STOP PRESS: James McFadden wins the 2017 Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic – Corey Gibson Images

Corey Gibson has been kind enough to flick through a selection of the pivotal moments of the Lucas Oil 2017 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic :  the 4-Wide salute to the crowd and the euphoria on the infield surrounding James McFadden’s powerhouse victory just moments after he took the chequers.

Thanks Corey – top work mate !!

Corey has a massive library of this year’s Classic as well as current season images and of course a heap from “yesteryear”.

Corey can be contacted via:  corey@gibsonphotography.com.au

or

https://www.facebook.com/Corey-Gibson-Photography-192107880859547/

 

Sprintcar 4-Wide

Ready for 2017 Classic action : The 24 finalists salute the crowd with a 4-wide formation

James McFadden Team

The Milwaukee Tools/Monte Motorsport WA17 celebtates its fine victory with a polish lap of Sungold Stadium

James McFadden

McFadden celebrates his first Classic win with the obligatory wing dance

The holy grail of Australian Sprintcar Racing - James McFadden holds the GASC trophy aloft immediately after alighting from his W17

The holy grail of Australian Sprintcar Racing – James McFadden holds the GASC trophy aloft immediately after alighting from his W17

James McFadden

McFadden salutes the Mt Max crowd at Sungold Stadium

James McFadden

Job done – James McFadden won his first Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic

Sweet Victory: The Milwaukee Tools/Monte Motorsport Team are on top of the Sprintcar World after McFadden's powerhouse victory

Sweet Victory: The Milwaukee Tools/Monte Motorsport Team are on top of the Sprintcar World after McFadden’s powerhouse victory

 

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Night 3 : Lucas Oil 2017 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic Results (Quickie Post) – James McFadden Scores The Win

Words and images: Paul Griffin

Well we know many of you out there are desperate to know what happened at this year’s Lucas Oils Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic.

So we have pleasure in providing this very quick report to give you the basics. We will then follow up with a detailed report with stacks of photos in the next couple of days.
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Tonight (Jan 22nd), James McFadden (W17) won “The Classic” in front of a lock out crowd and under prefect weather conditions.

It was his first Classic and the Milwaukee Tools/Monte Motorsport Team’s 6th Classic.

James McFadden holds the 2017 GASC trophy aloft

James McFadden holds the 2017 GASC trophy aloft

McFadden took victory in the grandest of style – never putting a foot wrong and driving faultlessly through heavy traffic.

Up till lap 27, the race ran non-stop and the 24 cars were well spread around the track. This is where McFadden was smart and maintained a policy of keeping a car or two between him and the second lead car.

In the last 13 laps there were three stoppages that helped “reset” the traffic jam.

Following McFadden across the line (only 1 second behind) in a stunning, determined and popular drive was local peddler Darren Mollenoyux (V52) who shot past Tatnell with 3 laps to go, and despite extreme pressure didn’t yield.

Tatnell was 3rd followed by Brad Sweet, Kerry Madsen, Luke Dillon, Kyle Hurst, Ian Madsen Steven Lines and David Murcott rounding out the top 10.

2017 Lucas Oils GAS Classic Podium L to R: Darren Mollenoyux (2nd), James McFadden (1st), Brook Tatnell (3rd)

2017 Lucas Oils GAS Classic Podium L to R: Darren Mollenoyux (2nd), James McFadden (1st), Brook Tatnell (3rd)

Sweet Taste of Victory - James McFadden returns to the Milwaukee Tools/Monet Motorsport pit

Sweet Taste of Victory – James McFadden returns to the Milwaukee Tools/Monte Motorsport pit after the preliminary on track celebration

James McFadden and Crew Chief Kim Buswell savour the moment

James McFadden and Crew Chief Kim Buswell savour the moment

As indicated above, a detailed report with be provided in the next couple of days.

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Night 2 : Lucas Oil 2017 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic – Ian Madsen Wins Nail Biter over Jamie Veal

Words and Images by Paul Griffin

Ian Madsen headshotIan Madsen proved tonight (Sat Jan 21) what an in-form Sprintcar Driver he is at the moment by taking out Night 2 of the Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic narrowly over local hero and defending champion Jamie Veal.

Madsen lead the entire race and earlier in the program set the QT of 12.349 sec. (Despite a poor marble draw and a slick track, Luke Dillon set QT in the second group – 13.027 sec)

Ian Madsen won a nail biter of an A-Main

Ian Madsen won a nail biter of an A-Main – he lead all 30 laps

It was a great action packed night of racing with the heats producing some really close battles – sometimes a little too close for comfort with the crash crews being kept reasonably busy.

