By Ian Vale
In one of the best drivers seen in the Eureka Garages & Sheds Sprintcar Series this season the 2018 Grand Annual Classic winner Corey McCullagh showed why he is a class act after having to transfer from the B Main event to the back of the Eureka A main and then proceeded to charge thru the field to the win in fine style to from Marcus Dumesny and Charles Hunter.
The night didn’t quite to plan for many of the competitors and one of the drivers to have problems that prevented him from hot laps was Corey McCullagh, luckily the issue was rectified in time for time trials. The time trial session were punctuated with driver errors with spins and drivers hitting the wall on a few occasions.
The heat races went thru without too many issues before the main event grids were set.
The importance for three of the drivers Rusty Hickman, Brett Milburn and Tim Hutchins that were in the battle for the 2017-2018 Eureka Garages & Sheds Sprintcar Series Crown was to make sure they qualified into the main event.
After the time trials and heat races were run and done it was good news for Rusty Hickman who was the top points score and would start in the all important Eureka Garages & Sheds A main that was doubling as the Great Southern Showdown from pole position, while Tim Hutchins had done enough to start from position seven in the main event.
But the news was not so good for Brett Milburn having to try to go to the main event via the B Main. A top six finish in the B main event would be enough for Brett but unfortunately on the start of the event he dropped back to seventh place, that one spot that he could not get back as the race came to and end that would be a blow to his points for a third Eureka Series crown.
The B main event was taken out by Braydan Willmington from Corey McCullagh, next in line was Sam Walsh followed by Dennis Jones, Sam Wren and Steven Lines who would move onto the final event of the night.
Eureka Garages & Sheds Main event time and Rusty Hickman won the start while John Vogels passed Marcus Dumesny to take second place on the first lap with Grant Anderson, Charles Hunter and Dennis Jones in hot pursuit when the caution lights came on for Jye Okeeffe who hit a infield tyre that damaged the front end of his machine to end his night, Sam Walsh was also out on lap one.
The next attempted start did not go a lap when Grant Anderson spun to a stop that would see Grant join the tail end of the field.
Under way once more and Corey McCullagh was up four places by the end of lap three into eleven place but up front Rusty Hickman was putting in another top performance opening a gap back to John Vogels who had both Marcus Dumesny and Charles Hunter in close company. Tim Hutchins was doing a good job in fifth place keeping Peter Doukas at bay with both Corey McCullagh and Shaun Dobson now closing in on these two drivers.
Just on half race distance Woolstencroft spun and was sent infield. Green flag once more and Hickman was off and running again while Dumesny was appling the pressure to Vogels for second place. Corey McCullagh was now on a different line to all the other drivers up high on the track quickly passing Tim Hutchins and Charles hunter to be into fourth place with ten to go. Two laps latter and McCullagh made the move on both Marcus Dumesny first then John Vogels to be into second place and lighting up the crowd, McCullagh was now lapping nearly three quarters of a second faster than the leader Rusty Hickman when the caution lights were back on once again.
Steven Lines had a tyre going down that blew apart leaving rubber on the track.
Now the race was on in earnest, could Hickman hold out the charging McCullagh, that question was answered one lap later when McCullagh drove around the outside of Hickman to take the lead with five to go and started to pull away and in true Peter Brock style McCullagh show the real pace he had setting the fastest time of the race with only a couple of lap to go.
With McCullagh sailing away Hickman looked good in second place that was also good for his Series Championship lead, Dumesny finally got the pass on Vogels to take over third place with Hunter still in fifth.
The white flag out and all looked good for Corey McCullagh but drama was unfolding behind him when Rusty Hickman was slowing on the last lap that would see Marcus Dumesny, Charles Hunter who had made a late pass on John Vogels and Shaun Dobson all pass Rusty Hickman on the last lap demoting him to sixth place when McCullagh took the chequered flag.
Rounding out the finishers in order was Tim Hutchins, Peter Doukas, Brayden Parr, Grant Anderson, Sam Wren, Dennis Jones and Andrew Hughes.
Another Classic driver from Corey McCullagh to take the Eureka Garages & Sheds feature win plus the $5000 winner’s cheque that had this event also double as the Great Southern Showdown thanks to Avalon Raceway.
While Rusty Hickman was disappointed with his result after such a good race he still finished in front of Tim Hutchins to open the gap in the point’s standings up a little more. Tim Hutchins seventh place also gained him enough points to move him into second place from Brett Milburn in the Eureka Garages & sheds Series Championship hunt.
