Temps soar on and off the track at epic Ken Scroop Memorial

The latest NDRC Christmas Tree trophy winners have been celebrated at Mildura’s Sunset Strip at the weekend following a fantastic Ken Scroop Memorial event which featured plenty of incredible performances from more than 120 Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship competitors despite soaring temperatures.

Up for grabs at the March 9-10 event were not only the coveted NDRC Christmas Tree trophies, but also valuable Eastern and Western Conference points, plus the prestigious Ken Scroop Memorial trophy for the winner of Super Street, with that particular honour picked up by Andrew Francis.

Joining Franics in the winners’ circle were Taylor Horton (Junior Dragster), Colin Griffin (Super Gas), Dean Jamieson (Modified Bike), Tony Miskelly (Super Sedan), Adriana Cartledge (Modified), Glenn Henley (Top Sportsman), Dale Tucker (Supercharged Outlaws), Joe Khoury (Competition Bike) and Craig Geddes (SuperComp).

“It is fantastic to get the win. It is such a good group of people here from the staff to the racers and everybody else involved,” Francis said.

“It is just a brilliant event, it always is, and they cope with the heat quite well – you would think that would really mess up an event but no; it went as smoothly as it possibly could, so that was great!

“It definitely is an achievement to get the Ken Scroop Memorial trophy. I didn’t know Ken Scroop, but this trophy is a great honour to him obviously and you always feel honoured to be presented with something like this.

“This is my first national event win as well, so that is definitely exciting

“The car has been incredibly consistent for quite a few years now, and I had luck go my way today with a couple of rounds where other cars red lit, making for some easy passes through.”

Andrew Francis (Steven Bloomfield Photography)

On his way to taking home both the NDRC Christmas Tree trophy and the Ken Scroop Memorial trophy with victory over Tony Antonino in the Super Street final, Francis and his FC Holden had taken on Matthew Smart, Peter Karayannis and Bruce Pain before a semi-final bye. Antonino meanwhile had done all he could to have a crack at the big trophy with earlier wins over Kieley O’Connell (round one) and Katrina Read before a round three bye and a semi-final win over Andrew Waight – who had dispatched top qualifier Malcolm Todd in round two.

For Kilmore (Victoria) racer Cartledge, it was an emotional victory in the Modified bracket aboard her Undercover Dragster.

“I feel really good about this win. We lost our little brother Billy recently, so this one was for him, we have dedicated it to him,” Cartledge explained.

“It is certainly a case of mixed emotions, and a very important win for us.

“It was a good weekend overall, the car ran how it would normally run and I was pretty good on the lights over the weekend; I felt confident and good about it all,” she added, while thanking Pro Street Towing, APD Carburettors, Wild Ink, and Race Max Direct for their support.  

Cartledge had ensured her place in the Modified final against Cory Dyson by emerging victorious from face offs with Derek Wills and Kenny Stewart before a semi-final bye, while Dyson had taken on Daniel Carranza (round one), Peter Brown and top qualifier Simon Barlow.

Adriana Cartledge (Steven Bloomfield Photography)

In Top Sportsman, Glenn Henley continued his winning streak with another event victory in his Datsun 1200 Ute, this time over top qualifier, Vlado Turic. Henley had raced his way through to the final with round wins over Stuart McBain (round one) and Jason Young before a semi-final bye, while Turic had put out Cory Read in round one before a round two solo and a round three victory over Greg Damiani.

“I am totally stoked to get another win, this makes five Christmas Tree trophies in a row this season when it comes to events I have competed in, so I am totally wrapped with that,” Henley said.

“The car was consistent as per usual, and my thanks goes to my small crew I had for this event: my wife Tracey and also Nikolas Karanavoic, Brian Keane and Brett Matthews.

“It was a very hot meeting, but it ran absolutely perfectly, and the track was spot-on even with the high temps, which was great,” he concluded, while thanking THR Engine Developments, and Craig Carrison Racing Engines in Mount Gambier, and Glenara Transport.

