Following three rounds of Chicago Shootout racing for all of the NDRC brackets, the final pairings did battle for the Christmas Tree trophies in front of an enthralled crowd of spectators at the North Queensland facility on Saturday evening (August 19).
In Real Street, local racer Kay Swenson defeated her husband, Thomas Rowan, in a hard-fought final aboard her Ford Mustang Fastback.
“This was our first ever final against each other after a few elimination round match-ups,” Swenson explained.
“I have always wanted to beat Tom – he is really good at what he does and I am still getting there, and yesterday it was just amazing to have my best day ever, go to the final, and take the Gold tree against him!
“I was so nervous lining up against him for the final, I even put it in the wrong mode! It gave me my best 60 foot time though, but trying to catch him was hard. Once he red lit he wanted to see what time he could do and he ended up breaking out too.
“All the guys and girls in our group, the Butchers’ Camp, were so supportive of us both, and I had to race some of our close friends across the day as well which is hard, but you have to just go out on track and run your own race. I am still finding it a bit hard to believe that I won!
“Thank you to the NDRC, the Springmount Raceway volunteers, my Butchers’ Camp friends, all the sponsors of Springmount Raceway, Michael Gonzalez and all the crew, they were all just wonderful.
“The event was just fabulous, the wheelstanders and the fireworks after were amazing and the whole weekend was just fantastic, it was a really good event, and I can’t give everyone enough praise and thanks for making it all possible.”
In Top Sportsman, Fernvale racer Daniel Morris took the win over his best mate, travel partner and engine builder, Tony Whyatt, in his Pontiac Grand Prix, with the pair sharing the 23 hour drive each way to attend the Mutchilba, Queensland event.
“The final was epic. Tony Whyatt is one of my best mates, and he is my engine builder. He absolutely smashed me on the tree, but we ran right on our dial in and squeaked past him by four thousandths of a second on the finish line,” Morris said.
“We actually travel together, so there was plenty of banter on the road trip on the way up here, and there has been plenty on the way home as well! With 23 hours of travel each way, there is lots of time for enjoying the bragging rights!
“Earlier in the weekend I got a little bit lucky in the first round when my opponent (Elio Quintieri) had a really bad light, and in the second round I had a really good race with Aaron Strong from Townsville, who unfortunately broke out which was good for me,” he laughed. “We had a bye in the third round because we qualified third, so we had a competition bye, and then it was time for the final.
“It was a good weekend; the atmosphere was great, and the crowd was good. I love the track, I think it is probably the most picturesque track in Australia and definitely one of the better regional tracks, if not the best regional track, in the country. The track staff are brilliant too and they worked awesomely hard to come up with a really great track at the end of the day,” Morris concluded, while thanking All Site Demo, Jimboomba Panel and Paint, Southpine Speed Co, Cutrite Concrete Sawing, Gonzo’s Racing Pipes and FX Signs for their support.
Joining Swenson and Morris in taking out Christmas Tree trophies at the weekend were Super Street’s Mike Pullella (runner-up: Mark Peachey), Super Sedan’s Daniel List (runner-up: Anthony Mangano), Modified Bike’s Steve Twine (runner-up: Russell Bell), Performance Bike’s Jon Mengel (no runner-up), and Junior Dragster’s Ned McQuade (runner-up: Charli Nurzenski).
Also impressing at what was the first Eastern Conference event for the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship, part of the NDRC, were the Aeroflow Wheelstanders of Shelby Leahy (Miss Behavin) and Chelsea Leahy (Nitro Sherriff). When the sisters took to the track three times across the afternoon and evening, it marked the first time two women had raced Wheelstanders against each other anywhere in the world.
Sportsman competitors looking to secure points in the NDRC title chase will now head to Mildura’s Sunset Strip for the Sunset Nationals (Western Conference – September 16/17) and to Benaraby Dragway (Eastern Conference – 7 October). For further information, visit www.nationaldrags.com.au