Marino wins Sydney opener
In a start to the season that has been hampered by rain outs, Chris Marino continued last season’s form on Saturday night, when the Western Sydney Street Stockers finally hit the Valvoline Raceway track for the first time this season to take part in the Ultimate Pink Night.
Having taken out last season’s overall Western Sydney Street Stockers Club Championship, Marino was one of the favourites heading into last Saturday night’s event, and while a strong field of drivers attempted to put a stop to his dominance throughout the night, they were unable to do so.
Going flag to flag in the 20-lap feature race, Marino claimed a convincing win, despite a hard-charging performance from Shaun Davoodi, which saw the former Australian Champion and current Australia # 2 make his way forward from his position five starting spot to second by lap eight.
While he didn’t allow Marino to create too much of a gap between them, Davoodi wasn’t quite able to reel the leader in, eventually being forced to settle for second, ahead of third-place finisher and another former Australian Champion Blake Eveleigh, who remarkably came from position 17 to complete the podium.
Mitch Farrelly also delivered an impressive performance to greet the chequered flag in fourth place after starting back down the field in position 13, while Blake Doyle improved five spots in the field to finish in fifth.
Unfortunately missing the start slightly, Charlie Dodson slipped back from third place to 10th in the opening laps, eventually managing to salvage a sixth-place finish. Stephen Kurtz, Shannon Alexander, Justin Bardin and Sean Isherwood completed the top-10 finishers.
Completing the final finishers were Greg Brown, Mark Eveleigh, Mark Alexander, Steven Sharpe, David Hamilton and B-main winner Brad Ring.
There were several notable DNFs throughout the feature race, including Steven Walsh, who suffered steering damage and a flat tyre after he had made contact with Davoodi and Blake Eveleigh, along with Ash Dawes, whose car sustained rear-end damage in the B main that hampered her during the feature race, her brother Troy Dawes (flat tyre) and Andrew Espener (flat tyre).
Matt Hope, Anthoney Attard and Kai Jones were also unable to finish the feature race, while Peter Handley was unable to start.
Earlier in the night, heat-race wins went the way of Sharpe, Troy Dawes, Walsh, Isherwood, Espener and Marino.
With four feature race transfer spots up for grabs in the B main, it was a matter of whoever made it to the end of the race would clinch one of them, with Hope, Bardin, Handley and Ash Dawes all advancing through.
Western Sydney Street Stockers president Steven Walsh, who was given the honour of carrying the Australian flag during the National Anthem with his pink coloured # 65 Holden Commodore in support of the Ultimate Pink Night event.
In other exciting news, it was an extra special night for Dodson, whose 20 years of service to the Western Sydney Street Stockers as both a competitor and a volunteer was acknowledged with the club presenting him with an honorary award.
The Western Sydney Street Stockers will now enjoy a three-week break before returning to action on the Saturday night of December 29 with a club show at Moruya’s Surfair Speedway on the south coast and they will then return to Valvoline Raceway on January 1.
To find out more about the Western Sydney Street Stockers Club, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Westernsydney Street Stockers.