AFTER seven rounds of World Series Sprintcars action, Mount Gambier driver Steven Lines has slipped down to second place on the overall standings after a tough night of racing at Archerfield Speedway in Queensland on Wednesday.
Lines returned to Archerfield with a slender lead in the series over Kerry Madsen, but could only manage a 15th-place finish in the A Main feature race, while Madsen came home in fourth to head to the top of the standings.
Time trials saw the Mount Gambier driver in 11th place, three positions above Madsen, with Brooke Tatnell showing plenty of pace to be fifth fastest.
Once again it was the fast American Donny Schatz who topped the list, with fellow USA steerer Logan Schuchart down in 13th.
With third place in the series, James McFadden was seventh fastest as he looked to run down Lines and Madsen at the top of the standings.
McFadden managed a fourth place in the first heat, while Madsen and Lines finished second and third respectively in the second, with Tatnell down in sixth.
Heat four saw McFadden up from seventh to fourth, while Madsen and Tatnell finished fourth and sixth respectively in heat five.
Lines started out of fifth place in heat six and with an impressive drive moved up to second to qualify out of fifth for the shootout.
Unfortunately he went backwards from there, relegated to eighth place for the A Main feature race.
However, Madsen was absent from the top eight, down in 10th on the grid, while McFadden qualified out of fifth and Tatnell from seventh.
Lines struggled through the big show, with the high line not working to his advantage.
Madsen worked his way through the field, while Tatnell held on in the top half.
McFadden was on the pace, fighting for a top-three finish, but contact with the inside tyre barrier saw his retirement to leave some breathing space for Lines in the overall standings.
In the end Schatz claimed the race win, with Madsen down in fourth, Tatnell in sixth and Lines down in 15th.
In the wash-up, Lines dropped down to second place overall for the season, but by just eight points from Madsen.
McFadden’s incident saw him fall 126 points behind Madsen in third place and back into the clutches of Jamie Veal – all be it with a handy 157-point margin – after Veal came home second.
The series now has a break until February 16, with the final three rounds in Western Australia.
Lines was never committed to the entire WSS season and whether he continues on over in the west remains to be seen.
He said his team will make the decision after the Kings Challenge in Mount Gambier and the Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic at Warrnambool.