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ISSUE

29 2021

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Who is Highline Magazine Editor: Brett Swanson Artist/Layout; Andy Ticehurst Contributors; Kaylene Oliver, Grant Woodhams, Andy Ticehurst. Photographers: Brett Swanson – Pirate Media Kieran Swanson – Pirate Media Andy Ticehurst – Andy Ticehurst Media Brett Williams – Lone Wolf Photography Rachel Cooper - Inaction Photos Leigh Reynolds - Inaction Photos Geoff Gracie (SA) Wayne Martin (WA) Randy Crist (USA)

www.HighlineMagazine.com.au Front Cover (Main). One for the girls with Taylah Firth framed nicely in the Queensland V8 Dirt Modified Sportman Championship at Grafton. – Lone Wolf photo. (Bottom) Ricky Stenhouse Jr in action during Indiana Midget Weeks. – Photo courtesy Randy Crist USA. Inside front cover photo. Young Jacob Pitcher backs his Super Rod in hard at Victoria’s Simpson Speedway just like his dad (Alan) does and grandad (Graham) always did. Pirate Media Group photo. Back Cover. Buddy Kofoid enjoys the big cheque. Randy Crist Photo

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Editorial “The new normal” is a phrase we hear a lot these days thanks to the Covid pandemic. The need to wear masks in public and to physically distance ourselves from others is part of our current lives along with working from home and the disruptions caused to our favourite sports. This is “the new normal” and I guess we just have to get used to it. One purely selfish aspect that I’m struggling to get used to is not being able to plan and partake in an American racing holiday. Thank God for Flo Racing, Dirt Vision and other dirt racing streaming providers. In reality this is a much, much cheaper option with Indiana Midget and Sprint Weeks, Ohio and PA Speedweeks, Eldora, Knoxville and so many other races, including weekly racing from tracks you’ve probably never heard of all available to watch either live, or when you feel like it. But still, nothing beats being there and the

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PIRATES POINT OF VIEW

time spent enjoying the countryside as you travel down the road between races. I’m sure Shayne Andrews, Darren Bould, Kevin Reeves and thousands of other Aussies would agree. I can’t wait to go back but who knows exactly when that will be. Speaking of Aussies in the US, James McFadden (Left) is over there flying the flag proudly along with his new baby and partner. Ian Madsen is bouncing between rides and big brother Kiwi Kerry has landed in Tony Stewarts second (personal) ride - the famed #14. Madsen is also putting pressure on Stewarts’ world of Outlaws driver Donny Schatz, who is surprisingly off the pace a little. In the outlaws if you’re off just a little, you’re way off. Many supporters have blamed the Ron Shaver Ford engines for Donny’s slight off but when Madsen turned up in Stewarts other car, with the same engine, he beat Schatz. Word is out there that the multiple Knoxville Nationals and Outlaw Champion may be looking for a new challenge – maybe a Late Model Sedan?

Marcus Dumesny (above) is now also Stateside in the N47. Young Queenslander Lachlan McHugh is also stateside and is putting up a good showing including a win in local Ohio racing. McHugh contested the Ohio Speedweek and was very solid making most of the mains against solid competition including at times, the amazing Kyle Larson. What can you say about Kyle Larson? Talented, fast and adaptable. NASCAR, Sprintcars, Midgets, Late HIGHLINE MAGAZINE

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Model Sedans, whatever, it doesn’t matter and the way he can jump from one to the other is incredible. Very few drivers have been able to show such diversity throughout their careers. Mario Andretti, A. J. Foyt, Tony Stewart and Bryan Clausen are a few that spring to mind and by the time he hangs up his helmet Larson may even eclipse all of these legends. Watch this space. In our last issue we had a story on the sad demise of the much beloved PCR but obviously there was much more behind the scenes shenanigans and possibly litigious skulduggery going on that precipitated or exacer-

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bated the premature closure of PCR. Much of this may never see the light of day or if it does it may take years but at least in the meantime we can all focus on the future and the physical construction of the replacement speedway within the confines of the Eastern Creek Motorsport complex. Speedway doyen Dennis Newlyn (Below) and others have been keeping the fraternity updated with words and encouraging picture of the progress being made towards a late 2021 season opener. The recent Sydney Covid Outbreak and lockdown may have slowed up the construction process from a planned September completion but it still looks totally on track for a 2021 debut with a


PIRATES POINT OF VIEW

swarm of workers reportedly onsite, when allowed, to meet the Government set deadlines.

motion at other tracks in Queensland and will do a great job.