Glenn Henley (Steven Bloomfield Photography)

In Competition Bike, current national champion Joe Khoury, of South Hurtsville in New South Wales, took the win over Edge Mallis in the final with his Harley Davidson Destroyer. The bracket employs the three round Chicago Shootout format, with Khoury and Mallis heading to the finals after three wins apiece, with Khoury defeating Rob Church (round one) and Jake Hamilton-Moderate (round three) with a round two solo, while Mallis emerged victorious from races against Hamilton-Moderate (round one) and Church (round two) before a round three bye. Top qualifier Ken Collin had two wins and was looking good for the final but ran into bike troubles in round three.

“I was doing really well in the qualifying until Q4 when Ken Collin finally got his bike sorted and pipped me to it,” laughed Khoury.

“I sat out Q4 as I was in a good position and didn’t think I would go much faster that that being under the record, and I backed it up in round three which is cool.

“It was a good meeting even though it was bloody hot, and it sure felt good to get the win – last time Edge and I raced in a final it was here in Mildura and I was runner-up to him, so it was pretty good to take the win off him this time.

“He did have a problem again, sometimes it seems that I can only beat him when he breaks something, but I was pretty consistent all weekend so I am ecstatic about the win and we are in a good position for the Western Conference finals in Adelaide coming up,” he concluded, while thanking VP Racing Fuels Australia, Twin Tune Performance and Dyno Tuning Sydney, Joe Khoury Motorcycle Transport, Johnny ‘Hog’ Ireland, his crew and his team mate Cheryl Beddoes for their support.

Joe Khoury (Steven Bloomfield Photography)

In Super Sedan, Tony Miskelly and his Ford Probe were sure to maximise their weekend with a win over Ned Karanovic in the final after having top qualified earlier in the weekend. Miskelly, of Salisbury East (SA), had taken on John Pellas in round one before a round two bye, before seeing off Chris Lioulios in the semi-final. Karanovic meanwhile had faced off with Joe Carbone, current champion Lance Larcombe and Sean Maher on his way to the final showdown for the bracket.

In Modified Bike, Dean Jamieson was another racer to convert a top qualifying performance into an event win, taking the victory over Derryn McGregor in the final after having earlier dispatched Nick Thompson in round two after enjoying a round one bye. McGregor meanwhile had successfully taken on Cheryl Beddoes (round one) and Marius du Toit on his way to the final match-up.

Craig Geddes was yet another to have his arms full at the presentations, claiming the event win and the top qualifier honours in the Super Comp ranks following victory over Mitch Oxley in the final. The nine-time national champion and his dragster enjoyed a bye in his first round thanks to his TQ status before defeating Leigh Donaldson in his semi-final, while Oxley meanwhile had taken on Matt Forbes (round one) before having his own solo pass in the semi-final.

In Super Gas, Colin Griffin and his Toyota Celica took the win over Graeme Spencer. The Cragieburn racer had ensured his spot in the final by emerging victorious from battles against top qualifier Rob Bergamin (round one), and Jordan Spencer (round three) while enjoying a round two bye. Spencer had taken wins from Des Woolstencroft (round one) and Warren Bull (round two) before his own bye in the semi-final.

In Junior Dragster, Taylor Horton of Lethbridge in Victoria had another successful weekend at the track, taking out their second national event win with a solo final after Indy Vickery was unable to take part in her semi-final bye run due to an issue with her clutch belt when approaching the start line. Taylor had earlier taken on Edith Maggs (round one), Lachlan Walker, Ayden Lanciana and Nathaniel Kuchel on his way to the final.

It was also a special victory for Dale Tucker as a long-time resident of Renmark in South Australia – the hometown of Ken Scroop. Tucker and his HQ GTS Monaro took the Supercharged Outlaws win from top qualifier Mike Evans in the final following a round one match-up against Shaun Kerkman and a semi-final bye, while Evans had a round one bye thanks to his TQ achievement before putting Brad Sullivan on the trailer in the semis.

The National Drag Racing Championship (NDRC) now heads to Dragway at The Bend for the Riverbend Nationals across April 6 and 7, featuring Top Fuel, Top Doorslammer, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle and the Western Conference Final for the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship. For event info and the full upcoming calendar, visit www.ndrc.tv

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