Having said that though, the N2 GASC program still ran with super efficiency with the A-Main all done and dusted by 10:30 pm – Great work to all the staff at Sungold Stadium – Premier Speedway!

Group 1 Time Trials

Group 1 Time Trials

Group 2 Time Trials

Group 2 Time Trials

Mains Board for the night

Mains Board for the night

Anyway…back to the A-Main……

Tonight’s final was run over the usual 30 Laps. Twenty-four successful combatants rolled out onto the sacred Premier Clay to do battle and sort out who was the best on the night.

As it turned out, the entire field was a stellar group with very little separating the fastest car from the slowest car during the latter of the 30 rotations of Sungold Stadium — it was so close and such a memorable scene.

The first three rows of the grid included Ian Madsen (W66), James McFadden (W17), Jamie Veal (V35), Shane Stewart (V68), Matt Egel (S97) and Brad Keller (S19).

Think about that for a minute:

Front row: 2 WA cars
2nd row: 2 VIC cars
3rd row: 2 SA cars

…….such wonderful symmetry !!!!!!

Another notable fact was that 17 YO Marcus Dumesny had made the cut…His N47 was racked and stacked out of P16….not bad hey for a young fella !! (Maybe it’s because there was good breeding stock involved with dad Max????? – LOL) — all jokes aside, outstanding effort Marcus !

Back to the race again !!! …..At the drop of the green Ian Madsen catapulted into the lead in the Watson’s Express Transport W66 ahead of James McFadden, Jamie Veal, Shane Stewart, Brad Keller, Matt Egel and Robbie Farr rounding out the top eight.

It didn’t take Ian Madsen long to open up a commanding lead. By lap 5 he was ten cars ahead of McFadden, with a further ten cars back to Veal, five to Shane Stewart and then another five to SA’s Brad Keller.

Ian Madsen started to encounter the first signs of traffic after 8 laps.

Ian Madsen (W66) chases a very quick David Aldersley

Ian Madsen (W66) chases a very quick David Aldersley

Meanwhile the fairy tale for young Marcus Dumesny came to an end as the N47 ground to a halt on Turn 3 compliments of an exploding RH rear tyre – he was very nearly collected by Jamie Veal as his car became a “rudderless ship”.

Needless to say the yellows had to be thrown.

On the restart (22 to go) it was Madsen from McFadden, Veal, Stewart, Keller, Egel, Farr, Darren Mollenoyux, Jason Johnson, Domenic Scelzi, Luke Dillon and Terry McCarl.

Then things got a little interesting with a very determined Veal pulling a big pass on McFadden with 10 laps down. Veal then set sail for Madsen.

You could sense the determination in Veal’s mind – it was clearly evident in his forward thrust as he slowly closed the gap on race leader Ian Madsen, lap after lap.

Jamie Veal - A real chance to go back to back Classics

Jamie Veal – A real chance to go back to back Classics

By mid race distance Veal was on a mission and had closed the gap to 4 cars. There was then 4 cars back to McFadden, 2 to Keller and a further 3 back to American Shane Stewart.

Madsen was great through traffic and managed to place a key car between himself and Veal…..that car was the Q36 of Mitchell Gee – a fast peddler.

This action insulated Madsen from an imminent Veal attack for several laps, and with the traffic at hand Stewart had arrived on Veal’s tail tank.

The Veal/Stewart dual over the next few laps was awesome, with several position swaps occurring – neither Driver wanting to yield.

American Shane Stewart teamed up with Brett Milburn and was a powerhouse in latter stages of the A-Main

American Shane Stewart teamed up with Brett Milburn and was a powerhouse in latter stages of the A-Main

By this stage Madsen had re-opened the 10 car length gap to the “joined at the hip” Veal and Stewart.

Finally on lap 25 Veal was able to get around Gee with a superb slide job into turn 2.

So with less than a heat race a laps left, Veal slammed two feet on the accelerator and starting closing the gap to Madsen.

Bit by bit Veal reigned in the deficit and just to make things interesting Stewart was going along for the ride with him.

With one lap remaining Veal was less than a car length behind the flying Madsen and with a last roll of the dice, Veal lunged low on turn 4 in an attempt to take Madsen.

A brilliant try but Madsen was up to the challenge and they crossed the line with Veal’s front nerf virtually kissing Madsen’s rear nerf bar – that’s jow close it was.

Not to be outdone Shane Stewart driving for local Victorian Brett Milburn was just in arrears and really had come on strong at the end.

A great race and a fitting end to Night 2 !!

