Sydney Speedway picks up Valvoline Naming Rights and Opens with a Bang

Images by Gary Reid, Words by Paul Griffin

Through the week Sydney Speedway picked up a new Naming Rights Partner as Valvoline came on board for season 2013/14 – The venue is now known as Valvoline Raceway – Great news for the sport and certainly great news for the track.

The season opening race meeting under the new Valvoline Banner saw Ben Atkinson spectacularly speed past Max Dumesny in the later stages of the 30 lap final to take victory. Third home in the first Track Championship race was the “Smiling Assassin” Craig Brady, just ahead of SA’s Trevor Green.

Ben Atkinson celebrates after winning the A Main

Earlier in the race locals Toby Bellbowen and Max Johnson had a ripper battle that saw the lead change on multiple occasions. The crowd was on its feet and massively vocal. Bellbowen regrettably managed to get caught up in a racing incident as part of that battle – sustaining wing damage and vaporising his forward thrust.

Toby Bellbowen starts to drop off with top wing damage as Max Johnson powers on

Max Johnson kept pushing forward and  looking like he was” the goods” for the Feature, but as luck would have it, Bellbowen while circulating in his ailing machine spun on the slick surface. The hapless Johnson had nowhere to go and embarked on a massive “airtime” monster flip. Both drivers fortunately emerged OK, a little bruised and battered though.

It was a fitting start to the season and a fitting tribute to the new Sponsor Valvoline. Let’s hope the rest of the season lives up to this one !

Ben Atkinson in the Gary Rush #2 started his defence of the track championship on the right note when he won the season opening Sprintcar A Main at Valvoline Raceway in Sydney on 5 October after coming through the B Main

Shaun Dobson (left) and Craig Brady do battle during heat race action

Roddy Bellbowen charges under Wayne Skipper in turn 2

Max Johnston (38), shown leading Trevor Green and Max Dumesny, led for much of the A Main until contact with a slower car sent him skyward in a big way - check out the front wheels of Johnson's #38 !

Shaun Dobson gives us the thumbs up before a competitive night that unfortunately saw him fail to finish the feature race

Thanks to Gary Reid for the awesome images.

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