There’s certainly something to be said for home-track advantage, as evident in last Saturday night’s Halloween Spectacular race meeting at Hession’s Auto Parts Grafton Speedway, with local drivers Andrew Firth and Scott Marsh earning top honours in their respective classes.
Putting their knowledge of the 440-metre track into practice throughout the event, Firth and Marsh both managed to convert their prior experience into a feature-race win, with the former scoring back-to-back wins in the V8 Dirt Modifieds class, this time in the Stampede, while the latter was victorious in the Wingless Sprints.
It’s been a flawless 2018-19 season so far for Firth on home soil, with last Saturday night’s Stampede win coming just one month after a convincing victory in the track’s season opener, which incorporated the Clarence Valley Spring Cup.
Starting on the outside of the front row beside pole-sitter Trevor Wiley, Firth wasted no time in the 25-lap feature race, immediately taking control of the lead at the drop of the green flag and holding onto it for the duration of the race to cross the finish line over five seconds clear of his nearest rival.
In what was a somewhat uneventful feature race which saw little to no passing, Wiley was unable to reel Firth back in after losing out to him on the start, being forced to settle for second place, while Dale Corbett was able to retain his starting position, completing the podium in third.
Also holding on to his starting position was Phil McNamara, who came home in fourth place ahead of Lee Gorton, who made up solid ground in the opening lap, moving forward three positions to greet the chequered flag in fifth place after lining up on the outside of the fourth row.
Slipping back one position to place sixth was Scott Cannon, followed by remaining feature-race finishers Brayd Stevenson and Wayne Macintosh. Murray Flay was the race’s only casualty, retiring to the infield with nine laps remaining.
In the Sportsman Challenge, Wiley couldn’t be beaten, leading from start to finish to claim first place ahead of Mark Griffiths, Wayne Macintosh, Geoffrey Bowling, Murray Flay and rookie Taylah Firth.
Earlier in the night, the heat-race wins were shared between Cannon, Corbett, Gorton and Firth, while Macintosh and David Blanch were the winners in the Novice heat races.
In the Wingless Sprints feature race, Grafton resident Marsh did very well to hunt down Bradley Claridge, who led the first half of the 22-lap distance before being pipped by eventual winner Marsh, crossing the finish line in second place. Rounding out the podium was Tyson Williams, while Jamie Usher, Max Risbridger, Jacqui Salmon, Daniel Morison and Nathan Smith completed the feature-race finishers.
Brock Armstrong was the best in the RSA Street Stockers feature race, emerging victorious after leading from start to finish, while Marley Weller and Steve Hall joined him on the podium in the minor positions.
It was Graham Rangihuna who was awarded the feature-race win in the Stock Rods following a couple of early retirements, while Mike Foley was the next best behind Rangihuna in second place.
A competitive showing in the RSA Junior Sedans feature race saw Sam Mooney claim the chequered flag, ahead of last-start winner Brock Youngberry in second and Shanae Smith in third.
Hession’s Auto Parts Grafton Speedway will be back in action on the Saturday night of November 24, with the exciting program being headlined by the AMCA Nationals, who will be battling it out for top honours in the Grafton Cup. The support program will consist of racing from RSA Street Stockers, Stock Rods, RSA Fender Benders and RSA Junior Sedans.
Grafton Speedway would like to thank their naming-right’s sponsor for the 2018-19 season: Hession’s Auto Parts. Based in Grafton, Hession’s Auto Parts stock a wide range of parts and accessories at competitive prices. To find out more about their products, contact them on 0266 423 085.
For more information, contact Hession’s Auto Parts Grafton Speedway Promotions Manager Troy Saville on 0455 948 802. You can also visit their website at www.graftonspeedway.com.au or LIKE them on Facebook by searching Grafton Speedway.