Thirteen time National Top Alcohol Champion Gary Phillips has all but cemented his fourteenth championship at Sydney Dragway’s Nitro Champs in the Lucas Oils Chev Monte Carlo.
Claiming top speed of 257.78 mph and low E.T. of the event with a 5.628 on his top qualifying pass, Phillips made it to the finals only to throw the race away to Wayne Newby by shifting second gear way too early.
“You’d think a bloke doing it this long wouldn’t make a mistake like that, but I repeated a blunder I used to make in the dragster and it’s come back to haunt me. I know how to fix it, and believe me, it will be done by the Winternationals!” said a jovial Phillips who now sits 83 points clear of his nearest rival.
“Our major focus now is to qualify at the Winternationals and we will claim our fourteenth Top Alcohol championship, but we don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves.”
Taking on double duties again also piloting the Lucas Oils Studebaker Top Doorslammer, Phillips qualified in sixth position, only to roll the beams in round one losing to eventual event winner Maurice Fabietti.
According to Cheyne Phillips, the false start robbed the Lucas Oils team of a potential personal best run for them.
“It’s a shame really because it was on a charge. The data from this run suggested a low five-ninety was very much a possibility, but ‘if-only’s’ don’t count for much. ”
As the season comes to a rapid close, all eyes are on the fiercely contested Willowbank Raceway Winternationals, where a win at the prestigious event is as coveted as the championships that are decided there.”
“We’d love to win there in front of the home crowd and for our sponsors who have been amazing again this season,” said Phillips.
The Winternationals begins for Phillips on Friday, June 11 with qualifying for both Top Doorslammer and Top Alcohol, followed by day 2 of qualifying on Saturday and final eliminations on Sunday.
For more information, see www.GaryPhillips.com.au
Photos By www.cacklingpipes.com
Story by Bennie Bishop – 0433 112 959 – www.benzpress.com