Riverbend Nationals roars into life, huge weekend ahead

The performances of day one of the Riverbend Nationals have forecast a huge weekend of racing ahead at Dragway at The Bend, with qualifying for the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship – hosting its Western Conference final this weekend – and some impressive testing runs from Top Fuel, Top Doorslammer, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle competitors well and truly whetting the appetite of race fans today.

The last time Top Fuel visited Dragway at The Bend (for the Spring Nationals in October 2024), the event was a sell-out, and today’s on-track action has done nothing but feed the growing interest in this weekend’s racing with tickets continuing to fly out the door at ndrc.tv.  

While the group one brackets don’t officially start their competition until Saturday, a number of racers provided a good preview of what is to come, with impressive runs including blistering passes from Pro Stock’s Rob Dekert (6.863/320.51kph) and Chris Soldatos (6.885/318.76kph), the return of Top Fuel champion Damien Harris to the track with a shakedown 4.010 second pass after his incident at the Perth Motorplex last month, and five second passes from Top Doorslammer husband and wife, Daniel (5.761/410.62kph) and Lisa (5.788/401.83kph) Gregorini, while Jason Lee was the quickest of the Pro Stock Motorycycles with a 7.28 second pass.

While these test passes provided plenty to talk about, the day belonged to the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship competitors, who got their weekend aspirations off to a great start with qualifying across the afternoon and into the evening.

At the close of today’s on-track action, the following Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship racers are leading the way in their respective brackets, with qualifying to conclude tomorrow: Katrina Read (Super Street), Dean Jamieson (Modified Bike), Simon Barlow (Modified), Tony Miskelly (Super Sedan), Graeme Spencer (Super Gas), Taylor Horton (Junior Dragster), Darren Whitford (Top Sportsman), Mike Evans (Supercharged Outlaws), Edge Mallis (Competition Bike), Nick Totsikas (Super Stock) and Craig Geddes (Competition Eliminator).

In Modified Bike, Dean Jamieson is hoping that his good start to qualifying carries over into a success in the Western Conference.

Dean Jamieson (Cackling Pipes)

“It has been a pretty good day for me, we have had three pretty consistent passes with two 8.69 passes and a 8.67 in the last one when it was a bit cooler,” said Jamieson, who heads into this weekend’s racing on 280 points.

“The bike is performing the way it should which is great, and going into qualifying tomorrow we will just keep doing the same while working on the reaction time – I threw a couple of cherries early on today but in the third run went .02 which helped.

“It is pretty tight in the Western Conference final with the three of us that are here and in contention. Lucas (Neagoe) is my pit buddy, we pit and ride together, and he is leading at the moment, so it would be good if we can both get up there and have a bit of success.”

Taylor Horton is another racer leading the way in their bracket so far while having Western Conference championship aspirations – heading into this weekend’s racing on the points cap.

Taylor Horton (Cackling Pipes)

“Everything went well today – it was fun and the car was running really good,” the 13 year old Junior Dragster pilot said.

“I am feeling good ahead of the rest of qualifying, I don’t think anyone will get in front of me.

“I am feeling good about the racing too, I think I will get through most rounds. If we were able to get through for the win and the Western Conference win, that would be so amazing.”

Day two of the Riverbend Nationals will commence at 11.00am on Saturday April 6 with more Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship qualifying ahead of the commencement of racing, with Top Fuel, Top Doorslammer and Pro Stock Motorcycle taking to the track for their qualifying alongside racing for Pro Stock from 12.50pm, 4.00pm and 6.30pm (all times local).

Racing will then continue for all competitors from 10.00am local time on Sunday, with group one on-track at 11.00am, 1.30pm and 4.00pm respectively, while the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship competitors continue to fight it out for Western Conference Championship glory and also valuable Eastern Conference points.

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

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