JUST .299 of a second.
Jamie Maiolo claimed the Maddington Toyota Sprintcar Series victory at the Scardifields Smash Repairs King of Wings on Saturday night in one of the wildest finishes seen at Perth Motorplex.
After duking it out with Jason Kendrick for much of the race, Maiolo looked to be home and hosed, until he spun in the final corner of the race as he overtook traffic – crossing the finish line backwards just three tenths of a second ahead of Kendrick.
A grateful Maiolo said he was glad the spin came on the last lap.
“I was pretty thankful because I thought I might have thrown it all away,” he said. “Jason was throwing everything at us.”
The win made it two event wins from three starts for Maiolo in the Maddington Toyota Sprintcar Series this season. The veteran driver said he had the right car to take the win and made no major adjustments in the compulsory pit stop that took place mid-race.
“It was a great car that was good from the get go. We didn’t hardly touch it on the pit stop. The car was pretty nice. We’ve got a good base point that we found at the end of last year and we are working with that.”
Kendrick would normally be disappointed to finish second, but said the close racing between he and Maiolo in the late stages of the race provided him with much to be happy about.
“To be here and race like that, as drivers that is what we have come here to do,” he said. “It’s about the most fun thing you can do in these race cars. And when you re racing with guys like Jamie you can do that.
“Every time I threw a (slide pass) he managed to get back through; maybe I needed to drive differently to block a line.
“We have been trying some things to get a different balance through traffic. I think it has helped us slightly. We just have to keep going, next week we will have another crack.”
They kept the crowd on the edge of their seats and they traded blows and the lead and duked it out until the end where Maiolo won the race in spectacular fashion after he spun around.
It was his second feature win from three rounds (he was fourth in the other event) and is looking like the driver to beat in WA this summer.
For Kendrick it was his first feature race finish after two previous DNFs.
Priolo is hunting for his maiden sprintcar feature race win and in his first meeting of the season, he showed it will probably be that far away.
Mitch Wormall, who started from P7, finished fourth, while Brad Maiolo came home in fifth.
Karpenko was sixth from last-round winner James Inglis (who started P5), Bradford (from P11), Manders (from P13), Scroop (from P12) and Oldfield (from P10).
Bradford started the night in the best possible fashion, stopping the clocks in 13.849 seconds to be the Victory 1 Performance Quick Time winner for this round.
He bettered times from Karpenko (13.935) and Daniel Harding (13.988), who were the only other drivers to enter the 13-second zone.
Harding then took the first heat race from Jamie Maiolo and Bradford with Rob Mould, in his first race for the season, finishing with flames from the engine as he crossed the line.
The second heat went to Karpenko from Brad Maiolo and Kendrick.
Bradford was out of the third heat on lap four in spectacular fashion after a slide job didn’t quite go to plan, belting the wall quite hard and going over.
At the completion it was Kendrick who crossed the line first ahead of Brad Maiolo and Tom Payet.
The final heat will be remembered by a few for all the wrong reasons.
Wormall and Scroop were racing hard and touched and Scroop spun around on the main straight and was then collected by Harding who was unable to avoid contact and flipped violently towards the infield.
Harding’s car was junk while Scroop, along with Bradford from the previous heat, was able to rebuild in time for the feature race.
The fourth round of the Maddington Toyota Sprintcar Series will be held at the Perth Motorplex next Saturday, November 24.
1st Daniel Harding, 2nd Jamie Maiolo, 3rd Shaun Bradford, 4th James Inglis, 5th James Inglis, 6th Tom Payet, 7th Rob Mould. DNF: Kaiden Manders.
1st Chace Karpenko, 2nd Bradley Maiolo, 3rd Jason Kendrick, 4th Kye Scroop, 5th Mitchell Wormall, 6th Jason Pryde, 7th Jamie Oldfield.
1st Jason Kendrick, 2nd Brad Maiolo, 3rd Tom Payet, 4th James Inglis, 5th Jason Pryde. DNF: Shaun Bradford. DNS: Kaiden Manders.
1st Andrew Priolo, 2nd Jamie Maiolo, 3rd Mitchell Wormall, 4th Jamie Oldfield, 5th Chase Karpenko. DNF: Daniel Harding and Kye Scroop (lap 6).
1st Jamie Maiolo, 2nd Jason Kendrick, 3rd Andrew Priolo, 4th Mitchell Wormall, 5th Brad Maiolo, 6th Chace Karpenko, 7th James Inglis, 8th Shaun Bradford, 9th Kaiden Manders, 10th Kye Scroop, 11th Darren Mewett, 12th Jamie Oldfield, DNF: Tom Payet, Ray Leonard, Jason Pryde. DNS: Taylor Milling, Rob Mould and Daniel Harding.