Opening Night Wins to Hallett, Ryan and Watkins on Night One of 2014 Clay Cup
Night one of the 2014 Clay Cup Nationals is in the books and at the end of a fantastic night of racing, Adelaide, South Australia’s Brock Hallett stood in victory lane after winning the opening night feature at Deming Speedway. Joining Hallett in victory lane were Liam Ryan and Riley Watkins.
The 2014 Australian National Champion Brock Hallett, who has been on a tour of the US since early July, grabbed his first Deming Speedway win on Thursday night. Hallett led the first lap before losing the lead to Kyle Mitchell, who built up a half straightaway advantage quickly. “I was figuring out how far I could drive the car into the corner, and once I found the limit, we were really fast”, said Brock, who used the high side around the track to close back in on Mitchell. With the youngster in sight, Hallett made a bold move to out brake Mitchell entering turn three on lap 13. The move worked, handing Hallett the point. Brock had a comfortable lead for a short time till lapped cars became a problem, and at that point, Liam Ryan had moved into second and was closing quickly. With 8 laps left, a caution reset the field and gave Ryan a shot at Hallett in clean air. Fans expected to see Ryan make a move on the restart, but Hallett reasserted his strength with open track in front of him, rebuilding a nice lead as he crossed the line for the victory, his first at Deming, second of his USA trip and seventh of the calendar year. Ryan would settle for second with Robbie Price coming from the B Main to finish third. Shaun Holtorf set quick time, won his heat race and was the top point earner for the night. Other heat winners were Kevin Wilkinson, Cory Eliason and Ryan.
Liam Ryan raced his way to another Clay Cup preliminary night win in the Shots 2 Go Espresso 1200 division. Eric Turner held point for most of the 25 lap main event with little trouble until heavy traffic slowed the race leader just beyond the half way point. Steven Hendrickson and Ryan took advantage by closing on Turner while duking it out side by side for second, with Hendrickson on the cushion and Liam down low. The pair had shrunk the lead to less than a car length when Turner collided with a slower car and spun out. Ryan had crossed before Hendrickson on the previous lap, and inherited the lead with a green white checkered looming. Knowing Hendrickson’s tendency to run high, Ryan went high on the restart to block and by doing so, secured the victory. Jared Gundersen overtook Hendrickson on the restart to pick up second. Jared Peterson set quick time. Heat winners were Eric Drake, Gundersen and Zach Keefe. Jared Peterson was the top point earner.
In the Mytrafficman.NET 600 Restricted division, Riley Watkins survived and thrived through the chaos to win his first main event at Deming Speedway. Watkins took over the lead on lap three when race leader Carson Trigueiro spun out in turn two. Watkins then survived multiple cautions and red flags, which caused officials to call for a green white checkered finish after a lap 17 caution. Watkins would drive away from Dylan Resch and Galen Turner on the restart to claim the win. Kaitlyn Hammer was the fast qualifier. Heat winners were Isaac Abenroth, Ashley Thompson and Ian Humphries. Hammer was the top point scorer on night one.