Donny Schatz topped the WSS field at Archerfield (Matthew Paul Photo) (Video Highlights from SpeedShiftTV.com)
Donny Schatz has claimed his twenty-eighth QSS World Series Sprintcars victory by wrestling the lead off 20-year-old Victorian Rusty Hickman in the final two laps of the main event at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway.
Schatz started the event by qualifying 9th while Hickman was almost half-way down the 30 car field in 13th, however Revolution Racegear Quicktime was awarded to first-time recipient Jack Lee ahead of Luke Oldfield and Pennsylvanian Lucas Wolfe.
Schatz collected a 3rd and a 4th in his heats while Hickman registered a 2nd and a 3rd, with both accumulating enough points to make the Bronze Shootout in 6th and 7th respectively.
Schatz surprisingly was unable to graduate from the Bronze, however Hickman was in scintillating form and progressed through the Silver to win the Gold Shootout and place the Peerless Black Products #V40 on Pole Position for the 35 lap Main Event alongside the Mainline Dynalog/Drysdale Chaff Mills #V88 of Dave Murcott.
Hickman was impressive from the start, and despite some concerted attempts from Murcott and Luke Oldfield to commandeer the lead, he held on with both hands and was particularly impressive in lapped traffic despite being snookered on numerous occasions.
Meanwhile, Schatz systematically picked off Jack Lee, Steve Lines, Kerry Madsen, Murcott and Oldfield by lap 15, but struggled to get past Hickman, much to the astonishment of huge crowd.
More impressive however was when Schatz finally passed Hickman on lap 26, the young Bendigo based racer returned-serve on the ten-time Knoxville Nationals Champion and claimed back the lead on the next revolution.
Just three laps later, Oldfield turned his Advanced Mobility #Q17 around in the heat of battle while running 3rd to produce a late race caution, but again, Hickman survived a tiring series of lunges from Schatz until lap 33 where the veteran racer finally outsmarted the young-gun to make it home to the chequers by just one second ahead of Hickman and Kerry Madsen.
When informed that his opponent was just twenty years of age, Schatz was amazed.
“Oh man! He’s only 20? I’m kind of speechless really,” Schatz said, shaking his head. “I just did the opposite of what he was doing. If he went to the top, I went to the bottom, and if he went to the bottom, I went to the top. He made some really good moves. It was a great race, three and four wide… that’s the kind of thing you live for.”
Hickman was elated with the result, rating it as a career highlight to run second to the best in the world.
“A couple of people came up to me and said ‘bad luck’ but I was like “does everyone realise who I just finished behind?”” “He got me in lapped-traffic and I thought he’ll just check out, but he went up top so I just found a hole and I was like “Wow I’ve just passed Donny Schatz! What just happened?”
Dave Murcott logged a creditable fourth ahead of Lucas Wolfe and James McFadden with the latter earning enough points to continue to lead the series with 1531 points despite Madsen reeling him back to a 53 mark lead. Brock Hallett sits 3rd in the series on 1316 while Lucas Wolfe and Brooke Tatnell are placed 5th and 6th behind Cory Eliason.
The series returns to Toowomba’s Hi-Tec Oils Speedway tonight for round seven, before making its first appearance at Maryborough’s Fraser Shores Speedway on Tuesday night.
Photo courtesy of Matthew Paul Photography
SERIES POINTS AFTER ROUND 6
1 James McFadden 1531
2 Kerry Madsen 1478
3 Brock Hallett 1316
4 Cory Eliason 1237
5 Lucas Wolfe 1194
6 Brooke Tatnell 1188
7 Jock Goodyer 1131
8 Lockie McHugh 1116
9 Rusty Hickman 1035
10 Dave Murcott 1013