Ian Madsen exactly why he is a genuine contender for the 2017 Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic with a commanding performance aboard the Rob Watson Jnr W66 entry on night number two of the 45th running of the Classic.
Madsen made every post a winner as he led all 30 laps to take out the Oval Express Magazine Australia-America Challenge Cup from a persistent Jamie Veal while Shane Stewart showed exactly why he, like Veal has already tasted Classic success, with a solid third place result.
James McFadden carried good car speed in the early going before slipping to fourth before a very healthy audience who were earlier wowed by McFadden’s performance in the final heat of the night, as he continues to vie for the crown of crowd favorite.
Earlier in the night two program drivers were confronted with a sun baked track which saw the drivers and crews scrambling for the optimum set-up as Ian Madsen set quick time in the opening flight, with Jamie Veal and Terry McCarl also posting good times.
The second flight recorded unusually slow qualifying times, with Luke Dillon, despite a late marble draw, finding a little patch of rubber to ensure he went quick time with a pass of 13.027 seconds.
He was followed by James McFadden and Shane Stewart.
The heat winners were Terry McCarl from Ian Madsen and Jason Johnson in the opening heat of the night while heat two went the way of Jamie Veal while Mitchell Gee backed up his strong qualifying effort to run second with Matt Egel in third.
Luke Dillon won heat three, with Dominic Scelzi showing all his class in advancing from deep in the field to second while Shane Stewart amassed another nice bounty of points in third.
James McFadden was another to take home maximum points from his heat race, leading home Robbie Farr and Garry Brazier.
The slick racing surface was always going to throw up some curve balls in the second round of heats and Darren Mollenoyux was the first to het in done in heat five as he essentially stole the heat race win from race long leader Brad Warren in the shadows of the checkered flag while Cory Eliason was again impressive in third with Ian Madsen again running strongly to pick up more points with a fourth-place finish.
Mitch Wormall parked the W97 in Victory Lane in heat 6 while Harli White-Hines flew the American flag in second and Kevin Titman was third.
Bradley Keller’s recent strong car speed at Premier Speedway continued in heat 7 as he took the win from James Gardiner and Marcus Dumesny who had strung together a solid night of qualifying.
James McFadden saved the best for last as he took out the final qualifying heat of the night when he cut through the field in heat number eight, coming from position 12 to take the win to the delight of the large crowd.
The last chance C-Main saw Dennis Jones make the transfer to the back of the B-Main along with Domain Ramsay, Jacob Smith and Glen Saville who had endured a tough qualifying night.
The B-Main saw the 20-lap journey pass by in the blink of an eye as Ryan Jones took the win from Mitchell Gee and Brayden Parr while Danny Reidy was able to secure the final transfer spot in the 30 lap A-Main.
From there it was the Ian Madsen show as he led home Veal and Stewart.
McFadden’s fourth place run was enough to have him finish as the night’s top points scorer while Brad Keller’s fifth place run also him in a strong position heading into the third and final night.
The top ten was then made up of Dominic Scelzi who advanced from 12th to 6th, Jason Johnson, Robbie Farr, Matt Egel and Luke Dillon who ran 10th.
They were followed by Cory Eliason, Darren Mollenoyux, Terry McCarl, Ryan Jones and Max Johnson, while 16th through to 20th were filled by Danny Reidy, Daniel Sayre, Mitchell Gee, Brayden Parr and Brad Warren.
DNF’s were recorded by Kevin Titman, Garry Brazier, Toby Bell-Bowen and lap 8 casualty Marcus Dumesny.
The Classic is again a qualifying event for the Speed Sport News Challenge which will be held during the Knoxville Nationals next August.
The 2017 45th edition of the Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic is supported by the following sponsors; Oval Express Magazine, KRE Race Engines, The Lady Bay Resort and GJ Gardner Homes.
Web: www.premierspeedway.com.au Twitter: @sungoldstadium Facebook: Premier Speedway Instagram: @premierspeedway