As previously reported Queenslands’ Archerfield promoter John Kelly in partnership with Scott Anderson have been given the initial promotional rights at what is set to be a stunning new venue. As a result Kelly has understandably removed himself from his promotional role at Hi Tec Oils Toowoomba Speedway handing it back to Barry Waldron and the Club that owns the facility who have together appointed Ryan Harris (Above) as manager.

Harris and co will kick off the new season with a mammoth new and exciting two night Sprintcar event called ‘Thunder on the Downs’ on 17 & 18 September. Thunder on the Downs will carry an impressive prize purse and has already attracted interest from drivers from all over the country. It’s planned that this event will become a regular fixture on the national Sprintcar speedway calendar during the years ahead and be an exciting way to open the Toowoomba season each year.

Harris is a local resident, the Club President and track commentator but also has a vast resume of pro-

The opening weekend will also have a monster fireworks show along with dual ‘$1,000 to win’ Production Sedan HIGHLINE MAGAZINE

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tional, but delayed by a year, Chariots of Thunder spectacular at the Top End’s Northline Speedway, Darwin.

and Street Stock main events, plus appearance by Modlites, Microsprints and SSA Junior Sedans. Just around the corner is the now tradi-

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The 2021 Chariots of Thunder Sprintcar Series is set to be one of the biggest open wheel events on the Australian Sprintcar racing calendar. Over 50 of Australia’s best drivers are set to return to the Top End in what is set to be two action packed weekends in August.


ing closely in conjunction with the local association, NT Wingless Sprints President Shane Norman is anticipating a big four nights of racing.

On top of a huge field of Sprintcars, fans will also be treated to the return of Speedcar racing for the first time at Northline Speedway since the 1990’s. With prize money of approximately $30,000 on offer, Chariots of Thunder will be fielding some of the best Speedcar talent from Australia and New Zealand. Four-time Australian Speedcar Champion and Hall of Famer Warrenne Ekins (Above) is excited to see this muchloved category to return to Darwin. “It’s been a long time, but to see Speedcars return to Northline is fantastic and fans should expect a trip down memory lane, along with some real excitement on track”.

“It was a great field in 2019 and with the introduction of prize money and the Pope Challenge, we are expecting a large amount of interest for the 2021 event”. The Pope Challenge will be offered across all three open-wheel classes which allows the pole sitter on the final night of racing to relinquish their position and start from rear of field. Should they navigate their way from rear to pole position, they could score themselves a further cash bonus. The Sprintcars Pope Challenge is back at a cool $35,000, the first ever Speedcar Pope Challenge will be $15,000 and Wingless Sprints $6,500.

Returning in a big way will also be the Wingless Sprint category with over 30 competitors ready to hit the track and battle it out for one of the most attractive prize pools across Australia. WorkHIGHLINE MAGAZINE

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Midget S

Report by Brett Swanso

I

’m a die hard Sprintcar fan and being a former Sprintcar competitor, I will be for life. However, I will readily admit that Speedcars, or Midgets as the Yanks call them, put on some of the best speedway racing ever so long as there is a good field of quality cars and drivers, and that is exactly what you get every year with the Indiana Midget Week (IMW). As part of the USAC (United States Auto Club) National Championship it attracts the best Midget racers from around the world and a win in this mini-series is something to be extremely proud of. The other thing about the eight night/ten day contest is the equality amongst the

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racers and teams and this years tournament went 6 nights before there was a repeat winner and not surprisingly that repeat winner, Buddy Kofoid, ended up being the speedweek champion while all told there were seven different winners. To be honest, when Kofoid came downunder a few years back amid a ton of Wade Aunger/Parramatta Raceway hype, he was very unspectacular. To be fair he was very, very young and had never raced a 410 Sprintcar prior to this. Since then he’s gone home, chased races across the country and has matured and improved to the point of now being an All Star Circuit of Champions feature winner and USAC midget winner. The chase began at Paragon Speedway


Speedweek

on, Images Randy Crist

and apart from Thomas Meseraull’s last corner win, the other highlight was the turn four cushion that was more than a cushion, it was the whole damn couch.

dramatic last push to earn his first career IMW victory in his 28th IMW start.

