***Words from Archerfield ***
A strong 22-car field fronted for round five of the TFH Midget Series and it was Kendall who cut the quickest lap in time trial qualifying, stopping the clock at 13.430 to outpace Dean (13.494), Chris Singleton (13.636), Rusty Whittaker (13.708) and Darren Vine (13.742).
Next quickest were Scott Doyle, Mitchell Rooke, Bodie Smith and Cody O’Connell, with 14 cars clocking in under 14 seconds.
A pole position start in the opening heat proved an opportunity wasted for Matt O’Neill when he spun in turn two on lap two and was collected by Palmer in his first Midget outing for the season, Dean was sensational in his charge from the fourth row that culminated with a last-lap pass on Cal Whatmore to grab the win Whatmore could only lament a lost opportunity in finishing second, while Queensland champ Reid Mackay would grab third.
Kendall took just two laps to advance from eighth into second spot in heat two before encountering some stern resistance from Lachlan Paulger, whose dalliance with the highline would result in him tipping over in turn four soon after surrendering the lead. Nathan Mathers assumed second spot, only to head infield soon after and elevate Vine into the runner-up position, with Rooke claiming third.
Heat three saw Whatmore pay heed to the lessons learned in his opening heat, this time making the most of another front row start to keep Dean at bay, with Palmer home third.
Kendall cruised home in the final heat, again surging from the fourth row and finishing more than three seconds ahead of O’Neill and third-placed Paulger.
After some superb racing in the heats, the feature race proved a race of attrition in what was really just a fight for the final podium position as Kendall and Dean had the top two spots safely in their keeping from the outset a pile-up in turn two on lap two eliminated Whatmore, O’Neill, Scott Doyle and Barry Gibbs, with only one more lap completed before another restart ensued following a spin from Nick McDowall in the same spot two laps later and the race was halted again when Cody O’Connell found himself upside down in turn three, with just two more circulations completed before yet another interruption when Smith found himself sitting atop Mackay in turn four, eliminating both drivers the final restart came on lap eight when third-placed Singleton got out of shape through turn one and was tapped into a spin by Vine as has been his burden all season, Rusty Whittaker was hampered by mechanical issues in the heats but was making forward progress from the back of the pack and had climbed into the top five despite the incessant interruptions, only for his equipment to let him down again and render him a spectator once more with McDowall, Darren Dillon, Tony Stephen and rookie Jesse Harris also opting to watch from the infield, just seven cars would make it to the finish untroubled in maintaining possession of the lead through the myriad restarts, Kendall wasted no time in extending his advantage to finish more than six seconds ahead of Dean to clean sweep the program.
The fight for third heated up as the laps wound down and would ultimately be decided in the final corner having slipped ahead of Vine on a couple occasions without being able to hold the position, Palmer pounced in the final turn to snatch third in only his second meeting since returning to competition although aided by the demise of others, a fifth-place result was a worthy result for Paulger given his heat race heroics, while Brad Dawson and Brodie Tulloch were the only others to go the distance.
The next midget show will be in Lismore NSW for the Speedcar Association of NSW AGP towards the end of March standby for all nomination details as they all need to be submitted via the NSW club.
Our next QSRA show will be back on the highbanks of the Toowoomba Speedway easter Friday then back up night two in Brisbane at Archerfield for the next instalment of the TFH Archerfield Midget Series on Easter Saturday