Jamie Veal (35) and James McFadden (17)

Jamie Veal (35) and James McFadden (17)

Brad "Wazza" Warren drove the BSR house car (V91) - a new Maxim built specifically for The Classic

Brad “Wazza” Warren drove the BSR house car (V91) – a new Maxim built specifically for The Classic

The Watson Express - Ian Madsen's W66

The Watson Express – Ian Madsen’s W66

David "Buzzard" Aldersley in the V64

David “Buzzard” Aldersley in the V64

17 YO Marcus Dumesny did a great job to qualify for the feature, however his race was short lived as a RH rear exploded on him early in the race

17 YO Marcus Dumesny did a great job to qualify for the feature, however his race was short lived as a RH rear exploded on him early in the race

The Jason Johnson W26

The Jason Johnson W26

Brayden Parr is one a few really talented young drivers out of Victoria

Brayden Parr is one a few really talented young drivers out of Victoria

Robbie Farr Q7

Robbie Farr Q7

Max Dumesny found it tough going and could not transfer from the C-Main - he came 5th

Max Dumesny found it tough going and could not transfer from the C-Main – he came 5th

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Gary Brazier in action during qualifying

Gary Brazier in action during qualifying

SA's Brad Keller had a quick car all day and came 5th in the feature - he will certainly be in the mix

SA’s Brad Keller had a quick car all day and came 5th in the feature – he will certainly be in the mix

Luke Dillon set fast time (13.027 sec) in the 2nd group

Luke Dillon set fast time (13.027 sec) in the 2nd group

Queensland's Mitchell Gee

Queensland’s Mitchell Gee

Brad Warren took to his new BSR Maxim like a duck to water

Brad Warren took to his new BSR Maxim like a duck to water

David Aldersley show a great smooth style in Qualifying

David Aldersley shows a great smooth style in Qualifying

USA female hot shoe Harli White

USA female hot shoe Harli White

Marcus Dumesny - great effort to make the A-Main

Marcus Dumesny – great effort to make the A-Main

This young spectator could not believe the awesome drive that James McFadden put in up on the fence in his last heat

This young spectator could not believe the awesome drive that James McFadden put in up on the fence in his last heat

Jamie Veal

Jamie Veal

Anyone for a cuppa? - American Terry McCarl

Anyone for a cuppa? – American Terry McCarl

James McFadden was top point scorer for the night despite starting P2 and finishing 4th in the A-Main

James McFadden was top point scorer for the night despite starting P2 and finishing 4th in the A-Main

Shane Stewart before his last heat

Shane Stewart before rolling out for the parade lap with the National Anthems

The Flag bearers were Shane Stewart (USA) and James McFadden (AUS)

The Flag bearers were Shane Stewart (USA) and James McFadden (AUS)

Jason Johnson finished 7th in the A-Main in the Diamond Bay Motorsports entry from WA

Jason Johnson finished 7th in the A-Main in the Diamond Bay Motorsports entry from WA

Daniel Pestka emerged Ok from this nasty crash in heats

Daniel Pestka rode out this nasty crash in the heats – unofficial reports claim he has a vertebrae injury

Harli White was very comfortable in her NSW #10

Harli White was very comfortable in her NSW #10

Terry McCarl calmly waits for the pit gate to open

Terry McCarl calmly waits for the pit gate to open

Matt Egel showed a great turn of speed all night in the SA97 - he finished 9th in the A-Main

Matt Egel showed a great turn of speed all night in the SA97 – he finished 9th in the A-Main

Young rising star Brayden Parr

Young rising star Brayden Parr

American Domenic Scelzi had to rebuild a new car from a massive crash at Borderline Speedway the night before.....when the car was wheeled out at Premier, it was all white...the Team managed to get the top wing vinyl wrapped for the first heat !!

American Domenic Scelzi had to rebuild a new car from a massive crash at Borderline Speedway the night before…..when the car was wheeled out at Premier, it was all white…the Team managed to get the top wing vinyl wrapped for the first heat !!

Doing it tough at the moment - Robbie Farr

Doing it tough at the moment – Robbie Farr

Luke Dillon was the quickest car in the 2nd group of qualifying

Luke Dillon was the quickest car in the 2nd group of qualifying

Hari White from America - Small in stature, BIG in courage !

Hari White from America – Small in stature, BIG in courage !

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Night 1 : Lucas Oil 2017 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic – Corey Gibson Photography Images

ALL IMAGES COMPLIMENTS COREY GIBSON PHOTOGRAPHY

Our good mate and professional speedway photographer Corey Gibson has just sent through a selection of his images from last nights (Night 1) 2017 Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic.

Thanks for that Corey !

The images are so graphic that they speak for themselves and don’t need any captions whatsoever – we particularly love the head on shots as the cars blast down the main straight – UNIQUE to say the least !

Corey has a massive library of current speedway images as well as old ones.

