All Images compliments of Gary Reid – firstname.lastname@example.org
Words – Valvoline Raceway and USC
Robbie Farr clinched a nail-biting USC Chase Round Three victory at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway Sat night (19 Mar) , literally brushing aside James McFadden to score the $10,000 win by a matter of metres.
Farr and McFadden traded the lead position twice in the final lap with Farr’s Hi-Tec Oils #7 Cool eventually edging by on the inside groove in turn three where he was never headed.
It was a thrilling conclusion to what had been a gripping race where the heavyweights of USC Sprintcar action all staked their claims for the $10,000 payout including Chase Series leader Jamie Veal who led his share of laps as well.
Valvoline Raceway honoured Sprintcar and Speedway legend Brian Linigen who presented the winners their hardware on the dais and waved the chequered flags for the 4-wide formation.
“It means a lot to get this trophy from Brian,” Farr explained, “I’ve driven for him and so many other people have as well. He’s been a huge supporter of Speedway Racing and he deserves tonight.”
If the battle for the lead wasn’t enough the arm-wrestles for position continued well back through the back thrilling the huge crowd on hand, many of whom were knew to the sport to see Monster Trucks as well for the “Ultimate vs Monster” promotion.
“The boys gave me a great car,” grinned Farr who came from the fourth row of the grid, “that last lap was pretty hairy with James but when there’s ten grand on the line and a possible USC Chase overall win you have to go for it. I know he’d have done the same.”
McFadden relieved Farr of the lead going in turn one on the final lap and came out in front as the duo exited turn two.
Farr drew back alongside him going into turn three and there was contact between the cars with McFadden bouncing up over the cushion and coming out literally metres behind the new leader as the chequers fell.
“It is what it is,” McFadden grinned later after playfully rugby tackling Farr during his TV interview, “you race against each other maybe fifty times a year and you only hit each other once or twice. It was a great race. I just wish I’d been able to shut the door a little harder going into three.”
Jamie Veal may not have scored the main event win but it was an important third place for the USC Chase leader.
“We weren’t that good tonight to be honest, we need to go back and work out where we went wrong for next time. James and Robbie did a great job but I really struggled passing lapped cars. You can’t afford to be off your game in any way at this level.”
Jackson Delamont was rapid in the #48 Mad Harry’s Steel Maxim to place an excellent fourth.
Ian Loudoun made a welcome return to form in the Essendon Ford J&J with KMS crew chief Dylan Buswell spannering the car for the second week in a row. Loudoun moved from position #13 to his eventual fifth.
Max Dumesny and James Thompson were very quick in various parts of the race and certainly had their chances for a podium finish.
The revelation of the night was Canberra’s Jay Waugh who qualified into the Pole Shootout and ran inside the top four for many laps before fading brakes saw him fall back through the order.
An obviously satisfied Waugh grinned in the pits after the night had ended.
“It was great to run up towards the front like that. It’s a different kind of intensity when you run with those guys, you just can’t afford to let up. We lost the brakes and that made it impossible to stay on the pace but I learned a lot in the time I was in the top group.”
Grant Tunks drove more laps than most having to come from the C-Main, then the B-Main and finally the A-Main to eventually place 16th.
Another entertaining battle going on behind Tunks was between Mick Saller and Matt Thomas who finished 17th and 18th respectively after the pair raced side by side for many laps, much to the chagrin of James McFadden when he was trying to lap them.
Jack Lee was the only red light stoppage of the main event when he rolled the #25 Lilley Lane’s Quarries entry earlier in turn three.
A-Main finishing positions:
1. Robbie Farr
2. James McFadden
3. Jamie Veal
4. Jackson Delamont
5. Ian Loudoun
6. Max Dumesny
7. James Thompson
8. Danny Reidy
9. Jimmy Matchett
10. Andrew Wright
11. Max Johnston
12. Jay Waugh
13. Grant Anderson
14. Matt Smith
15. Warren Ferguson
16. Grant Tunks
17. Michael Saller
18. Matthew Thomas
19. Toby Bellbowen
20. Kim Becker
21. Ben Atkinson
22. Sam Walsh
23. Jack Lee
24. Mitchell Dumesny
The Dumesny Dash Sprintcar race (featuring all six members of the Dumesny Family) was run and won by Michaela Dumesny who edged out younger brother Marcus and elder brother Mitchell to take the 8-lap win.
Matt Dumesny may well have been the victor after tearing up to second place before hurting a motor with a few laps to go and with his Mum Melinda and sister Michaela in his sights.
The USC Chase qualifying rounds continue this coming Easter weekend with Good Friday and Easter Sunday at Hi-Tec Oils Speedway Toowoomba and also at Premier Speedway Warrnambool on the Sunday.