Queenslander takes NSW title
by BEN GRAHAM GOLD COAST driver Luke Oldfield took out the NSW V8 Dirt Modified Championship with a commanding victory on Saturday night at the Lismore Speedway.
Victorian Lloyd Hobson ran second, with Newcastle's Scott Cannon third.
Kevin Hopwood came fourth and Matt Pascoe fifth.
It was a tough night for the local hopes, with visiting drivers snaring the first five positions, leaving Stuart Herne as the first Lismore driver home in sixth.
Oldfield made his intentions clear from the outset. He topped qualifying after the heats and earned a front-row start for the main event alongside defending champion Mark Robinson.
Oldfield got the jump on Robinson at the drop of the green flag only for a multi-car collision on the opening lap, resulting in the first of six cautions through the race.
The field was forced to line up again for a complete restart. Missing was Rian Collier and Steve Wright, both victims of the first-lap skirmish.
It was more of the same from Oldfield at the restart, immediately pulling away from the field.
Hobson was the big mover in the early going, disposing of Robinson before setting about chasing down Oldfield.
Back in the pack, Cannon had moved from his starting position of 13th to fifth, passing Herne just five laps in.
With Oldfield and Hobson well clear of the field, attention turned to other battles.
Third-placed Robinson was soon joined by Darren Lattimer, Hopwood, Herne, Cannon and Pascoe, making it a six-way duel for third.
A blown radiator hose and ensuing contact from a flying Lattimer removed Robinson from the equation, then Lattimer's top-three run came to an end with just four laps left, bringing out the final caution of the night and setting up a thrilling run to the line.
Oldfield could not be denied, adding the NSW title to the Queensland championship he had won in March.
Steve Downs took out the production feature from Greg Worling and Jason Jolly.
Stuart Hall won the AMCAs from David Robinson and Geoff Hayes, with Lucas Jackson, Darren Dillon and Paul Raynes the top three finishers in the compacts.
Trent Dhu won the four-cylinders from Thomas Duncan and Lewis Gamble, while Scott Sword was the streeters winner.
The junior feature went to Kurt Wilson, Aaron Ackerly and Brandon Haynes, while the speedcar feature was declared several laps early due to time constraints.