The final event on the South Australian Speedway calendar was held yesterday afternoon at the Sunline Speedway at Waikerie with the feature event being the Steve Butcher Street Stock Memorial. A heathy field of 19 Street Stocks fronted for the annual Blue Ribbon event and after four heats and a 20-lap finale veteran Nigel Reichstein won by less that a car length over Bailey Heinrich, with Jason Gantz rounding out the podium.
After winning both his heat races Gantz, who was driving the Jamie Stewart #97, started the A-Main on pole with Whyalla’s Andy Maxwell Jr on his outside. At the drop of the green it was all Maxwell Jr who jumped into the lead and he led the opening nine laps until an aggressive pass from Reichstein in turn two (clockwise final) took the lead away. Less than a half of a lap later Maxwell Jr was on the infield after coasting to a stop in turn four.
From this point it looked to a comfortable win for Reichstein, but the caution came out with two laps remaining setting up a 3-lap charge to the chequered flag. Reichstein was able to hold on for the win ahead of a fast finishing Heinrich, with Gantz, Haydon Jolly, Wade Fell, Paul Hayes, Andrew Hardacre, Cade Cox, Jamie Owens and Tori Tillbrook completing the top 10.
Throughout the day there were only two heat winners with Gantz and Maxwell Jr winning two heats each.
The Junior Sedans proved to be the talking point of the day for all the wrong reasons after the feature race was cut short after Drew Flatman crashed through the pit gate resulting in a lengthy delay to the meeting. Up until that point the day had run extremely smooth with an early afternoon finish on the cards. Nathan Thorne was declared the winner of the race with Paige Goldsack – Gwynne, who was having her last drive in the class finishing second. Despite not winning on the day Jordan Grillett won the Junior Sedans Track Championship with Drew Flatman finishing second ahead of Paige Goldsack – Gwynne.
The AMCA Nationals produced some of the best racing of the afternoon with Victorian Frank Thierry, who has also won the night prior at Wahgunyah Speedway, winning an entertaining shortened 10 lap final over Mildura’s Darren McCarthy and Jason Robinson. Earlier Jason Robinson and Darren McCarthy shared the heat wins.
A small field of five Super Sedans fronted for action with the surprise entry being veteran Kym Cottrell in his Dodge bodied Dominator after a six-year absence from competition. Following a clean sweep of the heat races Jason Gantz emerged the winner of the 12-lap finale setting a new track record in the process. It was the second year in succession that Gantz had won the June Long weekend finale. Cottrell survived a race long battle with Paul Blenkiron, who was enjoying a guest drive in the Sunline Speedway #44 “House” car, while Robert Uren and Daniel Obst rounded out the field. Earlier Gantz had also reset the 8-lap track record.
In the Modlites it was regular Super Sedan racer Ryan Alexander who piloted the Brook Alexander owned #0 to the win over Michael Cowland, Scott Webb, Brian Chadwick, Cory Hodgson and Jacob Carlier. Earlier in the day rookie Justin Chadwick got his day off to a rough start after gently rolling his #73 machine in turn two.
The Modified Sedans were also on hand to contest their Sunline Championship but only six cars fronted for action. The field was reduced to five during the first heat when former South Australian Champion Mark Sheen packed up with a rear end issue. With Sheen out of the picture it was all smooth sailing for veteran Peter McCarthy from Mildura to dominate the event defeating Trevor Raams and Justin Domaine in the final.
The Street Stocks and Modlites also held “Ladies Only” races with regular Street Stock racer Cheyanne Richter-Uren winning both Street Stock races whilst long time Go Kart racer Emily Bogucki, the sister of Sprintcar racer Scott Bogucki, was an impressive winner of the Modlites race.
The Tough-As Products Grand Champion went down to the wire with several drivers in contention to claim the Title at the start of the meeting. It came down to a count back with AMCA Nationals driver Jason Robinson claiming the crown over Victorian AMCA Nationals competitor Frank Thierry.