WORLD MIDGET 30 LAPPER
The second night of the International Midget Series saw the 45th running of the World Midget 30 Lap Derby. It was the
50th anniversary since Bob Tattersall took out the inaugural event. Bryan Clauson won this event the last two years straight.
The track would be much improved from Boxing Night. The track had a lot of racing width with the high line the place to be.
This new Springs track has proven to be abrasive on tyres and managing tyre wear was going to be a factor in this race.
97usa Spencer Bayston, who won both his heats was on pole with 7a Brad Mosen on the outside. 10usa Zach Daum and 3usa Alex
Bright occupied row 2. 1aus Michael Pickens and 17aus Troy Ware were the third row. Other notables included 11a Shane Alach
from grid 10 and 27a Hayden Williams from grid 17. Williams didn't start his opening heat due to a fuelling issue. Not making
the show was 91usa Tyler Thomas who DNF'd his opening heat and had to race the B-Main. In the B his car reportedly lost oil
pressure and Tyler would be watching the big race from the spectator area.
Mosen got the jump to take the early lead from Bayston, Daum, Bright and Pickens. Amazingly the race would run without
a caution for the entire 30 lap distance. Pickens was the first to make some advances, getting by Bright for the fourth
spot and quickly accounting for 10usa Zach Daum when he jumped the cushion in Town Bend. Behind the top five 25a Scott
Buckley was having his best race for a long time in sixth while 11a Shayne Alach ran seventh. Alach executed a slide job
on Buckley through Town Bend to take the sixth spot.
Back to the front and the top three were condensing. What was noticeable to me was how straight Pickens was through
the corners compared with Bayston and Mosen. Around the 12th lap the complexion of the race changed. The Bayston machine
was coming into it's own. Bayston got a run on Mosen but couldn't execute the race leading move. That served as an invitation
to Pickens who launched a big slide job into Pine Tree Bend. Bayston tried to drive around the 1au but to no avail, Pickens
had taken second. The slide job had allowed Mosen to establish a small gap but that would quickly be negated the next corner
as Mosen jumped the cushion, allowing Pickens through to take the lead.
A few laps later Mosen's right rear tyre let go. He managed to retire to the infield without collecting anyone. Pickens
established a lead as the race entered lapped traffic. Behind him it was all on. Daum got by Bayston for the second
spot only to see that move reversed a few laps later. Alach got by Bright for the fifth running spot. Behind them nobody
else was really making an impression. As the laps began to wind down Bayston seemed to pick up speed and closed the gap
to race leader Pickens. Though Pickens wasn't under threat of losing the lead a mistake would have put him right into a
battle with the American.
The best battle on the track was for third between Daum and Alach. On a couple of occasions Daum went a little high
exiting Town Bend and Alach thought he had a chance to make the podium. Alas he couldn't quite make a move stick
down the front straight. With just two laps to go we had late drama. The Bayston machine inexplicably shut down
in Pine Tree Bend. Bayston was out. Then on the very final corner Alach threw the kitchen sink at Daum and somehow made the
move stick. Pickens taking a great win from Alach, Daum, Bright, 9a Michael Brunt, 5a Brock Maskovich, 27a Hayden Williams,
4a Taylor Clarke and 25a Scott Buckley. It was Pickens 4th victory in the history of the event, tied for second all-time
with Dave Darland and one behind the great Sleepy Tripp.