Ben Bray, Aaron Tremayne and Scott White mastered potent conditions at the Lady Daly Hotel Springnationals on Saturday as the ANDRA Drag Racing Series rocked Adelaide International Raceway.
Bray's win in Top Doorslammer was his first since the 2008 Winternationals, a long team between drinks for the former champion.
Victory tasted even sweeter by virtue of the chaotic path Bray took to the final, including burning up pistons in the first qualifying session necessitating a night-long rebuild and then throwing off a door in the braking area during the semi finals.
Bray's Sidchrome Monaro ran with a panel borrowed from Maurice Fabietti's Holden Trade Club Monaro and the patchwork look seemed to suit the Queenslander in his 5.170 to 5.200 defeat of John Zappia in the final.
“If there's no drama there's no fairy tale ending,” Bray mused afterwards. “The door thing was just one of those crazy experiences.
“None of my boys want to pack up right now, they just want to go home to bed - I don't think we've even had breakfast yet. But when you get the win it's all worth it.”
Despite the car moving around its lane a lot, Bray said he wasn't going to give fierce rival Zappia an inch.
“I short shifted pretty early when it started to move around, a guy like John Zappia never says die until I'm across the finish line so I knew I couldn't say die unless he passed me,” he said.
“Zap normally pips me right on the finish line and wrecks my night so I wasn't giving any.”
Zappia was able to edge closer to Peter Kapiris in the championship standings, with Kapiris exiting in the semi finals. Now 42 points or two rounds of racing separates the pair.
In Pro Stock, Aaron Tremayne capped off a near perfect weekend with a 7.067 win over Shane Tucker's 7.054, a quicker .049 reaction time to Tucker's .070 the deciding factor.
Tremayne top qualified, set low elapsed time of the event with a track record 7.026 in the first round and also earned top speed points for his 195.10mph clocking.
“The final was a real close race against Shane, we're good mates and we have some great competition against each other,” he said. “My thing moved really bad through the middle but I looked over and had him.
“We've had good power back for a couple of meetings now and it's about getting on top of the car more than the engines at the moment.”
The win was enough to propel Tremayne into the championship hunt with only 33 points to leader Jason Grima.
For Tucker the runner up was a welcome result in his second last event before heading to the USA to race.
Championship contenders Grima and Wayne Daley both went out in the semi finals, leaving the chase well and truly open leading into the final Pro Stock round of the season at the Australian Nationals at Sydney Dragway.
Pro Stock Motorcycle saw a first time winner with Darwin's Scott White defeating local hopeful Phil Howard.
White's 7.441 capitalised on an ailing 7.702 from Phil Howard in a weekend that marked a big turn around in form for the Ampac Suzuki.
“All the travel and all the work pays off. It's unbelievable to finally get a win in,” White said.
“Eventually you've got to have a turn if you keep poking away at it. But it wasn't as if we just stumbled into it, we were second qualifier and we ran good numbers.
“Once you've got one win the monkey is off the back and who knows, we might get some good ones in now.”
Pro Stock Motorcycle has two more rounds left on its season agenda, heading to Calder Park for the first time since 2001 for Fuchs Nitro Thunder presented by Crow Cams and then the Australian Nationals.
In the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship there was action aplenty as teams took advantage of excellent spring air conditions.
Winners included Wayne Cartledge (Super Comp), Grant Fraser (Supercharged Outlaws), Jessica Turner (Modified), Johnny Kapiris (Super Sedan), Brendan Sanders (Modified Bike), Harry Harris (Super Street), Matthew Matulovich (Junior Dragster) and Darryl Stephen (Super Gas).
The ANDRA Drag Racing Series' next event will be Fuchs Nitro Thunder presented by Crow Cams on October 19, marking an historic return to Melbourne's Calder Park.