Western Australian driver Tom Payet executed a last lap pass to win the 77th Victorian Speedcar Championship at Heytesbury Stockfeeds Simpson Speedway presented by Aidan Freeman Photography.
Payet from position seven chased down race leader and triple state champion Travis Mills with a barnstorming drive to make an aggressive move underneath Mills and take victory with Nick Parker third.
Early race leader and polesitter Hayden Williams of New Zealand raced to a handy lead after a night of domination while Jay Waugh was also in fine form also off the front row for the 25-lap title decider.
Williams led Waugh, Mills and defending champion Matt Jackson for most of the race until lap 14 when Mills hit the lead and appeared destined for his fourth Victorian crown.
Payet was into fourth and there were slide jobs aplenty through corners three and four of the famous country Victorian speedway.
With five laps to run Williams banged the wall on the front straight and somehow Payet got dragged into the mess. Payet kept his car going and was lucky to avoid stopping and resumed back in second at the restart behind leader Mills with Parker and Jackson behind.
From there it was a hard run to the finish with two of Australia’s best Speedcar drivers and Payet made his move under Mills, becoming the first WA driver to win the Victorian title since Dayne Kingshott in 2015 at Avalon Raceway.
Final placings: 1. Tom Payet, 2. Travis Mills, 3. Nick Parker, 4. Jay Waugh, 5. Kaleb Currie, 6. Matt Jackson, 7. Jack McCarthy, 8. Justin McMinn, 9. Robert Heard, 10. Dillon Ghent.
The second round of the annual Summer Slam Series for Wingless Sprints presented by Bailey Welding and Repairs became a race of two in their 25-lap final between Travis Millar and Luke Storer
Millar who was fresh from victory in the opening round the previous night at Blue Ribbon Raceway, Horsham led from lap four and despite not giving up the lead got a reminder from Storer he wanted the lead on lap 17 when his car momentarily rode Millar’s fuel tank in the front stretch.
Popular Warrnambool driver Geoff Cook in the vivid Lightning McQueen orange number 95 assumed pole position after Christopher Temby was unable to start due to a faulty battery.
Cook led the opening three laps until Millar grabbed the lead off him with Storer behind and the always fast Matthew Symons raced from ninth starting position and Luke Weel finished fourth after starting from position 16. Nicholas Ryan finished sixth and Mick Rigby was eighth after both started from the back of the grid via the last-chance B-Main.
The annual Dash for Cash for Formula 500s presented by Raebuilt saw American Nikko Panella came away with a dominating win and the big money over Jack Bell and Australian champion Dylan Beveridge with Tim Rankin charging from 17th and via the B-Main to fourth at Simpson.
Near 35 drivers contested the two nights of racing which included the Horsham venue a night earlier as they battled it out for an $12,500 in prize money. Nikko Panella of California was crowned overall champion adding to his Speedweek title from his brother Alex in their PMP Chassis courtesy of Mansell Motorsports.
The next meeting at Simpson Speedway will be held Saturday, January 21, 2023 with the 13th running of the annual Mainline DynoLog Dynamometers All Star Challenge for 360ci Sprintcars (15K to win) the annual Snoopy Slam for Super Rods and the SSA Junior Sedans Invitational.