Lines shows superb form in Albany hat-trick
Steven Lines’ love affair with Albany’s Attwell Park Speedway has continued after he produced a superb drive to pinch victory from Kerry Madsen in the World Series Sprintcars final on Saturday night, in the process reclaiming the series lead.
Lines made it a hat-trick of wins at a venue that means plenty to the South Australian star, racing for the Albany-owned Halls Motorsport for several seasons.
After a strong top-eight shootout, Lines moved onto the third row for the 35-lap final, overcoming a driveline issue that forced his retirement from heat three.
At the halfway stage of the race, Lines made his move, going from fifth to third as he trailed his two main rivals in the WSS championship race — James McFadden and Kerry Madsen.
McFadden started brilliantly and was passing slower cars for fun as he sailed around in the lead, appearing destined to lead from start to finish in the Monte Motorsports entry.
However, with 12 laps to go, having lapped up to eighth place in the field, the night took a turn for the worse for the multiple WSS champ as he flipped after riding the savage mid-track ledge that had developed between turn one and two.
McFadden went upside down while leading the race, sustaining significant wing damage that brought a harsh end to his night.
Madsen inherited the race lead, with Lines now promoted to second spot, but Madsen began to clear away on the restart.
A mistake with seven laps to run gave Lines the one opportunity he needed and the 34-year-old, now behind the wheel for Horrell Motorsport, pounced at the end of the home straight to slip underneath Madsen.
Lines skipped clear in the closing stages and came onto the main straight to grab the chequered flag when more drama struck.
Rusty Hickman had rolled on the same ledge, crashing into the fence and leaving Lines with a green-white-chequer situation to manoeuvre in his pursuit of victory.
Lines got the perfect dispatch away at the restart and was not troubled in the last two laps, prevailing over Madsen in a dramatic feature race by 1.132sec.
Darren Mollenoyux charged from ninth spot to finish third, while Ben Ellement capped a strong showing in fourth and the top five was rounded out by Queenslander Lockie McHugh.
Lines showed plenty of emotion post-race, after his team made the decision to contest the remaining three rounds of WSS, despite not being contracted. “This one is pretty special,” Lines said.
“There is a lot of people up on the hill here that gave me a chance and helped me for a number of years.
“They know who they are, so to do it in front of them means a lot.
“We got lucky when Kerry made that mistake but that’s how it goes and we can chase the title next weekend now.”
WA’s Jason Kendrick was on fire, claiming the quick time in time trials and winning the top-eight shootout to start from pole position.
However, he slipped back through the field from lap 11 and was one of five drivers not to finish the feature race.
Thousands of spectators filled the banks of Attwell Park to again make the event a huge success, with Lines now successful in 2019, 2016 and 2015 after the 2018 round was washed out.
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