Running the risk of running an unproven car during the recent Western Australian Street Stock Title at Collie Speedway, fortune appeared to favour Jack Barnewall, who achieved the biggest result of his career when he claimed a well-deserved victory by the narrowest of margins.
Having spent the majority of this season aboard the Stacey Bevin-owned VY Holden Commodore, Barnewall hadn’t had the chance to properly dial in his WA # 16 Bridgestone Service Centre Kalgoorlie supported VF Holden Commodore, which he built over the off season and finished in the week leading up to the Western Australian Title, but that didn’t stop him from making the precarious decision to debut the car during the state’s biggest Street Stock event.
Quickly learning that it was decision that could potentially pay off after performing strongly throughout his heat races, close doesn’t even begin to describe the final stages of the Western Australian Title-deciding feature race for the 28-year-old racer, who had made his way into the lead on lap 19.
Managed to withstand mounting pressure from Jamie Oldfield, one of the state’s leading drivers, Barnewall did very well to hold on to first place, claiming the win just 0.6 seconds ahead of Oldfield, which was the smallest margin in the history of the event since electronic timing was introduced.
The magnitude of what he’d been able to achieve certainly wasn’t lost on Barnewall, who was naturally thrilled with the result, especially after he was leading last season’s Western Australian Title at Carnarvon Speedway before suffering a race-ending mechanical issue which ultimately dashed his hopes.
“It’s difficult to describe the feeling of winning the Western Australian Title, but I can say that it’s without a doubt the biggest accomplishment of my career and it certainly makes up for last season’s disappointment,” said Barnewall.
“The team and I took a gamble by running the new car and we couldn’t be happier with how it performed throughout the weekend. Our consistency in our heat races allowed us to get a good starting spot for the feature race and from there, we were able to get to the front and then go on to hold off one of the country’s best Street Stock racers in Jamie Oldfield for the win.”
From Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, Barnewall’s introduction into speedway came via his dad Tony, who previously raced Street Stocks. Getting his own career as a driver underway in Junior Sedans, Barnewall spent six seasons with the class before taking over driver duties from his dad in Street Stocks.
Racing for car owner Stacey Bevin for the past three seasons, Barnewall’s previous highlights include winning a total of five Street Stocks 20/20 events at Esperance Speedway, three of which he won with local Super Sedan racer Dean Shore and the other two were with Aaron Murphy, along with winning the annual Stocktober event and previous Club and Open Championships at his home track: Kalgoorlie International Speedway.
Having last season travelled east to South Australia to contest the National Title at Adelaide Motorsport Park and the South Australian Title at Murray Bridge Speedway, experiencing a challenging run which was plagued with engine woes, Barnewall is looking to make amends this season when he once again travels interstate.
This time, Barnewall will make the long trek to Mildura’s Timmis Speedway in Victoria, where he will participate in the National Title from March 8 to 10 and then the Victorian Title one week later (March 15 and 16) at the same track.
Barnewall would like to thank his 2018-19 season sponsors:
Bridgestone Service Centre – Kalgoorlie
Wright’s Onsite Maintenance & Fabrication
Natrad Radiators & Auto Air – Kalgoorlie
Powerplus Race Engines
AGH Spare Parts
Special thanks go to Barnewall’s mum and dad (Sharon and Tony), his partner (Ashtyn) and their daughter (Millah), his brother (Luke), Stacey Bevin, Dean Shore, Mick Banham, Matt L’Huillier, Joel Hastie, Kody Kelman, Hamish Macalpine and Phil Lycholit.