Nick Lacey put in a very consistent drive last night at Avalon Raceway to take victory in round one of the 2015-2016 Eureka Garages & Sheds Sprintcar Series from a recovering Brett Milburn and the new kid on the block Dion Bellman in front a big crowd that were entertained with great racing all night long.
Forty three sprintcars lined for the opening night of the Eureka Series that also double as the Fireball Derby and it was not long before the action was on with the eight heats, a pole shootout followed by the C, B and A main events.
Five time Eureka Series Champion John Vogels took out the first heat but luck would not go his way in his next. The first round of heats went through with some very impressive racing. Brett Milburn took heat two with a stunning drive to go from P6 to the lead passing front row starters Tim Van Ginneken and Darren Mollenoyux around the outside on the opening lap. The second round of heats saw Shaun Dobson roll and out for the night thru no fault of his own, eight heats were won by eight different drivers.
Brett Milburn topped the points table at the completion of the heats. The pole shootout was next up and would set the top six starting positions for the Eureka A Main. Going into the top six shootout the order was from highest to lowest on points, Brett Milburn, Darren Mollenoyux, Daniel Pestka, Nick Lacey, Glen Sutherland and Domain Ramsay, two flying laps each and the deck was shuffled. The A Main top six order was now, Pestka, Mollenoyux, Milburn, Sutherland, Lacey and Ramsay.
The other A Main direct qualifiers from the heat racess were Chris Solomon, Ian Loudoun, Jay Waugh, Dion Bellman, Quentin Tanner, and Corey McCullagh.
C Main time and it was bruising affair for a few drivers that would see Mark House, Charles Hunter, Brenten Farrer and Adam King transfer to the rear of the last chance B Main.
The B Main went the full fifteen laps distance but not without a few incidents that saw the demise of seven drivers. Advancing to the back of the Eureka Garages & Sheds A Main field was Michael Tancredi, Jamie Hennessy, Peter Milnes, Jye Okeeffe, John Vogels and Brad Warren.
With time ticking away it was down to business in the Eureka Garages & Sheds A main event, Mollenoyux won the start from Pestka while Sutherland took third ahead of Milburn and Lacey. Lap six and Milburn spun infield but kept the car going to rejoin in seventh place then one lap more drama when Pestka was closing on Mollenoyux as they heading into lapped traffic.
Unfortunately Pestka made slight contact with Mollenoyux sending himself into a spin only to be hit by the recently lapped Vogels. The end result was Vogels was out and Pestka received damage and came to a halt that would see him having to restart from the rear of the field.
Back under way and Mollenoyux had the race under control leading Sutherland, Lacey who had moved up to be in third place from the charging Bellman and Milburn. Ramsay and Loudoun were next in line that would see these two drivers swap place on few occasion during the race. Two thirds race distance and Sutherland spun in traffic dropping from second place down to seventh when he rejoined the race.
The order was now Mollenoyux, Lacey, Milburn who had worked his way back into contention after his earlier spin from Bellman, the battling Ramsay and Loudoun, Sutherland, Tanner, Waugh, Warren, Tancredi, Milnes, Hennessy then the lapped sprintcars of Pestka and Solomon.
Lap twenty two and it all went wrong for race leader Mollenoyux as he approached Hennessy to lap him when Hennessy had a mechanical failure and slowed as Mollenoyux was making the pass on the outside sending him into the wall and spinning to a halt.
Eight laps to go and Lacey lead the way while Milburn had worked his way back up to second ahead of Bellman from Ramsay who had won the battle with Loudoun, a recovering Sutherland was now back into fifth place. As the laps wound down Milburn was closing on Lacey and starting to look for a way past as they entered more traffic, Lacey was keeping his cool though to open a small gap over Milburn as the chequered flag fell to take the win by nearly one second to Milburn, Bellman had put a great drive to take third place ahead of Ramsay with Sutherland home in fifth place. Rounding out the finishers were Loudoun in sixth place followed by Tanner, Okeeffe, Waugh, Tancredi, Mollenoyux who had raced back to eleventh place from Milnes, Warren, Pestka and Solomon.
With round one of the Avalon track championship in the books, we would like to send out a huge congratulations to Domain Ramsay on his 1st career speedcar win tonight. Mr consistent Paul Farrell in 2nd and with a fantastic drive from the rear of the field to 3rd Troy Jordan. We would also like to congratulate all the rookies tonight. Jack day had a massive moment when he broke a right rear wheel centre, however looked like a veteran managing to keep the car on the other three wheels. Justin McMinn and Jess Moulden did a great job with some wheel to wheel racing. Also Nick Parker impressed with some fast lap times. After some early issues Stuart Ferguson showed some great speed And we look forward to him pushing for some podium finishes later this year. Turning heads again this year is the brightest car in the pits Mike Griffiths, however the Griffiths team grows to a two car operation with Ian Jones joining the team both cars looked great on and off the track with both Mike and Ian banking some solid laps early in the season. Also fielding a two car team this season is JDS Motorsports Joe had tuff night with a few issues however in the end nothing to serious. Johnny looked dangerous all night and we expect him to be on the podium later this year. Hard luck story of the night is Stewart Grant Campbell , Stewart got up side down in the feature race tonight in his new pristine spike sp14 hopefully Stewart can fix it and be back A.S.A.P.