From Sydney Speedway
Sydney, AU — Michael Pickens continued his run of success at Tyrepower Sydney Speedway when he took out the 30-lap Trans-Tasman Speedcar Stampede on Saturday night, April 30.
Pickens, who started out of position nine, raced to the lead midway through the main event and was never headed despite a gallant effort by runner-up Matt Smith who took the race right up to Pickens.
Third man home in the feature was Nathan Smee who started out of position 10. Adam Wallis led early and set a cracking pace at the head of the field. Kiwi Brock Maskovich held second while Pickens quickly moved into contention and was placed third after several laps.
The first yellow appeared when Darren Jenkins came to a halt on turn two and Maskovich stopped on the main straight.
At the restart Pickens made his move and raced past Wallis into the lead. A red light appeared after Harley Bishop got upside down in the exit of turn four. Also involved were Matthew Jackson and Troy Jenkins.
All drivers were unhurt but their chance of victory ended for the night. When the race resumed Pickens continued to lead, but Smith was right there and pressing Pickens all the way.
Andy Hassan brought out a yellow and when the green was thrown again Smith momentarily reached the lead as he out-dragged Pickens into turns one with a slide job, however Pickens came again on the inside and regained the front running as the pair raced off turn two and on to the back straight.
Interest in the race then centred on the battle for the minor placings between Smith and Smee.
The pair ran nose to tail for a number of laps before Smee got the upper with an inside pass on the back straight with seven laps to go.
The top running order remained unchanged as Pickens took the victory from Smith and Nathan Smee was third.
Fourth man home was Wallis followed by Kiwi Shane O’Connor, Darren Jenkins, while the top ten were rounded out by Ian Black, Haydon Williams, Rod Francis and New Zealand’s Chris McCutcheon.
Australia retained the Trans-Tasman trophy with an emphatic 57-28 victory over New Zealand.
Mark Brown steered the Aussies to victory when he dominated the action following a strong performance in the two heats and victory in the final.
Brown took out the opening heat from Kiwi skipper Michael Pickens before he filled the runner-up spot to team-mate Travis Mills in the next heat.
The final was all Brown as he raced to the lead from the outset and was never headed. He was chased hard all the way by Pickens but held on for the win which gave Australia the dominance and major share of the points.
Anthony Brien consolidated the Aussie victory with a third placing in the final, while Chris McCutcheon was fourth man home.
While Pickens led the Kiwi assault, McCutcheon was not far behind his skipper and his performance in the heats and final gave Pickens good support.
However the Kiwis could not contain the rampaging Aussies who were never headed throughout the contest.
Speedcar heats were won by Smee, Brown, Smith, Black and Maskovich. The Street Stock A-Main was won by Shane Carlson and the Wingless Sprintcar feature went to Joel Rhind.