Willowbank Raceway Street Series Round 10 wrap up

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The Willowbank Raceway Street Series has been running since 1994 with stars from all over drag racing trying to conquer one of the toughest championships to win in Australian drag racing.

After 10 rounds for each season and between 100 to 150 competitors at each meeting, the Top 16 points earners now (Top 8 in previous seasons) race off against each other at the Street Series Shootout Final along with a Top 8 Bike Shootout for the two wheelers and a Top 8 Shootout for the Powder Puff class to earn the right to be classed as an official Willowbank Raceway track champion.

The 10th and final series round was concluded over the weekend and spots were up for grabs for the shootout finals to be run on the 17th of July. There are still a lot of drivers fighting to hold onto their spot inside the final 16.

The Quick eliminator bracket for cars running between 11.50 and 12.99 had 18 starters for the first round of racing. Fighting all the way to the final were Anthony Stover and two time street series champion Josh Fletcher, with a dial in of 12.04 for Fletcher and a 11.88 for Stover, the former Junior Dragster champ Fletcher took the advantage off the line with a very sharp .016 to Stover’s also respectable .040. Stover ran closer to his dial in with a 11.905 on a 11.88 but it wasn’t enough to hold off Fletchers .032 over 12.072, This win secured Josh Fletcher’s spot inside the Top 16 and he will head into next weekend’s Top 16 Shootout in third position. Stover’s runner up points landed him in ninth position.

The biggest class of the night was Hot Street Eliminator for all vehicles between 13.00 and 14.99. In a big upset the racer with the most points for Hot Street, Mitchell Bauer, lost in the opening round to the veteran racer Ray Ross but luckily had enough points to cover his spot inside the Top 16.  After five rounds of racing the final came down to a race between Johnny McGrath, a previous top qualifier in the series, and Peter Marshall. McGrath took the win crossing the finish line first by .068 of a second and running a 14.607 on his 14.590 dial in. Both finalists just missed out on a spot a inside the Top 16 but showed enough potential that next season they will be competitors to watch out for. 

The slowest category of the night is Street and is for all vehicles running 15.00 seconds and over. Seventeen drivers hit the startline for eliminations. Current points leader Russell Sticklen had to have a car swap in qualifying after his usually reliable 13-second Ford Fairlane broke before eliminations, seating him in his 18 second Hyundai Excel for racing.  Stricklen lost in the second round of racing but not before he had secured enough points to be the top qualifier for the next weekend’s Top 16 shootout. Two previous champions in Kevin Whatley and Diane Troy fought all the way to final while at the same time also locking down spots their spots in the top 16, Troy hit the holeshot .056 to a .094 but it wasn’t enough to hold off Whatley’s very lucky backing off 16.659 on his 16.650 dial in.

This is the Final 16 for the Street Shootout:

1.     Russel Sticklen     160 Points
2.     Neil Tschutura        135 Points   
3.    Josh Fletcher        130 Points
4.    Bruce Casos        120 Points
5.    Kevin Whatley        120 Points
6.    Mitchell Bauer        115 Points
7.    Darren Doeblien    110 Points
8.    Diane Troy        110 Points
9.    Anthony Stover        110 Points
10.    Brett Farnell        100 Points
11.    Rob Harrington        100 Points
12.    Mark Allan        95 Points
13.    Ray Ross        95 Points
14.    Owen Genrich        90 Points
15.    Jason Stoodley        85 Points
16.    Gavin Schulz        75 Points
=    Yvonne Robertson    75 Points
=     Stephan Bamberry    75 Points
=      Greg Neilson        75 Points
=      Rob Baxter        75 Points

The Bike category is having its first ever Top 8 shootout where in previous seasons it was combined in the main shootout.  After four rounds of racing Tammy Goldthorpe secured the number one spot in the Top 8 shootout final, defeating Paul Astridge with a 10.903 on a 10.86 dial in.

The Top 8 Bike finalists for the shootout are as follows:

1.    Tammy Goldthorpe    115 Points
2.    Michael Beaton        95 Points
3.    David Rundmann    85 Points
4.    Ken Collin        80 Points
5.    Wendy Whatley        75 Points
6.    Len Sharp        50 Points
7.    Phil White        45 Points
8.    Paul Astridge        45 Points

After 5 rounds of racing Lisa Schulz faced off against Michelle Roydhouse in the final of the Powder Puff class for girls. The win went to Lisa after Michelle broke out trying to make up the difference after a holeshot on the line by Lisa. The win moved Lisa up into sixth position overall for the girls.

The Top 8 finalists for the Powder Puff shootout are as follows:

1.    Tracey Merritt        100 Points
=    Dawn Whatley        100 Points
=     Holly Smith        100 Points
4.    Melissa Doeblien    95 Points
5.     Michelle Roydhouse    95 Points
6.     Lisa Schulz        90 Points
7.     Susanne Fletcher    80 Points
8.     Rhonda Larfield        70 Points

The first of the shootout finals will be run on the 12th of July for the girls Powder Puff shootout and the Bike & Street shootout will both be run on the 17th of July at Willowbank Raceway.

Report & Photo by Mark Allan

Copyright Drag New Australia

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