The calm before the storm - Pic Peter Roebuck

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.

Jason Kendrick lays the boot into the 92.9 PIHA #11 - Pic Peter Roebuck

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.

Well Jason Kendrick must have read the textbook written by those experts because he has been knocking on the door in many Blue Ribbon events in Australia this Summer and finally nailed it – and in the most spectacular style that one can produce in a Sprintcar.

Jason Kendrick nailed his first WA Sprintcar Title last weekend (24th March) at the Motorplex - Pic Peter Roebuck

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:


Shane Stewart lead pretty much all bar the last lap and ended up 4th- Pic Peter Roebuck

Bradley Maiolo set Quick Time with a 14.203- Pic Peter Roebuck

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)

Here David Priolo gets into the "Torque Tube" Swing of things early in the evening - Pic Sandra Watson

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.

The green lights didn't last too much longer after Shaun Bradford came a cropper- Pic Peter Roebuck

Daryl Clayden got tangled up in the Shaun Bradford crash. Both Drivers were OK but the QT's were a touch 2nd hand - is that a Torque Tube flying through the air? (below front wheels). Daryl didn't really have to go to that extent to help promote this website !!!!! - Pic Peter Roebuck

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.

The Jamie Maiolo pit - Pic Sandra Watson

The classy move by Priolo is not allowed as the lap counter goes back to the previous lap.
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.

Ian Madsen retired in the Watson's Express Transport W50 entry with a flat rear tyre - could Bec's stilettos have anything to do with it !!!!! - Pic Sandra Watson

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.

Jason Kendrick in the 92.9/PIHA entry push hard towards the end of the A-Main. Here Jason pushes equally as hard in an earlier heat and takes Trent Pigdon - Pic Peter Roebuck

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.

L to R - Jamie Maiolo 2nd, Jason Kendrick 1st, Cameron Gessner 3rd - All local WA Drivers- Pic Peter Roebuck

The Winners with Bec & WA Sprintcar Title Legends in the rear - Pic Peter Roebuck

It truly was a mega-thrilling race with less than 1.7 seconds separating the first 4
positions. Sprintcars are the most amazing and thrill packed motorsport
category on this planet – SPRINTCARS are SIMPLY AMAZING !

Rob Watson Junior leads Ian Madsen in the engine warm up session - Pic Peter Roebuck

Mark Wells somehow got caught up in a last lap incident that was triggered with an out of shape Shane Stewart - Pic Peter Roebuck

Cameron Gessner was really quick in the A-Main and came from P17 to claim the 3rd podium position - he kept his rear tyre decision a secret all night until the very last moment - Pic Sandra Watson

American Shane Stewart get on the tools in the pits - Pic Sandra Watson

The 92.9/PIHA Team fielded two cars. Jason Kendrick won in the Black #11 while Todd Wanless piloted the #92 rig normally driven by Kerry Madsen who has returned to America for WoO. Wanless brought the 92 car home in 17th place - Pic Sandra Watson

WA's Ben Ellement has had better nights. He qualified for the A-Main but was unable to start presumably because of a mechanical drama. Here Ben talks to rising star Trent Pigdon after engine starts - Pic Sandra Watson

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.

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