JASON Kendrick is the red-hot favourite to claim the Australian 360 Sprintcar Championship at the Perth Motorplex on Sunday night after he dominated in the preliminary feature race on Saturday night.
Kendrick started from pole for the 20-lap non-stop feature race, winning from Kaiden Manders who came from P3 and David Murcott who started on the front row with Kendrick.
Kendrick’s win in the feature race capped off a solid night that also saw him claim two heat race wins.
He got the jump on Murcott at the start of the feature and despite being in lapped traffic by the third lap, was not bothered as he stormed away to win by 7.588 seconds.
“I can’t thank the guys enough, the car was unreal, It makes my job easier when it is like that,” Kendrick said immediately after the win.
“We have got the baseline pretty set where we need to be so we will go back tonight and wash everything up and just go over all the car and make sure everything is in running order and come back and hopefully repeat tonight.”
Manders lost ground early and dropped back to fourth before clawing his way back to third over Haywood on lap eight and then under Murcott for second four laps later.
He also paid tribute to his team.
“The guys did a really good job with the car,” Manders said.
“I sort of messed up at the start a bit there and let Haywood get past me which meant we had a bit of a slow start, but the car was really good and we have got some things to change for tomorrow night.
“Hopefully we will have some speed and be able to challenge JK.
“The track was really really good tonight.”
Murcott said it was good to get some laps in a 360 car.
“We are getting there, I think we have good car speed,” he said.
“We probably need to work on a feature set-up just a little bit, but hey, it’s good news for tomorrow night.”
Haywood, who started P6 held on for fourth ahead of Ryan Lancaster who looked very strong for fifth after starting from P9.
James Inglis was sixth after starting P5 and Shaun Bradford was in seventh after he started 14th, thanks to dropping a heat of points after tagging the fence in a slide job in the second round of heats.
Daniel Keen came home eighth after starting from P7, crossing the line ahead of Ben Butcher who started from P4 and Mitchell Wormall who rounded out the top 10 after starting from P15.
It was a good recovery for Wormall who dropped valuable points early on when his top wing clipped a part of the fence, pulling it down and also damaging the wing.
Eight cars were on the lead lap at the end of 20 laps.
Former national champion Luke Dillon was 11th, from Michael Keen, Daniel Evans, Brodie Minchin, another former national champion in Chad Ely, Steven Ford, Paul Peet and Greg Hall.
Manders won the first heat race from Butcher and Troy Lawson, with Kendrick taking heat two from Ely and Daniel Keen.
Bradford was fast in the third heat, taking the win from Tom Hopper and Murcott, while Jason Pryde was a DNF on the first lap, crashing on the back straight.
Wormall got back into the points game by winning heat four from Evans and Manders.
Kendrick won heat fifth from Haywood and Lancaster, with the final heat going to Murcott from Inglis and Michael Keen.
The final will be run at the Perth Motorplex on Sunday evening.
Heat 1: 1st Kaiden Manders, 2nd Ben Butcher, 3rd Troy Lawson, 4th Steven Ford, 5th Luke Dillon, 6th Ray Leonard, 7th Daniel Evans, 8th Trigga Gates, 9th Ed Trutwin, 10th Vince Rosenthal, 11th Jamie Landrigan. DNF:
Casey Johansen and Mitchell Wormall.
Heat 2: 1st Jason Kendrick, 2nd Chad Ely, 3rd Daniel Keen, 4th Liam Dowling, 5th Adrian Haywood, 6th Ryan Lancaster, 7th Brodie Minchin, 8th AJ Nash, 9th Paul Peet, 10th Murray Iwanow, 11th Darren Mewett, 12th Todd Davis, DNF: Jamie Oldfield.
Heat 3: 1st Shaun Bradford, 2nd Tom Hooper, 3rd David Murcott, 4th James Inglis, 5th Michael Keen, 6th Greg Hall, 7th Kent Roberts, 8th Corey Gilpin, 9th Jed Bell, 10th Stephen Adley, 11th Luke Hughes. DNF: Jason Pryde.
Heat 4: 1st Mitchell Wormall, 2nd Daniel Evans, 3rd Kaiden Manders, 4th Ben Butcher, 5th Luke Dillon, 6th Jamie Landrigan, 7th Trigga Gates, 8th Steven Ford, 9th Ray Leonard, 10th Ed Trutwin, 11th Vince Rosenthal.
DNF: Casey Johansen. DNS: Troy Lawson.
Heat 5: 1st Jason Kendrick, 2nd Adrian Haywood, 3rd Ryan Lancaster, 4th Paul Peet, 5th Daniel Keen, 6th Brodie Minchin, 7th Darren Mewett, 8th Chad Ely, 9th AJ Nash, 10th Liam Dowling. DNF: Murray Iwanow. DNS: Todd Davis and Jamie Oldfield.
Heat 6: 1st David Murcott, 2nd James Inglis, 3rd Michael Keen, 4th Jason Pryde, 5th Greg Hall, 6th Jed Bell, 7th Luke Hughes, 8th Corey Gilpin, 9th Kent Roberts, 10th Stephen Adley. DNF: Shaun Bradford, Tom Hooper.
Feature: 1st Jason Kendrick, 2nd Kaiden Manders, 3rd David Murcott, 4th Adrian Haywood, 5th Ryan Lancaster, 6th James Inglis, 7th Shaun Bradford, 8th Daniel Keen, 9th Ben Butcher, 10th Mitchell Wormall, 11th Luke Dillion, 12th Michael Keen, 13th Daniel Evans, 14th Brodie Minchin, 15th Chad Ely, 16th Steven Ford, 17th Paul Peet, 18th Greg Hall.