The Crash and Bash Association headed to the home of its traditional first meeting of the season, Drouin Speedway, for a new and exciting season starting event the Gippsland Big Bash and in a sensational day of entertainment, Mark Hebblethwaite took the big win in front of a packed house baying for more entertainment.
Nine qualifying heat races were held in the lead up to the feature event and victories went the way of Craig McKendry, Victorian champion Jason McKendry, Nathan Taylor, Tim Cole, Taylor again, Jason Judd, Hebblethwaite, Nick Hill and Craig McKendry in the last.
Taylor qualified from pole position for the 30-lap race with Hebblethwaite alongside. However, the front row elected to start the race from the rear of the field because as has been proven at Drouin on many occasions, your a even money chance to win if you start last as Goose Young and Dale Morrison and others have done, this left Craig McKendry and Hill at the front.
In a hysterical scene, Grant Attewell rolled his falcon 20 metres before he even got to the start line with Daniel Litten involved in this little frackar. Attewell then reversed straight off the track into the safety zone with his front end destroyed and the race went through a complete restart.
Hill and Judd had the best of the start, Craig Mac went backwards to fifth and on lap two he converted his XF Falcon into a XB Couple when he rolled in the dogleg and landed back on his wheels. He preceded to entertain the crowd with some shenanigans, however the steward was less than impressed and pulled out his rule book, pen and penalty invoice notices. McKendry is accepting donations of support.
On the third start Hill led Judd, Cole, Rob Bushell, Richard Lewandowski and Brad Warren who started in twentieth position, don’t tell the missus though, he is supposed to be retired. By lap five he was in third spot carving up the field Judd moved to the lead, Warren followed and the two of them went at it for three more laps before Warren took the lead.
The associations very own ‘Party Pooper’ (otherwise known as a Chief Steward, Leigh Latham was masquerading as a race driver for the very first time in Crash and Bash then smashed into the concrete wall, the scoreboard reads Concrete 1 – Latham – Nil.
Re-starting once again Warren led, Judd, Hill and Taylor who also came from the rear of the field. Hill blew a tyre and his race was done and Taylor started to chase Warren. Taylor overexerted the engine however and a loss of oil pressure cooked his chances of a race win and he headed infield to watch the action.
Judd spun soon after then reversed full noise down the straight from turn four to one however lost direction and got stuck in the turn one infield mud and cooked his engine. His missus has put a compass in his race suit in preparation for Nyora coming up in two weeks.
Warren the race leader is a mechanic, he was leading the race however the fans to cool down the engine fell out. He was blaming this on his apprentice Zeke still on Monday morning, the result was his engine cooked.
Hebblethwaite came to the front of the field and Miles came with him followed by Bushell, Anthony Sgroi, William George and Alan George the only cars remaining in the race. Sgroi’s front end fell out and Hebblethwaite stormed to the line to win from Miles, Cole, Bushell, Willy George and Al George for his first ever feature win.
After the race a delighted Hebblethwaite had a couple people to thank. “My driving coach Brad Warren wants me to thank him, the reality is he taught me diddly squat so I would like to thank my team mate Lewy, my family, the DJR Penske racing and God. Without them I would be better off mowing lawns on Sunday’s.”
Others to not to finish include Scott Angus whose system wiring melted, Nathan Jones engine computer decided it was a good time to have a 404 error, Rupert Segond aka Anthony shredded his tyres, Jarrod Hughes went through the now famous “Larry Evan’s Hole” in the dog leg and his shocker towers came apart.
Awards won on the day thanks to the wonderful Crash and Bash Association sponsors include
Bottom Pub Bunyip Pole Sitter – Nathan Taylor
Gully Tattoo Hard Charger – Andrew Miles
Lake Bolac Excavations Last Across the Line – Alan George
The Crash and Bash Association thank this year’s major sponsors
Andrews Car Removals
South East Paving
Fourth Design Websites & Graphics
The Mobile Truck Doctor
Lake Bolac Excavations