Western Springs Speedway celebrated the 1929 opening meeting with the fastest starting from the rear of the Feature races in all divisions however the races were cut short due to time constraints.
Hot and dry conditions greeted the large crowd on hand to be part of the 90th Jubilee celebrations. The track was firm yet with enough potential to form a mild lip as the night progressed.
The format for the night either the top qualifier or last season’s winner would start last and select the driver to start alongside. The new driver to select the next driver to start above them in the grid. This self-handicapping system a definitive display of pecking order amongst the drivers.
In Three Quarter Midgets new 3NZ Ben Morrison, former 2NZ Peter Hunnibell and current 2NZ Ryan Barry all won heat races from the front row with Hunnibell top in points and starting 20th.
On the opening lap a multi-car pileup took out Hunnibell, Scott Baker, Paul LeCren and Christopher Lane. The restart lasted 1 lap before rookie Dayna Lowry tumbled.
The race then restarted and stopped as Ryan Barry crashed with only a single lap in the books.
After several more cautions including new 3NZ Ben Morrison crashing hard into the wall the 20-Lap race was declared with 2 laps remaining making Aaron Humble the winner after starting from grid 6.
Kalen Currie was 2nd from grid 14 and Ryan Baker 3rd from grid 18 showing the track conditions allowed for plenty of passing.
In the Formula 2 Midget Car class Leyton Kendall was top of the points chart and started 19th and picked Mitch Osborne to start next with Osborne choosing Kenny Roberts who selected Corbin Anderson to start out of grid 16 in the 20-Lap Feature.
Anderson worked his way to the lead by lap 7 and looked comfortable and quick. However, on lap 14 he was called off for being over the noise limit while leading in a car found to be compliant to noise regulations for more than a dozen meetings this season.
The race resumed and before a lap could be completed Sam Cometti found himself barrel rolling violently down the front straight after contact with another car and the wall threw his car out of shape at the tracks quickest point.
Cometti conscious but assisted from the wreck and was treated by Ambulance staff. The race then declared at lap 14, the lap last lead by Anderson yet excluded for noise. Handing the win to Mike Driver who started from grid 11.
Second home was Darryl Webster from grid 4 and Layton Kendal blasting his way from last to make the podium in 3rd.
The Sprintcar division heats were won by Adan Child, Michael Pickens and Jonathan Allard with Pickens top point man.
2NZ Pickens picked recent Springs Sprintcar Feature winner Keaton Dahm. Dahm picked 1NZ Jamie Larsen who in turn selected 3NZ Rodney Wood with Wood selecting Allard and Eggleton to start 15th.
Steve Smith lead the opening laps and began to gap the field as the rear and middle of the field jostled for track position with cars using the blackening pole line and the top line which was still over a car width from the wall.
With 10 laps completed Larsen and Allard came together resulting in Allard flipping down the back straight with force. The fuel cell ripped out of the car found several yards from where the rest of the car lay broken. The veteran climbing out immediately and slowly made his way across the infield to Larsen’s car to discuss the incident.
Last row pairing of Pickens and Dahm had made their way to 13th and 14th with Eggleton passing 10 cars in as many laps now in 5th.
Smith once again led away as Palmerston North registered Dean Cooper moved into second place. The race continuing as former Minisprint National Champion Brian Edwards fought valiantly to control his infield spinning car twice that appeared hard to control after opening lap damage.
By now Eggleton was 3rd and on Coopers tail and had plenty of car speed as he passed Cooper in Town Bend and Smith for the lead in Pine Tree Bend.
Daniel Thomas making a rear appearance back in his Sprintcar was unable to avoid a stranded Dion Kendall. Both drivers out of the race.
The race was then reduced by 20 Laps at the restart and Eggleton lead away with Matthew Leversedge making use of the two wide restart to take 2nd ahead of Cooer for 3rd where they would remain to take the chequered. Pickens running out of laps while charging from last to 4h and Smith home 5th.
The Midget heat wins went to Aaron Hodgson, Brad Mosen, Pickens, and Americans ‘Sunshine’ Tyler Courtney and 2NZ Zach Daum.
The Semi-Main was 8 laps and the top 4 finishers would enter the self-handicapping draw for the final. Heat winners Mosen and Hodgson did not finish their second heats and started 8th and 9th respectively.
Mosen spun and restarted at the rear of the field in 10th with 3-Laps remaining though it only took two to make it to 4th with Brett Morris Jnr winning the last chance race with David Pellow, Hodgson and Mosen all transferring.
As previous winner Pickens started 20th and picked Courtney who named Daum to start 18th. Australian Kaidon Brown was Daums choice and Brown fingered Daum’s teammate Logan Seavey in the line-up to start 16th with Hayden Williams 15th.
The 1st start only lasted 1 lap as Mosen found himself tipped over pulled in after restarting and his engine sounding off song.
Caleb Antonio Rooney led Jayden Dodge at the restart with Kane Buck in 3rd. Meanwhile Courtney went inside then outside working his way early through to the midfield.
After several cautions the race resumed and by now Courtney was 4th and Pickens 9th. The Yale, SG Equipment car of Courtney hitting the front using the highline only a lap later with 33 laps to go.
Seavey worked the low line and up int the top 5 as Pickens used the highside to his advantage just ahead of Seavey as Courtney showed a clean pair of heels.
With Seavey and Pickens in 2nd and 3rd they looked to close the gap to the leader. This was aided by a caution for Maskovich and Guptill who collided ending former race winner Maskovich’s race and Guptill restarting from the rear.
Pickens passed Seavey on the next flying lap however Brown lost a wheel. They restarted yet again another yellow. The 7th in 12 laps.
At the restart it was Pickens and Courtney with the American winning the start and compatriot Seavey chasing Pickens for 2nd.
Pickend cleared Seavey and got to within a car lengths of Courtney when, with 9 laps remaining the white flag was displayed and Courtney passed under the chequered flag the following lap. Pickens leaving his run too late and denied the chance to earn the victory.
Seavey retained 3rd with Hodgson, Daum Hunnibell, Gutpill and Morris finishing in the top 10.
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