Challenge from overseas for Australian Speedcar Title

This Saturday night 55 mighty midget speedcars will grip the Valvoline Raceway as they battle for the right to carry the Australia 1 on the tail of their car for 2016 The field of 55 includes 6 US professionals and 4 of our Kiwi friends. Adam Clarke and his JBR/Polar Ice Team are the defending Champions.

Adam Clarke JBR/Polar Ice

Adam Clarke JBR/Polar Ice

This will be one hell of a race with Zach Daum and his GRD/Eagle looking for an incident free race .Daum ,last time out at Valvoline had a nasty crash that delayed his 2015 US campaign .The season ended strongly for Daum with a 3rd place behind Rico Abreu in the Chili Bowl Nationals

Again this year as in the past the question is asked should overseas drivers be allowed to compete in our National Titles .There will be many views, here is mine and I am speaking as a race fan first of all.
Two points to consider,
Point (1) by allowing overseas entries it helps the category field attractive an exciting line up. It also offers the local the chance to race against US Professional and improve their craft. Promoters would support their inclusion as it guarantees the turnstiles ticking over and from the promoters view this is vital. Over recent years the growth of other Speedway classes and the explosion of support for Sprintcars have had a major impact on the numbers of what used to be the major speedway class.

Most Speedcar teams struggle with sponsorship as opposed to the many well funded and supported Sprintcar teams.A quick look at recent entries at State and National Series round when compared to sprintcar entries on a normal race night tells the story .Look at the numbers at the recent World Midget shows in Brisbane and Lismore, yes rain did cause inconvenience but the numbers tell the story.

Regrettably Speedcars in Australia will not in its present state be able to attract number and sponership that will provide the necessary funds to support the massive travel teams are expected to take and the fill the  prize pool .If the overseas entries were denied I expect we would see the demise and status of this race with it ending the same way as the once great Australian Grand Prix. Despite the efforts of the Nowra Speedway and those teams that have supported the race it has sadly faded in importance .This used to be an iconic race.

Almost 25% of the Australian Speedcar field is from off shore and these are supported by Australian teams and their supporter’s .The clubs work hard but the youngsters have too many options and incentives that see many skip the speedcar class. This has to be reversed and the numbers increased and they need to be able to see the thrill that a speedcar career can offer. I would go anywhere, health prevailing to watch the speedcars but I am not most fans, who are attracted to the hype, the power of the personalities, the thrill that promoters stream through to race fans everywhere you look.Daum's Eagle GRD Lismore

Point (2)
It’s all about the numbers, it’s that simple .Recent examples of the Grand Annual Classic 104 entries stacks of Americans from the Outlaws to the PA Posse and Californians .Three nights of fabulous racing with Australians battling the overseas boys. Massive crowds, big purse .No problems here and then the Americans ask why we can’t race the Aussie Sprintcar Title.

NEXT WEEK NO OVERSEAS ENTRIES .The Australian Title and over 80 local teams turn out for another three nights of racing and again massive crowds. The lack of overseas driver had no impact the support and following of our locals is huge .The prestige of the number one plate is made more special when you know you have beaten the best in Australia.The Sprintcar group has got it right and with such strong numbers and support it will continue to be able to stand alone.

There are many options that are available to the overseas driver, The World Series Sprintcars, Promoter staging the Ultimate Sprintcar Championship “USC”.
There is also the National Australian Sprintcar Open an event to satisfy their racing appetite

My conclusion is that the Australian Speedcar Championship cannot afford to stand alone and must continue to have overseas support until such time as the category can build its numbers, increase its exposure
The Australian Championship is 75 years old its history is written in the clay of past and present speedways. Many great Champions of the past and future youngsters dreaming of carrying  proudly the number one plate. It is all in the hands of the clubs, the promoters and the most valuable part of the mix the fans..One youngster making a name quickly in Speedcars is Braydan Willmington , with a fresh new Beast he will be taking his place in this quality field .

Braydan Willmington Pic Braydan Willmington Motorsports

Braydan Willmington
Pic Braydan Willmington Motorsports

The 55 nominations for the Rod Bowen Prestige Smash Repairs 75th Australian Title are :
A1 Adam Clarke * Defending Champion
NZ1 Brad Mosen (NZ)Wi
V2 Paul Farrell
N3 Darren Jenkins
W4 Alex Bright (USA)
Q5 Rod Harders
N6 Jack Black
S6 Paul Murphy
V6 Anthony Chaffey
N7 Nathan Smee
W7 Todd Waddell
N8 Trevor Malouf
S9 Michael Stewart
V11 Troy Jordan
W11 Kaiden Manders
N14 Zach Daum (USA)
Q14 Michael Harders
W14 Neville Lance
N17 Kaitlyn Anthony
NZ17 Leon Burgess (NZ)
Q18 Matt Hefford
N19 Scott Hill
Q19 Darren Vine
N23 Matt Hunter
W24 Dayne Kingshott
NZ27 Hayden Williams (NZ)
N28 Dean Meadows
N34 mIcahel Paice
NZ38 Michael Pickens (NZ)
N40 Austin Prock (USA)
N41 Jordan Mackay
Q41 Brendan Palmer
N42 Jaimie McKinlay
Q42 Andrew Felker (USA)
N55 Cameron Restall
N58 Jeremy Evans
Q58 Rusty Whittaker
N60 Stewart Howle
N65 Don Mackay
N66 Courtney O’Hehir
Q69 Lee Redmond
USA70 Brady Bacon (USA)
Q71 Troy Ware
V71 Domian Ramsey
N76 Bob Jackson
Q76 Reid Mackay
N78 Troy Jenkins
W79 Nick Rowe
Q80 Scott Doyle
Q82 Jason Bell
N87 Aidan Corish
N89 Braydan Willmington
Q89 Michael Knedall
USA91 Tyler Thomas (USA)
N97 Matt Jackson

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