Curtain falls on Grafton’s season
There was no shortage of action last Saturday night, as Hession’s Auto Parts Grafton Speedway farewelled the 2018-19 season with an array of features headlined by the NSW Modlite Title, which was successfully defended by Queenslander Klinton Hancey.
Being joined on the program by V8 Dirt Modifieds, Wingless Sprints, RSA Street Stockers, RSA 4 Cylinder Sedans and RSA Junior Sedans, the Modlites field was largely dominated by Queensland invaders, who were determined to keep the silverware in their state.
No driver was more determined than defending NSW Champion Hancey, who was shooting for a three peat after earning top honours in the past two NSW Titles at Cullen Bullen Raceway and Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway.
Taking to the Hession’s Auto Parts Grafton Speedway track for the first time, Hancey’s consistent performance throughout qualifying was enough to earn him the pole position start for the 25-lap feature race, with the current Victorian and SA Champion going flag to flag to claim a convincing victory.
Not quite able to reel in the leader, Terry Leerentveld (Qld) did a fantastic job to clinch the runner-up spot, after starting from position seven and powering his way forward through the field to reach second place in the closing laps. Rounding out the podium was Scott Lehfeldt (Qld), who was forced to settle for third place due to being pipped by Leerentveld, after running in second for the majority of the race.
Not quite able to hold on to his starting position, outside front-row starter Joel Smith narrowly missed out on a podium position, coming home fourth ahead of Sam Gollschewsky, Steve Collins, Zac McDonald and Sean Egan. The lone NSW representative in the field William Butler had his night cut short just eight laps in, while Nathan Politch (Qld) was disqualified from the feature race.
Earlier heat-race wins were shared between Leerentveld, Smith, Gollschewsky and Hancey.
Once again leading the charge in the V8 Dirt Modifieds, it was local racer Andrew Firth who picked up his third win on home soil this season, immediately taking control of the lead after winning the top-five shootout and going on to lead the entire 25-lap distance.
Greeting the chequered flag in second place, Chris Polsen (Qld) was able to hang on to his starting position, with Mitch Randall significantly improving on his seventh-place start to claim the final podium spot. David Blanch was the next to cross the finish line, followed by Ash Hall and Taylah Firth (Andrew’s daughter).
Feature-race casualties included Mark Connolly, Scott Quirk, Brayd Stevenson, Phil McNamara and Tia Corbett, while the heat-race wins went the way of Hall, Polsen and Andrew Firth. In the Novice sub-class, Marley Weller, Tia Corbett and Kevin Willis each enjoyed a heat-race win.
The best in the Wingless Sprints was pole-sitter David Eggins, who created a significant gap between himself and his rivals after taking the lead on lap four of the 20-lap feature race, eventually crossing the finish line over seven seconds clear. Second place was filled by Michael Butcher, while Kevin Willis held on for third place, after leading the opening laps.
Completing the feature-race field was Scott Marsh, Matthew Wright, Warren King, Adam Grant and Bradley Claridge, while Rob Hamilton (Qld) and Eroll Campbell both experienced unfortunate DNFs.
The RSA Street Stocker feature race saw Madison Harkin emerge victorious, followed by Steve Hall, Chris Corbett, David Putsey, Nelson Mooney and Marley Weller, with James Corbett being the race’s only casualty.
With even more action on offer for the RSA Street Stockers with the Tin Top 50 Lapper, which also incorporated the RSA 4 Cylinder Sedans, James Corbett was the overall winner, followed by Nathen Glen and David McGregor, who came home second and third respectively. McGregor had been poised to take the win until a driver error caused him to clip the wall, ultimately costing him the win.
With broken steering and numerous tyre failures hindering drivers, Putsey, Chris Corbett, Harkin, McGregor, Steve Hall and Weller all suffered disappointing premature retirements.
Claiming the win in the RSA Junior Sedans was Maddie Howell from Sam Mooney. Howell was thrilled to claim her maiden feature-race victory.
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. You can also visit their website at www.graftonspeedway.com.au or LIKE them on Facebook by searching Grafton Speedway.