Packed house to see Victorian champions crowned at Redline Raceway
Redline Raceway on Saturday night was packed from the track fence back to the far perimeter of the property as fans settled in for the Victorian Modified Sedan title and the Victorian Late Model Sedan title supported by Street Stock racing.
Forty Modified Sedans were on hand to compete for not only the title, also the Memorial for Ern Overall a late member of the Ballarat community who held business interests in town along with his interest in local Speedway. Overall helped the managing club with a lot of the infrastructure at the venue, assistance that will always be appreciated.
Twelve heat races were ran to determine the starters in a last chance qualifier and the feature race itself and wins went to drivers from near and far. Jarrod Waters driving a Mercedes won the first heat race after a penalty to the original winner. Cameron Dike, Jake Drewett from Mildura, Ty Galley, Wade McCarthy, Kye Walters the Australian Champion and Redline member, Matt Gerlach, Waters a second time, Nick Cockerill also a Redline member, Walters a second time, Drewett a second time and Aaron Bunton. Then Bunton, Gerlach, Scott Angus and Michael Wicks earnt transfer to the title race spots with their finish in the last chance qualifier.
The feature event distance was thirty-five laps and with two Mildura based competitors at the front of the field Drewett and Waters followed by Walters and another Mildura lad McCarthy, then Todd Atkins and Brody Chrystie, the pace was sure to be on early. Drewett had a perfect start, Walters followed him through back past the steward’s dais for second on lap one and Atkins moved into third by lap two. Hawson lost a wheel and was an early casualty of the cracking pace. After starting nineteenth, Angus was eleventh by lap fifteen with still seventeen racers on track.
On lap twenty-two Walters picked off Drewett and the very next lap Drewett reclaimed the front spot. On lap twenty-seven a radiator explosion sent incredibly hot water into the cockpit of the Todd Atkins car and burnt his ankles; his race came to an end at that moment. Drewett, Walters, Waters, McCarthy, Cockerill, Angus, Gerlach and Damien Miller were the top eight at the restart.
Cockerill soon headed infield with his race curtailed by mechanical issues and Drewett closed in on a first ever Victorian Modified Sedan title win. The chequered flag unfurled and Drewett won from Walters, Waters, McCarthy, and Angus in fifth. After the race Drewett was on a high and reflective of the accomplishment and his support. “I have so much support and I would not be here right now without any of it, thank you to those people. The Speedway Sedans Victoria, Belmont Speedway Drivers Club and the officials and volunteers here tonight have done a cracking job. This is the best class in the country in my opinion and I have no plans to move on from it anytime soon. Keep the big car counts coming, tracks should really get onboard with us and come for the ride. Well done to the other competitors up here with me, it is a great result with this car count we had.”
Nineteen drivers set a faster time than the previous one lap record of Redline Raceway for the class, the new record belonging to Wade McCarthy of Mildura scorching around in 15.245 seconds.
In the Late Model Sedan Victorian title, they to set blistering lap times with ten drivers faster than the last recorded record. Callum Harper of Tasmania is the new one lap record holder for the class with a 12.429 time of the Redline Raceway.
Three qualifying races were held, and Harper won the first won with a ten-lap race time thirteen seconds faster than the previous record over the same length of laps. Harper led every lap of the first qualifier defeating Chevy Edwards by almost half a lap, Mick Nicola, Brendan Hucker and defending champion Lachlan Onley.
A closer affair in the second race with Peter Nicola leading every lap and winning by just .527 of a second from Hucker, Todd Bayley, Tim Pyke, and Onley.
In the third and final qualifier, Bayley came out on top making it three from three for front row starters, staying out of trouble and flying around the Raceway. Bayley led to the line Pyke, Brock Edwards, Harper, and Mick Nicola.
A twenty-five-lap title race awaited the drivers with Harper and Bayley on the front row, then Peter Nicola, Hucker, Chevy Edwards and Onley in the top six. Harper jumped to the front of the field at the drop of the green flag. Bayley chased and Chevy Edwards made moves from fifth to third across the first eight laps.
On lap thirteen Bayley assumed the race lead as a gap opened up for him to take the front spot after numerous laps of letting Harper know he was right there alongside. A few stoppages for spins along the way and the race concluded with Bayley .806 of a second the better over Harper, Hucker, Onley and Chevy Edwards.
Twelve Street Stock qualifying races on the last night of Brad McClure racing at Redline Raceway in a McClure owned Street Stock came down to a fifteen-lap final event. Some close racing initially between Morris Ahearn and Dale Morrison and then Ahearn and Blomeley and then McClure, Ahearn and Blomeley all ended with Blomeley the winner in front of McClure and Ahearn, Jason Degoldi and Tyler Barton. Blomeley continues to pick up wins this season and McClure now gets to sit reflect on a thirty-year career in Street Stocks as he takes the next step in his life.
Redline Raceway returns on May the 1st for the Victorian Speedway Council Sprintcar title and the King of the Mount for Street Stocks.
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