Sportsman qualifying show on-point at Festival State Nationals

An action-packed Saturday at the Festival State Nationals featured not only qualifying action from Nitro Funny Cars, Top Doorslammers and Top Fuel Motorcycles, but also a full complement of impressive runs thanks to the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship.

Following a huge day and night of action at the new Dragway at The Bend in South Australia, top qualifiers were celebrated in the Supercharged Outlaws, Competition Bike, Super Stock and Competition Eliminator brackets with Milan Dokic, Chris Allen, Steve Norman and Matt Forbes top qualifying in those brackets respectively.

Qualifying will continue tomorrow morning for the rest of the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship competitors before racing for all brackets commences from approximately 1.00pm, with Andrew Ricketts (Super Street), Brian Alvisio (Modified Bike), Kym Driesener (Super Sedan), Simon Barlow (Modified), Lachlan Walker (Junior Dragster) and Vlado Turic (Top Sportsman) leading the way for their respective brackets so far.

While Dokic was ecstatic to top qualify, he will sadly be watching Sunday’s racing from the sidelines.

Above: Milan Dokic. At top: Steve Norman (Cackling Pipes)

“When we started the car Friday it felt a little bit off, so we were up early this morning changing spark plugs and a few little bits and pieces and all of a sudden it sounded pretty good. All I wanted to do was run a six second pass and by the time I got to three-quarter track my eyes were a bit ‘vibratey’, so I pulled the chute at 1000ft, and it still ran a six-eighty, so I was wrapped!” Dokic said.

“The track was grouse, and we had a really good day, it was really awesome. The problem now is we have some push rod issues that are putting us out for tomorrow. We haven’t blown anything up, but we have push rods rubbing against push rod stands. That is a real problem, and a real shame, especially since we top qualified, but apart from that we have had a great day.

“Thank you to my crew, there is seven of us who all travelled the nine hours from southeast Melbourne to be here and we have had a ball – this certainly beats playing golf or lawn bowls!

“That pass was actually the first time we have run this particular car down the quarter mile too, so that makes it even better, especially when you consider we pulled the chutes early. We are just wrapped.”

It was also a personal best day for Chris Allen in Competition Bike.

Chris Allen (Cackling Pipes)

“I am pretty happy with the result and the day overall. This is an amazing track with great facilities, and I have to say great work to all the team that is involved and the series that has been brought together,” Allen said.

“I am very happy with the bike and how it is performing. We ran personal bests of 7.03 and 205mph (approx. 329kph) today, and we ran three 200mph+ passes when we have never run 200mph before, so we are pretty happy with that!

“I want to thank my team that has allowed me to be able to do this, I wouldn’t be able to do it without them! We will be well ready for racing in the morning. I am feeling very confident, the bike is in amazing condition.”

Matt Forbes (Cackling Pipes)

To learn more about Saturday’s qualifying for Nitro Funny Car, Top Doorslammer and Top Fuel Motorcycle at the Festival State Nationals, please see the news section of

The Festival State Nationals will continue with day two at Dragway at The Bend on Sunday January 14, with the conclusion of qualifying for the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship from 10.30am and racing for all brackets from 11.40am through to approximately 6.30pm. Nitro Funny Car, Top Doorslammer and Top Fuel Motorcycle are scheduled to hit the track at 1.00pm, 3.15pm and 5.50pm local time.

Tickets are available at and 7plus will carry a free live stream from 12.45pm local time. For more information, visit

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