By Ian Vale
Photos by Inaction Photography
A very big crowd was on hand at Avalon Raceway last night to witness Luke Walker take his first sprintcar feature victory in round seven of the Eureka Garages and Sheds Sprintcar Series from Shaun Dobson and Corey McCullagh.
With the eight heat races won and done Brad Warren scored enough points to earn the right to start from pole position for the Eureka Garages Sheds A Main event that was also doubling as the Avalon Raceway Sprintcar Gold Cup.
Qualifying alongside Warren on the front row was Shaun Dobson, on the second row would be Eddie Lumbar who was having one of his best runs for a while, Luke Walker lined up in fourth place. Corey McCullagh and Rhys Baxter were on row three, the other qualifiers for the main event in order were Charles Hunter, Rod Matthews, Bobby Daly, Brett Milburn, Andrew Hughes, Grant Stansfield, and the last chance B Main transferring drivers of Brayden Parr, Peter Doukas, Tim Hutchins, John Vogels, Jordyn Charge and the current Eureka Garages and Sheds Series points leader Rusty Hickman.
With the staff from Western Nissan in attendance for a corporate night at Avalon Raceway their eyes were turned to Jordyn Charge who has Western Nissan as one of his major sponsors, all was set for the thirty lap journey.
Dobson looked the man to beat but it was Warren who won the start leaving Dobson in second place, Lumbar in third and McCullagh quickly moved into fourth place pushing Walker down the order into fifth.
Warren was showing good pace but Dobson was keeping him in sights to eventually take the lead of the races on lap six, Lumbar was doing a good job still holding down third place from McCullagh, Walker and Milburn who was moving well through the field and up to sixth place when the caution lights came on after Vogels hit the turn three wall to finish his night.
On the restart is was Walker who had found a good racing line up high and quickly moved into second place by one third race distance then set his sights on the race leader Dobson. Walker was carrying good car speed and made his move just after half race distance to take the lead leaving Dobson in second place from McCullagh, Warren, Milburn and then two of the B Main transferring drivers Parr and Hickman who were in sixth and seventh places respectively over Lumbar who was fading, Hunter was in ninth place while Doukas had moved forward to into tenth place.
Twenty laps in and the red light was on for Matthews who rolled in turns one & two, Hunters race would also come to and end with a suspension failure and Lumbar would also retire with a suspected hole in his radiator.
Under way again for the last time and Walker was driver very well up high on the track leaving Dobson to find an answer to catch him, as the laps wound down Dobson seemed to be able to stay with Walker and put a big effort on the last lap to try and take the lead back but Walker had done enough to take the win by a slender margin from Dobson, McCullagh finished third while Parr was one of the big movers to come home in fourth place after starting from thirteenth on the grid, Milburn had a good run to take fifth place while the current Eureka Garages & Sheds Series point leader Hickman was the mover of the race to finish sixth after starting from P18.
Rounding out the finishers in order was Warren, Doukas, Daly, Stansfield, Charge, Baxter, Hutchins and Andrews who finished fourteenth.
Heat winners on the night were V67 Luke Walker, V9 Rod Matthews, V28 Andrew Hughes, V90 Corey McCullagh, V8 Bobby Daly, V91 Brad Warren, V68 Brett Milburn and VA81 Rhys Baxter.
The B Main was taken out by Brayden Parr while the C Main event was won by Tim Rankin.
Eureka Garages and Sheds Series – KTM Top 10:
1st – Rusty Hickman – 2052
2nd – Brett Milburn – 1928
3rd – Tim Hutchins – 1843
4th – Jacob Smith – 1638
5th – Glen Sutherland – 1537
6th – Peter Doukas – 11533
7th – Jamie Veal – 1450
8th – Corey McCullagh – 1449
9th – Jye Okeeffe – 1399
10th – Charles Hunter – 1371