It was as tall as a midget and described by USAC media man Richie Murray as being “a skyscraper tall curb”.

Following the drama of the final lap, Meseraull delivered an encore performance of unintentional physical comedy when he lost his balance and fell from the top of his roll cage onto the ground below.

From the drop of the green flag until his drop to the ground in his post-race celebration, Meseraull captivated the audience with a wildly entertaining IMW opener.

Dusting himself off, and without hesitation, Meseraull joyously jumped to his feet ran full sprint toward the jubilant crowd with both arms raised in triumph.

Meseraull charged from his 12th starting position to track down Cannon McIntosh on the final corner of the final lap, and with one swift move coming off turn four, delivered a

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tracks, where I really just wanted to go home when I got here, they seem to be the types of tracks that I run really good at. Hats off to everybody that helped get this thing in tonight.” “(Crew chief) Donnie (Gentry) and I just click, (team owners) Dave Estep and Matt Estep, these guys give me the best of the best,” Meseraull praised. “We got Danny Drinan here and we’ve got the Dri-Bar on it. It seems to be really good in the rough, but I’m good too.” P.S the dry bar was an initiative of Aussie Bill “Grizzly” Roberts who developed it with his mate Drinan. Night two was at the famed Bloomington Speedway and Kofoid’s win on his first Bloomington experience made an impression itself on the immediate and season-long outlook as well while also extending his point lead in the series and rising to the top of the

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latest IMW standings. Kofoid earned his stripes after prevailing in a near race-long duel with Chris Windom to earn his sixth career USAC National Midget feature win, and first at the 1/4-mile dirt oval in his Keith Kunz Toyota. The win earned team owner Keith Kunz his 117th win with the USAC National Midget division, 16 behind all-time leader Steve Lewis’ 133, and his all-time leading fifth at Bloomington, all of which have come during IMW. “To win an Indiana Midget Week show is probably one of the bigger midget wins of my career,” Kofoid said. “It feels pretty good to beat some of the best, straight-up, head to head. I had a blast racing with Chris; that was so much fun. If you didn’t like that, I don’t know what to tell you. That was hard racing back and forth.” By the way, Bloomington had a decent cushion also only it was in turn two and only half


as high but still enough to strand a car that ended up stradling it. The next venture was off to Lawrenceburg, a great spot close to the Ohio river just across the border from Kentucky. A great place to have a nice lunch by the river before racing hostilities commence. The other thing about the “burg” is the shape. Unless you’ve been there you don’t really get the size, the bowl like shape, and sheer height and steepness of the banking that doesn’t show through on live stream. At this point yet another California native in Logan Seavey stood tall to take the win.

The 2019 IMW titlist and one-time IMW race winner returned to form at the 3/8-mile oval to survive and withstand a late-race cascade of cautions and challenges served by way of

current IMW point leader Buddy Kofoid, the very driver aiming to establish himself in the echelon Seavey positioned himself in just two years prior. This became a little personal as Kofoid had taken the ride in the Kunz machine that Seavey had previously held. “This feels awesome,” Seavey exclaimed following his seventh career USAC National Midget win. “With Tom Malloy and Jerome (Rodela), Chris (Tramel) and Krieg Poland working so hard, this definitely wouldn’t even be possible. Tonight, we got to the lead early and we’re able to set our pace and show the speed this thing has had all year. I’m just

glad I could get it done for these guys. They work so hard, and they have such a nice race car. I’m just lucky to be the one driving it.”

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Less than 24hours later after a long drive through the night the group hit the neat facility of Haubstadt, or Tri-State Speedway as it is also known and here Kyle Cummins dominated not only scoring his first USAC Midget win but also winning the Sprintcar portion in a clen sweep just as Seavey had done at The Burg. Cummins shot to the lead early, lost it, gained it back, then stood his ground in warding off constant pressure from reigning series champion Chris Windom down the stretch to earn his first career USAC Midget National Championship feature at his “home track.” “To have Chris there behind me, that’s pretty nerve wracking because he’s pretty good in a midget,” Cummins admitted. “I just didn’t know what to do, but I felt like if I was going to win one, this would probably be the place to do it.”

