Matt Egel won the opening 410ci Sprintcar Main Event of the South Australian season at MMS (Phil Michell Photo)
Matt Egel sent a message that was a loud and clear to all his South Australian Sprintcar rivals as he dominated the opening round of the Sprintcar Country Tri Series at the Murray Machining and Sheds Speedway at Murray Bridge on Saturday night. After starting from the second row Egel rounded up early race leader Ryan Jones with an exciting outside pass in turn four and then he went on to claim the win in the season opener ahead of pole sitter Luke Dillon and Daniel Pestka.
“When the track is like this it really suits my style and I just love to get out there and run the top. The guys always have a great car setup for when the track goes slick like it was tonight. I don’t think I have ever won first night out so the win tonight will give us great confidence for when the USC starts in a few weeks”, added the excited race winner.
Fourth across the line was an impressive Shannon Barry, who was piloting the Brown Family owned #52 Cool, with Brock Hallett, who had struggled earlier in the night fighting back to record a top five finish.
Steven Caruso had a solid night to finish sixth while Lisa Walker, Keke Falland, Mark Caruso, who dropped a couple of places after a late spin, and Hayden Pitt completed the top 10. Joel Heinrich, Scott Enderl, Glen Sutherland and rookie Austin McDonald completed the finishers.
Earlier in the night the heat winners were Ryan Jones, Daniel Pestka, Shannon Barry and Luke Dillon, with Dillon being the only winner who didn’t start on the front row.
The opening heat of the night saw the only real drama of the night with a multi car pile-up in turn four on the final lap resulting in Glen Sutherland inverting his #20.
The third meeting of the Murray Machining and Sheds Murray Bridge Speedway season also saw a massive support program with Wingless Sprints, Super Sedans, Street Stocks, AMCA Nationals, Junior Sedans and Round 2 of the South Australian State Series for Formula 500’s.
In the open wheeled categories local racer Brendan Zadow was victorious in the Formula 500’s ahead of Dean Cottrell and opening round winner James MacDonald while the Wingless Sprint feature fell to another local as Brett Ireland became the third different winner this season as he defeated Anthony Tapley and Jake Ashworth in what was a great race.
The Sedan classes also produced some entertaining racing as Carey Weston won his third successive Street Stock finale over Nigel Reichstein and Craig Buchanan. Paul Blenkiron took advantage of a mechanical failure to the SA#1 driven by Ryan Alexander to win the Super Sedan feature while Aaron Tranter upset Drew Flatman in the Junior Sedans.
In the AMCA Nationals State Champion Darren McCarthy just edged out Jake Armstrong in the 15-lap decider with Michael Miller in third.
The next meeting at the Murray Machining and Sheds Speedway will be on November 2 with a Sportsman Night featuring the opening round of State Wingless Sprint Series, AMCA Nationals, Super Sedans, Street Stocks and Junior Sedans.