OLDFIELD SCORES THRILLING LISMORE VICTORY
Author : Dennis Newlyn
LUKE Oldfield made a triumphant return to Castrol Edge Lismore Speedway Easter Sunday night (April 16) when he took out the third and deciding round of the 2017 Tri-City Shootout Easter Sprintcar trail.
In a thrilling main event, Oldfield was followed across the finish line by Robbie Farr and Sam Walsh.
Oldfield spent a number of seasons racing a V8 Dirt Modified at the Lismore Showground venue and scored some notable victories including success in the annual Mr Modified Series and Lord Mayor's Cup events.
A huge crowd was on hand to witness the return of the 410 Sprintcars to the Lismore Showground bull ring. It was primarily a Sprintcar night, with the running of the NSW Wingless Championship, which was won by Adam Butler, also on the programme.
The 410 feature race, originally set down for a 40-lap distance, but was cut several laps due to the curfew and time lost due to accidents earlier in the night, provided some sensational wheel-to-wheel racing.
Several crashes marred the feature race. Those who copped the brunt of Lismore's tight boundaries included Brent Kratzmann, Bryan Mann, Kevin Titman and Mark Pholi.
Farr was the man they all had to beat as the main event unfolded. Aided by an upfront starting position, he was the pacesetter, while further back Oldfield, Walsh, Lachlan McHugh, Peter Lack, Matt Dumesny and Titman all ran in close company in the battle for positions near the front of the field.
Dumesny pulled a massive wheel-stand when the race went green again after a red light and lost several positions as Farr set a cracking pace at the head of the field as the race neared the half way mark.
Farr survived a number of restarts and just when he appeared to have control of the race, Oldfield made his bid for victory in the latter stages. After battling with Walsh, Oldfield ranged up on Farr and the pair set down for an exciting battle to the finish.
With nothing between the duo, Oldfield kept up the pressure and hit the front with six laps remaining. The top three running order remained unchanged as Oldfield took the victory over Farr and Walsh.
Matt Dumesny scored a strong win in the dash and his time of 11.047 seconds was only a few tenths off the lap record, while Walsh was fastest in time trials and Kratzmann took out the B-Main.
Earlier in the night the New South Wales Wingless Sprintcar Championship was run and won by Adam Butler.
Luke Sayre scored a fine second placing in a drive that was most impressive while Lismore regular Robbie Mazzer filled third on the podium.
The battle for the title got down to a three-man struggle in the latter stages between the trio who filled the podium as they ran nose-to-tail in an exciting finish to the state title.
Despite plenty of pressure, Butler hugged the pole line and set a solid pace in his run to the chequered flag with a win that rates one of his best-ever drives.
Meanwhile, Wingless driver Harley Thistleton crashed heavily during the programme and track crews took sometime to release him from the car. He was admitted to Lismore Base Hospital after complaining of neck and back pain and will undergo scans in coming days.