He can be contacted via:  corey@gibsonphotography.com.au

or

https://www.facebook.com/Corey-Gibson-Photography-192107880859547/

 

R170120-6218

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B170120_6073

A170120_2408

A170120_2289

A170120_2238

A170120_2028

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2017 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic Fan Appreciation Day

Words and Images: Paul Griffin

Australia’s biggest Sprintcar Race, the Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic is well supported by a host of satellite feed activities and events.

One of those events is the Fan Appreciation Day which is held in the rear car park of the Flying Horse Bar and Brewery on eastern fringe of Warrnambool on the main highway into town .

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The View of the 2017 GASC Fan Appreciation Day from the Flying Horse Board Room

The View of the 2017 GASC Fan Appreciation Day from the Flying Horse Board Room

The event runs from 10am to 12 Noon on the Saturday (the day after Night 1) of the “Classic”  weekend and gives the fans a real opportunity to get in close with the cars and the drivers.

Teams rock up with their transporters, racecars and merchandise and put on a Sprintcar visual display like no other.

Tee shirts, hoodies, stubbie holders, Sprintcar models, photos, posters, memorabilia, collectables, and giveaways are all on offer – just to name a few !!

The place gets jam packed with a shoulder to shoulder crowd of Sprintcar enthusiasts and fans.

The BIG Screen is always “on tap” with Master of Ceremonies and local Sungold Stadium commentator Gavin White conducting Driver interviews and giveaways on a huge stage.

If you are a die-hard Sprintcar fan, The 2017 Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic Fan Appreciation Day is an event that is not to be missed…… and if you don’t know much about these fire breathing 900 horsepower dirt track monsters, come along —- you will learn truckloads about them and be hooked !

 

Here’s a glimpse of the 2017 Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic Fan Appreciation Day:

Gavin White as usual had the huge crowd entertained

Gavin White as usual had the huge crowd entertained

Kerry Madsen (r) in high spirits

Kerry Madsen (r) in high spirits

Bruce Stephens Racing (BSR) have built a new car for the 2017 GAS Classic assault - WAZZA will be the pilot

Bruce Stephens Racing (BSR) have built a new car for the 2017 GAS Classic assault – Brad “WAZZA” Warren will be the pilot

The BSR #91 driven by Brad Warren will be in action at Sungold Stadium tonight for N2

The BSR #91 driven by Brad Warren will be in action at Sungold Stadium tonight for N2

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Brad Warren poses in front of the immaculate Bruce Stephens Racing #91 (First time out in a new Maxim)

Brad Warren poses in front of the immaculate Bruce Stephens Racing #91 (First time out in a new Maxim)

Brad Sweet replica helmets

Brad Sweet replica helmets

Harli White will be another USA hotfoot to watch tonight and Sunday night

Harli White will be another USA hotfoot to watch tonight and Sunday night

The front row kids put their hands up for one of many Tee Shirts that Harli White tossed into the "mosh pit"

The front row kids put their hands up for one of many Tee Shirts that Harli White tossed into the “mosh pit”

Harli White's #10 will be in action for N2 tonight

Harli White’s #10 will be in action for N2 tonight

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Happy Man: James McFadden is confident of big things tonight and Sunday night

Happy Man: James McFadden is confident of big things tonight and Sunday night

Darren Mollenouyux and his #52 that he will campaign tonight (N2)

Darren Mollenouyux and his #52 that he will campaign tonight (N2)

USA Star Greg Hodnett chats with a couple of keen fans

USA Star Greg Hodnett chats with a couple of keen fans

Family Fun: The kids also had this ripper inflatable castle to entertain themselves with

Family Fun: The kids also had this ripper inflatable castle to entertain themselves with

This year SA's Daniel Pestka (2nd left) is running his own car - he also has a range of replica helmets

This year SA’s Daniel Pestka (2nd left) is running his own car – he also has a range of replica helmets

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Brad Sweet and Gavin White (L)

Brad Sweet and Gavin White (L)

This fan purchased a Brooke Tatnell replica helmet

This fan purchased a signed Brooke Tatnell replica helmet

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American Carson Macedo had the #99 partially stripped for display

American Carson Macedo had the #99 partially stripped for display

Die casts were in abundance

Die casts were in abundance

"What can I say --- I won a great race with Brad Sweet last night" - Brooke Tatnell

“What can I say — I won a great race with Brad Sweet last night” – Brooke Tatnell

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Gavin Whire interviews Brooke Tatnell - Last nights preliminary (N1) winner

Gavin White interviews Brooke Tatnell – Last nights preliminary (N1) winner

The BIG Screen and stage

The BIG Screen and stage

The Monte Motorsport Milwaukee tent was popular

The Monte Motorsport Milwaukee tent was popular

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Brad "WAZZA" Warren and BSR had a feast of merchandise with his new V91 Maxim

Brad “WAZZA” Warren and BSR had a feast of merchandise with his new V91 Maxim

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A couple of Late models were there too - they're low and they're long !

