Clauson Wins Archerfield Midget Showdown
Author : Archerfield Speedway
In an epic race that produced some of the most intense Midget competition seen at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway, American star Bryan Clauson emerged victorious to in the POWRi World Midget Championship feature race last night (Sunday, January 25) to continue his domination of the series. Combining oodles of talent with a little bit of luck, Clausen qualified on pole position for the 40-lap event but found himself trailing countryman Darren Hagen for the first half of the race. In fact, Clausen dropped to third at one stage but found himself back in second spot when a flat tyre befell Hagen, who persevered for a few laps before heading infield. Clausen assumed the lead upon Hagen’s demise and withstood the best efforts of Michael Pickens, who bounced back from a penalty early in the race to finish in second spot. Barnstorming through the field from position 14, Hayden Williams threw everything at Pickens in the closing stages in a stellar drive into third to complete an international shutout of the podium for the second night in a row.
Although, the Aussie contingent were certainly much more competitive on this occasion with Matt Smith advancing from position 7 to finish fourth ahead of Nathan Smee and West Aussie Lee Redmond, whose surge into sixth was something to behold. After a joyless opening night that saw him languishing near the bottom of the standings, Redmond started near the back of the B Main and seemed at long odds to make the feature until he set forth on a remarkable surge that saw chase down his opponents at will and eventually finish in second spot to secure a berth in the main event. Starting 18th in the feature, Redmond continued his charge and eventually found himself on the cusp of the top five to salvage a great result.
Kiwi pair Peter Hunnibell and Chris Gwilliam were next best, Rusty Whittaker and Darren Vine rounding out the top ten. Matt Greenwood, Anthony Chaffey, Brock Dean, Nicholas Rowe and Adam Wallis were the remaining finishers in a race, hat despite its intensity, had very few major moments. With the exception of preliminary feature winner Brad Mosen’s liaison with the turn two wall that ended his race while occupying third sport, the various restarts all resulted from somewhat innocuous incidents.
The race was a superb spectacle as cars literally bounced off each other, bounced off walls and bounced off the infield kerbing, using every inch of available track space in an effort to seek an advantage. With multiple lanes available, there were myriad three-wide moments and positional changes aplenty in a race that left the large crowd enraptured.
With a few notable casualties from the night one hostilities, including the New Zealand trio of Michael Kendall, Leon Burges and Chris McCutcheon, and reduced one further when Chris Singleton rolled in hot laps and failed to reappear, 34 cars contested the final round of heats and the ferocity of the competition was something to savour.
Having missed the opening night feature, Williams cleared out in the opening heat to score maximum heats, leaving Michael Harders and Aussie champ Adam Clarke to fill the minor placings. A top five finish behind Smith was enough for Clausen to consolidate his position at the top of the points table.
Heat nine saw Smee round up race leader Nicholas Rowe on the penultimate lap to snatch a good win and advance his position on the feature race grid. Rowe held on to finish second ahead of Brayden Willmington.
Winning the final heat proved a godsend for Mark Brown as it confirmed that the problems discovered the night before had been rectified and it also propelled him into the feature field. Pickens and Hagen came from deep in the pack to fill the minor placings.
Overshadowed by Redmond’s heroics behind him, American teenager Tyler Thomas again proved too strong in the B Main. Michael Stewart and Rowe also secured a transfer into the feature and were subsequently joined by Greenwood, Brett Thomas, Adam Wallis and Troy Jenkins as promoter’s choices.
The Pole Shootout produced few surprises with Clauson, Hagen, Mosen and Pickens meeting in the final round, from which Clauson emerged with Pole Position. Smith and Gwillian were eliminated in the opening round, while Smee and Hunnibell advanced before being despatched by Mosen and Hagan.
Having opted to start from the outside front row for the feature, Clauson had no answer when Hagen skipped clear to lead the field away. A restart ensued before a lap was completed when Clarke, Anthony Chaffey and Whittaker tangled in turn four. With Clauson working hard to keep Pickens at bay, Hagen established a sizeable lead despite another restart on lap 4 following a Kaiden Manders spin and he looked in control until lady luck intervened and he was forced to exit the event on lap 20, having valiantly tried to persevere despite the deflated donut. With Pickens under attack from Williams - who advanced to second on lap 34 before surrendering the positon to Pickens just three laps from home – Clauson cruised to the chequer for his fourth win in succession in the POWRi championship.
The Tyrepower Formula 500 feature race saw Charlie Brown bounce back to his best and lead throughout to score a strong win. Scott Farmer finished in second spot ahead of Dale Shilletto, Nathan Pronger, Kaydon Iverson and Kristin Brown.
Steve Price proved too strong in the Command Digital Signage AMCA Nationals feature race, downing Matt Hardy, Steve Potts, Russ Hardy, Jason Molle and Dean Ballard.
Kirsty Kelly captured her feature race win in Lightning Sprint competition when she led every lap to defeat Michael Gollagher, David Van Vegchel, Dean Eden and Jim Kennedy in round six of the CRS Electric Series.
The next event as at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway is round 10 of the Supercheap Auto Sprintcar Track Championship on February 21.