Puglia capitalises on Grand Final opportunity

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The Big Rock Tyre Centre Ford Probe has carried Allen Puglia to a shock Grand Final win at the Perth Motorplex last Saturday, sewing up a sixth Super Comp drag racing track championship for the Wanneroo-based stonemason.

Puglia entered the final round of the 2013-14 series in third spot behind two young guns in Kyle Putland and Andrew Katavatis, who were expected to fight it out to the death, but a pair of start line blunders eliminated the two championship hopefuls early in the event, leaving Puglia with the unlikely opportunity to claw back the championship if only he could win the event.

With the track crowded by nervous stakeholders, Puglia saved his best for last by using a 7.18 second pass at 307kph to take out an ailing Brett Glover to win the Grand Final and claim the series in the process.

“With such a hard year with car setups and these young kids coming on strong and getting faster every meeting, I dedicate this sixth title to my sponsors as they have been with us through the highs and the lows,” he said. “Big Rock Tyre and Auto Centre, Stone Civil, AHG, Termimesh Australia, Puglia Enterprises, MSC Accounting, B+L Lake Cartage Contractors. “With these great businesses and their success off the track and with our success on the track, it makes for a successful relationship.

“I am indebted to them for believing in me for another season because we all know how the business game isn’t anywhere as easy to win like it used to be and I’m grateful. This is their championship, no doubt about it.

“And then there’s all my fantastic crew my family and friends who not only support Allen Puglia Racing but also our great sponsors.”

Puglia was quick to offer his commiserations to his opponents, claiming he was well-versed in the art of losing because of a driver error.

“I feel for Kyle and Andrew because nothing hurts more than to lose from a mistake,” he said. “But they have their whole careers ahead of them and maybe it’s the fact that I’ve lost like they did many times before, that I had the experience to relax in a high pressure situation and not blow it on the line.”

The series win was also met with speculation about Puglia’s future, with a number of onlookers posing the inevitable question of retiring on a high, a move that isn’t on Puglia’s radar just yet.

“I’m not sure why people always ask that question, when you’re still doing well,” he said. “But we’re not interested in retirement yet because even though we’ve won six championships, there’s unfinished business with these cars that I am determined to put to rest. It’s either that or I’ll lay awake at night wondering what could have been, and like any drag racer, you never really sleep, you just keep dreaming of ways to go quicker and faster.”


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