From Phil Michell
Murray Bridge, AU — (January 16, 2016) — In what proved to be a race of high drama former South-East resident Jake Tranter claimed his maiden 410ci Sprintcar main event as he survived a torrid race to edge out Brad Keller in the Sprintcar Summer Stampede at the Murray Machining and Sheds Murray Bridge Speedway. After inheriting the lead with only five laps remaining all Tranter had to do was hold out a hard charging Keller in the final dash to flag and he did enough to win by half a second ahead of Keller and Steven Caruso.
“You could say we got a bit lucky tonight but you have to be in the position in the first place to take advantage of the situation. I haven’t even finished on the podium before in a 410ci car so it is pretty cool to go straight to the top step” added Tranter following the race.
For Keller the runner-up position was a creditable result after charging from position 13 after he was involved in an incident in turn two with Aiden Hall as the pair battled for second position.
Fourth place in the final went to Terry Pitt, who was making a rare start due to work commitments, with Luke Bowey completing the top five. For Bowey this was also an encouraging result after bouncing back from a nasty roll over in the final round of heats which actually bent his Triple X chassis but he was able to make the final after a number of teams chipped in to get the car back on track for the 30 lap finale.
But the real story of the night involved a heated incident between Matt Egel and Ryan Jones. After qualifying on the pole Egel had totally dominated the race up until lap 25 with Jones, who had closed in dramatically on the leader, attempted an inside pass for the lead with jones making contact with the Downing Brothers #97 spinning both cars in turn four. The contact broke the steering arm on the leader’s Cool chassis with Jones escaping damage and restarting at the rear.
With only six cars remaining on the lead lap Jones would finish sixth with Egel being officially classified in twelfth, five laps down.
Therefore the only other finishers behind Jones were at least one lap down including Todd Wigzell, who recorded his career best Sprintcar result, Ricky Maiolo, Shannon Barry, Shane Hendry (360ci) and Sam Putland.
Another of the pre-race favourites, Daniel Pestka, failed to get past the opening lap after being squeezed into the back straight wall severely damaging his #27 J&J. The accident also took out Mount Gambier racer Jamie Stark and Michael Lovegrove (360ci).
Earlier Luke Bowey set Moore Mechanical Quick Time with a lap of 11.788 seconds with Aidan Hall (2), Michael Lovegrove and Steven Caruso winning the heat races.
Shannon Barry was another driver to enter the upside down club as the bird cage seized on his #83 J&J shearing off the right rear tyre and therefore sending the car skywards in turn three.
The Speedcars were also the program adding to the open wheeled action with Todd Bennett proving too strong in the 20 lap Lonsdale Competition Tyres finale over Todd Wigzell and Nathan Squiers.
In the remaining divisions Wayne Vickers defeated Steve Letts and Raymond Headley in the Knights Party Hire AMCA Nationals while Nathan Thorne edged out his brother Heath Thorne in the Hoolagators Junior Sedans final with Sharni Pitcher finishing third.
The next event at the Murray Machining and Sheds Murray Bridge Speedway will be the Auto Pro Burnout Classic on Saturday January 30, 2016.