A couple of Late models were there too – they’re low and they’re long !

The immaculate N7 of Toby Bellbowen

The immaculate N7 of Toby Bellbowen

Kids were free to enter the cabin of Sprintcars on display

Kids were free to enter the cabin of Sprintcars on display

O few other classes were present as well just to add to the mix - This one a V8 Supercar

A few other non-speedway classes were present as well just to add to the mix – This one a V8 Supercar

Shaun Dobson races tonight in the 2nd group - Here he completes the transactions for his merchandise

Man on a Mission : Shaun Dobson races tonight in the 2nd group of cars – Here he completes a transaction for his merchandise

Each year the Flying Horse Brewery does a limited edition run of beer - these weren't at the Fan Appreciation Day, but inside the pub bottle shop....Last year's Classic winner Jamie Veal is featured on the label

Each year the Flying Horse Brewery produces a limited edition run of beer – these weren’t at the Fan Appreciation Day, but inside the pub bottle shop….Last year’s Classic winner Jamie Veal is featured on the label

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Night 1: Lucas Oil 2017 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic – Brooke Tatnell Victorious over Brad Sweet in a hard fought final

Words and Images (unless otherwise noted) by Paul Griffin

Brooke Tatnell discusses tactics

Brooke Tatnell discusses tactics

 

Brooke Tatnell drove the race of his life to take victory in the  30 lap Night 1 2017 Lucas Oil GAS Classic A-Main  tonight (Jan 20th) – for his trouble earned a cool $10,000 winner’s cheque.

 

The money was good for Tatnell and the KMS Team, but the all-important points tally for winning the N1 Preliminary A-Main is probably even more important to help build a decent advantage for Sunday’s deciding night.

Big Win: Brooke Tatnell - Photo courtesy of Corey Gibson Photography (corey@gibsonphotography.com.au)

Big Win: Brooke Tatnell was ecstatic with taking Night 1 prelim honours – Photo courtesy of Corey Gibson Photography (corey@gibsonphotography.com.au)

Tatnell started off pole and quickly shot to the lead with a very determined Brad Sweet right behind him. Going along for the ride and staying in touch with the two leaders was American Kyle Hirst and current Australian Champion Kerry Madsen.

With five laps down it seemed like it was going to be a race between these four cars as the group had opened up a 10 car lead on the rest of the field.

By lap 20 Tatnell had encountered traffic. Sweet capitalised on the fact that Tatnell was being held up slightly and closed on his tail tank.

The duo had a close battle for several laps, and as that was going on, just a short distance back, Kyle Hirst and Kerry Madsen were waging their own war with just a couple of car lengths in it.

With 13 laps down Sweet pulled a brilliant move on Tatnell down the main straight and shot to the lead. Madsen was able to get the better of Kyle Hirst and so the order at that point was U99, A2, A1 and U10.

Racing continued at a frantic pace with only two or three car lengths between each of the first four cars.

Madsen’s car was showing a good turn of speed and looked like it was coming on at mid race distance – he was slowly closing on Tatnell.

Kyle Hirst slipped back slightly and gave the ascendancy to Grant Anderson who had slipped under the radar after staring out of P9. It seemed that Ando had come from nowhere.

With four to go Brad Sweet tagged an infield tractor tyre which slowed him momentarily. This was enough for Tatnell to claw back the lead.

As they crossed the finish line to the eruption of fireworks it was Tatnell, Sweet, a fast finishing Kerry Madsen, Anderson and American Carson Macedo.

Quick Timer went to Brad Sweet with an 12.419 seconds.

Racing continues tomorrow night with Night 2 being the other half of the 110 entries.

Brooke Tatnell rose to the occasion and won the A-Main in a hard fought battle with Brad Sweet

Brooke Tatnell rose to the occasion and won the A-Main in a hard fought battle with Brad Sweet

The all Gold Brooke Tatnell helmet

The all Gold Brooke Tatnell helmet

Fireworks erupt as Tatnell crosses the line first

Fireworks erupt as Tatnell crosses the line first

Brad Sweet guns it down the main straight in a heat

Brad Sweet guns it down the main straight in a heat

Brad Sweet in his superb Ruhs Bros Motorsport #99

Brad Sweet in his superb Ruhs Bros Motorsport #99

Brad Sweet was tough not to take out the A-Main

Brad Sweet was tough not to take out the A-Main

Lots of rubber in the 10 car heats

Lots of rubber in the 10 car heats

Another "Sea of Wings"

