Bike bonanza at Sydney Dragway this Australia Day

Fans of two-wheeled drag racing action have plenty to cheer about this Australia Day at Sydney Dragway, with bike categories back on-track for the Saltwood @ Rosedale Australia Day Nationals this Friday and Saturday (January 26/27).

Pro Stock Motorcycle, Modified Bike, Performance Bike and Extreme Bike racers will all hit the track on January 26 and 27 alongside eight 11,000hp/500kph Top Fuel Dragsters, Top Doorslammers, Pro Alcohol, Pro Stock and FuelTech Pro Mod competitors for an absolutely spectacular Australia Day celebration over two big days and nights.

With it having been a while since bikes have hit the track at the Eastern Creek facility, spectators are encouraged to keep their eyes on all of the two-wheeled competitors as they look to make up for lost time.

Amongst those to watch in the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship ranks will be Steven Day and Cheryl ‘MsVrod’ Beddoes, who are currently leading the way in the NDRC Eastern Conference points for Modified Bike.

“We drove up to Cairns and had a ball at Springmount Raceway, and then we went to Benaraby and got runner-up there. Now we are headed to Sydney – it is a beautiful track and facility, and I am really looking forward to the Australia Day Nationals,” said Day, who leads the standings by 22.5 points ahead of this weekend’s racing.

“Over my eight years of racing I have not won a national event, I have had a couple of runner-ups, and if we could get the win this weekend it would honestly mean the world to me. I have so many people that have helped me out and encouraged me along the way, so it would just be great to achieve that for them.”

A win this weekend would also of course be very helpful for Day’s championship aspirations.

“I reckon 2024 is my year for the championship, and to win it would mean so much – it would just prove to everyone that you don’t have to have a large budget to achieve something so special, and that you can do it with something you have created,” said the Virginia (QLD) racer.  

“It is all about working with the bike – heading to this weekend I will make sure the tyres, brakes and clutch are all good and the motor is running well, and we will go out and do a qualifier and then another one and work out what the bike is running and where we need to dial in. I reckon there is no use trying to make the bike quicker or slower, just run what the bike wants to run and go with it.

“When I first started racing it, it was a registered street bike, and then I put wheelie bars on it, but I was having trouble getting off the line consistently and I started breaking a few things, so I started looking at it a bit more closely.

“I decided I needed a Slider Clutch but they didn’t make them for Harley’s at the time, so I ended up buying one out of a Kawasaki Z1000 and modifying it to fit the Harley, took the wheelie bars off, put a longer swing arm on, and we have been having fun ever since!

“Honestly, racing has cured my chronic anxiety, it has helped me when I was suffering from depression, and I get a lot of reward out of being able to do the modifications and achieve things with that, rather than just buying parts off the shelf.

“My 10 year old son Saxon reckons this is his bike and I am just riding it until he is old enough. I said, ‘okay when you are old enough I will get a Top Fuel Harley and we can go riding together’,” Day smiled while thanking his son for his support as well as his sponsors: Wrenchdevil Cycles, Burleigh Bars Australia, Pro Cycle Dyno, Playfall Australia, Hansky Motorcycles, Complete Janitorial Supplies, and Nug’s Autohaus.

Cheryl is currently enjoying a busy first season of racing on her street registered Harley Davidson VRod.

Above: Cheryl Beddoes. At top: Steven Day (Cackling Pipes)

“I fell in love with drag racing as a very young girl when my dad would take me to Castlereagh International Dragway where my uncle raced a Top Fuel Motorcycle with the Thornley Brothers – they carried the number one for two years in 1981 and 1982 and my uncle will be coming to watch and support me this weekend,” she explained.

“I have been fortunate so far this season to run at all of the Western conference events and most of the Eastern conference events too which has really helped me to learn and grow as a racer.

“We have travelled 20,000km to race for a total of approximately 420 seconds or six miles, so it just goes to show how passionate we are and how much we love this sport! 

“I have been racing all over this beautiful countryside and I am now extremely excited to be racing in Sydney iconically on Australia Day in front of my family, friends, and supporters. The venue has great facilities and is an awesome track, so I am definitely looking forward to racing in Sydney.”

While the Ellis Lane (NSW) racer is focusing more on learning in her rookie season, her consistency and commitment sees her only 22.5 points shy of the title lead in the Eastern Conference heading to Sydney.

“Given this is my first season I have been focused on continuing to better my previous performance every ride and gaining as much experience as I can,” said the rookie racer, who invests a lot of time in weight training and personal training during the week to ensure she is strong enough to successful ride her 300kg+ bike, and also undertakes charity rides wherever possible on her Street VRod.

“To win or even place runner-up in the championship would be like a dream come true for me. For now, though, my focus is on the weekend, where I am aiming to be really consistent and definitely not breakout, in front of what should be some big crowds with some great, safe racing.”

In learning her craft, ‘MsVrod’ – who is in the process of transitioning to a Harley Davidson VRod Destroyer – is benefiting from the mentorship of Competition Bike champion, Joe Khoury.

“Joe is second to none when it comes to Harley VRods and he looks after the bike between events and is helping me a lot on-track as well,” she said.

“He is my drag racing partner and always by my side making sure I am safe, guiding me and believing in me. He has really made this dream possible for me,” she added, while also thanking both her literal family and her drag racing family, her employer Westpac, Johnny’s Hog Shop, Twintunes Performance Centre and Dyno Tuning, Joe Khoury Motorcycle Transport, and all of the track officials, photographers, organisers and volunteers.

“I think the NDRC is a great initiative. They are doing a fantastic job at creating opportunities for all classes to race all over the country. I love how they have included and supported the smaller local tracks with national events – it is always a hard job to keep everyone happy, but I feel they listen, learn and adjust when needed which is great for the sport,” she concluded.  

The Saltwood @ Rosedale Australia Day Nationals will present an action-packed two day program featuring two rounds of the Top Fuel championship as well as Top Doorslammers, Pro Alcohol, Pro Stock Motorcycle, FuelTech Pro Mod, and the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship – guaranteeing no shortage of thrills across the January 26 and 27 event at Sydney Dragway.

For full event information and tickets, visit ndrc.tv.

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