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More than 160 racers took to the Sunraysia Drag Racing Association’s Sunset Strip in Mildura on Saturday to undertake three rounds of qualifying for the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series’ Sunset Nationals.

When all was said and done, it was the following racers who claimed the Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier Medallions for their brackets ahead of a full day of racing tomorrow: Des Woolstencroft (Super Gas), Nathaniel Kuchel (Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster), Rohan Hutson (Super Street), Sean Ricketts (Modified Bike),Tony Miskelly (Super Sedan), Simon Barlow (Modified), Darren Saliba (Top Sportsman), Lucas Woodburn (Supercharged Outlaws), Locky Ireland (Competition Bike) and Steve Norman(Super Comp).

Ricketts took out the Modified Bike victory the last time the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series visited Mildura for the 2023 Twilight Nationals earlier this year, and is hoping his top qualifying performance is the first step in a repeat performance.

“The weather has absolutely come out for us this weekend, there is not a cloud in the sky and all day it has been brilliant, and warm but not overly hot. So, the conditions have been fantastic, and the track prep has been A1,” Ricketts said.

“For me to get Top Qualifier is something I don’t think I have ever had before so that is good. The bike is running pretty quickly so I am happy with that, and it should give us a bye run in the morning with a nine-bike field.

“I think the conditions tomorrow will be pretty similar, so the numbers we ran today should hold for tomorrow and we like our chances of being successful here. We have gone well here in our last couple of meetings so we are really confident we can go well.

“I have had some good times here and good memories, I really love coming here – it is a long trip, but well worth it,” he concluded, while thanking Mick and Allison from Heavy Duty Magazine for their support and friendship.

In Top Sportsman, Darren Saliba is ready for a big day of racing tomorrow with his Camaro after overcoming some “gremlins” to take out the Top Qualifier Award today.

“It has been a nice and smooth day for us. We are slowly ironing out the little gremlins and trying to get the car back to where it should be, so it is good to top qualify and now we can start creeping up on it,” Saliba said.

“We are confident heading into tomorrow. In the meantime, I want to say thanks to Pro Race Engines, JKM Just Kitchen Makeovers, Autobarn Elizabeth, Creative Concrete and Supreme Shine Detailing, as well as my crew and family for supporting me.”

The Sunset Nationals action in Mildura will continue Sunday the 17th of September, with racing for all brackets kicking off from 10.00am, with the finals scheduled to run from 3.35pm. For event information, visit

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