Local Heroes Ready to Take the Battle to Springmount Visitors This Weekend

Part of the newly established National Drag Racing Championship (NDRC), the August 18/19 event is expected to host a talent-filled roster of racers from both near and far as they look to secure not only prestigious Christmas Tree trophies, but also valuable national championship points.

Competitor entries close at 6.00pm on Wednesday August 16, but already there is a long list of local racers who are hoping a home track advantage will play in their favour against the visitors this weekend.

Amongst the line-up are Springmount regulars, Kay Swenson (Real Street), Mike Sutherst (Performance Bike) and Daniel Parisotto (Top Sportsman).

“We are hoping to see lots of visitors this weekend. It is always great to meet all the different racers who travel up,” said Swenson, who hails from the Lake Barrine side of the Atherton Tablelands.

“Our group is really keen; we are all ready to go! We are all so excited for this event and the whole NDRC concept, it cannot come fast enough!” Swenson said.

“We are really blessed up here to have Springmount Raceway and the whole team here are just fabulous and treat you like family. They do so much work so we can have our bit of fun, and we are all just so grateful for that.

“I have been racing at Springmount Raceway since it started, first in a 2005 GT FPV, and now with a 2019 Mustang Fastback with a Whipple 3L Supercharger – it goes a little faster than the other car, which is really good.

“Hopefully this weekend I can focus on bettering my times and also if I can beat my husband (Tom Rowan) who is also running Real Street, well then that will be happy days!” she laughed.

“At the end of the day, all of our team, our crew and our group of racers that we run around with – we call ourselves Butcher’s Camp – are really supportive and it doesn’t matter who wins, as long as we all have a good time,” Swenson concluded, while thanking the

Springmount Raceway volunteers, her Butchers’ Camp comrades, and all the sponsors of Springmount Raceway.

52-year-old Speewah racer Mike Sutherst grew up racing in Brisbane before relocating to North Queensland.

“I always had a thing for motorbikes. By the time I got a bike to go racing I moved to North Queensland, and when I realised there was a drag strip in Townsville, it closed!” Sutherst laughs.

“When I found out Springmount Raceway was becoming a reality I bought a V-Rod Drag Bike from a guy in Brisbane and spent a couple of years racing locally and making some trips to the Winternationals.

“By then I had well and truly caught the bug, so I decided to turn it up a bit and imported a nitro Harley from America. We have spent the last two to three years learning the ropes and after some great advice from others at the All Bike meet at Benaraby last year, we are really getting on top of it now.

“Of course, we would definitely love to win the event this weekend. As a local, we always want to do that, to win at home against the visitors, but most of all we are just keen to go racing – as they say, the first person you are racing, is yourself!

“The quality of the track at Springmount is great and we always have good racing here from the street cars right through to the motorbikes to the Super Comp cars, and there are some very competitive local racers. I can’t wait to see if the locals can take it out this weekend!”  he concluded, while thanking his partner Juzi, crew chief Matthew Arrowsmith, and Springmount Raceway/FGF for building such an awesome facility.

Mareeba racer Daniel Parisotto is another looking forward to taking on the visitors in his HQ Sandman Ute with a 565 big block Chev and two-speed powerglide.

“Springmount Raceway really is an awesome facility and I think it is great to have the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship coming to the track. It (the NDRC concept) is a great thing for everybody I think, combining it all and making it a whole lot more interesting, and you can race anywhere and still gain points. I think it will bring some excitement,” said the 55-year-old builder and owner of Shed Alliance Tablelands, who has been involved with drag racing for more than three decades.

“We are planning on running more NDRC events, but I don’t want to say which in case I jinx myself and break something!” he laughed. “We will definitely do Willowbank and also others; Sydney is on my bucket list for sure.

“As far as the NDRC overall goes, we will see how this weekend goes and if we can take a win here, we will most definitely be fighting for the title.

“At the end of the day, everybody wants to win, and it would mean everything to us to win it. It would be a big confidence boost and just take it to the next level, to start chasing that title. And of course, everyone wants a Christmas Tree!

“You just have to take it round by round and event by event, but we will be doing all we can for sure,” he said, while thanking sponsors Red Rooster Mareeba, Bruno’s Batteries, Paul Jerome Panel and Paint, and Agius Performance, as well as his crew -Darryl Peterson, Adrian Parisotto, David Parisotto and Steven Parisotto – for their support.

The August 18/19 event at Springmount Raceway is the first Eastern Conference event of the newly established Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship, which is part of the National Drag Racing Championship (NDRC).

Friday August 18 will host a three-hour test ‘n’ tune from 6.00pm to 9.00pm, before Saturday August 19 hosts a non-stop program of qualifying and racing action. Gates open at 9.00am, with on-track action from 10.30am. As part of Saturday’s action, the Nitro Wheel Standers ‘Pit Party’ will be held at 3.00pm, with the Aeroflow Wheelstanders to be on-track at 4.30pm, 6.30pm and 8.30pm. Entries and tickets are on-sale now, with competitor entries closing on August 16.

For event information, visit www.springmountraceway.com

Credit: Emma Hickmott EMpowered Collective and Cackling Pipes Photography

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