From Valvoline Raceway
Sydney, AU — (January 1, 2015) — James Thompson won the $1000 bounty for leading at the 20 lap pit stop mark but Ian Madsen collected the $10,000 for claiming the next thirty lap segment and in doing so wrapped up the inaugural Firecracker 50 Lapper at Valvoline Raceway tonight.
Madsen steered the #10 D&B Goodyer Developments entry narrowly clear of his rivals in what became a last two lap scramble when he ran off the track whilst leading and dropped back as far as fourth.
“I did a pretty good job of almost losing that race,” he conceded, “I jumped the cushion in three and four and a bunch of them got by me. I had to settle back down and get by them again but Dave Sharman had the car set beautifully and I got back to the front.”
The 50 lapper was a bruising affair that claimed more than it’s share of high profile scalps and produced a long list of hard luck stories.
Budget racers James Thompson and Sam Walsh were ecstatic however, having battled for the lead between them for almost every lap.
“I think I went to sleep a bit there for a while,” Thompson admitted, “I got into a bit of a rhythm and Sammy (Walsh) went past me on the outside and took off. It was a long race even with the pit stop in the middle and I think I lost my intensity just for a moment. Ian’s (Madsen) a champion though so it’s an honour to run second to him.”
Walsh was equally self-critical.
“I think we had that race to win but I made a few mistakes and it cost us,” he mused, “I’m sorry for my team because I think I should have finished it off. A podium with guys like this is a cool deal though.”
The format for the 50 lapper saw a compulsory main straight pit stop on lap 20 and then a 30 lap residual at the resumption.
An unusually high number of rollovers on the night saw many main race contenders exit early.
The most spectacular of which were Peter Lack and Darryl Campbell who flipped heavily in the same part of the track on completely different laps and both sadly wound up with completely destroyed racecars.
Both were running strongly in the event at the time.
Grant Anderson qualified on the second row for the 50 lapper but spun down the back straight in the 30-lap phase and had to retire with front-end damage.
Kerry Madsen wound up parked on top of Jac Haudenschild’s car with 6 laps still remaining in the first phase of the race and had to retire with steering damage whilst Jeremy Cross was also taken out in the same incident.
Lynton Jeffrey was lucky not to roll over when he made contact with Kerry Madsen on lap one of the race with Madsen cutting down a tyre and Lynton having to retire the Al Woods owned #28 QT with front end damage.
“It was a racing deal,” explained Jeffery, “not much room and too many cars all trying to get the same spot. We got caught up but it’s just one of those deals.”
American Tim Kaeding’s tale of woe continued with the #99 Complete Parts and Equipment Solutions KPC suffering front-end damage when he made contact with Garry Brazier early in the race.
Brazier suffered a broken left rear shock in the incident but continued on until the pit stop to repair it.
Jordyn Brazier had the disappointment of running out of fuel with six laps to go until the pit stop.
Fourteen cars in all finished the final thirty laps with all agreeing that although it was grueling the format encouraged a different kind of strategy and gave the racing a twist.
“I doesn’t matter what you do with the format, there’ll always be people who are happy and people who aren’t but I think this deal was cool. It gave you a different way to think about your car set up and how you could run the two parts to the race,” said winner Madsen.
The fourteen cars that finished were:
Ian Madsen (winner) James Thompson (second) Sam Walsh (third) Brad Sweet (fourth) Toby Bellbowen (who began on the front row with James Thompson – fifth) Jac Haudenschild (who pedaled from the rear of the field to finish sixth) Max Johnston who was consistently speedy in seventh, Max Dumesny eighth, Garry Brazier (who was in the wars) ninth, Grant Tunks (who was quoted saying “where’s the oxygen bottle?” during the pit stop) in tenth, Queenslander Terry Bracken with a solid eleventh, Queensland based Sydneysider Matt Young in twelfth, Jackson Delamont (who cut down a tyre on lap one and had to go to the rear) in thirteenth and Alex Orr who battled an ailing motor after qualifying on the second row and running as high as second at one point finishing fourteenth.
The four cars who transferred through from the B-Main included winner Warren Ferguson, Jeremy Cross in second, Jackson Delamont third and Max Johnston in fourth despite the best efforts of Tasmanian Shaun Dobson to pinch the final transfer.
High profile racers who remarkably missed the A-Main transfer included Robbie Farr, Danny Reidy, Matt Dumesny and Trevor Green to name a few.
Unfortunately for Ben Atkinson he more than missed the transfer with a huge rollover in turn one on the opening lap of the event.
Network Industry “Quick Time” in qualifying went to James Thompson.
The Speedcar main event was a very entertaining affair with Sydney veteran Troy Jenkins scoring victory after coming from the ninth row of the grid in his BOC Gases #78 Synergy.
“I’m really loving racing here these days,” Jenkins smiled proudly, “it’s a real pleasure to race at Valvoline Raceway and it’s great to see so many fans here each event.”
Jenkins was superb as he wove his way through the field to eventually score a timely win in the 20 lap journey over Queenslander Rob Mackay in second place and Matt Hunter rounding out the podium.
Earlier teenager Brayden Willmington led the feature for many laps until he slammed the cushion in turn three and inadvertently inverted the V8 Superlaps entry.
“It’s disappointing of course to crash out like that when we’re leading,” he mused from the scene, “but at least I know we can lead races like this and we have some good speed.”
Trailing home the lead trio of Jenkins, Mackay and Hunter were Bob Jackson in fourth, Cameron Restall for a season’s best fifth place, Don Mackay in sixth, Jeremy Evans seventh, Richard Malouf eighth, Jaimie McKinlay in ninth, Matt Jackson tenth, Andy Hassan eleventh, Alan Day twelfth, Reid Mackay thirteenth and Dean Meadows fourteenth.
The next event at Valvoline Raceway is this Saturday night (January 3) for the Peter Murphy Appreciation Night with 64 Sprintcars, 52 wingless sprints and 35 Street Stocks nominated for the event.
For more information please visit www.valvolineraceway.com.au