Round 3 got underway on Friday and it would be an understatement if it was said that nobody was worried about the weather but we were as rain was predicted for the three days.
Thankfully the weather largely moved around SMP allowing the Stock Cars and Thunder Sports who combined to race together to do what they do best and the cars got plenty of attention in Practice.
Stephen Chilby got the first lap recorded before Brendon Hourigan shot up to the top with Scott Nind third and Danny Burgess fourth followed by Corey Gurney and Aaron Hills.
Stephen Chilby retaken top spot with a 1:40.5661 and Brett Mitchell jumped up to third while Aaron Hills moved up to fifth before Danny Burgess who slipped down the order climbed back into the Top 5.
Brett Mitchell jumped up to second to join Stephen Chilby in the one minute forty second range before the field went into the pits with around six minutes to go in qualifying and proceedings came to a close.
Stephen Chilby won pole with a time of 1:40.5661 with Brett Mitchell, Brendon Hourigan, Scott Nind, Danny Burgess and Aaron Hills making .up the rest of the first six positions out of the sixteen who logged a time
Disaster struck the #17 at the start with the impressive looking Monte Carlo out for the weekend but it wasn’t the end for Morris Racing as the #17 Ute was pressed into service from Race 2.
Stephen Chilby led the field to the green flag before Brett Mitchell taken the lead and Chilby was down deep in the field.
Brendon Hourigan moved up to second with Aaron Hills in third with Stephen Chilby back in the Top 10.
Brendon Hourigan rapidly gained on Brett Mitchell and Danny Burgess moved up to third.
Attrition struck the field as Mick Heppleston, Laurence Mckinnon and Corey Gurney were all out of the race after two laps.
Brendon Hourigan taken the lead eight minutes in and the pace was quickening as Scott Nind moved up to fourth.
Brett Mitchell stayed close to Brendon Hourigan but then there was drama as the #51 struck trouble and pitted on lap 7 and was retired from the race and the weekend with a head gasket issue.
Brett Mitchell won the race ahead of Scott Nind, Danny Burgess, Stephen Chilby and Aaron Hills.
Brett Mitchell led the field to the green flag in the second and final race for Saturday.
Scott Nind jumped into the lead in the #16 and Stephen Chilby moved up to third in the #226.
Andrew Grosse was out by Lap 2 and Corey Gurney had a trip to the pits but was soon back in the fight.
Scott Nind put some distance between himself and Brett Mitchell who in turn had a good gap on Stephen Chilby.
Danny Burgess was steady in fourth and had similar lap times to the two OzTrucks in front of him.
Robert Marchese found himself among the Thunder Sports contingent and finished in sixth position.
Corey Gurney got back into the Top 10 late in the going and finished ninth while Rod Gurney finished in tenth position.
Mick Heppleston got through the race in the #41 Ford Thunderbird with a finish of twelfth.
Aaron Hills and Zac O’Hara were late retirements, Aaron spent most of the race in the Top 5 and Zac spent time in the Top 10.
Scott Nind won the race with Brett Mitchell second, Stephen Chilby third, Danny Burgess in fourth and Gary Stevens in the RX7 in fifth.
Scott Nind led the field to the green but it was Brett Mitchell who was the leader at the end of the lap.
Gary Stevens in the RX7 moved up to second in the RX7 and was rapidly reeling in the #8 OzTruck and not long after got the lead.
Danny Burgess moved up to fourth and then drama struck as Stevens hit pit road from the lead giving Brett Mitchell the lead once again.
Scott Nind reeled in the #8 OzTruck and had retaken the lead from Brett Mitchell while Danny Burgess was slowly making inroads on the lead two before falling back.
Zac O’Hara had his weekend come to an end as the #27 had a broken universal joint and bellhousing after five laps of action.
Brett Mitchell got the lead back from Scott Nind as the clock was ticking down to race conclusion and he held on to win by 0.0317 seconds with Danny Burgess in third, Stephen Chilby in fourth and Aaron Hills in fifth.
The win may be the closest finish in Stock Cars Australia history and certainly closer than last years .1 second finish at the same track.
Brett Mitchell led the field to the green but Scott Nind quickly taken over the lead.
Gary Stevens rocketed up the field in the RX7 but he was given a five second time penalty for an infringement at the start.
Brett Mitchell and Danny Burgess had some close racing for a couple of laps before the #8 OzTruck got some space.
Stephen Chilby occupied fifth place and had nobody around the #226 for the majority of the race.
Aaron Hills, Robert Marchese and Corey Gurney spent a portion of the race in a battle for sixth position before Robert Marchese got ahead of other two to claim the spot with Aaron Hills finishing seventh and Corey Gurney in eighth.
Meanwhile as the above battle went on, Brett Mitchell in third closed the gap on Gary Stevens in second and it was enough for Brett to take over the position once the Gary’s time penalty was applied.
Gary Stevens day could have been worse had a full course yellow came out after Peter Ryder’s Nissan came to a halt on the side of the track late in the race, a bunched up field would have put him way down the order.
Rod Gurney in his Falcon held off Andrew Grosse in the BMW in the battle for the eleventh position.
Scott Nind won comfortably over Brett Mitchell with Gary Stevens in third, Danny Burgess in fourth and Stephen Chilby in fifth to finish the weekend.
The Thunder Sports contingent raced with the Stock Cars well all weekend and did their category proud, it is not uncommon to see Stock Cars in Thunder Sports and Thunder Sports pairing up with Stock Cars as they make a good team and race cleanly.
So that was Round 3 action and now there’s only one stop left for 2022 and that is Winton, it is going to be a good end to a great season.