Defending Australian 400 Thunder Pro Stock Champion Lee Bektash will bring to a close his Pro Stock Career this weekend at the Gulf Western Oil 50th Winternationals at Queensland’s Willowbank Raceway.
With emotion in his voice, he talked about how the end of a decorated driving career is now in sight.
"It’s getting tough to come to terms with," said Bektash. "It’s been a big part of my life. I have to face the fact that this is it, but I am really looking forward to getting out there in Queensland, having fun with the people who have become close friends, and saying ‘Goodbye’ to Willowbank."
"It will be a bit emotional up there thinking this is the last time I’ll get my armbands, the last time I’ll get my entry, the last time we do everything, I guess”.
Bektash is expecting a large contingent of support from family, friends and fans this weekend as he focuses on winning one of the most historic races on the drag racing calendar.
With the team’s number one engine ready to race again, they are looking for the perfect send-off. The goal is to return the Mopar backed Dodge back to the 6.8 second zone that the team historically broke into a couple years ago - as a thanks for the people who have supported them over the years.
"We’ll be going out with a bang," smiled Lee. "Unfortunately about two years ago we had a situation where the big engine beat itself up pretty bad, and then behind the scenes we had a lot of repairs and R&D that weren’t going our way. Basically, we have finally got it back to where it was three years ago when it ran those 6.80s".
As focused as Lee is on putting on a great show this coming weekend, his thoughts drift to the 25 years he has been in drag racing, the past 10 of those in Pro Stock. His family, friends and fans have grown up along his journey.
"I’ve seen babies grow up and become married couples, and kids grow up to be parents themselves," he said.
Lee acknowledges that his success and the running of the car is a cumulative team effort. He would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person who has contributed in any way to his success and the success of the team.
"I’m just overwhelmed with the support I’ve received over the years - it’s been great," he said.
"I’ve had such a great group of people help out with the car, and have had amazing organisations partner with us including Mopar, Jeep, Fiat Chrysler, Retreat Caravans, VP Racing Fuels and Alfa Romeo."
The Gulf Western Oil 50th Winternationals begins on Thursday, 8th June with sportsman qualifying. The 400 Thunder Professional Drag Racing Series hits the track on Friday 9th June for their first qualifying run, with all the action to be streamed live via OVO from 3pm AEST.