So all roads now lead to Premier Speedway for the 2017-2018 Eureka Garages & sheds Series final round.
Heat wins on the night went to: V70 John Vogels, V38 Jarrod Woolstencroft, V28 Andrew Hughes, V98 Peter Doukas, and V77 Brayden Parr.
Eureka Garages & Sheds Sprintcar Series Grand Final Round13 heads back to Premier Speedway Warrnambool on Sunday (Yes that’s right Sunday) night the 11rd of March with another $5000 to win on the line.
For more information go to the Premier Speedway web site at: www.premierspeedway.com.au
Eureka Garages and Sheds Series nightly contingency awards:
AVALON RACEWAY DRIVERS DRAW: $50 – V3 Shaun Dobson
HOOSIER TIRE AUSTRALIA: 11th Place in the A Main at Each round.
11th V19 Sam Wren
D&F RACING PRODUCTS: Hard luck of the night – V93 Travis Millar
STEELPIPES PTY LTD: 1st competitor not to transfer from B to A-Main –
V68 Brett Milburn
INDY RACE PARTS: Top Points Scorer $100 voucher – V40 Rusty Hickman.
End of Series awards:
Eureka Garages & Sheds major sponsor of the Series overall prize money Poole.
KTM Top Ten Motorbike award – Random draw at the Presentation Dinner.
Camden Neon Signs – sponsors of the Series Prize Poole.
Hoosier Tire Australia – sponsors of the Series Prize Poole.
Western Nissan – for drivers finishing between 11th and 20th place in the Series. Random draw at the Presentation Dinner $1500 to the winner.
Lumbar Transport – End of Series most heat wins – V68 Brett Milburn & T7 Tim Hutchins (5 wins each)
Western Nissan – most cars passed in the A-Main on the night,
V90 Corey McCullagh (13 cars)
(End of series award) cars passed overall –V40 Rusty Hickman, V68 Brett Milburn (31 cars each)
ELIMINATOR RACE WINGS – for the driver that transfers the most from the B Main to the A Main events the most. Overall, V68 Brett Milburn (4 times each)
(In the event of a tie the driver with the most points in the Series wins)
PARR MOTORSPORTS –Drivers Driver award as voted on by the drivers in the Series. (End of Series award)
Eureka Garages and Sheds Series – KTM Top 10:
1st – Rusty Hickman – 3658
2nd – Tim Hutchins – 3384
3rd – Brett Milburn – 3327
4th – Brayden Parr – 2896
5th –Charles Hunter – 2846
6th – Jacob Smith – 2839
7th – Grant Stansfield – 2608
8th – Dennis Jones – 2332
9th – Sam Wren – 2313
10th – Jordyn Charge – 2257
(End of Series random draw between 11th & 20th place)
11th – Peter Doukas – 2254
12th –Corey McCullagh – 2070
13th – Bobby Daly – 1704
14th –Jye Okeeffe – 1605
15th – Mike Van Bremen – 1603
16th – Stephen Spark – 1558
17th – Glen Sutherland – 1537
18th – David Aldersley – 1523
19th – Rhys Baxter – 1491
20th – Andrew Hughes – 1488
For a full list of all the 2017-2018 SRA of Vic Race dates go to www.sravic.com
The Sprintcar Racing Association of Victoria thank the following Eureka Garages and Sheds Sprintcar Series and season sponsors:
EUREKA GARAGES & SHEDS, KTM AUSTRALIA, WESTERN NISSAN, MD MOTORSPORT, HOOSIER TIRE AUSTRALIA, CAMDEN SINGAGE & BUILDING SERVICES, PARR MOTORSPORTS, STEELPIPES AUSTALIA, LUMBAR’S TRANSPORT, AVALON RACEWAY, INDY RACE PARTS, D&F RACING PRODUCTS, ELIMINATOR RACE WINGS, COREY GIBSON PHOTOGRAPHY, MAXAM PRINTING, SPRINTCARWORLD.
Eureka Garages & Sheds www.eurekagarages.com.au
KTM Australia www.ktm.com
Western Nissan www.westernnissan.com.au
Hoosier Tires Australia www.mdmotorsport.com.au
Camden Signage & Building Services www.camdenneon.com.au
Steelpipes Pty Ltd www.steelpipes.com.au
Lumbars Transport www.lumbars.com.au
Eliminator Race Wings www.crossmotorsport.com
Parr Motorsports www.parrmotorsport.com
Avalon Raceway www.avalonraceway.com.au
Corey Gibson Photography www.gibsonphotography.com.au
Maxam Printing www.maxamprinting.com.au