SIMPSON Speedway will play host to the Australian 360ci Sprintcar Championship over two nights this Labour Day long weekend.
It will be the second national title decided at the venue this season following on from the success of December’s Formula 500 event.
In what appears to be a wide open field of 38 nominations, more than half of the field could form a reasonable case as to why they will drive away sporting the number one.
One thing that is certain, a new winner will be crowned in the absense of two-time defending champion Kaiden Manders.
The home state is set to lead the charge with 24 cars entered, while drivers will travel from as far as South Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Local hopes rest on the shoulders of John Vogels and Phil Lock, both of whom have tasted copious amounts of success at the venue throughout their storied speedway careers.
Warrnambool driver Tim Van Ginneken finished second in the corresponding event last year and will look to go one better a little closer to home than Kalgoorlie, while Tony Moule was the 2007 winner of this race also in the West Australian Goldfields.
Newly crowned Australian Sprintcar All Stars champion Michael Tancredi headlines the list of 360ci division customaries, while series placegetters Daniel Evans and Jarman Dalitz are too in the hunt
along with the Solomon brothers, Chris and Paul.
A host of 410ci Sprintcar regulars including Brayden Parr, Brett Milburn, Brenten Farrer, Charles Hunter, Domain Ramsay and Ryan Davis are also in the mix.
Jordyn Charge is another to feature regularly in both forms of winged Sprintcar competition and last November won the 360ci Gold Cup in Hamilton.
For David Murcott, the two-time Australian 410ci Sprintcar champion will look to become only the third driver behind Robbie Farr and Jamie Veal to win both the 410ci and 360ci national titles.
Jock Goodyer finds himself in somewhat of a unique position as he prepares to contest his third national title of the season.
Fresh off finishing fourth on debut in the gruelling World Series Sprintcars tour, Goodyer will swap his regular 410ci powerplant for a 360ci engine upon returning to a track which holds fond memories for the Tasmanian teenager.
Last December, Goodyer took out the Formula 500 national title at Simpson and will have a second attempt at being crowned number one in a class that he does not compete with on a regular basis.
Victorian Sprintcar stalwart Matthew Reed will return to competition having completed a limited schedule in recent years, but has twice previously finished on the podium in this race.
Other drivers with history in the event include South Australian Mark Caruso, who has placed third on two occasions, while Broken Hill’s Brendan Guerin also has a third place finish to his credit.
Supporting the action on both nights will be Speedcars, while Sunday’s bumper program will not only decide a new 360ci Sprintcar national champion, but also features the Victorian Title for Modlites and the return of Super Rods.