By Scott Kernahan
Backing up from the previous weekend’s Double Header saw a mammoth effort put in by all involved at Northline Speedway from the Committee to the army of Volunteers and Teams, Drivers, Riders and Crews. Solos were to commence competition for the Darwin Solo Titles over two nights along with Junior Sedans, fresh from their NexTgen Nationals.
Dirt Karts – Could Tony Brown continue his dominance in the Dirt Kart section for another meeting was the question on the lips of other contestants. It certainly looked that way in the first two heats when Brown added two more victories to his growing tally for season 2023. Isaiah Strong was looking to challenge Brown early with a third place followed by a second place in the first two heats. Yazmin Brown started strongly with a second place in the first heat whilst Ruel Mitchell scored a 3rd place finish in Heat 3 as well. Heat 3 was where a gigantic shock erupted with Brown pulling out with a front sprocket issue which was to sideline him for the rest of the night. Bradley Fichtner picked up the heat win from Strong and Mitchell. The Feature race was to see a new face in Victory Lane when Strong took the win ahead of Fichtner and Yazmin Brown.
Street Stocks – The Star Wars was to continue in the Street Stock section with the young Jedi (Jake Koivumaki) taking on the Empire (Justin Brumfield) for bragging rights. Koivumaki took away honours in Heat 1 from Brumfield and Kane Lloyd and the result was the same in Heat 2. Heat 3 saw Brumfield return to the top step by winning the heat ahead of Koivumaki and Jayke Budd chipping in for a 3rd place finish. The Feature race saw Koivumaki reassert his dominance for the night by recording the win ahead of Brumfield and Lloyd.
AMCA Nationals – The challenge in the AMCA Nationals section was to see who if anyone could break the dominance of NSW flying pair Shane Newstead and Spano Gutierrez. The NT’s Mark Allcorn fired the first shot by taking out Heat 1 ahead of Gutierrez and Jeffery Tiedeman. From there on it was the Newstead Show with Shane taking out Heats 2 and 3, with Gutierrez recording a 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Allcorn stayed with the pair for a 3rd and 2nd place results. The Feature race was another enthralling battle between Newstead and Gutierrez before Newstead prevailed to take another Feature race win whilst Allcorn got past Gutierrez to come home 2nd place behind Newstead.
Wingless Sprintcars – A healthy field of 16 cars arrived again to continue hostilities in the Wingless Sprintcar section, which has been providing some excellent racing this season so far (which is exciting leading up to their support role for Chariots of Thunder Sprintcar series later in the year). Nathan Dicker set the quick time in Hot Laps with a lap of 16.538 with a best speed of 87.725km/h. Unfortunately for team Goldoni, the dreaded gremlins were to strike again with Daniel experiencing his 2nd engine failure in two weeks. Jarrod struggled with no car speed with electrics suspected to be the issue. Heat 1A was taken out by Angus Campbell ahead of Keelan Edwards and Matt Sealy. Dicker was to greet the chequered flag first in Heat 1B from Zack Grimshaw and Josh Norman. Heat 2A belonged to Campbell again from Grimshaw and Josh Norman. Heat 2B was won by Dicker ahead of Jamie McInnes and Matt Sealy. The Mid Pack Dash was a win for McInnes ahead of Matthew McLennan and Sharney Pitcher from SA. McInnes was to reign supreme in the Feature Race ahead of Grimshaw and Dicker to complete night 1 of the Double Header for the weekend.
Junior Sedans – On the back of the success of the NeXtGen Nationals, Junior Sedans returned to contest 3 x Heats and a Feature Race. The Rivers run deep as they say in the Classics…..and River Spitzbarth’s juggernaut continues to grow momentum with yet another show of dominance through the Heats by taking out all 3 Heat races. Hannah Tomkins from WA secured the runner up spot in Heat 1 from Harrison Turnbull in 3rd. Zackery Czoloszynski scored 2nd place in Heat 2 from Kallen Hall in 3rd place and it was again Czoloszynski home for 2nd in Heat 3. Turnbull returned to 3rd place. The Feature race was again a River Spitzbarth benefit with Hall in for 2nd place and Czoloszynski completing a very good night to come home in 3rd place.
Solos – Five Solo riders were to combat for the Darwin Solo Titles over two nights, with a legend of the past donning the leathers again for long awaited comeback. Wayne Baxter wore the 600 number for the nights racing whilst hot favourite Connar Bridgeford looked to be the one to beat given his dominance so far this season. Bridgeford scored the first win for the night in Heat 1A ahead of Kurt Baxter and Steven Hutchinson. Bradley Niven took out Heat 1B from the ageless Wayne Baxter whilst Heat 2A also belonged to Connar Bridgeford from Kurt Baxter and Niven. Heat 3A was won by again Connar Bridgeford and Kurt Baxter and Niven.
