Smee Wins Fifty lapper; Goes Three From Three At BIS

From jak

Reigning Australian Champion Nathan Smee capped a career year with victory in the American Tire and Racing Services Fifty Lap Midget Classic at Titan Garages Brisbane International Speedway (BIS) on Saturday night May 15, leading home NZ Champion Michael Pickens and Brock Dean to sweep the major Midget races in Brisbane this season.

Smee, the winner of the Ray Revell Memorial and the Triple X Super Series events at BIS earlier in the season, came from the third row of the grid to take the lead on lap twenty-five and from there was never headed on his way to both the chequered flag and a healthy pay cheque courtesy of the lap money on offer to the race leader throughout the race. On a difficult track for the Midgets after rain earlier in the week but one that also provided plenty of opportunities for drivers and action for the fans, Smee’s #1 American Tire and Racing Services/Race Safety Equipment Spike/Esslinger rode through the rough parts better than the rest and he held out Pickens over the final few laps to take the win by just 0.896 of a second.

There were plenty of battles all the way through the field during the race, no more so than between early leader Brock Dean, Brad Mosen, Pickens, Wanless, Smee, Brown, Grant Draney and Shaun Insley as the top eight used all of the racetrack and then some as they continually swapped positions back and forth between themselves. Dean led the first fifteen laps to pocket an extra $1500 courtesy of the lap money but eventually the vastly experienced Pickens ran him down and took over the top spot while Dean stayed in contention and was never far from the front.

Pickens, looking for his second fifty lap race win in a fortnight after winning the NSW version of the event in Sydney, led laps sixteen through twenty-one before Todd Wanless took over the lead only for Pickens to regain the lead a lap later. An uncharacteristic spin by Pickens on lap twenty-four elevated Smee from second to the front, Pickens then coming from the back through the second half of the race to chase Smee across the line with Dean completing the podium in third place. Shaun Insley from NZ finished fourth with Brendan Palmer coming back from a wild flip in hot laps to win the B-Main and complete the top five in the Feature.

The race claimed some big names with Brad Mosen flipping the #29 Polar Ice Spike/Hawk on lap six and Mark Brown bouncing the #69 Aggressor through the holes in turn three and almost flipping on lap ten and then rolling to a stop a lap later. Todd Wanless found the ledge in turn three and flipped the #39 Sirromet Life-Style-Wines Spike/Hawk on lap thirty three while Michael Kendall was out early in the race and pole-sitter Scott Glazebrook pulled the #9 Showpiece Signs Spike/Esslinger to the infield before the green flag was waved. In all, fifteen of the twenty-two starters failed to make the fifty lap distance.

While this was the final Midget event at BIS for the season, there is good news for Brisbane Midget fans with confirmation this week from the BIS Promotional team that the Midgets will return to the Archerfield raceway next season with an increased schedule of races which will include a number of major events, finishing the season with another fifty lap event.

In other racing at BIS last night, Kevin Britten stole victory away from David Clarke on the final corner to win the twenty-five lap V8 Dirt Modified CP Pistons Cup Feature. Britten won by just 0.059s with Jai Stephenson third ahead of Lance Towns and Keith Muller completing the top five.

The next event at Titan Garages Brisbane International Speedway is the annual Crazy Night Spectacular on May 22 featuring a Car, Caravan, Boat and Dunny Race, Fireworks, Sprintcars , Super Sedans, AMCA Nationals and ASCF Junior Sedans.