Mount Gambier’s Steven Lines tuned up for the big races ahead with a stunning victory last night in the Murray Bridge Toyota USC SA International Sprintcar event at the Murray Machining and Sheds Speedway. After starting from position 5 Lines was the first driver to find the high side of the track to his liking as he executed a series of stunning manoeuvres to charge to the front of the field and despite losing his brakes during the lap 19 red light for Robbie Farr he held on to defeat an impressive Brad Keller and Knoxville Nationals Champion Jason Johnson.
After winning his heat race and then the top 8 dash Robbie Farr was on track to keep his Murray Bridge undefeated season on track as he led the field away for the 30-lap final. But as the green flag fell fellow front row runner Matthew Dumesny, who had lost his transporter in a fire on the way to the track, had other ideas as he led the opening stanza of the race and a fairy tale result looked on the cards. But Steven Lines had other ideas as he swept past the leader on lap 17 as the pair negotiated lapped traffic.
Only laps earlier Lines had also rounded Brad Keller and Robbie Farr with similar moves on the top of the track.
Shortly after Lines wrestled the lead away from Dumesny Robbie Farr also slipped by Dumesny to take over second but it was short lived as Farr got tangled up with the lapped car of Hayden Pitt rolling in turn two.
With 11 laps remaining the restart order was Lines, Keller, Dumesny, Johnson, Aidan Hall, Luke Dillon, American Corey Eliason and Ryan Jones. It was at this point that Lines realised that he had no brakes in the Hall Haulage supported #3.
But it didn’t show as he paced the field the chequered flag with Keller finding the podium for the second time in a week ahead of Johnson and a determined Matthew Dumesny. Luke Dillon completed the top five ahead of Ryan Jones who stormed home to finish sixth with Matt Egel, Aidan Hall, Corey Eliason and Marcus Dumesny rounding out the 10.
Daniel Pestka was the next across the line with 21-year-old American Harli White Hines finishing 12th in her first Australian A-Main appearance. Brian Brown was the last driver on the lead lap with Hayden Pitt, Brendan Quinn, Tim Hutchins and Mark Caruso the only other finishers.
Earlier in the night the four heat winners were Farr, Keller, Brad Sweet and Matthew Dumesny while Farr won the dash and Mark Caruso was victorious in the last chance qualifier.
Unfortunately two of the six American drivers on hand had a tough outing at “The Bridge” with Brad Sweet damaging his power plant early in the A-Main while running in the top three while Californian Dominic Scelzi had a South Australian debut to forget after he was set to transfer into the dash from his heat but he was an innocent victim in an race ending accident after race leader Shannon Barry slowed in turn four with a fuel pump issue leaving Dominic nowhere to go. The impact cut his right rear tyre sending him into the B-Main where he missed a transfer by three spots.
The next meeting on the Murray Machining and Sheds Speedway schedule is Saturday February 4 with the running of round 12 of World Series Sprintcars incorporating round 6 of USC SA.