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“Glenn Styres, I owe it all to him,” Cummins said. “He’s put the trust in me. We’ve only got 20 midget races under our belt, and we have no idea what we’re doing. Throughout Indiana Midget Week, we’ve been getting better and better every night.” On the 20th lap, with Cummins and Windom on the cusp of fighting traffic, 21st running Kaylee Bryson clipped the turn four curb directly in front of the leaders. Simultaneously, Windom was in the process of passing for the lead, getting by Cummins just as the yellow flag flew. Windom, thus, relinquished the position back to Cummins, but the frontrunners were plucked straight out of traffic, which completely altered the dynamic of the remainder of the race.


“The red came out at the perfectly wrong time,” Windom recalled. “I had just slid by him and kind of showed him where I was at, and he took away my line there and didn’t make any mistakes.” Furthermore, Chris Windom moved into the Indiana Midget Week point lead by virtue of his runner-up performance and now possesses a 13-point lead over former leader, Buddy Kofoid, who dropped to second. At 15 years, 6 months and 12 days old, Corey Day became the youngest feature winner in USAC National Midget history with a sterling performance in the series’ debut at the new Circle City Raceway in Indianapolis, round number five of USAC IMW. Driving for Clauson Marshall Racing, it seems fitting that it’s Day who now owns the “youngest winner” handle. In 2018, Zeb Wise be-

came the youngest series winner at 15 years, 8 months and 21 day, himself driving a Clauson Marshall-owned ride that night, same as Day. Almost three years ago, Wise surpassed the former “youngest winner” title that had previously been held by Bryan Clauson, who became a first-time USAC National Midget winner at the age of 16 years, 3 months and 23 days in 2005. However, a close call while navigating the final turns of the final lap nearly spoiled what was a flawless performance by Day as he bounced not one, not two, but three times atop the cushion between turns three and four, before landing back on all fours and finishing out the last half-straightaway to earn his first career USAC National Midget win by a 0.423 second margin over Kevin Thomas Jr.

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“(Car owner) Tim (Clauson) is amazing with midgets,” Day said. “I couldn’t have a better mentor or crew chief setting up my cars.” Windom maintained IMW lead while Logan Seavey moved into second and Kofoid dropped back to third. Windom, meanwhile, gained the lead in the USAC National Midget standings by a seven-

Lincoln Park Speedway in both 2016 and 2019, and his third win at the Putnamville oval tied him with Bryan Clauson as the winningest driver at the track in USAC National Midget competition.

point margin over Kofoid after trailing by seven coming in.

of the 30-lap feature with Thorson on the pole and series Rookie Chase Randall alongside. Last Saturday at Lawrenceburg, Randall took a high-flyer into the turn three catchfence during the feature but rebounded to win his first career USAC heat race Thursday at LPS and positioned himself on the outside of the front row for the main event.

Another day, another track, this time at Putnamville where Tanner Thorson trounced the field for his 3rd career Putnamville IMW win. With six IMW races complete, six different teams had now captured a feature victory: The previous record had been five different teams back in 2010. Thorson, personally, had previously won at

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As fate would have it, two brand new Reinbold-Underwood cars started on the front row

Sliding up to the top in turns one and two, Thorson grabbed the initial lead from Randall, then opened up a sizable lead just four laps


into the main when Justin Grant (18th) slid sideways at the entrance to the top of turn three. Kaylee Bryson (19th) got hard on the binders to avoid contact with Grant but wound up transferring the weight to the left side of the car with a 90-degree turn, which flipped her upside down. Both restarted with Grant finishing 19th and Bryson 12th. Under yellow, 16th running Chris Windom slowed with a flat right rear tire. After a new wheel and tire were put on the defending series’ champion’s ride in the work area, he returned to pilot his car up to the 13th position at the finish, his lowest finish of the 2021 campaign thus far. A half lap later, the red flag was displayed when 11th running Brenham Crouch caught the turn four cushion and flipped over, concluding the Rookie driver’s night nine. Thorson maintained his presence at the head of the field for the remaining handful of laps before going on to collect his second feature win with the series in ahead of Daison Pusley who took the lead in the IMW chase. On another night, at another Indiana Speedway – Gas City - the fun run finished when Kofoid became the first repeat winner of the contest, and as it turns out, the only multiple winner Kofoid and Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports team put the kibosh on the dream of a new winner writing their own exclamation point with a wire-to-wire victory, leading all 30 laps to become Indiana Midget Week’s first multi-time winner and ending the succession of new names in the winner’s column that had begun two months prior. Not only did Kofoid open up his lead in the USAC National Midget series points to its widest margin of the season (68), he also rose to the top of the USAC IMW point standings, by a mere three points going into Saturday’s

