On a cool night Hickman sets a hot pace to take a maiden title win

On a cool night Hickman sets a hot pace to take a maiden title win

Twenty four year old Rusty Hickman has raced to his maiden Victorian 360 Sprintcar championship win on a cool night at Heytesbury Stockfeeds Simpson Speedway. Hickman was fast from the outset locking in the second quickest lap time in flight 2 of qualifying Simpson native and venue specialist Phil Lock locking in the quickest time with a blistering 12.441 lap time recorded.

Hickman would go on to turn the tables on Lock in heat 2 beating home Lock and hard charging youngster Jordyn Charge.  In a relatively uneventful opening round of heat races defending champion Michael Tancredi raced to a heat win from John Vogels and Matthew Reed in the opening heat of the night. Round two of the Sprintcar heats saw wins to Brayden Parr and Michael Cunningham with an inspiring drive from Rusty Hickman running second to Parr after starting at the tail of the field

The exciting shootout format with the World Series style Gold Silver Bronze provided some excitement as drivers endeavored to lower their lap times on what was already a super fast race surface. Matthew Reed with the first lap time in the 11 second bracket with an 11.998 progressed to the silver shootout along with Jordyn Charge whom posted a 12.194 lap time.

Reed was building momentum nicely as he again went quickest in the silver shootout progressing to the gold shootout with John Vogels. Hickman and Tancredi awaited the pair in the Gold Shootout where Reed asserted his authority taking himself all the way to pole for the championship decider with Rusty Hickman to share the front row Vogels promoting himself on the grid to start from three with Tancredi on his outside.

Paul Solomon, James Aranyosi, Brett Milburn and James Wren all clawed themselves back into championship contention through the B-Main filling the final two rows on the grid.

When the green flag dropped on the A main it appeared that Reed would lead as he did into turn one briefly before a very committed Hickman railed the top like a boss and from there began to open up a gap on Reed, Vogels and Tancredi.

Three laps in disaster struck for young Jordyn Charge the 2016 champion was out in what can only be described as a big wreck which also had Nicholas and Van Ginneken involved the latter two able to go on and finish the feature.

Rusty Hickman carried on where he left off at the restart before having an issue in turn two which almost saw the leader spin allowing Reed a look on the inside before Hickman settled back into the groove and full control of the race. Vogels was coming now though after reed with a full head of steam taking a chance on a pass with less than a handful of laps to go only to spin in the process bringing on the caution once again although restarting at the rear Vogels quickly pulled to the infield and out of the race.

A dash to the chequers now ensued with the two leaders in Hickman and Reed looking safe Solomon and Tancredi battling it out for the final podium position. When the chequers dropped it was Hickman taking his maiden title win from Reed and Tancredi filling the podium. Rusty also leads the Indy Race Parts 360 Crown Series with rounds to come at Heartland Raceway Moama – 360 Sprintcar Challenge on the 6/4/2019 and the final round being the Diggers Cup at Avalon Raceway on the 13/04/2019.

The Speed cars provided edge of your seat entertainment lowering lap records at will. Travis Squizzy Mills in the V10 taking the feature win in breathtaking style over Mitch Whiting and Justin Paull. Matt Jackson and Nick Parker who showed brilliance in the heats sharing all three heat wins between them both succumbed to mechanical gremlins throughout the 20 lap feature event.

In the Compact Speed cars Ashley Booker was left to cruise to victory after Justin Paull John Unwin and Matt Brown were all unable to greet the chequers showing great car speed to drive away from Mark Hutchinson and Jack day whom filled the podium.

The AMCA Nationals provided a good point of difference and produced some stellar racing with only a small field of nine the racing was great with dean Heseltine setting the standard early with a powerful performance dominating heat 1 finishing with a win a second and a third from his heats. Sharon Tindal was strong all night ending with a win a second and a fifth from her three heats.

When the final rolled around it appeared Heseltine by how far however he was kept honest throughout the fifteen lap feature by eventual runner up Neale Peachey with Paul Sullivan for third and Sharon Tindal filling the podium in fourth only to miss presentations and receiving her fourth place sash I am reliably told this will be passed on.

Heytesbury Stockfeeds Simpson Speedway would like to thank there presenting partners on the night Mark Benton Farm Machinery Repairs and Armistead Contracting.

Also a special thank you to the SRA sponsors for the night Lumbars Transport, Parr Motorsport, Indy Race Parts and A Plus Powder Coating.

End Release

Written by Ben Swanson

for The Simpson Car Club

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