Wormall takes Speedweek Rd2 win

MITCHELL Wormall went into the USA v WA Sprintcar Speedweek round two clash at the Perth Motorplex on Saturday night as the points leader in the Maddington Toyota Sprintcar Series.

He improved his points standing after taking the feature race win as part of the annual Merger Contracting Sprintcar Muster.

Wormall won the epic 30-lap final from a fast-finishing Jason Kendrick and Andrew Priolo.

The driver of the Wormall Motorsport #97 started outside of Priolo on the front row for the main event and got to the lead early, holding off challenges - early on from American Shane Stewart and then on the last lap from Kendrick.

The margin at the end of the race was 0.187 of a second.

It was Wormall’s first feature race win in the Maddington Toyota Sprintcar Series and helped him in his bid to win the series championship,

He started off the night with the fifth quickest lap in the Victory 1 Performance Qualifying session, with time trial honours going to Priolo.

In his heats Wormall then took a second and a third to give him a front row start.

The first caution period in the final came very early with contact between Adrian Haywood and Ben Van Ryt - with Haywood having front wing damage and Van Ryt out with a deflated left rear tyre.

On the restart Priolo got the jump on Wormall, Stewart and Daniel Harding before the cautions came on again - this time when Todd Davis spun.

Wormall took the lead from there with Priolo dropping back to fifth.

On the fourth lap, American Bud Kaeding challenged Kendrick for fourth but the move didn’t stick and on lap seven Wormall was into traffic and looked superb as he adapted to different racing lines required to get by the lapped cars.

On lap 11 Troy Lawson stopped after tagging the fence and on the next time away it was Wormall from Stewart, Harding, Kendrick and Priolo.

Shortly afterwards the caution lights came on again with cars going everywhere in pits bend with contact between Harding and Kendrick and both were lucky to get a restart, with the third American in Harli White, who started from P6, heading infield.

On lap 13 Davis came to grief again, pulling up on the fence, followed two laps later by Jaydee Dack who spun.

By this stage Wormall was leading from Stewart, Callum Williamson who had muscled his way into third, Priolo, Kendrick and Harding.

Priolo and Kendrick were locked into battle and this allowed Kris Coyle to enter the fray.

On lap 18 Williamson got by Stewart for second and on lap 19 Kaeding headed infield.

With 10 laps to go Kendrick got into third over Stewart who then slowed up and only lasted two more laps before coming to a stop.

Kendrick and Williamson traded spots with eight laps remaining before the #11 eventually won that battle.

With six laps remaining Coyle was in podium contention, getting by Williamson for third but three laps later Priolo was on Coyle’s tail and he eventually won that dog fight.

As they crossed the line with one lap remaining Kendrick slid by Wormall, but the latter driver was up for the challenge and returned serve, holding his nerve to take the big win.

This was after Wormall survived all the drama and the restarts and pushed off on a lower line, chasing a different line to others on the green to gain more traction.

Post-race he said it was a big moment and said it had justified the team’s decision to just concentrate on racing in WA this season.

He also said he was looking forward to the next round - at Bunbury Speedway - on New Year’s Day.

Coyle, who started from P12, put in a great effort to finish fourth in what was a remarkable recovery after the team was forced to change the car’s rear-end after hot lapping.

Harding, who started P4, took fifth, while another highlight was the drive by Ben Butcher who started P10 in a 360ci powered car and crossed the line in sixth.

Seventh went to Cameron McKenzie in only his second night behind the wheel of a sprintcar after making the transition from Formula 500s.

He started from P21 and it was a great comeback after the #4 suffered damage in the first heat race of the previous Thursday night’s show.

Daniel Keen, also in a 360ci powered car, also drove a smart race, converting a P16 start into a P8 finish, crossing ahead of Brodie Minchin (P18 to 9), Matthew Cross (P19 to P10), Trevor Jolly (P20 to P11) and Troy Lawson (P15 to P12 in a 360ci powered car.

Jamie Oldfield was a DNF after diff issues on lap 27, one of nine non-finishers.

The next round of Speedweek is at Bunbury this Wednesday evening, followed by Albany next Saturday,

Heat 1: 1st Andrew Priolo, 2nd Mitchell Wormall, 3rd Callum Williamson, 4th Bud Kaeding, 5th Jason Kendrick, 6th Ben Butcher, 7th Kris Coyle, 8th Daniel Keen, 9th Cam McKenzie, 10th Adrian Haywood, 11th Matthew Cross

Heat 2: 1st Harli White, 2nd Shane Stewart, 3rd Daniel Harding, 4th Jamie Oldfield, 5th Todd Davis, 6th Ben Van Ryt, 7th Brodie Minchin, 8th Troy Lawson, 9th Trevor Jolly, 10tu Matthew Cross

Heat 3: 1st Kris Coyle, 2nd Bud Kaeding, 3rd Daniel Harding, 4th Todd Davis, 5th Shane Stewart, 6th Callum Williamson, 7th Troy Lawson, 8th Daniel Keen, 9th Jaydee Dack, 10th Adrian Haywood.

Heat 4: 1st Jason Kendrick, 2nd Ben Butcher, 3rd Mitchell Wormall, 4th Jamie Oldfield, 5th Andrew Priolo, 6th Matthew Cross, 7th Ben Van Ryt, 8th Trevor Jolly, 9th Harli White, 10th Brodie Minchin, 11th Cam McKenzie.

Feature: 1st Mitchell Wormall, 2nd Jason Kendrick, 3rd Andrew Priolo, 4th Kris Coyle, 5th Daniel Harding, 6th Ben Butcher, 8th Cam McKenzie, 9th Brodie Minchin, 10th Matthew Cross, 11th Trevor Jolly, 12th Troy Lawson. DNF: Jamie Oldfield, Jaydee Dack, Callum Williamson, Shane Stewart, Bud Kaeding, Todd Davis, Adrian Haywood, Harli White, Ben Van Ryt. DNS: AJ Nash.
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