Saturday 24th March saw local Sprintcar Driver Jason Kendrick run rampant on the final lap of the 50th WA Sprintcar Title at Perth’s Motorplex to take victory.
To use his own words, Kendrick having taken the lead from American sensation Shane Stewart with one to go, “didn’t lift” and scorched around the high line to take a steaming victory in front of a huge and very vocal crowd.
Kendrick at 22 years of age has only been racing 5 years. In some corners experts will say
it takes 5 years of “training” to mature and arrive as a true topline Sprintcar Driver.
Shane Stewart was unlucky to say the least – leading virtually the entire race, only to succumb to a brilliant surge up high on the wall by Kendrick on the final rotation of the Golden Anniversary Race. Stewart tried valiantly to undo that pass with a “return serve” slide job, but in doing so cost himself some valuable time. Jamie Maiolo and Cameron Gessner came in for the kill coming home in 2rd and 3rd respectively. Stewart had to settle for 4th place.
Click the following link to hear the placegetter podium interviews:
Earlier in Qualifying Jason Kendrick had telegraphed that he meant business. He produced a 14.222 around the high backs of Kwinana, only 0.019 sec behind surprise Quick Timer Bradley Maiolo (14.203).
Shane Stewart had made things difficult for himself with an 18th quick time result thanks to a going away track. The same can be said for Jamie Maiolo (19th), Ryan Farrell (20th), Mark Wells (21st) and new “localite” Cameron Gessner (22nd).
The start of the 30 lap race saw Stewart and WA hotshoe David Priolo start off the front
row. Behind were Bradford, Kendrick, Bradley Maiolo, Clayden, Dowling, Ian Madsen, Ghast, Lee Nash, Williamson, Jamie Maiolo, Pigdon, Watson Jnr, Boland, Wanless, Gessner, Wells, Sheldon Brady, Harding, Farrell, Dixon, Beckingham and Harvey (1st reserve employed for no-show Ben Ellement)
Stewart jumped the start at the first attempt to get underway and was quickly cautioned.
Second time around it appeared a similar deal as he shot to the lead but this time the officials let it go green.
David Priolo set after Stewart and Ryan Farrell after transferring from the B-Main and
starting on the 2nd last row showed he meant business passing 6 cars in the first 3 laps.
With 4 laps down Shaun Bradford rides the cushion and spears into the wall. Daryl Clayden has nowhere to go and the two cars go over in a BIG way and bring on the yellows. Both Drivers junk their Quick Time chassis’ and were unable to continue.
At the restart the top six are Stewart, Priolo, Dowling, Kendrick, J Maiolo and L Nash.
Cameron Gessner is showing great car speed moving into P11 after staring out of P17. Likewise Farrell has improved from a starting position of P24 to an incredible P15.
It only takes 3 laps for Stewart to catch the tail of the field. He moves both high and low to negotiate lapped traffic. Priolo tries everything in the Buget Forklifts #8 to stay in touch (5 seconds down) as does Kendrick (a further 7 seconds behind) as the dust starts to stir up in the stadium.
At the halfway point Gessner and Maiolo are surging through the midfielders. Up front
Priolo starts to wind the wick up and shaves nearly a second a lap off the lead Stewart has established. With 4 to go Priolo makes his move and pokes his nose in front of Stewart for the lead with a ripper slide job in T4 only to have the yellows come on for the crashing Sheldon Brady.
So with 5 to go, Stewart leads them away from Priolo, Kendrick, Gessner and Maiolo. The track has dried off and the dust intensifies. Ian Madsen in the W50 Watson’s Express entry is unfortunate to pick up a flat rear tyre and pulls infield.
Stewart seems to find a new lease of life as does Kendrick and Maiolo. Meanwhile David Priolo’s car visibly slows and finally he loses a rear tyre and coasts on the rim. He is to officially finish 9th.
Kendrick surges to the front with one lap remaining. He sticks it on the high line within a cigarette paper thickness of the wall and refuses to lift the throttle – it’s an aggressive, brave move and he can see the chequers unfurling.
Stewart fights back and attempts a slide job into turns 3 / 4. They miss contact by millimetres and Stewart’s momentum carries him high to the fence allowing
Maiolo and Gessner to swoop underneath.
Jason Kendrick powers out of turn 4 and crosses the line to a wild crowd reaction as they realise they have a new local 22 year old first time WA Sprintcar Champion for 2012. Kendrick is quickly followed by Maiolo, Gessner and the luckless Shane Stewart.
positions. Sprintcars are the most amazing and thrill packed motorsport
category on this planet – SPRINTCARS are SIMPLY AMAZING !
Stay tuned – later this week we will wind up with a report on the Eureka Garages and Sheds Grand Final at Warrnambool also last Saturday night where Stephen Lines driving for the Halls Haulage Team out of Albany WA cleaned up in what was also a memorable night. Victoria’s Darren Mollenoyux took out te overall series and $10K.
But for now from Torque Tube, that was the WA Sprintcar Title for 2012.