IMW finale at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway. “I’m pumped to be the first repeat winner and to have another good night after two not-sostellar nights,” Kofoid said. “To get number four with USAC this year is pretty damn cool. Earlier today, we kind of struggled and barely made it through the heat race but we were able to sneak in and, where I qualified, that really put me in a good spot. I knew I needed to get the jump because our cars just worked so good on the cushion.” It was situation normal, or at least IMW normal in the final night at Kokomo with a new IMW feature winner in Windom grabbing the feature while Kofoid took the IMW crown. With eight nights of racing over a 10-night span, the lengthiest and most rigorous IMW schedule in the 17-year history of the series bled into another day following a rain delay that pushed Saturday’s finale into the early hours of Sunday for the USAC Midget National Championship. For race winner Chris Windom, the agonizing wait couldn’t end soon enough as he endured three consecutive nights of Indiana Midget Week misery before prevailing with a winning performance at the quarter-mile track. After midnight, Windom let it all hang out as he shot to the front just shy of the midway point and led the remaining 17 laps to earn his eighth career USAC National Midget feature victory and his third win in the last three years of Indiana Midget Week. “The last three nights have been some of the three crappiest I’ve had in a row in my career,” Windom acknowledged. “These guys have had to work every single day in this hot weather. It’s been a pretty crappy last three days for us and I know everybody was pretty down. But no one quit, and we came back. I’m so happy to do this for these guys HIGHLINE MAGAZINE

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because they work so hard all week. Eight straight days is tough. We might not have won Indiana Midget Week, but we won the final night, and that’s all you can ask for at this point.”

for me to handle.” “I’m kind of at a loss for words; this is a really big win for me,” Kofoid continued. “Winning Indiana Midget Week is huge; it’s really tough to do.

Kofoid’s first Indiana Midget Week crown was also the unprecedented sixth for car owner Keith Kunz following previous five previous triumphs: Christopher Bell (2013), Rico Abreu (2014-15), Spencer Bayston (2018) and Logan Seavey (2019).

USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Buddy Kofoid-941, 2-Chris Windom-894, 3-Emerson Axsom-852, 4-Justin Grant-820, 5-Tanner Thorson-814, 6-Thomas Meseraull-802, 7-Daison Pursley-798, 8-Logan Seavey-781, 9-Kevin Thomas Jr.-732, 10-Jason McDougal-693.

“It was a fun week, but I’m glad it’s over now,” Kofoid said. “It’s stressful, from winning to getting upside down, to losing it, to winning again, to having today where we didn’t qualify great, finished second in the heat race, then started 13th while the guy I needed to beat (Logan Seavey) was on the front row. It was tough, but once I got by Logan, I just wanted the race to be over right there. That was a lot

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FINAL USAC INDIANA MIDGET WEEK POINTS: 1-Buddy Kofoid-505, 2-Logan Seavey-485, 3-Daison Pursley-483, 4-Chris Windom-478, 5-Emerson Axsom-474, 6-Kevin Thomas Jr.-449, 7-Corey Day-446, 8-Thomas Meseraull-410, 9-Justin Grant-410, 10-Jason McDougal-389.


P12 Buddy Kofoid wheels the legendary Keith Kunz #67 early at Gas City as part of IMW. P13 Typical IMW action as Kevin Thomas Jr (5) , Tanner Thorson and NASCAR racer Ricky Stenhouse Jr battle during the USAC midget feature at the Gas City Speedway. P16 The always spectacular and outspoken T-Mez, Thomas Mesuraull won the opening round at Paragon on the last corner of the last lap then promptly fell off the rollcage while “showing off” as usual. P17 Former IMW champion Logan Seavey was back in victory lane at the fabulous Lawrenceburg where he also scored the accompanying Sprintcar feature. P18 Kyle Cummins hasn’t run many Midget races but he is the king of Haubstadt’s Tri-State Speedway where he did the double – winning both Midget and Sprintcar features. P20 Corey Day is incredibly young and incredibly fast and used that youth and exuberance to ride out a wild last couple of laps at Indiana’s new Circle City Speedway. P21 Veteran Chris Windom fought hard and led the IMW points at one stage but one bad night killed any hopes of the title win where consistency is so important. He did finish the week however with the win at the famed Kokomo Speedway. All US images from Randy Crist.