Saturday 3rd June – Night 2 of the Double Header
AMCA Nationals – The tables were to turn on Night 2 of the Double Header with Shane Newstead’s dominance being seriously challenged. He did however take out Heat 1 ahead of Spano Gutierrez and first year AMCA National racer Deegan Sherwood. Mark Allcorn returned to winning form in scoring the win in Heat 2 ahead of Gutierrez and Newstead in 3rd place. Heat 3 was owned by Spano Gutierrez with Newstead home in 2nd place and Sherwood having another good result inn 3rd place. The Feature Race however was a Spano fest, with Gutierrez showing a clean set of heels to Allcorn and the veteran Peter Harding coming home for a well deserved 3rd placing.
Street Stocks – The Empire was set to strike back ! Justin Brumfield regrouped after Friday nights runner up status to Jake Koivumaki. However in Heat 1 the shockwaves were to continue after Brumfield made contact with the wall mid turns 3-4 causing sufficient damage to end his night early. In Brumfield’s own words he was caught out by the “tricky Northline track”. Koivumaki was to win Heat 1 ahead of Kane Lloyd and Megan Henderson. Heat 2 again saw Koivumaki reign supreme this time ahead of Megan Henderson and Lloyd. Heat 3 was a Koivumaki tri-fecta with James Ballantyne home in 2rd place and Lloyd in 3rd. The Feature Race saw a clean sweep from the #11 VE Commodore of Koivumaki with Lloyd home in 2nd and Megan Henderson finishing in 3rd for a very good strong night for her.
Sprintcars – Sprintcars arrived for Saturday night racing following their last outing the week previously. Matt Dumesny was keen to avenge his race crash which tore up some equipment on the Ekins owned #11 machine. WA’s Mitch Wormall topped the timesheets in Hot Laps with a flyer of 13.003 with a best speed of 111.574km/h for the lap. Dumesny started proceedings with a fine win in Heat 1 ahead of Wormall and Victorian Jordyn Charge. Dumesny was again to lead the field home in Heat 2 this time ahead of Charge and Wormall. The rapidly improving Hayden Brown finally achieve a worthy result after enduring some horrid luck of recent times to win Heat 3 in the #77 machine ahead of Dumesny and Charge. However in the Feature it was Dumesny that took off from the green flag to go all the way with Jordyn Charge storming home in 2nd place ahead of Brown who completed a very impressive performance for the night.
Wingless Sprintcars – A very busy schedule was to greet the Wingless Sprintcar division with a round of Heats, a Dash and the 20 lap Feature race. Daniel Goldoni was missing from action due to the previous night’s engine woes whilst Jarrod was still chasing electrical issues. Zack Grimshaw began the night with a win in Heat 1A ahead of Jack Barlee and Nathan Dicker. Heat 1B belonged to Jamie McInnes in 1st place whilst Josh Norman filed home in 2nd and Jarrod Goldoni in 3rd place. Heat 2A saw victory to Keelan Edwards ahead of Zack Grimshaw and SA’s Sharni Pitcher. Heat 2B saw Angus Campbell home 1st with Bailey Jones in 2nd place and Nathan Dicker 3rd. Heat 3A went to Zack Grimshaw ahead of Campbell and Barlee. The last Heat race 3B was won by Keelan Edwards from Jamie McInnes and Dicker. The stars lined up for the 6 lap Dash and it was Grimshaw to lead the dance home from McInnes and Campbell. The Feature race was simply something to behold. It was a cracker of a race as Jamie McInnes was on the prowl and slowly but surely reigned in Grimshaw who until 5 laps to go had led the race. McInnes inched his way past into the lead only for a yellow flag to halt proceeding. Upon resumption it was a 3 lap dash to the flag with barely a car’s length in it at the end. McInnes was to hold on for a very well deserved win. In McInnes’s words “that’s one of the best races I’ve ever been in”.
Junior Sedans – The only difference for the Junior Sedans on the second night of the Double Header was that River Spitzbarth did not win every race ! Harrison Turnbull spoiled the party by winning Heat 1 ahead of Zack Czoloszynski and Kallen Hall. Spitzbarth returned for the win in Heat 2 ahead of WA’s Hannah Tomkins and Czoloszynski in 3rd place. River ran riot in Heat 3 to win from Harrison Skerrett and Turnbull. However the balance of power was restored in the Feature Race with Spitzbarth taking out the win from Czoloszynski and Skerrett to end a fortnight of really entertaining racing from the Junior Sedan section.
Solos – Unfortunately there were no results posted for the second night of racing for the Solos, however the result was as predicted with Connar Bridgeford taking out his first Darwin Solo Title ahead of Kurt Baxter and Steven Hutchinson. The racing throughout the Heats was predictably close with at time a blanket being able to be thrown over the pack into turn 1. It was so good to see the bikes in action and even former star Jamie Fagg was in attendance for the night. The names out there including Bridgeford, Baxter, Lorymer, Fagg and Hutchinson was a trip down memory lane for so may bike fans at Northline Speedway.
Next meeting for Northline Speedway is 24th June which is the Presidents Cup for the following sections: Sprintcars, Wingless Sprints, Street Stocks, Junior Sedans, Dirt Karts, Solo Bikes.