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Kicking Up The Dirt - Hi-Tec Oils Speedway - Opening Night
Joanne White posted Sunday September 27, 2020.

We are BACK! Last night Sprintcars returned to Hi-Tec Oils Speedway in Toowoomba with a quality field of twenty Sprintcars hitting the track for the first race in South East Queensland in 196 days. Lachlan McHugh dominated most of the night and proved too quick in the feature, securing the win despite a valiant challenge from the always quick Luke Oldfield. Oldfield secured second, while Cody Maroske made his way into third to round out the podium after starting mid-field. Allan Woods crossed the line in fourth while Dylan Menz completed the top five on night one of the 2020-2021 race season.

The first event of the season saw the 20-car field hit the track in groups for qualifying, but it was Lachlan McHugh who topped the leader-board, and lowered the one-lap record, stopping the clock at an impressive 10.404 seconds. Luke Oldfield was a solid second with a quick 10.526 second lap, with Dylan Menz (10.574), Brent Kratzmann (10.625) and Brendon Claridge (10.712) rounding out the fastest five. Seventeen of the twenty contenders were separated by less than one second.

Heat one got underway with Nicholas Whell and Aaron Kelly from the front row. Whell led the first start but the race was promptly brought under caution with Whell then relegated to the second row for the restart. Callum Walker was promoted to the front row alongside Kelly for the second attempt at a race start, and while Walker got his nose in front as the field took the green it wasn't long before Kelly secured control of the race. Lachlan McHugh took to the high line from position six and made rapid and impressive progress towards the front, while Nicholas Whell and Brent Kratzmann battled over third and fourth, having already surrendered positions to the hard charging McHugh. Kratzmann lost ground when he bounced through a rut, and while Whell managed to move a few car lengths ahead and generate a healthy margin, Andrew Corbet soon caught the tail of Kratzmann and began challenging him for position. The race was brought to a stop when Nathan Black rode out a wild ride in turn four, with Kelly leading the restart from McHugh, Walker, Whell and Kratzmann. Another caution followed soon after for the spun car of Taylor Prosser with Kelly again leading them back to green light conditions when the race resumed. While Kelly started opening a comfortable lead over McHugh, Whell closed in on Walker and began challenging for third, the pair battling as they raced closer to the chequered flag. Aaron Kelly got the win with a sizable margin over second-placed Lachlan McHugh, with Callum Walker, Nicholas Whell, Brent Kratzmann, Andrew Corbet, Brendon Claridge and Kevin Britten rounding out the finishers. Taylor Prosser and Nathan Black did not finish the event.

Cody Maroske and Jayden Peacock shared the front row for the start of the second heat of the evening, with Allan Woods and Kevin Titman right behind them. Maroske secured the lead with Peacock challenging for control of the race, while Luke Oldfield started charging from midfield, sliding underneath Woods and leaving Woods to contend with Randy Morgan. Morgan was in magnificent form and looked around the high side of Woods before slipping underneath the Q28 racer, while Maroske continued to extend his lead. Oldfield began to close in on Titman as Maroske began making his way through the lapped traffic. With the back markers going a lap down Titman and Oldfield managed to close the gap to second-placed Peacock but could not quite get close enough to make a move. Cody Maroske got the win ahead of Jayden Peacock, Kevin Titman, Luke Oldfield, Randy Morgan, Allan Woods, Dylan Menz, Tim Farrell, Michael Rowell and Libby Ellis.

Nicholas Whell started from pole position in heat three with Jayden Peacock alongside and the hard-charging duo of Cody Maroske and Aaron Kelly from the second row. Peacock secured the lead when the lights went green with a captivating run on the high line while Whell settled into second ahead Kelly. Maroske challenged Kelly, searching for a way past the Q7 racer, while Kevin Titman had troubles and faded to the rear of the field before exiting the event. Lachlan McHugh challenged Cody Maroske mid field, the pair having a thrilling battle, nearly coming together on several occasions, but the race was soon brought to a stop when race leader Peacock inverted the #55 racer in turn four, with the lapped car of Taylor Prosser also involved and Nicholas Whell lucky to escape. Whell inherited the lead for the restart ahead of Kelly, Maroske and McHugh, and while McHugh challenged Maroske for position soon after the race returned to green light conditions he got a little too sideways in turn four and lost ground on his rival with half the race still to run. Whell had a sizable lead and while Kelly started closing the gap he could not quite get close enough to make a move. Nicholas Whell went on to take the win, his first heat race victory in Sprintcars, with Aaron Kelly second ahead of Cody Maroske, Lachlan McHugh, Andrew Corbet, Kevin Britten and Taylor Prosser. Jayden Peacock and Kevin Titman both failed to finish the event.

The final heat of the night started with Allan Woods and Brendon Claridge sharing the front row as they led the field to the green flag. Woods quickly secured the lead but it was Luke Oldfield who captivated the crowd as he began to rapidly make his way forward, working the highline beautifully. Oldfield raced between Brent Kratzmann and Callum Walker before dispatching Claridge and setting out after Woods, while Dylan Menz faded to mid-field. Walker and Randy Morgan had a close battle as they negotiated over fourth and fifth, while towards the tail of the field Tim Farrell looped the Q51 racer but managed to keep it moving and avoid a stoppage. Race leader Woods entered lapped traffic and began weaving his way past the back markers, all the while Oldfield started closing in fast. Kratzmann ran a comfortable third but posed no serious threat to the leading pair, with Oldfield timing his run almost perfectly, arriving right on the tail of Woods as the white flag flew with one lap to run. Oldfield had a massive look underneath Woods as they rounded turn one for the final time and almost got it done, but Woods powered ahead on the high side and maintained the advantage for the final lap. Allan Woods got the win ahead of Luke Oldfield, Brent Kratzmann, Randy Morgan and Callum Walker. Dylan Menz, Brendon Claridge, Michael Rowell, Tim Farrell and Libby Ellis rounded out the finishers.