A “Sea of Wings”

A heat line up

A heat line up

Grant Anderson drove a great race to come from P9 and finish 4th

Grant Anderson drove a great race to come from P9 and finish 4th

Kerry Madsen meditates before his second heat

Kerry Madsen meditates before his second heat

Brad Sweet and Steven Lines were the Night 1 flag bearers

Brad Sweet and Steven Lines were the Night 1 flag bearers

Steven Lines looks to the heavens early on and prays the rain wont come

Steven Lines looks to the heavens early on and prays the rain won’t come

Greg Hodnett and Brad Sweet feeling confident

Greg Hodnett and Brad Sweet feeling confident

Kerry Madsen returns to his pit after watching a key heat

Kerry Madsen returns to his pit after watching a key heat

Visiting American Greg Hodnett

Visiting American Greg Hodnett checks the cricket scores on his iPhone

Kyle Hirst was strong early on in the A-Main but faded in the last 10 laps

Kyle Hirst was strong early on in the A-Main but faded in the last 10 laps

General Jack Lee hangs it wide during his 2nd qualifying lap

General Jack Lee hangs it wide during his 2nd qualifying lap

"Sea of Wings"

Another “Sea of Wings”

Brooke Tatnell is a keen observer during qualifying

Brooke Tatnell is a keen observer during qualifying – look for the white race suit !

Qualifying nearly finished

Qualifying nearly finished

Mains list - Starting posistions

Mains list – Starting posistions

Group 1 Time Trials

Group 1 Time Trials

Group 2 Time Trials

Group 2 Time Trials

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Night 1 Lucas Oil 2017 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic – Green Lights and Grey Skies

Words and Images: Paul Griffin

4pm Friday 20th Jan:

Night 1 of the Lucas Oils 2017 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic looks set to explode shortly despite a heavy rain down pour overnight and grey, windy conditions throughout the day.

Over 25mm of rain fell after midnight and many of us wondered if the famed Premier Speedway would be able to run night 1 tonight .

The rain certainly made the pits a boggy affair, but the Sungold Stadium race surface appeared resilient and looked fantastic at 11am today.

Officially 107 race entries have been received, with 10 Americans  travelling across the pacific all hopeful in claiming victory in Australia’s biggest Sprintcar race.

Here’s a quick look at what the morning brought:

Overnight saw solid rainfall totalling over 25mm - This is the Radar shot at 2.36 am this morning - Image from Melb BOM

Overnight saw solid rainfall totalling over 25mm – This is the Radar shot at 2.36 am this morning – Image from Melb BOM

The sky at 7am outside our accommodation just 3 kms from Sungold Stadium Premier Speedway looked ominous

The sky at 7am outside our accommodation just 3 kms from Sungold Stadium Premier Speedway looked ominous

The skies still looked ordinary approaching Sungold Stadium Premier Speedway around 11am

The skies still looked ordinary approaching Sungold Stadium Premier Speedway around 11am

Shortly after this shot, mother nature gave us a little more precipitation

Shortly after this shot, mother nature gave us a little more precipitation

Not deterred - the forecast was for clearing conditions and Teams started rolling up early

Not deterred – the forecast was for clearing conditions and Teams started rolling up early

The 25+ mm of overnight rain affected the pits more than the track surface

The 25+ mm of overnight rain affected the pits more than the track surface

The Warrnambool clay looked great despite the heavy overnight rain

The Warrnambool clay looked great despite the heavy overnight rain

Turn 1 : Out prediction is that come A-Main tonight, this is going to be one helluva racetrack

Turn 1 : Our prediction is that come A-Main tonight, this is going to be one helluva racetrack

Can't complain: What a great track surface Sungold Stadium is - mots other tracks in the country would turn to custard after 25+mm of rain

Can’t complain: What a great track surface Sungold Stadium is – most other tracks in the country would turn to custard after 25+mm of rain

The wind was a cracker at 11am and the flags on top of Race Control were in full swing

The wind was a cracker at 11am and the flags on top of Race Control were in full swing

The immaculate SA 2 was the first Sprintcar to be wheeled out

The immaculate SA 2 (Craig Vanderstelt) was the first Sprintcar to be wheeled out

All good !!!
Let’s go Racin’ !

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Prelude to the Lucas Oil 2017 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic: Sungold Stadium – Premier Speedway Warrnambool

Words and images : Paul Griffin

Thursday 19th Jan 2017 : Time 5pm …. We have just arrived at Warrnambool – the beautiful seaside country town in Victoria Australia that hosts the Grand Annual Classic……the “Bathurst” of Sprintcar Racing, the INDY 500 of Sprintcar Racing and on and on you can go…… many say the Mecca of Australian Sprintcar racing – AND THEY ARE 100% CORRECT !

