TOUGH GRIND FOR WINGLESS SPRINTCAR DRIVERS
BY DENNIS NEWLYN
IT has been a season-long campaign for Wingless Sprintcar competitors to reach the grand final of the Driver to America series which will be decided at Castrol Edge Lismore Speedway Saturday night, April 29.
In what will be “Major Events Night,” the other major attraction is the running of the 2017 New South Wales V8 Dirt Modified Championship.
A very impressive entry list has been received headed by current Australian Champion Kevin Britten.
Meanwhile the Wingless Sprint point rounds, which were contested at Lismore and Grafton venues, determined the top ten drivers who are now eligible to battle it out in the “Race to the States” event for the return trip to America season award. The driver who reaches the chequered flag first also will receive two entry tickets to the world’s most famous Sprintcar race, the Knoxville Nationals at the Marion County Fairground, Knoxville, Iowa.
It now gets down to one race – a 15 lap shootout – between the top ten.
The Lismore District Workers’ Club-Queensland Speedway Spares sponsored Wingless Sprint series was conducted over 11 rounds, though several more would have been held had inclement weather not washed out meetings.
Right from the outset of the Driver to America season premiership there has been little in points amongst the top runners. For most of the campaign it has been a battle for the spot at the top of the leader board between current leader David Eggins and his closest pursuers Kevin Willis, Mick Santin and Trent Martin.
Willis led up until recently before being relegated to second spot on the ladder by Eggins who completed the 11 rounds with a 45 point margin over Willis. Back in third spot in the standings only 25 points adrift of Willis is Mick Santin, while Martin trails Santin by 50 points.
Though points now count for nothing, as everything is on the line in what is truly a “Race to the States.” Eggins, Willis, Santin and Martin are the four prominent runners who will start at the head of the field and are expected to continue their season-long battle in the final.
National Champions Kevin Britten, Andrew Pezzutti and Scott Cannon share early favouritism for the NSW V8 Dirt Modified Championship. Both Pezzutti and Cannon also have shown good form this season and are certainly in strong calculations for honours in the annual event.
Britten clearly is the form driver after he successfully retained his national title recently with a comprehensive victory at Rockhampton Speedway. Former NSW Champion Phil McNamara has also nominated for the state title and his winning chances cannot be ignored.
With 25 cars entered, the qualifying heats will be important as points scored from these races will ultimately determine the field for the championship final.
Events for AMCA Nationals, Four Cylinder Sedans, Junior Sedans and Production Sedans also will be held.
Gates open at 3PM and racing commences at 6.