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NASCAR Racer Ricky Stenhouse Jr is also a dirt track team co-owner on the W City. Stenhouse knows what it takes to win Speedweek Championships having Crist Image. 22

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World of Outlaws trail, and loves to get back to his roots as seen here at Gas g won the All Star Circuit of Champions Ohio Speedweek back in 2005. Randy

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Kevin Thomas Jr was out of luck during IMW but scored the Sprintcar win at G hand and a Doctor Pepper soda in the other. Randy Crist Image. 24

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Gas City in the support act and enjoys the win in victory lane with a cigar in one

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3rd generation racer Aaron Kelly (3rd) stands alongside 2nd generation racer a Queensland Sprintcar Title podium. - Racing Fix photo. 26

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and race winner Lachlan McHugh, with young Cody Maroske (2nd) on the

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This kid has been nothing but impressive since he started racing as a junior wh

nship at the venue when he -was taken out the event in someone else’s wreck. Qld Titlesame at Toowoomba. Racing Fix of photo.

Steven Lines in the Brian Hall WA3 was a surprise winner of the USC round at Warrnambool recently. What’s so surprising about Lines winning, right? The reason it was surprising was that James McFadden in the Monte WA17 was lead o

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hether it be on dirt or asphalt. Here Cody Maroske wheels the neat Q27 in the

ding all feature long until inexplicable spinning out of the lead a short distance from the chequered flag handing the win to Lines. Lines luck however, deserted him at the same venue a couple of weeks later in the Victorian Champi-

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Green is unlucky for some but not Aaron Kelly in the Q7 who has had some so nship at the whensouth, he was but taken outsure of thehe’ll event someone else’s wreck. Speedway ease hesame mayvenue venture I’m beinat the new Sydney

Steven Lines in the Brian Hall WA3 was a surprise winner of the USC round at Warrnambool recently. What’s so surprising about Lines winning, right? The reason it was surprising was that James McFadden in the Monte WA17 was leadi o

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olid results in his homestate and at Dad’s tracks. Hopefully when lockdown’s y at some point. – Racing Fix photo.

ing all feature long until inexplicable spinning out of the lead a short distance from the chequered flag handing the win to Lines. Lines luck however, deserted him at the same venue a couple of weeks later in the Victorian Champi-

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Tim Simpson’s pristine V8 Dirt Modified Sportsman sits pit-side at Grafton in th

nship the same venue he was taken out of event in someone ishatafter 12 of the when 25 scheduled laps. – the Lone Wolf Photo. else’s wreck.

Steven Lines in the Brian Hall WA3 was a surprise winner of the USC round at Warrnambool recently. What’s so surprising about Lines winning, right? The reason it was surprising was that James McFadden in the Monte WA17 was lead o

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he afternoon sun ahead of the NSW Championship. Simpson would fail to fin-

ding all feature long until inexplicable spinning out of the lead a short distance from the chequered flag handing the win to Lines. Lines luck however, deserted him at the same venue a couple of weeks later in the Victorian Champi-

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Brock Gardiner looks good in action here but was classified last in the NSW V8

nship at the same venue when he was taken out of the event in someone else’s wreck. Photo.

Steven Lines in the Brian Hall WA3 was a surprise winner of the USC round at Warrnambool recently. What’s so surprising about Lines winning, right? The reason it was surprising was that James McFadden in the Monte WA17 was lead o

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8 Dirt Modified Sportsman Championship after being disqualified. Lone Wolf

ding all feature long until inexplicable spinning out of the lead a short distance from the chequered flag handing the win to Lines. Lines luck however, deserted him at the same venue a couple of weeks later in the Victorian Champi-

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nship at the same venue when just he was taken theDarryl event in someoneinelse’s Reaching that point a bit tooout farofis Armfield the wreck. NSW V8 Dirt Mo

Steven Lines in the Brian Hall WA3 was a surprise winner of the USC round at Warrnambool recently. What’s so surprising about Lines winning, right? The reason it was surprising was that James McFadden in the Monte WA17 was lead o

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ding all feature long until inexplicable spinning out of the lead a short distance from the chequered flag handing the win to Lines. Lines luck however, deserted him at the same venue a couple of weeks later in the Victorian Champi-

odified Sportsman Championship. - Lone Wolf Photo.

