All Images by Gary Reid – email@example.com
Words by Valvoline Raceway PR
Night One feature winner Kerry Madsen took the bold challenge but Jamie Veal made it pay in the second and final night of the 2015/2016 Scott Darley Challenge at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway.
After storming to victory and pocketing the first $19,000 on Friday night the driver of the Keneric Racing #29 looked destined to double his money with a powerhouse run through the preliminaries on Saturday night culminating in a victory in the Aussie Forklift Repairs Pole Shootout.
The Sydneysider had earlier accepted “the Scotty Challenge” to start the second 40-lap A-Main from position #19 in order to make him eligible for a 200% prize-money increase if he could win the race.
After dispatching the field in the Pole Shootout and earning himself right to begin the feature race from the front row Madsen laughed, “If I’d known we were going to be this good tonight I’d never have agreed to the challenge. We’ve already given our word that we would though and that’s what we’ll do.”
The huge crowd on hand bayed its approval at the prospect of Kerry beginning from the tenth row of the grid.
Asked if he was now concerned that this might give Jamie Veal (whom he raced in the final pole shootout) a huge advantage Madsen quipped “It’s not just him, it’s my brother Ian, Sides, Tatnell, Dumesny, Brazier, Hirst and all those guys. This is a quality field.”
Kerry’s words would wind up being eerily prophetic as, try as he may, he was unable to get beyond 13th position despite trying every conceivable line on the track to get through in the remarkable non-stop feature.
Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth Jamie Veal simply dominated the race and collected $19,000 on top of both the $1,900 winner’s cheques for Network Industry on both nights in the SWI Engineering Maxim.
The dual Quick Time $1900 payouts are the richest qualifying incentives anywhere on the planet.
“There’s nowhere in the world that I’m aware of where the fast time award pays almost two grand on consecutive nights,” explained American Jason Sides, “Marty (Perovich) is to be congratulated for what he’s done this weekend.”
Jamie Veal simply ripped away at the start and stayed there in a race that created history as the first 40-lap affair to ever run without a stoppage at Valvoline Raceway.
Night 2 A Main podium: (l-r) Max Duemsy (3rd), Max Freeman (representing Darley family), Jamie Veal (1st), Kyle Hirst (2nd)
“We’ve won a few USC rounds and weekly races here but this is another thing entirely. It’s a huge honour to win this race in Scott Darley’s memory and a result I’ll never forget. I can’t thank my boys enough for giving me a great racecar to get this done.”
When the greens came on Veal simply drove away but the battles beyond his tail tank were epic, particularly between American Kyle Hirst, Victorian legend Max Dumesny, WSS champion Brooke Tatnell. Toby Bellbowen and Brad Sweet to name a few.
Kyle Hirst took the Monte Motorsport Milwaukee Motorsport Maxim to a strong second place that the Californian later admitted was like a win for the team.
“We really got rolling tonight. Hats off to Jamie for the win but a podium finish for us on a night like this is a win any other time. This is a great result for Milwaukee and our own Luch Monte and all the supporters. I’m thrilled that we can get second in the Scott Darley.”
Veteran Max Dumesny was his typical consistent self and endured a significant battle for second before having to concede the runner up spot to Hirst.
“Everyone knows how much this race means to people. It’s great that we can be up here with these guys. Full credit to Jamie and congratulations to Kerry for taking the challenge.” said Max
There were two disappointments in the main event with Kraig Kinser melting down a motor in the Natrad Maxim late in the race and James McFadden breaking off two spark plugs after smashing the sizeable cushion one too many times.
“I said to Moth (Gleeson – crew chief) after the race that I could have just rolled around on the bottom with everyone else or I could get up there and have a crack. Running the bottom’s not really my deal so I had to give it a go.”
Toby Bellbowen had a solid night in the Hog’s Breath Café Maxim to run a strong fourth place after a titanic battle with Brooke Tatnell that lasted several laps.
Brad Sweet was always one to watch after starting deep in the pack and sliding into an eventual top five finish in the Ruhs Brothers #99 KKR whilst fellow American Jason Sides was a lively proposition in the Horrell Motorsport #7 Maxim.
“I love coming to this race and I love this place,” the charismatic Tennessee native conceded prior to the A-Main, “I’m pleased that we can run here this weekend in Sydney and the Classic week next week thanks to Dave Horrell.”
The race presented several season-best so far results including Brisbane gasser Steven Rowell who placed 19th and although he would have been hoping for a higher overall finish Matt Dumesny’s 10th was a just result for a dig-deep weekend in the Valvoline Synpower Maxim.
The historic non-stop affair took a shade under ten minutes fifty-six seconds to run at 10.55.638.
Darwin’s Ben Atkinson claimed the B-Main over fellow transferees Matt Dumesny in second, James Thompson third and Mitchell Dumesny finishing fourth but eventually hurting the motor after the chequers in a situation that presented dual Australian champion David Murcott with a berth in the A-Main.
Valvoline Raceway re-worked the track twice on the night to prevent a rubber down racing surface and to keep what was becoming a ‘monster cushion’ particularly in turns one and two.
“You never want to change the track on the night,” conceded VR Managing Director Steven Green, “because you know that teams are chasing their set ups all night and you want a night that builds to the A-main, but when there’s an obvious danger of rubber going down early in the race and the guys also tearing up tyres it’s a decision you need to make. It’s a balance between something that the guys can race on and still provide a spectacle for the fans.”
Final A-main results:
1. Jamie Veal
2. Kyle Hirst
3. Max Dumesny
4. Toby Bellbowen
5. Brad Sweet
6. Jason Sides
7. James Thompson
8. Ian Madsen
9. Brooke Tatnell
10. Matt Dumesny
11. Randy Hannagan
12. Steven Lines
13. Kerry Madsen
14. Robbie Farr
15. Grant Anderson
16. David Murcott
17. Ben Atkinson
18. Sam Walsh
19. Steven Rowell
20. Matt Smith
21. Jordyn Brazier
22. Kraig Kinser (DNF motor)
23. James McFadden (spark plug damage)
24. Garry Brazier
A huge crowd turned out despite yet again intermittent rain and threatening skies to see a nation’s best field and six Americans compete in the honour of Scott Darley’s memory.
The two-night spectacular concludes the International Series for Valvoline Raceway that saw Kraig Kinser, Carson Macedo, Brad Sweet and Kasey Kahne compete at the circuit since December 26.
Kahne, who was competing at the Chilli Bowl event in Oklahoma, tuned into watch the “Clayperview” live video streaming of the Darley action.
Kyle Hirst tries the low line in time trials
Mitch Dumesny at full throttle
Jamie Veal leads Brad Sweet in heat racing
Marcus Dumesny inside Alex Orr
Stacey Galliford (46) leads Brandon Rawlings (44) and Dave Murcott (A1 obscured)
Kerry Madsen leads Garry Brazier in the Pole Shuffle
Adam Wray (26) and Blake Skipper (24) battle for the lead in the D Main on Night 2
Kerry Madsen and Toby Bellbowen get close in the Pole Shuffle
Alex Orr is ready to go on Night 1
Plenty of blue in the flag parade: Max Dumesny (5), Matt Smith (11) and Kerry Madsen (29
Marty Perovich and the makings of a stunning Sydney sunset on the first Night
Carson Macedo gets some Night 1 air time above Darryl Campbell (28)
Steve Lines ran third in the Night 1 A Main
Night 1 A Main podium: (l-r) Steve Lines (3rd), Kerry Madsen (1st), Jamie Veal (2nd)