First Job – Go to Sungold Stadium – Premier Speedway, collect our media pass and have a “gander” at the track !

As usual Premier Speedway Manager David Mills and his hard working Team have the place looking like a Trillion Bucks – Well done guys, it looks superb.

Anyway, check out these preliminary images that represent the “calm before the GASC Storm” !

Hang on for the ride……..its going to be BIG !

Warrnambool's Sungold Stadium - Premier Speedway is arguably the best track in the nation and ready to host 3 nights of fire breathing Sprintcars

Warrnambool’s Sungold Stadium – Premier Speedway is arguably the best track in the nation and ready to host 3 nights of fire breathing Sprintcars

Yep.....get ready for 3 days of Blue Ribbon Racing

Yep…..Get ready for 3 days of Blue Ribbon Racing at the Lucas Oil 2017 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic

Say no more ---- We are here !!

Say no more —- We are here ready for “The Classic” !!

VIP Room east wall oozes history

The East Wall of the Sungold Stadium VIP Room oozes history !!

The VIP Room Classic Honour Board ---- every one of those names a legend in Sprintcar Racing

The VIP Room Grand Annual Classic Honour Board —- every one of those names a legend in Sprintcar Racing

The calm before the storm - The Merchandise store on the front straight is ready along with all the others to get thumped over the weekend

The calm before the storm – One of the many Merchandise Stores on the front straight is stocked and ready to “get thumped” with purchases over the weekend

Inner Sanctum : The GASC 2017 Trophies await their deserved owners

Inner Sanctum : The Lucas Oil 2017 GASC Trophies await their deserved owners

"Hoot" the owl statue guards the main straight fast food facility when race patrons are not in the house

“Hoot” the owl guards the main straight fast food facility when race patrons are not in the house

The Classic view of the "Premier Hub"

The Classic view of the “Sungold Stadium – Premier Speedway Race Hub”

Turn 4 - note the YELLOW catch fence pole to help signify the "Get on the Gas" point at the end of the rolling lap

Turn 4 – note the YELLOW catch fence pole to help signify the “Get on the Gas” point at the end of the rolling lap

David Mills and the Premier Sungold Stadium groundstaff have the venue looking the best it ever has - Good one guys !!!

David Mills and the Premier Speedway Sungold Stadium groundstaff have the venue looking the best it ever has – Good one guys !!!

Always Cool - The Premier Speedway Manager's Vehicle - A great look for David Mills

Always Cool – The Premier Speedway Manager’s Vehicle – A great look !

The Victory Dias that will host the 2017 Classic Winner ---- Who will it be ????

The Victory Dias that will host the 2017 Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic Winner —- Who will it be ????

The all important Rescue Vehicle sits idle in the Premier Speedway Pits enclosure and is ready to assist for the 3 day program

The all important Rescue Vehicle sits idle in the Premier Speedway Pits enclosure and is ready to assist for the 3 day program

The sign that greats us each year - The Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic 2017 is just one day away

The sign that greets us each year – “The Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic 2017” is just one day away

Sam Walsh from NSW is one of over 110 competitors that is going to try and claim the 2017 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic

Sam Walsh from NSW is one of over 110 competitors that is going to battle it out over the weekend for the Lucas Oils 2017 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic

Warrnambool offers not only the best Sprintcar Race in Australia, but awesome scenery and activities as well

Warrnambool not only offers the best Sprintcar Race in Australia, but awesome scenery, food and water activities as well – you simply can’t beat it !

 

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Shaun Dobson Shines and Takes Victory in the Scott Darley Challenge Final

Images compliments Gary Reidgreid@pacific.net.au
Words by VRPR

The flag parade lap

The flag parade pays respect to the late Scott Darley and his family

Mother nature tried to intervene but nothing could stop Shaun Dobson from becoming the first Tasmanian to win a major event at Valvoline Raceway as he steamed to victory in a rain delayed 30-lap affair.

Dobson started on the front row alongside American Dominic Scelzi but took off and was never headed in the Essendon Ford / Quantum Quartz #21.

Shaun Dobson

Biggest Career Win – Shaun Dobson in the Essendon Ford entry

It was nothing short of miraculous that the race even managed to get run as the heavens opened and almost cancelled the feature before a green light had even come on.

Track staff and the drivers rallied to scratch the surface and pack it back in.

The delight on Dobson’s father Andrew’s face said it all as he hugged his son in victory lane.

“This is such an honour to win this race,” beamed Dobson, “this race means so much to so many people. I’ll never forget this moment.”

Kerry Madsen finished a gallant second with American Kyle Hirst filling the third spot on the podium.

