A foggy start to the morning gave way to a second day of clear skies and perfect racing conditions at South Coast Raceway. More than 120 Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship competitors made the most of the continuing brilliant conditions to put on a thrilling show at the South Coast Rumble event, part of the championship’s Western Conference.
Racers couldn’t have asked for better conditions across the weekend (for a recap of Saturday’s qualifying, click here) and at the conclusion of today’s action, the following racers took home NDRC Christmas Trees.
● Michael Jennings (Super Street)
● Taylor Horton (Junior Dragster)
● Johnny Ireland (Modified Bike)
● Joe Carbone (Super Sedan)
● Kenny Stewart (Modified Eliminator)
● Darryl Stephen (Super Gas)
● Edge Mallis (Competition Bike)
● Glenn Henley (Top Sportsman)
● Shane Baxter (Supercharged Outlaws)
Taking the runner-up honours across their respective categories were:
● Brian Keane (Super Street)
● Todd Wagner (Junior Dragster)
● Michael Webb (Modified Bike)
● Scott Rouhan (Super Sedan)
● Derek Wills (Modified Eliminator)
● Jordan Spencer (Super Gas)
● Corey Scholes (Competition Bike)
● Dean Cleary (Top Sportsman)
● Brendan Carr (Supercharged Outlaws)
In Top Sportsman, the battle of local racers turned into a solo run for Glenn Henley after top qualifier Dean Cleary was unable to make the start of the final round. Today marks the fifth consecutive win for the Worrolong, VIC racer with Henley also finding victory at the South Coast Nationals in December, South Coast 660, the Festival State Nationals and last weekend’s track championship round at The Bend.
“To win five events in a row, including four national events in a row with some real milestone events, it is just unbelievable,” Henley said.
“I am on a roll! The car is consistent, and I am being pretty consistent too. It has been a really good weekend, we had to read the track a bit with the hot conditions and put a bit more time in it than you might otherwise would have run, but it all went well.
“Thank you to my pit crew and my family, THR Engine Developments in Adelaide, Matty from Ballarat, and Glenara Transport.
“From here, we go to Mildura in March and then to Dragway at The Bend in April for the finals – I have been runner-up the last two seasons, so I try not to have hope! It is going to be the last man standing when you get to that grand final, but hopefully, my engine builder is right when he just said to me that the moons are lining up for me!” he laughed.
Henley raced his way to five in a row in his Datsun 1200 Ute today with wins over Stuart McBain (round one) and Tommy Turic, ahead of lining up against top qualifier Dean Cleary for the final. Unfortunately, Cleary’s Pontiac GTO developed an issue at the start line and was unable to complete the final run after besting Ricky Smith and Leon Davies in rounds one and two.
In Modified Bike, today’s win for Johnny ‘Hog’ Ireland has been a long time coming. The Hoppers Crossing, VIC racer has taken time away from his FASTJ Harley Davidson in the recent past, choosing to focus instead on helping son Locky with his racing aspirations.
“It has been a long time between drinks for me,” Ireland grinned.
“I hadn’t ridden for quite some time, instead putting all my effort into the Pro Stock Bike for Locky (Ireland).
“I got my licence back, and we had a bit of luck – I got a bye into the finals, and then well, winners were grinners!
“The little bike went well, it is only my street bike as we didn’t have time to prep my usual bike I run in competition.
“Now, we better get on with the job! We head to Mildura in a month’s time and then hopefully it will be a case of catch me if you can at the Western Conference finals at The Bend!” he enthused, while thanking Johnny’s Hog Shop, Twin Power Oil, and Joe and Cheryl for their support.
Ireland found himself lined up alongside top qualifier Michael Webb for the final, before an issue for Webb meant he was unable to start the final pass. Ireland enjoyed wins over Corey Gathercole (round one) and Jamie Dohnt in today’s racing before a bye in round three. Before issues struck, Webb enjoyed a bye in round one, before taking wins over Cheryl Beddoes and Derryn McGregor in rounds two and three.
In Supercharged Outlaws, Shane Baxter is relishing a close win in round one which set the Melbourne racer in good stead to ultimately raise the NDRC Christmas Tree after the final pass against Brendan Carr.
