American driver Zach Daum won one of Western Australia’s most prestigious speedway races on Saturday night, taking victory at the Magic Man 34.
Daum, from Illinois, was tailed closely by WA favourite Neville Lance but was able to hold on through the 34-lap epic.
Things did not start too smoothly for the 25 year old in the feature race, when a clash with fellow American Justin Grant brought our the yellow flags. Grant emerged from the wreck unscathed, but was none too happy with Daum and remonstrated outside his roll cage. Race officials ruled that Daum was not at fault however and when the race resumed he shot out to the lead.
“It looked like he came back down across the race track, the only thing damaged on our car is the rear bumper so I think I was ahead of him,” Daum said. “It’s a racing deal, I hate for anybody’s equipment to get torn up, especially somebody who is a friend, I don’t feel good about that.”
Daum was brought to Australia by the Graham Racing Development outfit and was thankful that he was finally able to produce results.
“They’ve brought me over a couple of times and I hadn’t won a race yet, so I think I was gonna get fired if I didn’t win something soon,” he laughed. “I’m honoured to win it and I can’t say enough about these guys and to be the last Magic Man.”
The Magic Man 34 race pays tribute to the late Speedcar legend Michael Figliomeni, who passed away in the pits of Perth Motorplex after a heart attack during a race event. This year’s Tenth Anniversary will be the final running of the memorial.
While the AHG Sprintcar Series played a rare second fiddle to the Speedcars, Jason Kendrick was overjoyed to take the win in their own 34-lap ordeal.
David Priolo led the race early but blew a tyre late in the race, allowing Kendrick to take over the lead and run through to the chequered flag.
“This is an awesome race and it’s a race we always wanted to win,” he said. “Being the last time the Magic Man 34 is being run, it is awesome to win this for the Figliomeni family who have put so much into the sport and for Michael Figliomeni who was a fantastic racer.”
The Late Models were drawn to an earlier conclusion that other divisions after multiple delays in the feature race, with Jamie Oldfield crowned the victor.
“I came into tonight with every intention of winning. I was lucky enough to race against Michael many times and it was just awesome to win this tonight,” he said.
The Perth Motorplex Speedway season returns in just three weeks for the Scardifield Smash Repairs King of Wings.