For his trouble Dobson pocketed $20,000 (including $1000 put up by Blackshaws Smash Repairs for leading lap #19).

A Main podium: (l-r) Kyle Hirst (3rd), Shaun Dobson (1st), Max Freeman, Trevor Green, Kerry Madsen (2nd)

A Main podium: (l-r) Kyle Hirst (3rd), Shaun Dobson (1st), Max Freeman, Trevor Green, Kerry Madsen (2nd)

Final placings in the A-Main were:

1. Shaun Dobson
2. Kerry Madsen
3. Kyle Hirst
4. James McFadden
5. Ian Madsen
6. Robbie Farr
7. Logan Schuchart
8. Steven Lines
9. David Murcott
10. Jamie Veal
11. Brooke Tatnell
12. Carson Macedo
13. Troy Little
14. Brad Sweet
15. Lucas Wolfe
16. Matt Dumesny
17. Daniel Harding
18. Warren Ferguson
19. Sammy Walsh
20. Marty Perovich
21. James Thompson
22. Dominic Scelzi
23. Ben Ellement
24. Ian Loudoun

The 30-lap event ran non-stop from green flag to chequers.

Brad Sweet took the D19 Challenge after winning Night One and thereby began tonight’s A-Main from position #19 but with the shortened distance and juiced up track from the rain it was always going to be an impossible proposition to make back the 18 or so positions.

He moved from 19th to 14th as best he could.

“Hey it happens,” he mused, “you can’t do much about the weather. I’m sure if we hadn’t had the rain make the track so fast we could have had a shot. It wasn’t to be.”

The race of the night was undoubtedly the B-Main where Ian Loudoun pulled off a spectacular three-wide pass to snaffle the final transfer position to the A-Feature.

The crowd erupted when Loudoun sped the Essendon Ford #3 around the outside three wide to guarantee himself a spot in the big dance.

Californian Dominic Scelzi was impressive to say the least in the Wormall Civil #1 setting quick time in Network Industry qualifying and scoring the massive $1,900 from Marty Perovich for doing so.

“This is the most I’ve ever won in a qualifying deal and I can’t thank Marty enough for this fantastic reward. The trophy is incredible too and although I’d like to take it home to California, really it belongs in the Darley house with the family.”

For Perovich himself the satisfaction and the relief of finally making the A-Main field straight from his heat in his Intext #17 was obvious to all.

Brad Sweet’s idea to ‘let the fans decide’ whether he should take the D19 challenge was met with wild cheers from the fans and cemented him even further as one of the most popular Americans to race at Valvoline Raceway.

Brad Sweet accepts the challenge to start from position 19

Brad Sweet accepts the challenge to start from position 19

Movers in the field included Jamie Veal (who came from the win in the B-Main) from 18th to 10th, James McFadden from 8th to 4th, Ian Madsen from 10th to 5th, Carson Macedo a massive pedal from 22nd (through the B-Main) to 12th, and Daniel Harding from 24th to 17th.

Brad Sweet

Brad Sweet cranks it up at VR

Dominic Scelzi

Visiting American Dominic Scelzi set QT

Jamie Veal (35) inside Marty Perovich (17)

Jamie Veal (35) inside Marty Perovich (17)

Chris Street (64) leads Guy Stanshall (18), Mick Saller (56), Thomas Jeffrey (12) and Jason Pryde (14)

Chris Street (64) leads Guy Stanshall (18), Mick Saller (56), Thomas Jeffrey (12) and Jason Pryde (14)

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American Ace Brad Sweet Too Good in Night 1 of Scott Darley Challenge

All Images: Gary Reid – greid@pacific.net.au

Friday 13th of January wasn’t unlucky for American Brad Sweet as he plied his skills circulating Valvoline Raceway with incredible confidence to take Night 1 of the Scott Darley Challenge.

Here’s how Gary Reid saw the action:

A Main podium: (l-r) Kerry Madsen (2nd), Brad Sweet (1st), Carson Macedo (3rd)

A Main podium: (l-r) Kerry Madsen (2nd), Brad Sweet (1st), Carson Macedo (3rd)

Brad Sweet

Brad Sweet inside Ian Loudoun

Jay Waugh (99) and Brooke Tatnell (2)

Jay Waugh (99) and Brooke Tatnell (2)

James Duckworth (68) and David Whell (9)

James Duckworth (68) and David Whell (9)

Carson Macedo

Carson Macedo in action at Valvoline Raceway

Kerry Madsen (1) and AJ Nash (51)

Kerry Madsen (1) and WA’s AJ Nash (51)

Logan Schuchart

Logan Schuchart beautifully poised

Ben Ellement

WA’s Ben Ellement gets stuck into it

 

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