Article by Scott Beattie
For the second time in two years Jace Kempton has taken the win at Pithara Speedway in the Street Stock Classic and in the process, extended his lead in the 2018 Speedway Sedan Digest Gold Cup Series to thirty points over his closest rival in Jack Barnewall.
Last year it was Kempton taking over the lead late in the Street Stock Classic race at Pithara from Hayden Norman and this year was much the same, with Kempton not grabbing the lead until lap sixteen of the twenty lap feature race to go on and defeat Mick Hamon and Paul Joss after a thrilling feature race event.
The first attempt at a start didn’t last long, with Ben Norman coming to a stop in turn two going in reverse direction, bringing on the yellows and saving Jack Barnewall in the process after he shot off the top of the track along the back straight before continuing on, allowing him to retake his position in the field.
Attempt number two was much better, with Joss jumping away into the lead ahead of Kempton and Hamon. The lead trio would begin to battle as they pulled away from fourth placed Barnewall, but it didn’t last too long as the yellows came out with two laps completed for a spun car.
Joss would again lead away and over the next four laps he would pull away from the rest of the field as a number of cars battled to keep their cars the right way on track. Phil Lycholit would retire, then the yellows came out again for another spun car, then fifth placed Warren Oldfield would also retire, setting off a chain reaction of retirements including Dave Watson, Marty Kelly and Aaron Sutton.
Back on track though it was all Joss, Kempton and Hamon as for the next fourteen laps they waged battle, ducking and diving around lapped traffic as each hunted for the advantage.
As the laps wound down though it was Kempton who made the move, diving down low on Joss and taking the lead on lap sixteen, then almost immediately his car began to smoke, while Hamon also attempted to follow Kempton through and grab second.
Joss fought back but couldn’t quite retake either position, while Kempton and Hamon began to pull away slightly, all the while Kemptons car emitting smoke. With the white flag flying Hamon closed on Kempton, then with lapped traffic playing its part in the final corner, Hamon almost grabbed the lead but Kempton was able to dive low and grab the win by just 0.2 seconds.
In the Production Sedan feature Wayne Leviston grabbed the win from Murray Cleasby and John Castagna. Many of the cars that raced at Pithara today will now head back towards Perth to compete at Ellenbrook Speedway tomorrow in the Production Sedan Classic, doubling as the final round of the Speedway Sedan Digest Four Crowns Series. The Tom Green Memorial for Junior Sedans will also be on the same program.
Feature, 20 laps: 1. W55 Jace Kempton, 2. W69 Paul Joss, 3. W7 Mick Hamon, 4. W16 Jack Barnewall, 5. W8 Dave Watson, 6. W199 Phil Lycholit, 7. W85 Warren Oldfield, 8. W89 Carl Pickersgill, 9. W9 Marty Kelly, 10. W81 Peter Walker, 11. W31 Cody Avins, 12. W5 Aaron Sutton, 13. W51 Scott Elson, 14. W53 Glen Graham, 15. W00 Hamish Macalpine, 16. W17 Daniel Sutton, 17. W66 Ben Norman.
- W55 Jace Kempton, 2. W7 Mick Hamon, 3. W69 Paul Joss, 4. W16 Jack Barnewall, 5. W81 Peter Walker, 6. W89 Carl Pickersgill, 7. W31 Cody Avins, 8. W53 Glen Graham, 9. W51 Scott Elson (19). DNF: W5 Aaron Sutton (13), W9 Marty Kelly (11), W8 Dave Watson (11), W85 Warren Oldfield (9), W199 Phil Lycholit (4), W00 Hamish Macalpine (2), W66 Ben Norman (0). DNS: W17 Daniel Sutton. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 0.284. Fastest Lap: 20.696 W55 Jace Kempton.