By Ian Vale
The Sprintcar Racing Association of Victorian concluded the 2018-2019 season with the annual presentation dinner held at the Rydges Hotel in Geelong recently with over one hundred and sixty people in attendance with many drivers and their teams, friends, other guests and sponsors attending.
After many season’s of try to have two of the best commentators around the SRA was very pleased to have both Mr Gavin White and Mr David Mills in attendance to be the MC’s for the 2018-2019 presentation dinner that proved to be very popular with all attending with the wit, humour along with their chats with the award recipients that had plenty of laughter right throughout the evening.
The stage for the night was set with all the trophies on display along with life sized posters of the top three drivers in the Eureka Series on the stage plus the Indy Race Parts Sprintcar that was driven to the Eureka Series Crown by Corey McCullagh while some of the seasons action was playing on the big screen in the background.
After all were welcomed along plus many of the seasons sponsors starting with Domenic Sabatino of Eureka Garages & Sheds and his guests then Mark & Danielle Charge representing Western Nissan with Adrian and Kim Parr of Parr Motorsports, Hoosier Tire Australia representative Blair Caldwell, Daniel Zane for Lumbar Transport as well as two of the new season sponsors Indy Race Parts director Domain Ramsay and Ricky Hoare of Mr Electric.
So let’s move onto the 2018-2019 season drivers awards and to get things under way the two MC’s Gavin White and David Mills got the proceedings away with two $200 cash draws for the drivers in attendance thanks to sponsors Avalon Raceway, Carly Walsh’s night got off to a good start when she took the first $200 cash draw while Chris Solomon picked up the second draw.
After a quick recognition of appreciation to the SRA Officials for their season’s efforts who were given awards it was time to move on to some of the seasons overall awards.
The first award was for the Best Presented Car and Crew that went to the
V22/VA29 teams both Terry Rankin the driver and car owner of the VA29 Phil Seymour received the awards.
Next up was the Encouragement award while it was a tough decision for the committee, this season this season there were two recipients of this award: Jamie Heyen & Carly Walsh.
Most Improved Driver of the year went to Bobby Daly who was very impressive right throughout the season that would see Bobby take second places in the Eureka Garages & Sheds Sprintcar Series.
Rookie of the year was taken out by Troy Hose. We are not sure how Troy had the time to race his sprintcar when he also races two other classes in speedway and Troy is also the President of Darlington Speedway.
The SRA 360 Sprintcar Drivers Seasons aggregate this Season had a tie for 1st place between Matthew Reed and Michael Tancredi with Brett Milburn taking 2nd place from Chris Solomon in 3rd.
The SRA season overall aggregate points score championship went to Jamie Veal, 2nd place was taken by Corey McCullagh and James McFadden took 3rd in the points. The season aggregate points are given for all the events right throughout the 2018-2019 season for the Victorian registered drivers only at events conducted by the SRA.
Next up was The President’s Award that had two worthy recipients that put in outstanding performances in their second part of the 2018-2019 season, Rhys Baxter and Mark Carlin.
After a few of the seasons overall awards were presented it was now down to the 2018-2019 Eureka Garages & Sheds Sprintcar Series awards.
Domenic Sabatino was on hand to receive a special plaque on behalf of Eureka Garages & Sheds Series for the outstanding support given the SRA as the naming right sponsor to the Eureka Sprintcar Series for a sixteenth straight year.
Other attending sponsors also received plagues of recognition for their support during the 2018-2019 season and Eureka Garages Sheds Sprintcar Series.
As mentioned earlier Mr Electric was a new sponsor and partner within the Eureka Sprintcar Series this season thanks Ricky Hoare who is also a loyal sponsor and team member of the V60 driver Jordyn Charge.
Thru the Mr Electric business Ricky gave the winner of each B Main in the Series $250. The Mr Electric sponsorship also had a special bonus award that was by way a random draw for all drivers attending the dinner, the prize was an accommodation package with all the bells and whistles at Crown Casino with a value of over $1500 that was won by Domain Ramsay.
Western Nissan in Caroline Springs is one of the major partners in the Eureka Garages and Sheds Sprintcar Series that not only contributes funds to the end of Series points fund but also gives away two awards of $1500 each, Mark Charge from Western Nissan presented these two awards.
The first award was for the most cars passed in the A Mains of The Eureka Garages & Sheds Sprintcar Series was taken out Brenten Farrer who passed 28 cars in the A Main events.
Now the second Western Nissan $1500 award was a another random draw for the drivers that finished between 11th to 20th place in the Eureka Garages & Sheds Sprintcar Series that competed in 9 or more rounds of the Series and attended the dinner, this went to the VA4 driver Carly Walsh.
Lumbar Transport sponsored a $500 product voucher from Parr Motorsports for the most heat wins during the Eureka Garages and Sheds Sprintcar Series that was won by Corey McCullagh with 6 heats wins.
The Frank and Jeremy Cross Eliminator Race Wings award, a new Top Eliminator Wing For the driver that transfers the most from the B Main to the A Main events went to Brayden Parr.
Now one of the most prestigious awards given at the end of the Eureka Garages & Sheds Series is the Drivers Driver Award thanks to the sponsors of the award Parr Motorsports, the Series drivers voted for their driver of choice. For a second year straight Charles Hunter received the Driver Drivers award as voted on by his fellow competitors.
Now it was that time of the night for the prize poole money to be handed out, with Domenic Sabatino called back up to the stage to hand the eligible drivers from fourth place thru to fifteenth in the Eureka Series to receive their awards and a share of the $45,500 prize poole thanks to Eureka Garages & Sheds supported by Hoosier Tire Australia, Western Nissan and Camden Signage and Building Services.
Heading into the home straight and it was time to crown the 2018-2019 Eureka Garages & Sheds Sprintcar Series Champion Corey McCullagh along with the second placed driver Bobby Daly and Brayden Parr who took out third place. But before Domenic presented the top three drivers with their hardware MC Gavin White had a quick chat with Domenic and one of the questions put to Domenic was, will Eureka Garages & Sheds back for a seventeenth season ? Without any delay the answer was yes to great applause from all in the room.
Domenic handed each of these drivers their trophies and major share of the prize Poole money that saw Corey McCullagh take $10,000 of that, each driver was also presented with an action picture from Corey Gibson Photography along with a life sized pull poster to recognise their achievements in the Series.
Just about to cross the finish line with one more award to go, an $8000 cash random draw for the top ten drivers in the Eureka Garages & Sheds Series thanks to Indy Race Parts Australia and Camden Signage & Building Service. With all ten drivers up on stage it was a process of elimination from tenth place thru to first place that would see the driver of the V17 Sprintcar Dennis Jones take the money.
AS the night’s activities came to a close Domain Ramsay approached the MC’s Gavin and David for a final word, Domain said some words of appreciation on behalf of the competitor and thanked Domenic and his company for all their support over the years while also thanking all the other season partners that help make 2018-2019 another great success.
A great night was had by all that saw over $56,000 in the point’s funds and other prize money awards given out along with many other products and a great array of trophies. The SRA committee take this opportunity to thank all that attended the 2018-2019 SRA presentation dinner that was one of the best and most memorable dinners ever held and also thanks to Gavin White and David Mills that were a major part of the success it was. Roll on the 2019-2020 season.