Street Stocks hit hard at Alexandra Speedway when forty five drivers came into town to battle for the prized Victorian title and with close side by side action, rollovers, lap record after lap record and a great feature race to close out the weekend fans could be forgiven for thinking they were watching prized fighters going hard at it.
Anthony Beare from South Australia or ‘Big-time Beare’ as some were calling him later in the night in reference to his habit of wining all the big races, took out a sensational win just proving a little too much experienced for local ace Matt Nelson who held the lead for some time in the thirty five lap finale with Australian champion Rhys Heinrich crossing the line in third.
Beare, Nelson and the fastest Street Stock driver around the Alexandra Speedway Brad McClure, were in a three way tussle for much of the race before Heinrich clawed his way back up the tail of the leaders and making it a four way battle. Lenny Bates was back a little way behind them but in front of the big pack behind him.
One of the early casualties was Shane Roycroft who was an impressive competitor right up until the final and a outsiders tip to podium well, he lasted two laps with Russell Hill another strong performer especially on night two the next to go. Mark Jennings and popular West Australian Evan Wakefield who found the high line around the field the fast way to go thrilled spectators in his qualifying runs however was unable to go the distance in the big race.
Beare finished 3 seconds in front of Nelson in taking the win as the last thirty laps went without a stoppage with Heinrich and McClure right on Nelson’s bumper with Bates fifth across the line making up the podium. Jayden Edwards, Morris Ahearn, Darryl Atkinson, Shaun Henry, Ricky Throckmorton, Darren Forrest, Troy Polley, Corey Sandow and Troy Hose rounded out the result.
After the title race Beare was passionate and ecstatic with his win. “We haven’t had the strongest of seasons, we have won some tough races at Redline, however our title campaign has not gone according to expectations. The Street Stock fields keep getting harder and harder, I’m getting older and the new batch coming through like Nelson, Heinrich and Edwards are going to keep the class healthy for a long time yet. I want to thank the hard working track crew and volunteers of Alexandra for their efforts this weekend and my family, Em and supporters for everything we share together in being a part of this team.”
A major talking point was the speed of the track. The Street Stock lap record coming into the night was 22.34 for one lap, by the finish of the weekend that record was smashed by more than a second. Mark Jennings started with a 22.1 in the very first heat of the weekend.
Fellow South Australian Andy Maxwell Jnr then pipped that record in the third heat, Troy Hose in the next and drivers had almost reached the magic 21 second mark.
Ahearn almost got to 21 in the next heat as he claimed the record before finally in the seventh heat race McClure smashed the 21 second bracket out of the park with a 21.723 and the crowd went bananas. Wakefield then hit the jackpot with a 21.638 on night two and McClure fired right back with a 21.524 thanks to his borrowed radiator from Darren Giacometti holding up strongly and he wasn’t done yet.
In the very next heat McClure was back out again and ran a 21.348 and the new record stood for the rest of the weekend. McClure also led to the finish line the fastest ten lap heat of the weekend in the last race of the fourth round with a time of 3 minutes 39.328 seconds.
Bad luck plagued Mick Dann all weekend with piston drama and then when he was given the drive of another competitors car that all went pear shaped as that car took a hard hit into the wall and then Dann returned on night two with his own car only for it to blow smoke again and be put on the trailer.
Darren Giacometti had a massive ride into the concrete in turn three wrecking his car and allowing him to give his radiator to McClure whose radiator burst open at the conclusion of night one. Steven Gartner had a rollover on night one and fancied runner Ahearn broke a gearbox and quickly replaced that before the third round.
Beare won the most qualifying races with four wins before electing to tail the field in his final heat to avoid damage as only a drivers top four results counted towards qualifying, McClure and Nelson had three wins, Bull and Ahearn two apiece with the others being won by Roycroft, Jennings, Bates, Heinrich, Throckmorton, Sandow, Polley, Wakefield, Atkinson, Heinrich and Degoldi.
The Junior Sedan action across both nights included a night one Junior Sedan Promotional Association feature and a night two Alexandra club feature encouraging the Juniors that travelled from Victoria South West to stay the next night to compete.
On Saturday Juniors were separated into A & B Grade competition in the Junior Sedan Promotional Association round with Australian Champion Angus Hollis and Australia 2 driver Jackson Lunt renewing their season long battles.
Four of five heat races were decided with a distance between first and second less than a second. Kasey Garlick, Jackson Lunt, Ricky Cornwall then Garlick and Lunt won heat races with Lunts last heat the fastest of the night over eight laps in a time of 3 minutes 12.048 seconds.
The final was sensational with Hollis who had through the night made some sensational turn three passes giving Lunt the hardest victory imaginable when the two collided in turn three as Hollis threw his car in hard and Lunt was left stranded at the attempted pass. Stewards after Hollis crossed the line gave the win back to Lunt and put Hollis in second place with Cornwall, Colby Lunt and Ayden Bellman rounding out the top five.
In the B Grade Juniors Rhys Meakins began the night with a win over Darcy Wilson before Wilson revered the result in the next heat race. South Australian Drew Flatman won the third heat whilst Wilson put his car on the trailer due to a blown head gasket. Flatman then won the final from Cody Reed, Rhiannon Campton, Rhys Meakins and Bella Rizzoli after Meakins looked likely to win before coming undone and losing the lead.
Connor Donegan in A Grade and Tahlia Ahearn in B Grade both had rollovers, Donegan went on to complete the weekend whilst Ahearn spent some time at the hospital before being discharged to come and watch her father compete on Sunday.
On Sunday night the Juniors competed together in a club feature with six qualifying races preceding the feature. Jackson Lunt, Cornwall, Hollis, Jackson Lunt, Hollis and Cornwall again was the qualifying race victory order.
The feature race on night two was very similar to night one accept that Cornwall went the distance in the battle and split Lunt and Hollis with Lunt again the winner, Tim Gorski and Colby Lunt rounded out the top five with Rhys Meakins the first B Grade driver in ninth place.
Great support for the Junior Sedans came from Tritech Lubricants, BOC Tyres Pakenham, Donnaz Underground, Tosca Homes, Brearley Plumbing Healesville, Campton Graphics and Kurt Rouse Transport who contributed to a number of prizes that Steve Garlick from GB Racecars organised.
In Sports Sedan action Steve Kershaw won the Saturday night final ahead of Luke Fallon, Shane Kruger, Anthony Knight and David Donegan whilst on Sunday night Damien Miller set a new one lap record time for Sports Sedans of 20.642 and won the final ahead of Fallon, Kershaw, Knight and Paul Allen.
Alexandra Speedway Club is very thankful for the support provided by all these businesses:
360 Diffs & Gearboxes – Air Anywhere – Alexandra & Yea Pre Mix – Australian Racing Products – Blackburn Trailers – Burco’s Metal Fabrications – Campton’s Graphics – DIY Auto Parts Broadmeadows – Eastern Suburbs Locksmiths – Fallon’s Bus Services – FSM Recycling – GB Racecars – Good Guys Performance Centre – GYB Civil – Healesville Directional Drilling – Highline Racewear – Inaction Photos – Kilmore Towing & Transport – Lake Eildon Houseboat Sales – Lincoln’s Earthmoving – LS Quarry – Metro Tow – Murrindindi Kitchens – Onsite Response – Pakenham Caravan Storage & Repairs – Quality Fire Protection – Revegetation Victorian – Rumbles Indoor Playcentre – Smooth Suspension – Shamrock Hotel Alexandra – Trax Racewear – Tyrepower Alexandra – Waverley Exhaust & Brake Centre – Weeks Radio – Yarra Valley Towing
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