Brad Maiolo wins Bunbury Grand Slam

Brad Maiolo claimed round four of the Maddington Toyota Sprintcar Series - the Auto 1 Sprintcar Grand Slam feature race at Make Smoking History Bunbury Speedway on Saturday night.

He won the 30-lap feature race from Mitchell Wormall and Jamie Maiolo in a drama-filled race that took a couple of attempts to get underway.

The first attempt saw the cautions come on when Jason Pryde spun in the first turn and restarted from the rear, albeit with a damaged front wing.

Moments later Andrew Priolo pulled off a massive wheelstand and had to resume his challenge from the rear of the field.

Once that was out of the way Kaiden Manders, who started from P1, had fresh air in front of him but Brad Maiolo, who started from P5, was the early bolter on the high line, rounding up a couple of cars in front of him.

Ben Butcher, who started from P11, looked very strong in the #42 and had pushed his way into fifth by lap six before Brad Maiolo hit the lead over Manders on lap nine.

Wormall was on the back of Jamie Maiolo on lap 14 which also saw Butcher into the mix for a while.

Jason Kendrick, who started from P7, moved into sixth on lap 18, and for a while little separated second to sixth, with Brad Maiolo holding down a six-second lap.

The buffer evaporated on lap 22 when the field bunched up after Tom Payet spun out.

On the restart Jamie Maiolo slipped by Manders for second and a lap later Kendrick slipped back a spot after losing momentum coming out of pits bend.

The caution lights came on again on lap 24 - after Ben Butcher, who was in fifth, shredded a right rear tyre, pulling up on pits bend.

Again the field came back to Brad Maiolo and on the next start Wormall decided it was game on, trading multiple blows with Jamie Maiolo before claiming second place, something he held onto until the checkers.

Kendrick put in a big move in the last few laps, slipping under Priolo and Manders to take fourth place.

After four rounds in the books, the LJM Racing team has won three rounds, with Jamie winning on two previous occasions.

Brad said the car felt food and was a pleasure to drive.

Being out in front, he admitted he didn’t know how far back his rivals were so he just pushed as hard as he could, saying he had given away races like that in the past.

“But we will take this one,” he said.

He went into the Bunbury round as the series points leader and said while it was still early days as far as the championship goes, it was still good to get a win.

Wormall came up one spot short in his expectations but he still put in one hell of a drive.

He said he gave it his all and admitted to the crowd that it was six years ago that a close family member had passed away - and he wanted the win badly.

It was the second time in seven days he has been runner-up - also second to AJ Nash the week prior in the WA 360 Sprintcar Championship - many believe now it is only a matter of time before he claims a big win.

He was also one of the drivers to play his Joker for the round, doubling his feature race points for the night.

As already mentioned, Jamie Maiolo has won two feature races already this season and apart from his third at Bunbury, his other finish was a fifth.

Along with Darren Mewett who finished eighth, Jamie Maiolo also played his Joker for the round.

At the start of the night Jason Kendrick stopped the clocks in 13.678 seconds to claim the Victory 1 Performance Quick Time award.

Heat race wins went to Kendrick, Brad Maiolo and Wormall, with Jamie Maiolo then winning the top four, four-lap dash.

The next round of the series will be held at the Perth Motorplex next Saturday night - where the WA Sprintcar Championship will be on the line.

Qualifying: Jason Kendrick 13.678, Brad Maiolo 13.870, Andrew Priolo 14.004, Mitchell Wormall 14.031, Jamie Maiolo 14.076, Tom Payet 14.117, Kaiden Manders 14.209, Jason Pryde 14.218, Ben Butcher 14.406, Darren Mewett 14.609, Chris Ackland 14.711.

Heat 1: 1st Jason Kendrick, 2nd Jamie Maiolo, 3rd Andrew Priolo, 4th Kaiden Manders, 5th Ben Butcher, 6th Jason Pryde, 7th Darren Mewett and 8th Chris Ackland.

Heat 2: 1st Brad Maiolo, 2nd Tom Payet, 3rd Mitchell Wormall, 4th Jamie Maiolo, 5th Kaiden Manders, 6th Jason Kendrick, 7th Andrew Priolo.

Heat 3: 1st Mitchell Wormall, 2nd Jason Pryde, 3rd Brad Maiolo, 4th Tom Payet, 5th Chris Ackland, 6th Ben Butcher, 7th Darren Mewett.

Feature: 1st Brad Maiolo, 2nd Mitchell Wormall, 3rd Jamie Maiolo, 4th Jason Kendrick, 5th Kaiden Manders, 6th Andrew Priolo, 7th Chris Ackland, 8th Darren Mewett, 9th Jason Pryde. DNF: Ben Butcher and Tom Payet.
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