Monster effort takes Tucker to win

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Shane Tucker steered his Monster Energy Pontiac to its first win on a day where his driving skills and the hard work of his team paid off at Sydney Dragway in the ANDRA Pro Series.

A broken intake valve in the second round almost spelled the end of the event, but Tucker, 27, was able to advance through the semi finals when opponent Emilio Spinozzi couldn’t front.

After a thrash in the pits to repair the damage, Tucker rolled out for the final to defeat Jason Grima and afterwards dedicated the win to a late friend, Daniel Sheehy.

“We’ve had such a tough run, I have to thank all of my guys, it’s been about three years between drinks and we’re going to party tonight,” he said.

“We had a motto all weekend that says winners never quit and quitters never win. We said we’d turn this deal around and we’ve gone from non-qualifier three weeks ago to winning the race today. It proves that hard work pays off.”

Tucker moved all the way from seventh up to third in the championship following the win, while Michael Ali closed to within half a point of leader Denis Whiting, following Whiting’s shock first round loss.

John Zappia strengthened his lead in the ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer championship with a strong victory in the fourth round of their series.

Zappia’s Fuchs Motorsport Monaro hit a 5.83sec time in the final to defeat Ben Bray’s Sidchrome Monaro clocking a 5.91sec.

Zappia’s lead in the championship was boosted to over 60 points from his nearest rival Peter Kapiris with just two rounds of the series remaining. The Western Australian driver also reset the national record to a 5.801sec in the first round.

“The Fuchs Monaro has been flying today; it was a close one, I saw his (Ben Bray’s) fender out there in front and I was slowly creeping up, but I’ll take it,” he said.

“Ten cars running fives (seconds) has made it so tough and we had to step it up first round and hope for the best.” Pro Stock Motorcycle saw Ross Lemberg claim his first victory, scorching to a personal best time of 7.24sec in the final over Michael Gilbertson.

“What a great day, we’ve got our bike sorted out and to run a personal best in the final, we’re really happy with that,” he said.

The next round of the ANDRA Pro Series marks the return to Adelaide for the first time in over a decade with championship points on offer for Top Fuel, Top Alcohol, Top Bike and Pro Stock Motorcycle on April 13, 14 and 15.

Top Doorslammer points

John Zappia 480
Peter Kapiris 415.5
Robin Judd 407.5
Mark Belleri 206.5
Ben Bray 193

Pro Stock points

Denis Whiting 266
Michael Ali 265.5
Shane Tucker 196
Jason Hedges 191
Tyronne Tremayne 177

Pro Stock Motorcycle points

Maurice Allen 190
Michael Gilbertson 170
Phil Howard 127
Ross Lemberg 113
Locky Ireland 109

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