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nship at the same venue wheneventually he was takenfinish out ofsecond the eventby in someone else’s wreck. Mark Griffith would over 4 seconds in the NSW V

Steven Lines in the Brian Hall WA3 was a surprise winner of the USC round at Warrnambool recently. What’s so surprising about Lines winning, right? The reason it was surprising was that James McFadden in the Monte WA17 was lead o

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ding all feature long until inexplicable spinning out of the lead a short distance from the chequered flag handing the win to Lines. Lines luck however, deserted him at the same venue a couple of weeks later in the Victorian Champi-

V8 Dirt Modified Sportsman Championship – Lone Wolf photo.

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Aussie Champ Blake Eveleigh was the class of the NSW V8 Dirt Modified Spo

nship at thethe same venue when was out ofbracket the eventdespite in someone else’sawreck. being only driver inhe the 14taken second racing 20 year old cha

Steven Lines in the Brian Hall WA3 was a surprise winner of the USC round at Warrnambool recently. What’s so surprising about Lines winning, right? The reason it was surprising was that James McFadden in the Monte WA17 was leadi o

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ortsman Championship winning by nearly five seconds, leading every lap and assis. – Lone Wolf photo.

ing all feature long until inexplicable spinning out of the lead a short distance from the chequered flag handing the win to Lines. Lines luck however, deserted him at the same venue a couple of weeks later in the Victorian Champi-

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nship at the same to venue he was takenScott out of impressed the event in someone else’s wreck. Newcomer thewhen division Owen many with his third place fini

Steven Lines in the Brian Hall WA3 was a surprise winner of the USC round at Warrnambool recently. What’s so surprising about Lines winning, right? The reason it was surprising was that James McFadden in the Monte WA17 was lead o

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ding all feature long until inexplicable spinning out of the lead a short distance from the chequered flag handing the win to Lines. Lines luck however, deserted him at the same venue a couple of weeks later in the Victorian Champi-

ish in the NSW V8 Dirt Modified Sportsman Championship. – Lone Wolf photo. HIGHLINE MAGAZINE

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nship at the same venue when Eveleigh he was taken outOwen of the event someone wreck. Mark Griffith, Blake and Scottinshare theelse’s NSW V8 Dirt Modifie

Steven Lines in the Brian Hall WA3 was a surprise winner of the USC round at Warrnambool recently. What’s so surprising about Lines winning, right? The reason it was surprising was that James McFadden in the Monte WA17 was lead o

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ding all feature long until inexplicable spinning out of the lead a short distance from the chequered flag handing the win to Lines. Lines luck however, deserted him at the same venue a couple of weeks later in the Victorian Champi-

ed Sportsman Championship podium. – Lone Wolf photo.

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nshipThe at thetap same venue whenoff hefor wasFawcett taken outinofthe the event in someone else’sfeature wreck. with a DN was turned Production Sedan

Steven Lines in the Brian Hall WA3 was a surprise winner of the USC round at Warrnambool recently. What’s so surprising about Lines winning, right? The reason it was surprising was that James McFadden in the Monte WA17 was lead o

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ding all feature long until inexplicable spinning out of the lead a short distance from the chequered flag handing the win to Lines. Lines luck however, deserted him at the same venue a couple of weeks later in the Victorian Champi-

NF – Only the top three finishers actually finished the race. – Lone Wolf photo. HIGHLINE MAGAZINE

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nship at the sameAshley venue when he was taken out of thethe event in someone else’s wreck. Graham (pictured) was Grafton Production Sedan winne

Steven Lines in the Brian Hall WA3 was a surprise winner of the USC round at Warrnambool recently. What’s so surprising about Lines winning, right? The reason it was surprising was that James McFadden in the Monte WA17 was lead o

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er on 2nd April ahead of Aaron Hall and Ian Bell. – Lone Wolf photo.

ding all feature long until inexplicable spinning out of the lead a short distance from the chequered flag handing the win to Lines. Lines luck however, deserted him at the same venue a couple of weeks later in the Victorian Champi-

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nship at the same venue when Aussie he was taken out of the event inCarlson someonedominated else’s wreck. the Street RSA Street Stocker Champion Shane

Steven Lines in the Brian Hall WA3 was a surprise winner of the USC round at Warrnambool recently. What’s so surprising about Lines winning, right? The reason it was surprising was that James McFadden in the Monte WA17 was lead o

