Photo: Bruce Russell – Flash Fotos & Graphix.
Triple M Kendrick Racing Team celebrating Saturday night’s win – their fifth win of the season.
Jason Kendrick won his fifth feature race of the season when a late-race move paid dividends at Ellenbrook Speedway (WA), Saturday, January 8.
Kendrick’s latest win came in round 9 of the 2021-22 Maddington Toyota Sprintcar Series, that was also round five of the Speedway Australia Speedweek Series at the Maddington Toyota Summer Slam.
He won the twilight show from Daniel Harding and Callum Williamson.
The win wasn’t straight forward however that saw some of the front runners come to grief on the Ellenbrook surface and Kendrick spun out early before he raced through the pack and took the lead in the dying stages over Harding.
Dayne Kingshott, who started from pole, alongside Harding, got the jump at the start of the feature race and by the end of the first lap he led from Andrew Priolo, who started from position four, Harding, Kendrick, (p6), Jack Williamson and Callum Williamson.
Kingshott quickly opened up a handy buffer over his rivals and four laps in he was on the rear of backmarker Rod Howe. On the sixth lap Jack Williamson, who was still comfortably holding down fifth, clipped the fence coming out of turn four, forcing the first restart.
Kingshott led the field away again and Callum Williamson got the better of Kendrick to move into fourth, before Kendrick then spun around and stalled – and on the restart, resumed from the rear of the field.
Next time away the field was frantic at the front and it was a bit too much for Priolo who bounced out of turn two and into the fence, compressing the field yet again.Kingshott led away again over Harding and was enjoying a good lead as he got into heavy traffic before he spun in turns 3-4.
It was a heartbreaking moment for Kingshott who was chasing down his second win in successive meetings.
On the next restart Kendrick was all over the back of Pryde who was fourth and after a couple of laps he got the job done.
With 12 laps to go Callum Williamson was closing the gap on Harding as they rounded up the backmarkers before AJ Nash, who was looking good for a podium placing, crashed hard in turn two for a red light situation.
It was a horrible way for Nash to end the night after he missed a couple of rounds following a massive crash at the Perth Motorplex recently.
In the break officials allowed crews to top up fuel loads in the cars.
When the field took the green it was Harding from Williamson and Kendrick, with the latter sliding underneath Williamson quickly for second and then he shut the gate on any return serve.
With four laps to go Kendrick was then on the back of Harding and after stalking him for a couple of laps, put in a blinder move to take the lead and set sail for the chequered flag.
Kendrick was naturally elated with the win and said he knew he had to dig deep after he made an early race error.
For Harding it was another podium, but another chance that slipped from his grasp as he went close to getting his second feature race win of the season.
And for Williamson it was another good Speedweek result that sees him lead the six-round series by 18 points heading into the final round at the Perth Motorplex next Saturday night. He leads from Harding, Kingshott, Kendrick and Priolo in the race to secure the $10, 000 first prize in the Speedway Australia supported Sprintcar States Series.
Pryde, who started from p7, had a great night behind the wheel of the W14, finishing fourth for his best result of the season. And importantly it was on a night that he played his Joker card and doubled his feature race points for the feature race.
As a result, he has rocketed up from 12th in the points chase to sixth.
Maiolo also played his Joker card and after starting from p9, he finished fifth which gave him a massive points haul.
He went from ninth to fifth in the points.
Kingshott managed to claw his way back to sixth by the end of the 30 laps and while another win escaped him, he also left with positives – moving from fifth to third in the overall points.
Mitchell Wormall converted a p11 start to a p7 finish and this also gave his points a massive shot in the arm after playing the Joker.
Ryan Lancaster was eighth after starting from p13, while Matthew Cross was ninth after starting from P8 and Rod Howe was 10th after starting from p12.
Kendrick is still the main series points leader, holding down a handy 34 point buffer over second-placed Williamson who left the track straight after the race meeting to return to Geraldton, with his wife Sharnee still waiting to give birth to their first child.
Kingshott earned his pole position for the main event after winning the A Dash from Nash, Callum Williamson, Pryde, Maiolo and Wormall, while Harding started on the outside of the front row after winning the B Dash from Priolo, Kendrick, Cross, Jack Williamson and Howe.
Kendrick was the quickest in his group and quickest overall at the start of the show to win the Victory 1 Performance Quick Time award. The final round of Speedway Australia Speedweek will be held at the Perth Motorplex, Kwinana Beach next Saturday night, January 15.
It will also be the last chance that drivers have to play their Joker card and double their feature race points for the season.
Drivers who haven’t played their Joker by then will not get the chance to double their feature race points that is part of the overall Maddington Toyota Sprintcar Series championship.
The fourth and final driver to play his Joker on the night was Darren Mewett who unfortunately suffered engine damage early in the show and was a no-show which was a disappointment as he was looking strong in the W55 that was running a smaller 360ci engine.
Despite being underpowered Mewett was happy to be supporting the series and he joked afterwards that he would like to relinquish playing his Joker and do it when he was having a better night.
Feature race: 1st Jason Kendrick, 2nd Daniel Harding, 3rd Callum Williamson, 4th Jason Pryde, 5th Brad Maiolo, 6th Dayne Kingshott, 7th Mitchell Wormall, 8th Ryan Lancaster, 9th Matthew Cross, 10th Rod Howe. DNF: AJ Nash (lap 19), Andrew Priolo (lap 6), Jack Williamson (lap 5). DNS: Darren Mewett and Kris Coyle.
Maddington Toyota Sprintcar Series points after round nine: Jason Kendrick 1430, Callum Williamson 1396, Dayne Kingshott 1356, Andrew Priolo 1354, Brad Maiolo 1316, Jason Pryde 1266, Ryan Lancaster 1260,
Daniel Harding 1256, Kris Coyle 1250, Taylor Milling 1226, Matthew Cross 1102, AJ Nash 1004, Jack Williamson 994, Mitchell Wormall 986, Jaydee Dack 962, Trevor Jolly 960, Shaun Bradford 848, Trent Pigdon 784, David Priolo 724, Darren Mewett 720, Todd Davis 496, Chace Karpenko 400, Kaiden Manders 376, Cameron McKenzie 374, James Inglis 334, Robbie Farr 278, George Eaton 278, Rod Howe 130.
Speedway Australia Speedweek points after Rd 5 of 6: Callum Williamson 734, Daniel Harding 716, Dayne Kingshott 714, Jason Kendrick 706, Andrew Priolo 676, Brad Maiolo 672, Jason Pryde 648, Ryan Lancaster 630, Mitchell Wormall 618, Kris Coyle 592, Taylor Milling 536, Jack Williamson 530, Matthew Cross 496, Jaydee Dack 482, Trevor Jolly 482, Trent Pigdon 462, Cameron McKenzie 374, AJ Nash 366, Shaun Bradford 268, Kaiden Manders 264, Darren Mewett 170, Rod Howe 130, Todd Davis 118, David Priolo 110.
Jokers played this round: Brad Maiolo, Darren Mewett, Jason Pryde and Mitchell Wormall.
Hoosier Tyre lucky draw: Darren Mewett.
Next round: Rd10 Maddington Toyota Sprintcar Series//Speedway Australia Speedweek final – Perth Motorplex, Kwinana Beach, Saturday, January 15.