We’ve made it to the season finale, COVID did not get to torpedo the Australian Stock Car Championship for a third year in a row.
After a hot start, Stephen Chilby’s lead was reeled in by Brett Mitchell and now the #8 OzTruck leads the championship by five points and with Stephen not racing this weekend, Brett has the chance to wrap up the championship if the #16 of Scott Nind doesn’t gain 40 points on him.
Let’s take a look at the Stock Cars standings leading up to this final round of action.
Season Standings (Stock Cars)
1st Brett Mitchell 392pts
2nd Stephen Chilby 387 pts
3rd Scott Nind 353 pts
4th Robert Marchese 346 pts
5th Danny Burgess 339 pts
6th. Corey Gurney 278 pts
7th. Aaron Hills 250 pts
8th. Zac O’Hara 177 pts
9th. Brendon Hourigan 149 pts
10th Michael Heppleston 115 pts
A couple of positions can still change hands before the round comes to a conclusion for example Scott Nind, Robert Marchese and Danny Burgess are separated by fourteen points though only the former two will be at Winton.
Now to look at Muscle Division points
Season Standings (Muscle Division)
1st Rod Gurney 370 pts
2nd Laurence Mckinnon 309 pts
3rd Greg Morris 248 pts
4th Andrew Grosse 102 pts
It appears that Rod Gurney is heavily favoured to be Muscle Division champion for 2022 despite missing Winton but anything can happen in the three days so don’t count out the Falcon of Laurence Mckinnon yet.
Let’s look at the entries for the final time this year, there are a couple of great competitors missing due to mechanical issues but we have some newcomers and a returning favourite of the sport coming in.
Scott Nind has rocketed up the leaderboard in the last two rounds and sits in third just 39 points behind Brett Mitchell and with anything being possible a championship win is still still on the cards.
Mick Heppleston has been unlucky this year but the #41 behaved last time out at SMP and hopefully it will be just as good at Winton as it ends its run as the sole Ford Thunderbird in the field.
Laurence Mckinnon will be in a Thunderbird in 2023 and Mick is a chance to jump to ninth in the championship should results go his way.
Richard White is making his debut this weekend and it is in the Chevrolet Lumina that is decked out in a tribute to Dale Earnhardt when he had raced a Lumina, this car is going to be an eye catcher at Winton.
Trevor Crisp returns to the championship in the #22 Dodge for the first time since 2019, it is good to see him back in action and fans will now see Ford, Dodge, Chevrolet and Holden in the ASCC field this weekend.
Gregory Morris and Morris Racing have had a tough year with their Stock Cars but the sharp looking #17 Chevrolet Monte Carlo is back for more racing action and we really hope that the #17 gets to enjoy every race of the round.
Brett Mitchell is in the box seat to be champion, Stephen Chilby is out of action and Scott Nind is 39 points behind Brett will have to have a miserable weekend to lose the championship.
Robert Marchese is safe in fourth position as Danny Burgess is not racing this weekend, Robert is in range of Scott Nind but Robert will need a fantastic run and Scott to have a bad one to change positions.
Laurence Mckinnon is second in Muscle Division points in the great looking XE Falcon and with Rod Gurney out of action the title could be stolen from Rod but things will have to go Laurence’s way for that to happen.
Lukas Gates will make his debut in the series and he will fly the Holden flag in the #22 VP Commodore, this car raced in AUSCAR and has been restored to AUSCAR road course condition, it’s a great sounding car and people will love it.
Troy Perichon is also making his debut in the series in the #6 Ford Falcon, this Falcon is AUSCAR famous for being Ford’s leading challenger in 1988 with Jim Richards falling just a few points short of beating Tony Kavich in the short AUSCAR season.
Races are scheduled be run at 1:40pm and 2:55pm on Saturday and 9:50am and 11:55am on Sunday.
The smaller field may disappoint some but this an opportunity for Richard White, Troy Perichon and Lukas Gates to experience Stock Cars Australia and hopefully want more in 2023 because things are going great and everybody will see that in 2023.
It’s been fun writing previews all season and soon we’ll have the round recap and in December the year recap which will be action packed as lots happened in 2022.