Russell looking for old fashioned fun in the NT

This article brought to you by:

2018 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series Supercharged Outlaws Champion and 2019/2020/2021 title runner-up, Justin Russell, is heading to the upcoming Top End Nationals and Desert Nationals events with a focus on fun.

After a challenging season for all that saw him in contention for the SCO title right until the very last event and with 25 years of drag racing behind him, Russell is keen to just enjoy his racing in the latter half of 2021.

“It was a very difficult season for us with the extension over three years due and all of the challenges that came with COVID-19. The lockdowns, border restrictions and travel limits affected everyone’s movements and made completing the season very hard – we still gave it our best shot though,” Russell explained.

“The 2018 championship was certainly a highlight of my career, and I am disappointed we weren’t able to back up that title last season.

“This season, my focus is not on the championship for the first time in a long time. I have been involved with drag racing for 25 years now and it is time for me to shift my focus.

“The car is actually advertised for sale currently, but I am going to run a few meetings at locations that suit me while I still have it and just enjoy myself. When I do sell it, I will be staying involved though whether that be as a crew member or in another role.

“It has been an extremely hard decision to sell the car that has given me so much success. I really want to see it go to someone who will continue to run it and have as much fun and success as I have had with it over the last five years that I have been running it.”

The pre-event preparations for the upcoming rounds for all racers including Russell have been heavily impacted by COVID-19.

“It is a shame that the numbers for the Top End Nationals and the Desert Nationals will be affected by the latest COVID-19 clusters, but we are set on attending regardless and on making the most of what are special events for the Spudracing Team,” Russell said.

“COVID really is a challenge for every sport and every racer across Australia and we now all have to navigate through the calendar and work out State to State where to race. But I love the sport and I love the challenges – I have formed a lot of good friendships with people from interstate towns and gained some great supporters.

“Coming from Melbourne to race at these events has taken a lot of effort as Victoria has only just come out of lockdown and Darwin and Alice were locked down only a week ago – flights, accommodation and work commitments have been impacted for all racers and crew and keeping up with the restrictions and requirements can add hours of prep to every round.

“We are all feeling the effects, and really appreciate the efforts ANDRA has made to reduce the minimum car field to four cars in recognition of these challenges.”

Russell has many fond memories at the NT tracks and is looking forward to making more over the back-to-back events this year.

“These tracks might be extremely remote, but I have some good friends in both towns which I have made through drag racing and I always have a lot of support from local sponsors and crew volunteers when I race there,” he said.

“Both tracks have good facilities, and it is great that both are quarter-mile, so you get a longer run in your seat for the money you spend to get there,” he grinned.

“My first trophy at Alice Springs came in 2016 where I was the runner-up in Supercharged Outlaws, and then in 2017 I won the bracket at Hidden Valley before winning it again in 2019 at Alice Springs.

“Those trophies mean a lot to me even now, as they represent the distance travelled and the time spent with friends and crew who have helped me achieve success at the events.

“I would like to thank everyone that has been so supportive of my racing over the years and in the lead up to the new season including Rhinos Diesel Service and A. M. Cranes in Darwin who have supported me for many years, as well as local sponsors, Pete’s Truck and Diesel, Buchanan Family Chiropractic, Soulskin Therapies, M Print Industries and Kitchen Innovations.”

The Top End Nationals will be held at the Hidden Valley Drag Strip across July 16-17. For event information, visit

The Top End Nationals event will be followed swiftly by the Desert Nationals at the Alice Springs Inland Dragway across July 24-25. For information on that event, visit

For more from ANDRA, visit

Aeroflow Performance Parts Catalogue

Drag News Magazine