Jamie Maiolo showed plenty of emotion just moments after crossing the line first in the sprintcar feature race at Quit Bunbury Speedway on Saturday night.
Maiolo had just beaten off Americans Parker Price-Miller and Ryan Smith in the 30-lap feature race as part of the fourth and final night of the USA v WA Sprintcar Speedweek Series.
It was his first feature race win in some time and the relief showed when he jumped out of the car and emphatically banged the car’s top wing in celebration before saluting the crowd.
“Yeah it’s been a while,” Maiolo said after the presentations, reflecting on his latest win.
“I have had some pretty decent form lately just haven’t been able to get to the top steps (of the podium).
“We tweaked the car before the shootout and it felt nice and we didn’t need to make a lot of changes for the feature, just a couple of little things.”
The past four shows have seen the LJM Racing 99 car in good form – a major turnaround to the engine issues that plagued the team earlier in the season, forcing Maiolo to post a couple of DNFs.
Maiolo said it was finally good to get the technical stuff sorted.
“We had a few motor issues at the end of last year and after Boxing Day we switched that out and we seem to be back to where we need to be.”
Jason Kendrick was fourth in the feature race , followed by Jamie Oldfield, Jamie’s younger brother Brad, Stephen Adley, Andrew Priolo and Matthew Cross.
Jamie actually lapped his brother but said it wasn’t easy.
“I thought he was going to give me a bit of trouble there for a while and I thought I was going to have to show the nose so he would let me by.
“But we got around him, got up in the seat and got the job done.”
He then survived a last-lap challenge from Price-Miller with the pair going on either side of a lapped car in the race to the finish line.
Maiolo knew there was a car there, but had no idea who was challenging him or that it was the last lap.
He said it was good to be the joint winner in the Speedweek Series, splitting the points over the four nights with Price-Miller.
Maiolo said when he was first starting in sprintcars the Speedweek series was a big thing, then it stopped for a long time and “It’s pretty good to be on the board with those guys” – making reference to some of the previous series winners.
At the start of the night Smith broke the Victory 1 Performance Quick Time stranglehold that has seen Kendrick dominate for the previous four shows.
AJ Nash was out of the contest after qualifying with what was a suspected melted piston in the motor.
Daryl Clayden had a massive flip in pits bend that not only damaged the beautifully-prepared 45 but also the catch fence that required some work, cutting short the fourth and final heat.
Price-Miller required treatment for a sore right arm in his second heat race after debris flicked up onto the car and smashed the right hand panel of the USA2.
Heat wins went to Kendrick, Jamie Maiolo, Jamie Oldfield and Priolo.