It’s often said that good things come to those who work hard and never give up, and last Saturday night, Danny Stone found this adage to be completely true when he overcame adversity to win the Victorian Mini Sprint Title at Bairnsdale Speedway.
The 2018-19 season had been one to forget for Stone so far, having suffered numerous engine failures, which included during the opening heat race of the Queensland Title at Kingaroy Speedway, along with destroying his ex-Peter Campbell Henchcraft car at Goulburn Speedway back in January when his steering failed, sending him straight into the wall.
Recently investing in another Henchcraft car that was powered by a Kawasaki ZX12 from Justin Pirlo, Stone’s misfortune looked destined to continue as clutch issues plagued his debut in the car during the recent Gold Cup event at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway, causing him to be unable to start the feature race. However, unbeknownst to him, this was all set to change come last Saturday night’s Victorian Title.
Deciding to persevere with what he assumed was a doomed season and travelling over 700 kilometres from his home in the southern Sydney suburb of Menai in NSW to Bairnsdale Speedway in the East Gippsland region of Victoria, Stone was soon pleased with his decision, having progressively improved throughout the night, coming away with third, second and first-place results in his three heat races.
This banked him enough points to earn pole position for the 20-lap feature race, which Stone saw as the perfect opportunity to turn his season around. Having never visited the Bairnsdale Speedway track, the 51-year-old racer was able to master the track conditions, never relinquishing his lead and going on to finish just under five seconds clear of his nearest rival.
While Stone had previously won a handful of club shows during his stint in Mini Sprints, the Victorian Title was the first major victory of his career.
“It’s a massive relief to get the monkey off my back and actually finish a race this season let alone win the Victorian Title, which is a quite an achievement,” expressed Stone, whose previous highlights include placing fourth in the 2017 Australian Title at Brisbane’s Archerfield Speedway during his debut season, along with finishing runner-up in last season’s NSW Title.
“It seems that we’ve finally gotten on top of all of our past mechanical issues, and our new car and engine didn’t miss a beat throughout the event. It’s certainly been a tough journey and I can’t thank the whole team enough for sticking with me throughout all of the lows this season. It definitely makes the highs more worthwhile!”
For the remainder of the 2018-19 season, his third in the class, Stone plans to continue racing locally throughout NSW, along with contesting the Australian Title at Archerfield Speedway on June 1.
Stone would like to thank the following 2018-19 season sponsors for their support: Stone’s Windscreens, Silhouette Smash Repairs, King St Autos, and Severn Graphics.
Special thanks go to his mum (Dianne), Aaron Dunk, Matt Walsh, Donna Willis and Chris Reeves, along with the Victorian Mini Sprints, Bairnsdale Speedway, the Victorian Speedway Association, and Team Stone Racing NZ.
To find out more about Stone and his team, LIKE them on Facebook by searching STONE Racing.