• Valvoline Raceway


They'll talk about it for years. The night Michael Pickens won one of the greatest Australian Speedcar Championship feature races ever held.

Driving the United Truck Parts #38 King chassis the brilliant Kiwi fought back to score the win in the 40-lap main event to narrowly defeat American pair Andrew Felker in second and Alex Bright third.

At the end of two gruelling nights Pickens had bested the 53 car field to claim the Rod Bowen Prestige Smash Repairs Australian Title and become the first Kiwi ever to do so.

The race will go down in the annals as one of the fiercest ever contested with lead and positional swaps going on in a swarm over the 40 laps and that intensified dramatically with 9 laps remaining.

Defending champion Adam Clarke looked like he might pull off a miracle and win his 5th title after starting from the fifth row of the grid and led for several laps before before a determined run from Felker on the cushion saw Clarke's lead began to evaporate.

With desperate moves on the cushion between Pickens and Felker Clarke was on the bottom but quickly shuffled back to survival mode as the laps ticked by.

Alex Bright seemingly came from nowhere to finish third, edging Clarke back to fourth at the chequers whilst Pickens snuck home ahead of Felker by the barest of margins.

"This is unbelievable," grinned the new Australian champ, "I could;t have done this without Brett Morris for giving me this incredible car to race, and for Shaun Insley for crew chief duties, and to Kaidon Brown for helping out. It's an honour to become the first Kiwi to win an Australian title."

Nathan Smee and Michael Stewart both ran "the alphabet race" having to come from the C-Main, then the B-Main into the A.

A-Main results:

1. Michael Pickens 2. Andrew Felker 3. Alex Bright 4. Adam Clarke 5. Zach Daum 6. Matt Jackson 7. Troy Ware 8. Brendan Palmer 9. Nathan Smee 10. Reid Mackay 11. Brad Mosen 12. Kaiden Manders 13. Troy Jenkins 14. Braydan Willmington 15. Leon Burgess 16. Lee Redmond 17. Tyler Thomas (DNF) 18. Todd Waddell (DNF) 19. Dayne Kingshott (DNF) 20. Hayden Williams (DNF) 21. Michael Stewart (DNF) 22. Michael Kendall (DNF) 23. Darren Jenkins (DNF) 24. Brady Bacon (DNF)

The race featured some brilliant personal best performances in particular from Matt Jackson, Reid Mackay and Troy Ware to name a few.

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