An easy day out on Sunday for Jason McKendry really, he won all three qualifiers to start the Victorian Crash and Bash title event, started in pole position, got punted in the first few laps made it back from sixth to the front and went on to win a fifty lap Victorian title.
Well ok, it was not that easy however he was the fastest and smartest driver on the day and he stood atop the podium at Drouin with the winner’s trophy in one of the biggest ever Crash and Bash title events.
Sixteen qualifying races sorted out everybody’s starting positions for the big event. The dogleg was really sloppy to begin with and overcast clouds hovered above. The start line had a little ditch where rain had affected the surface around where the timing loop laid under the racetrack causing a little bump or as Tim Cole would say a launch pad, which many used as an opportunity for a little extra momentum down the front straight.
A crater formed at the entry of the dogleg which grabbed at front end’s tearing bits and pieces out lap after lap and the dogleg itself was a mixed bag with sloppy sections due to the rain in the lead up and a ramp formed from clay created by the race action.
The results through the heats starting with round one went by way of Jake Young, Jason McKendry, Steve Mitchell and Richard Lewindowski in the ‘Pakenham Radiators’ supported qualifiers. Some highlights in the round included Tim Cole in the first coming from the back to finish second in his heat, Anthony Segond and his obviously magnet filled AU found the concrete wall as he so often does, Jason McKendry led flag to flag or his win, Jason Judd finishing a race backwards across the start finish line and Miles trying to spin Goose Young bouncing off Young’s Commodore and slamming into the wall hard and ending up with a throbbing thumb!
Russell Hill, Craig McKendry, Grant Attewell and Jason McKendry won the ‘Vic Wide Roof Tiling’ second round qualifiers with Attewell coming from way back on the grid as did Hill and Craig McKendry. Highlights include a terrific second place for William George in the first heat of the round, a battle to the line for Hebblethwaite and Brad Warren for third. A Statesman vs Valiant vs Torana old school battle in heat three.
Jason McKendry clean swept his qualifiers when he won his third heat from last place on the grid in the ‘Cocoa Beanz’ supported final round with Attewell, Nathan Taylor and Daniel Jorgen winners in the last round also. Aaron Price and Beau Evans going tit for tat in heat two of the round with Price sending Evans ute to the trailer and Mitchell took out Russell Hill in the fourth whilst Hilly was in third and Mitchell was down laps, wonder if Mitch knows Hilly has a good memory?
The fifty lap title race line up was Jason McKendry, Nathan Taylor, Jake Young, Grant Attewell, Mark Hebblethwaite, Craig McKendry, Matt Haby, Russell Hill, Rob Bushell, Daniel Jorgen, Steve Young, Brad Warren, Lea Judd, William Leeson, Ian Lamb, Tim Cole, Shannon Mair, Steve Mitchell, Ron George, Richard Lewindowski all started in the front half of the field.
The excitement built up, and the crowd was on its feet hollering and clapping to send the drivers on their fifty lap journey.
It did not take long before bedlam broke with the green flag waving and the yellow lights still on there was a massive crunch in the entry into the dogleg. This put paid to the races of at least half a dozen drivers who ended up with damage and out of the race or with too much damage to possibly be a chance to win it as they were lapped by lead cars.
One of these racers caught up in the crunch was Grant Attewell. He was turned in the dogleg and got smashed by half of the field and the right front end dropped out of the car, not content with this damage Grunta then set about destroying the engine of his XF Falcon as he continued to go before finding the wall and heading off the race track.
Some of other the damage early in the feature race included Zac Leeson, Brad Warren and Russell Hill with flat tyres. Daniel Jorgen snapped a steering arm.
In these early laps Jason McKendry led Nathan Taylor and Craig McKendry. Jason McKendry then got caught in some drama in the dogleg and he lost track position to the new leader that seemed to be Shannon Mair for a brief moment as he barrelled through past McKendry, Taylor and the rest.
Craig McKendry then became the leader and his brother Jason had recovered to third.
Jake Young got caught up in drama and had shuffled right back through and with his tyre shredding whilst Jason McKendry had become the leader and Craig had exited the track to join the who’s who of Crash and Bash already in the infield after he ripped his front left steering out of his car cracking Zac Leeson to get past.
Steve Mitchell was outstanding coming from nineteenth on the grid to second with still thirty five laps to go whilst the driver that just seems to get around without people realising he is there, (it must be the pink car) Rob Bushell was fourth at this stage chasing Lewindowski.
At twenty laps in and with thirty to go, Nathan Taylor had parked his car when the top and bottom ball joint ripped out, he still continued for as long as he could.
Anthony Sgroi lost a wheel completely and Adam Whalebone found it! With the wheel stuck under Whalebones car he had to head infield where 10 men tried to lift the car on its side to pull the wheel out, that didn’t work so a tractor did the job to lift the car and the wheel was removed, he tried to continue however fuel flow problems put him out.
The laps ran through without a whole lot of drama from there accept for cars joining the scrap heap until McKendry spun himself and got caught up in the slop between turns three and four, he was able to get himself out losing most of his half a lap lead to go on and defeat Mitchell, Bushell, Young, Hebblethwaite, Roycroft and Kane.
McKendry after the race had a chat with commentary to share his thoughts on the race. “In front of such a big crowd with all my friends, family and so many Crash and Bash fans this is just the ultimate feeling. I have to thank my partner for letting me race on my birthday, I think she would much rather be doing something else, the Millers for working on my car for me and to just everybody who contributes to making this event happen and be so enjoyable. “
Other notable observations include Lea Judd who was running at the front end of the field broke her cars front end when she slammed into Mitchell not being able to see him there in front of her. Tim Cole snapped bolts in the top arms of the diff through the dogleg and soon after kicked his rear springs out after landing when he was launched hitting the front straight bunny hop.
James Kane who started at the rear of the field finished despite having an off on the front straight, turning his car around to come back on the track and not noticing the black and silver Valiant missile of Daniel Williams coming straight at him. Williams’s car end up more bent than Elton John and out of the race whilst Kane continued on with a broken seat, bent steering wheel, broken engine and transmission mount and a bent K frame.
Drivers that qualified however could not start, include Daniel Litten who lost water from the radiator in heat three and killed the cylinder head on his engine, Benjamin Warren who smashed a power steering pulley in the B main however ran out of time to fix broken thermo fans and a split water hose. Also James Carden-David who broke a steering rack clean out of the K frame.
The funniest reason for not starting the Victorian title event goes to Andrew Corlett. Corlett had just fixed the car after the tail shaft was ripped out, fixed the fuel and brake lines that were ripped and a fuel pump during his qualifying efforts to keep the car moving, only to miss the main race because he was in the boys room taking a leak!
The Crash and Bash Association would like to acknowledge some sponsors and award winners for race day as follows.
Drouin Speedway Club
Visual Signage Solutions
Ultimate Mobile Mechanics
Medallions & Sashes:
South East Paving
Heat Round Sponsors:
Vic Wide Roof Tiling
Hard Charger Award – sponsored by Gully Tattoo – James Kane
Pole Position Award – sponsored by Lake Bolac Excavations and Concreting – Jason McKendry
Biggest Unload/Hit in the title – sponsored by Grunts Graphics – Daniel Williams
Best Rollover – sponsored by Headmaster Cylinder Heads – No Rollover money donated to Teahn and Aartsy
Sash for last place in final (first infield) – Daniel Jorgen
Tim Miller Best & Fairest perpetual: Craig McKendry