March And Caruso Win Protec Paint Cups

From Phil Michell

Last Saturday night Phil March turned back the clock as he won his first feature race in almost two years as he dominated the Protec Paint Speedway City Sprintcar Cup. After starting from the pole position March led the field into turn one ahead of Track Championship leader Luke Dillon and was never headed.

Third across the line in the 25 lap final was Brad Keller, who recorded his second podium result of the season, with Matt Egel and Mark Reuter, who was debuting a brand new J&J chassis, completing the top five. With the track being extremely fast throughout the final the 25 lap record looked to be in danger until the caution came out on lap 23 as Michael Burford and Justin Sloan were involved in a two car roll over in turn three.

Unfortunately they were not the only two drivers to invert their machines as both Steven Caruso and Jamie Cobby also had incidents during the heat races but the luckily they were able to return for the final. The heat races went the way of Luke Dillon, Justin Sloan and Matt Egel.

The Protec paint 360ci Sprintcar Cup was also on the program and the 360ci drivers upstaged their open cousins with an outstanding feature race that was taken out by Mark Caruso, who started on the fourth row of the grid.

The event attracted the biggest field of the season so far with 20 drivers in the pit area and the three heat format resulted in stacked heat races of at least 13 cars. Following the heats, that were secured by Caruso, Stephen Lovegrove and Craig Vanderstelt, Riverland veteran Chris Evans started on the pole alongside Michael Lovegrove.

After leading the early stages Lovegrove was unable to hold off the advances of Caruso who put on a driving clinic working the top side of the racetrack. Current Track Championship leader Shannon Barry completed the podium with Keke Falland and Evans completing the top five.

The Speedcars also made their first Speedway City appearance of the season racing for the Legends Cup and it was defending Cup Champion Ben Dillon who etched his name on the perpetual trophy for a second year in a row. Second across the line was Peter Ghent Jr with the top five being rounded out by Darryl Knuckey, Ryan Jones and Tim Caddy.

The Speedcar events weren’t without incident as the opening race of the night saw a multicar roll over involving Adam Currie and Nathan Squiers while in the final an attempted last lap pass for the win went pear shaped as Ben Hall rode the right rear of Jones resulting in a spectacular series of flips in turn three.

The final headline act saw 17 Super Sedans front for round 5 of the JD Couriers Track Championship but after some spirited racing it was veteran Bill Miller who survived to take the 20 lap final ahead of Michael Miller, Trevor Ware, Daniel Miller and Steven Schwartz.

Brian Chadwick emerged victorious in the AMCA final while Karl Norris won the Laguna Loans ramp Jump Race.