DESPITE the meeting on Saturday night at Falcones Bread Nowra Speedway having no title or major races on the card and competing with the monster truck show in town on the same night, a good crowd turned up to watch the racing and they were certainly rewarded.
Divisions running were AMCA dirt modified cars, 1600 Sedans, Junior Sedans Microsprints and Street Stock Sedans.
The Street Stockers were the main event, Saturday night’s show being round two of a five-round series for the Newcastle Street Stock Sedan Club.
They are also due to race at Dubbo, Gilgandra and Tamworth before the series is concluded.
A round of the series is held in Nowra as opposed to Newcastle because the Newcastle club is retaining its identity and driver numbers despite there no longer being a speedway at “home”.
It is a huge credit to the club that over 30 cars were on hand, most trailered from the Hunter Valley, and some from even further afield.
In the Junior division some sparkling racing in the heat races between Braydan Willmington from Gouburn and Chris Corbett from Grafton saw these two starting off the front row for the feature race.
As had been the case all night, they swapped positions (and a little bit of paint) for the whole 15 laps, passing and repassing (Willmington favouring the pole line and Corbett finding drive “up high”) until the closing stages of the race where some lapped traffic sort of spoiled the show and Willmington cruised to the win with Corbett some distance back.
Credit must also go to local driver, Jed Anson, in a Hyundai Excel (not a favoured weapon in Junior ranks) who harried both leaders and passed on a number of occasions in the corners only to be hosed in the straights.
He finished a close third and the call has gone out for more horsepower.
The Microsprint field was reduced by two cars in heat one with the favourite, Brett Sainsbury and another leading driver, Gary Hart, being eliminated in a two-car accident.
But the remaining cars turned on some super racing with the feature race win going to Sydney’s Rhys Marchant.
The race had been led since the green by the Victorian driver, West Makin, but he pulled to a stop on the back straight late in the race and was out of the event.
Marchant scored an easy victory ahead of another Victorian driver, Graeme “The Captain” Porter and Jason Summers.
The 1600 sedan field was small but the racing was great.
Coming off two heat race wins, Gavin Campbell was the favourite in the feature race and he quickly established a lead over Cayne Ford, Rob Nelson and Wayne Faulkner.
Nelson, who has been quiet all season long, suddenly found his form on Saturday night and was driving out of his skin.
It all went wrong for Campbell at 2/3 race distance when the cars slowed dramatically in turn three and pulled to the infield trailing a huge pall of smoke and with flame coming out from under the engine.
Fire crews quickly put out the fire but Campbell’s race, along with his engine, were totally blown.
Final placings were Ford, Nelson and Faulkner.
AMCA dirt modified cars seem to suit the Nowra layout so well.
With the drivers driving in memory of one of their colleagues who had passed away in tragic circumstances during the week, you might have expected them to be a bit subdued.
But when the green flag drops, racers are still racers.
Daniel Roberts led the feature from start to finish, withstanding a race-long challenge from Peter Markulin who looked set for second.
But in the closing stages it became apparent that Markulin was struggling with badly worn tyres and he succumbed to the challenge of Raymond Kime, slipping to third which is where he stayed until the end.
With over 30 street stock cars on hand the organisers divided them into heat races of 10 cars each and, despite predictions that it would be mobile demolition derby time, the drivers drove sensibly during the heats, saving the crazy behaviour that we know they sometimes show for the feature race of the night.
John Lodge Snr and his son, John Lodge Jr, shared a Cortina and were dominant in their respective heat races.
It was the senior driver who led the feature race off and, with that number of cars all on the track together, the inevitable multi-car pile-ups spoilt the spectacle somewhat.
But Lodge was at his best and motored away from the pack at ever re-start until, just before half distance, he pulled the car to the infield with a shredded right rear tyre.
Suddenly the race erupted into a huge brawl.
Trent Keeler, Andrew Fuller, female racer, Kiona Sunnerton, Luke Whaler, David Cassidy and a host of others all took their turns in the leading bunch, the places constantly chopping and changing.
Mechanical issues eliminated some, crash and tyre damage some others and, from down in the pack it was Andrew Fuller who controlled the last third of the race. The battle for the minors remained intense right to the end with second finally going to Trent Keeler and Kiona Sunnerton, who rushed into third right at the end.
Falcones Bread Nowra Speedway takes a break next weekend but returns with a big show on the Australia Day weekend.
Saturday, January 25 will feature Junior Sedans, Modified Production Sedans, Dwarf Cars, Compact Speedcars and Vintage Modifieds.
Gates open at 3pm, racing starts at 6pm.
Full canteen facilities available at the track.