“I was quite surprised to get through round one, it was a bit of a lucky win for us, I figured that would be our hardest race of the weekend with Dale Tucker and it was a very, very close win. There was definitely a bit of luck on my side, but I will take that win!” Baxter said.
“I am happy to get to the end and really feel a little bit overwhelmed actually to have another win. What a good weekend it has been.
“I am dedicating this win to the Cartledge family, they have been in all our thoughts this weekend. I would also like to thank car owner Bryan Oakley, all of my crew and the Supercharged Outlaw racers who all came out. Finally, thank you to the South Coast Raceway guys, they do a terrific job – the Portland family really are fantastic.”
Baxter lined up in the Oakley Thermocouples Neil and Parks Dragster against Dale Tucker in round one before a bye in round two, while Carr took wins over Mike Evans in round one and top qualifier Doina Day in round two.
In Super Gas, Darryl Stephen claimed top honours over Jordan Spencer. The Orangeville, NSW racer took his Ford TX5 Telstar to the final round with wins over Rob Bergamin in round one, top qualifier Des Woolstencroft in round two, and Graeme Spencer in round three. Meanwhile, Jordan Spencer found his way to the final over Jason Wilson and Colin Griffin before enjoying a solo run in round three.
In Super Street, Valley View, VIC racer Michael Jennings again lifted the NDRC Christmas Tree at South Coast Raceway following his South Coast Nationals and South Coast 660 victories in December and January, taking the win over last-round (Festival State Nationals) winner Brian Keane in his 1970 Nova. Jennings bested top qualifier Malcom Todd in round three, having previously knocked out Henry Spicak (round one) and Rodd Kerr (round two). Keane found his way to the final race by taking wins over Andrew Waight (round one), Dimos Stefanopoulos (round two), and Michael Bridges (round three) before a bye in round four.
In Junior Dragster, Taylor Horton and Todd Wagner both red lit at the tree, however, Wagner did so first, handing the win to Horton, who hails from Lethbridge in VIC. Horton lined up in the Horton Junior Dragster for the final, after knocking out top qualifier Luca Lamattina in round three, after previous wins over Nihyah Kardum (round one) and Brock Furlanetto (round two). Meanwhile, Wagner enjoyed a win over Seth Jarvis in round one, a bye in round two, and a win over Lachlan Walker in round three.
In Modified Eliminator, Kenny Stewart claimed another round win for the season over Derek Wills when Wills triggered a red light during the final pass. For this weekend, Modified Eliminator employed a three-round Chicago Shootout format. Across the day’s racing, the Tarneit VIC racer and his top qualifying R&S Racing Fuchs Spitzer Dragster took wins over David Bunnik and Ashley Johnson while also recording a loss to Wills in round two. Meanwhile, Wills’s journey to the final round saw him defeat Johnson in round one and Bunnik in round three.
The Super Sedan final was a tight race, with almost identical reaction times from Joe Carbone and Scott Rouhan. Ultimately, Carbone set a time closer to his dial-in time in his Holden VK Commodore, meaning the Angle Vale, SA racer would raise the NDRC Christmas Tree at the end of the pass. Carbone found his way to the final with wins over Gary Vogelsang (round one), Robert Kardum (round two), and top qualifier Tony Miskelly in round three before a bye in round four. Meanwhile, Rouhan enjoyed a bye in round three, with wins over Brent Murray and Ned Karanovic in rounds one and two and Peter Furlanetto in round four.
In Competition Bike, top qualifier Edge Mallis found another NDRC victory following his South Coast 660 win, this time taking the victory over Corey Scholes in the final round of today’s racing action. The Moonee Ponds, VIC racer took his Sabotage Kawasaki H2R all the way to the win in the three-round Chicago Shootout format, earning his place in the final with earlier wins over Joe Khoury and Gavin Dhont, while recording a loss to Scholes from which he ultimately redeemed himself. Meanwhile, Scholes ensured his place in the final match-up with round wins over Mallis, Dohnt, and Khoury.
Also on track today was South Coast Raceway’s Street Fighter class, with George Wythe taking the win over Ronnie Johnson.
For more information about the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship and upcoming Western and Eastern Conference events, please stay tuned to ndrc.tv