Payne's victory leads to title in Australia
Steve Francis and Jeremy Payne each scored victories over the weekend while competing in Australia’s UltraTune Morley USA Late Model Invasion Tour.
The two drivers were winners during a weekend doubleheader that opened the three-race miniseries last week at Manjimup Speedway in Manjimup, Western Australia, with Francis winning a preliminary feature and Payne capturing the finale. In the final two races of the three-race miniseries, Francis of Ashland, Ky., won at Collie Speedway in Collie, Western Australia, on Friday and Payne capture Saturday's tour finale at Bunbury Speedway in Bunbury, Western Australia. | Slideshow
Payne’s victory in his GRT Race Car was enough to earn him the tour championship. Payne finished with 365 points to top Francis and home-continent driver Jamie Oldfield, who tied for second with 323 points in the miniseries that drew 28 drivers. Other U.S. competitors in the points were Doug Drown of Wooster, Ohio (fifth); Steve Shaver of Vienna, W.Va. (10th); and Devin Moran of Dresden, Ohio (22nd).
Francis overtook Payne on lap 10 of Friday’s feature and led the remaining distance to score the victory over Payne and Australian national title holder Brad Blake. Oldfield was fourth with Drown rounding out the top five.
Starting from the outside of the front row, Payne led Saturday’s 30-lap feature flag-to-flag for the win. The remainder of the top five was filled by Australian drivers Warren Oldfield, Ben Ludlow, Jay Cardy and Craig Vosbergen. Francis started from the pole of the race, but was knocked out by a lap-one wreck.
Collie Speedway: (1) Steve Francis, (2) Jeremy Payne, (3) Brad Blake, (4) Jamie Oldfield, (5) Doug Drown, (6) Craig Vosbergen, (7) Clint Noakes, (8) Warren Oldfield, (9) Jason Oldfield, (10) David Nylander, (11) Matt Goodlad, (12) Koran Atkinson. Did not finish: Steve Shaver, Jay Cardy, Nat Muir, Paul Stubber.
Bunbury Speedway: (1) Jeremy Payne, (2) Warren Oldfield, (3) Ben Ludlow, (4) Jay Cardy, (5) Craig Vosbergen, (6) Bryn Haythornthwaite, (7) Paul Stubber, (8) Nat Muir. Did not finish: Brad Ludlow, Koran Atkinson, Jeremy Hale, Brad Blake, Jamie Oldfield, Doug Drown, Steve Francis.
Correction: Fixes that miniseries was three races; adds point standings details.