While Dale Corbett managed to end the winning streak of Grafton local Andrew Firth, who was denied a hat trick after taking out the Clarence Valley Spring Cup and the Stampede at the track earlier this season, coming home in seventh, it was anything but a shutout, with Corbett starting the feature race back in position three.
Earning the pole position start for the feature race by virtue of his consistency was former NSW Champion Phil McNamara, whose strong start was short-lived as fellow front-row starter and current NSW and Victorian Champion Jai Stephenson pipped him for the lead just three laps in.
From there, Stephenson looked likely to claim the victory, having controlled the pace out in front for the majority of the 25 laps, but with Dale Corbett steadily gaining on him throughout the latter stages, he was in for a battle. Leaving nothing in the tank, Dale Corbett launched a last-lap attack on Stephenson; an attack which ultimately paid off, seeing him cross the finish line in first place.
Forced to settle for a narrow second place after what was a dominant run, Stephenson greeted the chequered flag a mere .081 seconds behind Dale Corbett, followed by Dale’s brother Chris Corbett, who completed the podium.
After starting from sixth, Lee Gorton finished just off the podium in fourth place, followed by McNamara, who had been unable to hold on to his front-running position, slipping back to fifth in the middle stages of the race.
Earlier heat-race winners included Chris Corbett, McNamara, Gorton and Dale Corbett, while Mathew Bellette and David Blanch were victorious in the novice heat races.
In the Wingless Sprints, it was Lismore’s David Eggins who continued his winning form to pick up his fifth feature-race win of the season after charging forward from position 11.
This result came after Michael Butcher received a post-race penalty after crossing the finish line in first place. This penalty relegated Butcher to third place, elevating Eggins and Warren King to first and second respectively. Jacob Jolley and Matthew Wright rounded out the top-five finishers.
Previous minor podium finisher Steve Hall managed to go one better in the RSA Street Stockers feature race, claiming the victory ahead of fellow podium finishers David Putsey and Brock Stevenson, while Brock Armstrong and Trent Dhu came home in fourth and fifth place respectively.
In what was their first appearance at Hession’s Auto Parts Grafton Speedway this season, the Modlites feature race saw Sam Gollschewsky delivered a flawless performance in the 20-lap feature race, leading from start to finish to claim a convincing win.
Next across the finish line was former NSW Champion Will Butler, who was able to pip Nathan Politch off the starting line for second place, forcing Politch to finish third, while Trent Mclean and Joel Smith were the final finishers.
A hard-charging drive from Conner Reeves in the RSA Junior Sedans feature race resulted in the youngster claiming a pleasing win, after coming from position seven to take over the lead on lap nine of the 17-lap duration.
Also visiting the podium was Josh Boyd and Sam Mooney in second and third place, followed by remaining top-five finishers Nathan McGregor, who had started from pole position, and Brock Youngberry, who did extremely well to halve his 10th-place starting position.
The Fast Fours feature race completed the support program, with Thomas Marsden taking the win ahead of Cassie Dhu and Sarah Deuchar.
Now taking a break over the month of January, Hession’s Auto Parts Grafton Speedway will be back in action on the Saturday night of February 9, with another action-packed program featuring Junior Sedans (NSW Title), V8 Dirt Modifieds, Wingless Sprints, Street Stockers and Fender Benders.
Grafton Speedway would like to thank their naming-right’s sponsor for the 2018-19 season: Hession’s Auto Parts. Based in Grafton, Hession’s Auto Parts stock a wide range of parts and accessories at competitive prices. To find out more about their products, contact them on 0266 423 085.
For more information, contact Hession’s Auto Parts Grafton Speedway Promotions Manager Troy Saville on 0455 948 802. You can also visit their website at www.graftonspeedway.com.au or LIKE them on Facebook by searching Grafton Speedway.