Year starts with 20 and 20 at Murray Bridge Speedway

Chequered flag: Luke Dillon was the overall winner in sprintcars at Murray Bridge Speedway over the weekend. Photo: Local Sprintcar Photography.
Chequered flag: Luke Dillon was the overall winner in sprintcars at Murray Bridge Speedway over the weekend. Photo: Local Sprintcar Photography.

The Murray Machining and Sheds Speedway at Murray Bridge conducted a meeting with a slight difference to open 2020 with a 20/20 racing format for both the sprintcars and wingless sprints with Luke Dillon and Jake Ashworth claiming the overall victories in their classes in the Murray Valley Standard-sponsored event.

With no heat races to set the starting grids, the order for each of the 20-lap feature races was determined by a marble draw with a complete invert for the second race.

Dillon emerged victorious in the overall sprintcar event by 18 points, courtesy of a runner-up result in feature one and having slid past Steven Caruso on the final lap to claim feature two.

Californian Kalib Henry, who was driving the Scott Perrett owned #4, finished the night second, ahead of Brendan Quinn.

Both Henry and Quinn finished the night tied on points, but the tiebreaker handed Henry second.

In a major surprise, Michael Lovegrove was fourth, ahead of Daniel Pestka, Steven Caruso, Keke Falland, Lachlan McDonough, Ben Morris and Matt Egel.

Egel won the first race after drawing a front-row start but his second race only lasted two laps before he hit the wall and damaged the Jacobs Ladder.

After finishing third earlier, Lisa Walker rolled in turn four in the second race, therefore ending any chance she had of a competitive overall result.

The wingless sprints followed a similar format, but the results were a lot closer.

Jake Ashworth edged out New South Wales visitor Jason Bates by two points, with Joel Heinrich and Mark Taylor a further six points back.

With the tiebreaker being the fastest lap from the opening feature race, Heinrich was credited with third place overall.

Ashworth and Bates shared the 20-lap features with the deciding factor being a fourth-placed result for Ashworth in feature two while Bates was fifth in feature one.

Cody Atkins finished behind Taylor in fifth position overall with Matthew Kennedy, Ben Harris, Anthony Tapley, Normie Moore and Hayden Vickers completing the top 10 in the 18-car field.

For the second week in a row, the V6 sprints held one of their major races of the season, the Des James Memorial.

Nick Hall backed up his win in the Zeke Agars Classic on Boxing Day.

Second across the line in the 20-lap final was Chris James, who led the race early, with Steve Agars, who confirmed that this would be his last season, rounding out the podium.

The field was completed by Jake Oxford, Renee Pfeiler, Damien Eve and Kym Simon.

Earlier the heat winners were Chris James, Steve Agars and Michael Buxallen.

In the supporting events, Mildura youngster Carter Metcalfe hugged pole for the entire 12-lap journey to edge out Nate Trewin and Lachlan Brown in the junior sedan feature while Nathan Thorne defeated Nigel Reichstein and Craig Buchanan in the street stock finale.

Robert Kemp out-duelled a field of 20 competitors and crashed his way to the win in the U-Pull-It demolition derby.

Smiley Woolger finished in second with Geoff Flack in third.

The Murray Machining and Sheds Speedway will now take a break with the next event on the season calendar being on February 8 when the Hi-Tec Oils Ultimate Speedway Challenge returns, featuring the Ultimate Sprintcar Championship SA, late models and speedcars.

Results

Sprintcar top 10, feature one: Matt Egel, Luke Dillon, Lisa Walker, Kalib Henry, Keke Falland, Brendan Quinn, Craig Vanderstelt, Daniel Pestka, Michael Lovegrove, Lachlan McDonough

Feature two: Luke Dillon, Steven Caruso, Michael Lovegrove, Brendan Quinn, Daniel Pestka, Kalib Henry, Ben Morris, Lachlan McDonough, Chad Ely, Keke Falland

Wingless sprints top 10, feature one: Jake Ashworth, Joel Heinrich, Matthew Kennedy, Mark Taylor, Jason Bates, Hayden Vickers, Cody Atkins, Anthony Tapley, Ben Harris, Normie Moore

Feature two: Jason Bates, Cody Atkins, Mark Taylor, Jake Ashworth, Joel Heinrich, Ben Harris, Anthony Tapley, Matthew Kennedy, Normie Moore, Brad Evans