December 11, 2013

Donny Schatz (5x WoO Champion) & Sammy Swindell (289 Feature wins), the best in the business of professional Sprintcar racing in USA join Jonathan Allard to compete against the Kiwi's at Western Springs International Series over 2 nights.

Night one starting mid-pack in both heats Daniel quickly worked his way through the field, finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively. This exceptional effort saw Eggleton in 2nd position for the 'pole shuffle' a one on one two lap battle for the top ten cars, where 10th could effectively work their way up to position one for the 30 lap main event.

Current 2NZ Dean Brindle (qualifying 3rd) would challenge Daniel for his 2nd placing, but Daniel held off to win, next facing off against Jonathan [Allard] for pole. Eggleton got an excellent start comfortably putting the Vernon & Vazey / ENZED Sprintcar across the line 1st. This meant Daniel is also able to choose whether to start on the inside or outside of the front row.

"The pole shuffles were a lot of fun, it's great to be starting off the front row against such a high calibre of drivers but Jonathan is still one to look out for come feature time. We'll give it our best."

Feature time and Daniel got out to an early lead before being passed by Allard, midway through the race Allard spun gifting the lead back to Eggleton before Sammy [Swindell] got under Daniel as he slipped wide. It would then become a race between Swindell and Eggleton, until 5 laps to go lapped traffic ended an outstanding run with contact made shredding the right rear tyre of the Vernon & Vazey / ENZED, 3NZ Sprintcar.

"Words don't really describe how gutted I am, we were essentially clear of the lapped car but somehow they didn't see us and made contact. It's unfortunate for our sponsors and team who did a great job all night, definitely a character building experience and we'll be out there to try again next week [Round 2]" - Daniel.

Night two of the International Sprintcars was a similar story; Daniel did well in his first heat but failed to move forward as much as hoped in his second qualifying 7th for the pole shuffle. And then the fans were treated to a specular show of one on one battles with Daniel advancing to 4th position before being beaten ex NZ Champion, Rodney Wood.

"Last week [Round 1] was disheartening for me, we went well in the heats considering a difficult to pass track at the time. It's so important to start near the front of the features, more so with the Americans here if we're to get on the podium so I was definitely on a mission!" - Daniel.

From grid 4 in the feature, this time 35 laps on a very dry and hard track. Daniel made his move into 3rd, next in line was Jonathan Allard with Donny Schatz in the lead. The top 3 were evenly matched, Daniel running up very high just inches from the wall where the track had more grip while Schatz and Allard were on the bottom, slower but less distance. Daniel was starting to pull in Allard with the high line working well until suddenly the right rear tyre punched nearly sending the car into the wall before retiring to the infield.

"I thought last week was bad enough, but to find we had run over a piece of nerf bar embedded in the track from a previous crash, I couldn't believe it. We've actually been lucky not to roll with right rear failures so that's a bonus" - Daniel.

The Vernon & Vazey / ENZED team has shown exceptional improvement over the years, despite Daniel's lack of seat time compared with USA professionals including many of the local Kiwi's he is performing extremely well currently leading the Western Springs Championship Series.

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