Murcott and Mann Tied for Sprintcar Series Decider
Archerfield Speedway Media Release
Even the most seasoned Hollywood scriptwriters would have trouble convincing people of the believability of such a scenario but, as they say, truth is often stranger than fiction and that certainly rings true as we head into the final round of the East Coast Logistics Crispy Memorial Sprintcar Series on Saturday night (May 30). You see, as unbelievable as it sounds, there are two drivers tied at the top of the championship standings and both just happen to be sponsored by East Coast Logistics. Yep, Australian champion David Murcott and Supercheap Auto Series champion Bryan Mann have accumulated 162 points apiece from the four completed rounds and will head into the Grand Final with a 15-point margin over both Andrew Scheurele and Brent Aprile, with Darren Jensen just two points further back in fifth spot. What does all this mean? Well, it means that the outcome of the series is still very much undecided and that all the ingredients are in place for a spellbinding Sprintcar season finale on Saturday night.
In many a Hollywood production, it is often the cameo performers who upstage the established stars and that could well be the case this weekend when Australian Midget champion Adam Clarke makes a return to Sprintcar competition hot on the heels of a hugely successful season of Midget racing that culminated with a win in the 50-lap event here three weeks ago. Adding an extra element of intrigue is the fact that Clarke will also be racing for East Coast Logistics and could ultimately help or hinder the chances of both Murcott and Mann depending on how successful he is in making the transition. Of course, the ultimate Hollywood ending would see all ECL-supported drivers on the podium, but with the aforementioned Scheuerle, Aprile and Jensen still very much in championship contention and a 35-car field that includes former national champ Robbie Farr – who was second behind Murcott in the previous round - and the likes of Kevin Titman, Brent Kratzmann, Peter Lack Bathurst champion Paul Morris and a couple of talented Tasmanians in Shaun Dobson and Jamie Bricknell, any such trifecta result would be most remarkable.
Also on the huge Crazy Night program will be the final rounds of the Polar Ice Midget Track Championship and the Loads Australia Junior Sedan Track Championship, along with Modlites, Wingless Sprints and the crazy Car, Caravan, Boat and Dunny Derby, along with a spectacular fireworks show.
The Polar Ice Midget Series is also very much undecided heading into the final night of racing with Michael Kendall and Michael Harders having spent the entire season locked in a battle for supremacy. Having scorched to victory in the previous round last Saturday night, Kendall is bringing some very strong form into the finale and Harders will need to be at his very best if he is to prevent Kendall from claiming his third track championship crown.
There are several interstaters amongst the 20 nominations, including Western Australia-based youngster Nicholas Rowe who was so impressive here during the 50-lap event. Craig Smith, Jordan Mackay, Jack Bell and Aiden Corish will be representing New South Wales against all the local stars, which include Darren Vine, Mark George, Brendan Palmer, Anthony Chaffey and Scott Wilson. Palmer finished second behind Kendall last weekend and George was desperately unlucky not to also finish on the podium, while Wilson will be hoping to avoid a repeat of the crash that ultimately prevented him from competing at the level we might typically expect.
The Junior Sedans have gathered a big field for their final night of the season with 15 young guns nominated. With series leader Cody O’Connell unable to compete due to his selection in a representative Rugby League team, the championship has been thrown open. There are less than 20 points separating the top five drivers, so expect plenty of action as the next generation of speedway stars strive to finish their season with a feature race win.
With neither Lachlan McHugh nor newly crowned Queensland Champion Will Butler amongst the nominations for the Modlite events, it is hard to imagine anybody getting close to current Australian Champion Terry Leerentveld in the heats or feature event. McHugh and Leerentveld have dominated at Archerfield this season and it will be very interesting to see which drivers can step up and stake their claim as a feature race contender.
Spectator gates open at 4:00pm (3:30pm for online ticketholders) and early racing gets underway at 4:45pm. Sprintcars will hit the track at 6:00pm for the final round of the East Coast Logistics Crispy Memorial Series.