The top eight Shootout events started with Callum Walker, Dylan Menz, Cody Maroske and Allan Woods taking to the track for the Bronze Shootout. Dylan Menz went quickest of the quartet, stoping the clock at 11.866 seconds and secured a transfer to the Silver Shootout, with Allan Woods (12.048) set to join him after going second quickest. Cody Maroske (12.169) and Callum Walker (12.388) were eliminated from the event.

Brent Kratzmann and Aaron Kelly joined Dylan Menz and Allan Woods on track for the Silver Shootout, with Aaron Kelly this time going quickest and stopping the clock at 11.751 seconds. Kelly and second-placed Woods (11.930) earned transfers to the Gold Shootout while Dylan Menz (12.011) and Brent Kratzmann (12.328) exited the shootout events.

Luke Oldfield and Lachlan McHugh, as the two highest points scorers of the night, joined Aaron Kelly and Allan Woods on track for the Gold Shootout and the chance to secure a front row start for the main race. Lachlan McHugh was too quick in the NQ7 racer, his 11.493 second lap enough to secure pole position and lane choice for the main race. Luke Oldfield would share the front row after securing second in the Gold Shootout with a 11.753 second lap, while Aaron Kelly (11.790) and Allan Woods (11.880) would fill the second row for the start of the feature event.

Twenty cars lined up for the start of the thirty-lap A-Main and the first feature race of the 2020-2021 race season. Lachlan McHugh elected to start on the outside leaving Luke Oldfield from pole position, the pair bumping wheels even before the green flag flew. McHugh got the jump when the lights went green and quickly settled into the lead ahead of Oldfield, while deeper in the field chaos unfolded and left several cars with minor damage, though they were all able to keep going and avoid a stoppage. McHugh began opening a sizable lead as Oldfield, Allan Woods and Brent Kratzmann held down the minor positions. Andrew Corbet and Kevin Titman battled deep in the field, almost coming together, while the leaders began navigating lapped traffic after just a few laps. Oldfield began closing in on McHugh in lapped traffic, with Oldfield edging even closer when the race was brought under caution for Jayden Peacock, Callum Walker and Randy Morgan who had come together. While Morgan and Walker both restarted the event, Peacock was sadly unable to continue the race.

With twenty-four laps still to run it was Lachlan McHugh who led the field back to green light conditions, with Luke Oldfield second ahead of Allan Woods and Brent Kratzmann. A little further back Aaron Kelly and Cody Maroske traded slide jobs mid field, the pair putting on a spectacular show as they switched places back and forth, with Kelly finally fighting back on the high side to secure the advantage. Brent Kratzmann slowed and pulled out of the event, with Randy Morgan also withdrawing from the event and Callum Walker soon joining them on the infield. Nicholas Whell and Brendon Claridge had an intense battle for minor positions, while at the front of he field McHugh made his way through heavy lapped traffic as Oldfield again closed in fast. With eighteen laps still to run Oldfield had a bold look underneath McHugh in traffic, but McHugh fought back and refused to surrender control of the race. Allan Woods was a comfortable third with Dylan Menz and Aaron Kelly behind. Kelly found his way past Menz, leaving Menz with Maroske closing in fast, while Oldfield again challenged McHugh for the lead with twelve laps to run. Maroske and Kelly had a thrilling battle over top five positions while Woods remained unchallenged in third. Oldfield stayed with McHugh, the pair both almost coming to grief as they weaved past the back markers, with Oldfield relentless in his pursuit of McHugh. McHugh managed to get a couple of lapped cars between himself and Oldfield in one bold passing move to create a fraction of breathing space just moments before the race was brought under caution as Kelly limped the Q7 racer from the circuit with a cut down rear tyre.

Lachlan McHugh led the restart from Luke Oldfield and Cody Maroske with six laps to run. Allan Woods had a big look underneath Maroske when the race resumed in an effort to regain third, but it almost ended in disaster when he got a little too close to the turn four wall. The race was quickly brought under caution with both Taylor Prosser and Nathan Black spun to a stop in turn four.

With five laps still to run it was again Lachlan McHugh, Luke Oldfield and Cody Maroske who led the field back to green light conditions. Kevin Titman was working his way forward after a less than ideal start to the race, the Q59 racer having a bold look underneath Tim Farrell as they negotiated over mid-field positions. Allan Woods again had a look underneath Maroske but could not quite make it work, while Lachlan McHugh hit lapped traffic again with just one lap left to run. Lachlan McHugh went on to take the win ahead of Luke Oldfield and Cody Maroske with Allan Woods and Dylan Menz rounding out the top five. Tim Farrell finished fifth and led Kevin Titman, Andrew Corbet, Nicholas Whell, Kevin Britten, Brendon Claridge, Nathan Black, Libby Ellis and Taylor Prosser across the line. Aaron Kelly, Callum Walker, Randy Morgan, Brent Kratzmann, Jayden Peacock and Michael Rowell all failed to finish the thirty-lap journey.

Sprintcars Queensland will return to Archerfield Speedway in Brisbane next weekend for a HUGE two-night show for the Queensland Sprintcar Title. There is already an impressive list of nominations so be sure to come and join us trackside (and remember to follow the COVID-Safe rules in place) and follow us on Facebook for race night updates. See you next weekend race fans - it's so good to be back!


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