By T.J. Buffenbarger:
Saturday morning while most people in America will be sleeping (or out partying) the Australian version of sprint car civil war will be taking place at Parramatta City Raceway as the World Sprintcar Series takes on the strongest weekly program of sprint cars in the land Down Under.
The Pennsylvania Posse and the World of Outlaws have what many consider to be THE rivalry in the United States, but this weekend’s match up in Australia is very similar. In Australia the World Sprintcar Series features what many consider to be the best Sprintcar drivers in Australia with a few American’s thrown in the mix. Parramatta City Raceway near the capital city of Sydney features the strongest weekly program of Sprintcars down under.
When asked if there would be a Pa Posse vs. the Outlaws mentality this weekend, Parramatta P.R. director Dean Neal was very blunt about the two factions.
“There already IS that mentality here mate.”
This battle royal of Internationals Sprintcar contingents will feature one of the largest car counts in Australia during the 2002-2003 season. Parramatta has averaged right around 40 cars per night for the weekly Sprintcar show.
Leading the charge to defend home turf at Parramatta will be Track point leader Steven Graham. Graham raced with the AOAS in the USA this summer and won several features in 2002. Parramatta though has not had a repeat winner in Sprintcar competition this season. Mark Blyton, Marty Perovich, Troy Little, Andrew Scheuerle, Trevor Green, Brad Heywood, and Adrian Maher all are expected to help defend home turf for the Parramatta faithful.
The World Series will bring 14 contracted drivers to square off on the red clay oval – led by current points leader and Parramatta favourite son, Robbie Farr. Farr has used consistency in the five previous WSS events to lead the point standings, as there has not been a repeat winner during the 2002-2003 WSS campaign as well. Americans Daryn Pittman and Brad Furr have each won events along with Australian’s defending National Champion Max Dumesny, Ryan Farrell, and Farr also visiting victory lane.
With well over 50 cars expected to be on hand, the most important event of the night could be qualifications.
“The big deal about this weekend is the necessity to time in the top 36” said Neal. “The rest go to Non Qualifier heats where they sort themselves out for a C-Main start”.
Neal pointed out that the local drivers are ready to capitalize on any mistakes by the touring drivers. “If some big WSS gun has a problem in Time Trials…he will have a long night ahead.”
Even the announcers Wade Aunger and Neal will joust a little back and forth during the night’s activities. As Neal so properly said it “Ears will bleed”. Do not be surprised to hear some of the drivers talking a little smack back and forth amongst each other in jest during post race interviews.
The WSS event at Parramatta will be broadcast live on http://www.sprintcarworld.com.au Saturday morning at 3:00 a.m. EST. You can also follow the action all year for World Series Sprintcars at http://www.worldseriessprintcars.com and Parramatta City Raceway at http://www.parramattacityraceway.com.au.
Notes w/o quotes:
One of the best-kept secrets this silly season is who will be taking over the BWB/Hannig Construction cars. With Jay Drake departing for a reunion with Keith Kunz and Derek Davidson departing the team, one of the most prominent seats in USAC has been left open. Many seem to think either Cory Kruseman or Damion Gardner could end up filling the seat.
With the All Stars now becoming the “mini me” of the World of Outlaws tour one has to wonder what the format will be on race night. The All Stars, who have long been acclaimed to have one of the best formats in winged sprint car racing, are rumored to want to make their dash event a little more noteworthy. In the past dash cars race for car owners points towards a shootout at the final race. Hopefully the All Star officials will not give in to the “anti-race” twin dash format with a light heat race inversion so many series seem to be adopting.
The World of Outlaws might return to Michigan, more details to come if thing develop.
We are ready to Rumble in two weeks. Hope to see everyone there. Do not forget to send in those driver roster entries. Also the new photo galleries should be up and running by Fort Wayne. I will see you down the snowy road!