The Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic quite often produces fairy tales, and this year in its 46th running, there was no exception.
To some, the winner of the 2018 GASC is a little known local Warrnambool driver Corey McCullagh, however tonight he produced a Sprintcar clinic for the other 23 competitors in the A-Main Final of the 2018 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic, and catapulted himself into worldwide Sprintcar recognition.
McCullagh crossed the flagstand after 40 grueling laps – he was over 10 car lengths ahead of his nearest rival !!
….and that rival was none other than American Racer Carson Macedo.
Over the line in third was multiple Australian Champion Brooke Tatnell and then came current Australian Champion Kerry Madsen.
McCullagh’s victory was amazing and hugely popular amongst the lock out crowd…..it was no fluke, this team had been working to something big for quite a while !!
Brooke Tatnell paid a moving testament to the Team and the stunning victory in the presentations saying that “McCullagh had Schooled us all tonight” – what a compliment coming from the Aussie Champ !!!!!!
Both Macedo’s and Tatnell’s car were set up for the high line, while McCullagh’s was more forgiving and biased toward the low line.
Having said that, despite the fact that McCullagh had a set-up that worked on the lowline, he still had to move up high and mid-track to displace lapped cars.
The McCullagh V90 Maxim had amazing flexibility to perform all over the track. It was locked down and on rails.
It’s a cliché I know, but it was so true …….McCullagh could put the racecar in virtually any position on the track and be competitive, however by far the car’s sweet spot was down low.
It was simply a scintillating drive by McCullagh, further empahsied by the fact that he was in some pretty hot company eg: High profiled Americans, current and past Australian Champions and current and past Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic winners – some of them MULTIPLE TITLE AND CLASSIC WINNERS.
These heavy hitters had no answer for the young 23 year old local driver.
McCullagh started from P9 and won……in doing so he got past these big hitters with relative ease.
He stuck to his race plan and did not falter once.
The task of working through the Classic field also earned him the Skwid Signs “Hard Charger” award – a race car vinyl wrap and design.
The victory prize is a $30,000 cheque and McCullagh joked on the podium saying that would pay the tyre bill.
So back to the race ………….McCullagh actually made the opposition look like they were in a lesser league – that’s how distinct the difference was in car speed.
I’m not even going to give a blow by blow description of the race, as the result speaks for itself.
I have pages of notes on the fact that there were multiple stoppages, some yellow and some red…. but that is only going to cloud what I want to portray.
Corey McCullagh is now a GASC Champ – and a very deserved one.
The victory was hatched from a team that has the lowest of low budgets – those were essentially the words used by Car Owner and Dad Brian McCullagh at the pit presentations. They simply don’t have the big bucks to toss around.
It was a truly memorable performance….a performance that resulted in a standing ovation for the “local lad” and the biggest crowd ever seen in the pits for the official presentations.
Having said all that, there were some notable moves forward by Kerry Madsen and Steven Lines and titanic struggles between those two, Shaun Dobson and Luke Dillon during the 40 laps….but simply put ….the night and his 2018 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic Champion status belongs to Corey McCullagh.
Well done Corey – you have a huge future mate !!
The Classic in a flash:
Corey McCullagh won the 46th Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic
It was Corey’s 1st ever Classic Victory
Corey become the 25th winner of The Classic
Corey is the 11th Australian to take out The Classic
Corey competed in the 2017 Classic and came 5th in B-Main 1
And so ends yet another fantastic Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic – Congratulations Corey McCullagh – Words and images Paul Griffin