the Super Rooster Dirt Modified feature race at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday night (April 16). Fresh from an extended interstate campaign, McKinnell charged underneath veteran Ray Klarich on lap 18 to take control and then surged clear, finishing more than 3.5 seconds clear of Klarich despite a final restart with five laps to run. Scott Conlin finished in third spot, while Mark Robinson’s late exit after a stellar run from 18th to fourth elevated David Ohl, with Andrew Firth rounding out the first five as the highest placed Sportsman runner.
The most spectacular exit came courtesy of national champ Kevin Britten when he finished upside down following contact from Victoria’s Dan Scott, bringing an unceremonious end to what had been a terrific scrap for the lead throughout the opening stages of the race. Scott got the best of the start from the outside front row and held the early advantage until Britten, who qualified on pole position, assumed the lead on lap 11. Finding themselves snookered behind a slower car exiting turn two on the next circulation, Britten was baulked momentarily and, with Scott unable to avoid contact, the two cars locked together. With both drivers desperate to retain their position as their pursuers pounced, the end result was Britten perched upside down at the end of the back straight. With Scott ordered to the rear for the restart, Klarich inherited the ascendancy and fought hard to keep his lead but ultimately had no answer when McKinnell made his move.
Despite the misfortunes that befell Britten and Scott, McKinnell was a worthy winner, having qualified in third spot and clocking the fastest lap of the race in the closing stages. He demonstrated patience and perseverance in his duel with Klarich before pouncing when the opportunity presented itself through turn two. Conlin closed in on Klarich on a couple of occasions but never got close enough to challenge the category stalwart, with Ohl and Firth followed home by Murray Flay, Joshua Rose, Nick Knott and Phil Roberts. Scott persevered for a few laps from the back before exiting to join the likes of Garry Wathen, Dallas Czerwinski, Andrew Pezzutti, Sam Bruggy, Jai Stephenson and Jeff Holland on the infield.
The opening heat saw Scott set the early standard with a win over McKinnell and Stephenson.
Klarich cleand up in heat two, leading home Czerwinski and Ohl in a race that would see national title winners Pezzutti and Robinson strike trouble and fail to take the chequer.
Heat three featured a remarkable performance from Britten in a continuation of the form that carried him to three state title wins in recent weeks. Britten launched from the outside front row and was more than 10 seconds clear of the field when a late restart cruelled what seemed certain to be a record breaking run. Bruggy and McKinnell filled the minor placings.
The final heat was a much closer affair with Conlin edging out Scott, with Wathen and Klarich also in close formation.
The Top Six Dash went as expected with Britten clocking a new 6-lap track record in leading home Scott, McKinnell, Klarich, Conlin and Bruggy.
Other feature race winners on the night were Maddi McGee (Junior Sedans), Bob Ware (Open Sedans), Ben Robertson (Open Sedans Div. 2) and Bernie Wright (Ford vs Holden vs Sigma).
Next weekend at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway, Hungry Jack’s presents the Queensland Sprintcar Championship over two big nights on Saturday and Sunday (April 23/24). The Australian Modlite Championship will also be decided, with Sunday night also featuring Monster Trucks and Fireworks.