The MJ Cook Concreting supported Victorian Speedway Council Sports Sedan state title was held at Rosedale Speedway on January the 21st with local club member Jamie Paull coming out a popular winner ahead of more fancied competition with a sensational last lap pass to take the win.
Paull proved to be too good on the last lap and final turn making the pass on Andrew Jordan who was bridesmaid last season and backed up to finish again this year with a margin of only .336 between them at the line. Steve Kershaw was not far behind them in third place with Matt Stampfli & Aaron Bunton in the only ford in the field rounding out the top five.
Twenty Five competitors greeted the scrutineers prior to the racing with many impressively built & maintained cars pleasing the technical team, amongst them the Miller Brothers Damien & Brendan, Matt Stampfli, Steve Akil, Jamie Paull, Anthony Knight, Matt Nelson, Shane Kruger, Dales Morrison, Steve Kershaw & Andrew Jordan.
Drivers split into three groups in each round of which there were three of.
Round one action produced heat victories for Brendan Miller, Jake Blencowe & Matt Nelson.
Jordan had a terrible start to the night in heat 1a with his battery catching fire with Jack Wharton from the Standard Saloons coming to the rescue and handing over his since his race car didn’t survive round one of Standard Saloon action.
Blencowe defeated fancied competition in heat 1b with Morrison finishing in second 1.3 seconds back, whilst Damien Miller the defending Victorian champion put to the rear of the field after contact with Morrison & could only recover to fifth place, Morrison continued on with a re-arranged front end including a squashed air filter under the hood.
Round two action finished with the top two from last season’s title Jordan & Damien Miller taking a win & Brendan Miller grabbing a second win.
Jordan defeated Bunton who came in to the event as Victorian 3 and the Ford Fan’s hope for victory & Damien Miller had a massive win over Sam Williams & Daniel Unternahrer despite the latter’s car catching fire after the race.
All the talk around the track and the social media world was about the clash between mates when Brendan Miller and Dale Morrison collided on the start of the third lap after Morrison had led the first two.
Morrison was running mid track, Miller came in lower side by side and massive whack between the two put Morrison over and over and into the fence hard.
Stewards deemed it a racing incident & not deliberate which of course knowing Brendan it wasn’t & Miller was sent to the rear of the field. Morrison did not see the track again for the rest of the night. He was transported to Sale Hospital complaining of pains around the neck and chest and was found to have a broken rib. The car owned by Sprintcar competitor Brad Warren was a mess, it will need a rebuild shell & bar work, Brendan Miller will be one of the guys building the new car.
Nelson then held the lead for a little while before breaking a wheel bearing and being taken on a wild ride into the concrete fence at full speed, also out of the race. Nelson in the pits also felt rib pain after the shunt he took.
Working his way from last to first, Brendan Miller took the win over Shane Kruger & Dale Smith.
In the final round Damien Miller secured his second win and a front row feature race start, Brendan took a third victory for his clean sweep and pole position whilst rookie driver Stampfli took the last win of the qualifying rounds.
Damien Miller went around the 480 metre track in 19.824 seconds a new fastest time for the night for Sports Sedans in his LS1 powered machine, which was mighty impressive after the fifteen races that had been run to that point.
Both Morrison & Nelson qualified for the finals based on their first round finishes & the points they gained there, however with both out of the event Robert Bickham & Shona Bent stepped up as the first two emergencies to start the Victorian title.
The MJ Cook Concreting supported feature field was Brendan Miller, Damien Miller, Stampfli, Williams, Jordan, Jake Blencowe, Unternahrer, Jeff Blencowe, Paull, Kruger, Kershaw, Bunton, Knight, Russell Smith who had to qualify after starting all heats last after nominating late, his son Dale Smith next in the line-up, Broderick Stray another Rosedale local then Bickham & Bent.
A first attempt to start came undone with Stampfli shuffled out into the infield dirt and a turn one resemble a shopping centre car park with half a dozen cars all over the track stranded. Stampfli copped the steward’s wrath and was sent to the rear of the field deemed the primary cause of the stoppage.
The ‘Big Show’ Damien Miller won the battle into turn one at the restart and led his brother Brendan on lap one of what would be thirty five laps on the way to a Victorian title for Paull. Paull was back in seventh place at the end of lap one.
A couple laps in Jordan past Brendan Miller and both the Millers and he put some gap in between themselves and Williams, Jake Blencowe, Unternahrer and Paull.
As is inevitable things started to go amiss for competitors with the likes of Kruger losing his bonnet, Knight suffering a flat left, Jake Blencowe’s car breaking, Williams battery terminal falling off.
The first of the real big chances to pull infield was Brendan Miller on lap sixteen when his front right tyre went down & soon after Jordan put a pass on Damien Miller to take the lead. Jordan looked good & got away a little before Miller took the lead back.
Shona Bent lost her power steering & soon Damien Miller caused a shock when he was way out front and pulled infield and out of the race with a blown differential. At this point the lead went back to Jordan from Paull, Kershaw, Stampfli & Bunton with ten laps to go.
Jordan looked stronger, however as the laps wound down the locally registered car & driver Jamie Paull closed in. When the race was there to be won or lost, Paull was where he should have been and pounced making a perfectly legal pole line pass going low as Jordan’s momentum took him higher out of turn four and Paull crossed the line with centimetres between the two at the line.
Rounding out the complete result was Paull, Jordan, Kershaw, Stampfli, Bunton, Dale Smith, Unternahrer, Stray & Jeff Blencowe. Impressively Damien Miller set the fastest one lap time of the night, in the final with a 19.807 lap time.
After the race Paull whose brother also won a state title already this season was a very proud man. “Deano, I do not know what to say. This is a great feeling, we stuck at it during the race. I knew I had a good package as far as car and set up was concerned & we were able to keep the laps ticking over & that last few laps was just so intense. Well done to Andrew on his second place and the other podium result drivers. I feel for Andrew of course, I’m sure he will win one before his racing days finish. Joining Justin (Brother and Compact Speedcar title holder) with a Victorian title is just an amazing feeling, thank you to my wife Fahy, Dale my Crew Chief & my family and sponsor supporters Wynn’s Lubricants, Ringwood Mazda, Ripper Stickers, Simmo’s Fibreglass, Ripper Plastering, Flash Heating & Cooling for all their support. Thank you to Rosedale & the VSC for such a great night & all the work they put in & a special thanks to Hans Lovski from Highport Engines for the wicked LS1 engine he has built for me.”
The Victorian Speedway Council also awarded Paull the ‘Best Presented’ car award & thanks Ultimate Awards for their generosity with the trophies.
DMT Sports Media
For Victorian Speedway Council