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ding all feature long until inexplicable spinning out of the lead a short distance from the chequered flag handing the win to Lines. Lines luck however, deserted him at the same venue a couple of weeks later in the Victorian Champi-

stocker 100 event at Grafton in his fast falcon. – Lone Wolf photo. HIGHLINE MAGAZINE

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This is Production Sedan action not street stocks. Matthew Layton (81) is sque

nship at the same venue was taken out(71) of the event in someone else’s winner wreck. Ashley G behind. Aaron Hallwhen (59),heMark Quirk and eventual feature

Steven Lines in the Brian Hall WA3 was a surprise winner of the USC round at Warrnambool recently. What’s so surprising about Lines winning, right? The reason it was surprising was that James McFadden in the Monte WA17 was lead o

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eezed between Jack Graham (7) and Daly (6) with Madison Harkin (55) tight Graham follow. – Lone Wolf photo.

ding all feature long until inexplicable spinning out of the lead a short distance from the chequered flag handing the win to Lines. Lines luck however, deserted him at the same venue a couple of weeks later in the Victorian Champi-

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nship at the same venue whenGraham he was taken out of the event in someone else’sheat. wreck.– Lone Wo Darren Miller leads Holland in an AMCA Nationals

Steven Lines in the Brian Hall WA3 was a surprise winner of the USC round at Warrnambool recently. What’s so surprising about Lines winning, right? The reason it was surprising was that James McFadden in the Monte WA17 was lead o

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ding all feature long until inexplicable spinning out of the lead a short distance from the chequered flag handing the win to Lines. Lines luck however, deserted him at the same venue a couple of weeks later in the Victorian Champi-

olf photo.

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nship at the same venue when he was taken out Graham of the event in someone wreck. Steve Price leads a Darren Miller, Holland andelse’s another AMCA Natio

Steven Lines in the Brian Hall WA3 was a surprise winner of the USC round at Warrnambool recently. What’s so surprising about Lines winning, right? The reason it was surprising was that James McFadden in the Monte WA17 was lead o

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ding all feature long until inexplicable spinning out of the lead a short distance from the chequered flag handing the win to Lines. Lines luck however, deserted him at the same venue a couple of weeks later in the Victorian Champi-

onals competitor @ Grafton. – Lone Wolf photo.

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nship at theLuscombe same venue when he was taken out of the event someone else’s Tim sweeps through a Grafton turnin on his way towreck. a 6th place finis

Steven Lines in the Brian Hall WA3 was a surprise winner of the USC round at Warrnambool recently. What’s so surprising about Lines winning, right? The reason it was surprising was that James McFadden in the Monte WA17 was lead o

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ding all feature long until inexplicable spinning out of the lead a short distance from the chequered flag handing the win to Lines. Lines luck however, deserted him at the same venue a couple of weeks later in the Victorian Champi-

sh. – Lone Wolf photo.

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Top – Lismore’s Jaiden Santin was up for a big two nights at Roma Speedway Qld back in early May for a number of Queensland Junior Sedan Titles, both SSA and non-SSA. Middle – Kaine Richters in the #32 Junior Sedan. Bottom – Qld Junior Sedan “New Stars” Championship podium, L 2 R, Jake Coomber (2nd), Jacob Waller (1st), Bailey Payne (3rd) and Chloe Lebeler (4th). All pics courtesy of Racing Fix.

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HOT PIX Top – Josh Rigby in the #27 won the Qld Junior Sedan “Top Stars” Championship. Middle – The SSA (Speedway Sedans Australia) Qld Junior Sedan podium, (confusing isn’t it), L 2 R, Josh Rigby (5th), Jaiden Santin (3rd), Aiden Rigby (1st), Kaine Richters (2nd) & Jayden Hancock (4th). Bottom - Qld Junior Sedan “Top Stars” Championship podium, L 2 R, Jaiden Santin (3rd), Bohdi Russ (4th), Josh Rgby (1st) & Aiden Rigby (2nd) All pics courtesy of Racing Fix.

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HOT PIX

Top left – The Qld Mod Lite Championship was also held at Roma International Speedway, Qld, and here we see the podium of L 2 R Klinton Hancey (2nd), Casey Collins (1st) & Terry Leerentveld (3rd). Bottom left – Terry Leerentveld in action chasing down a podium finish. Top – Casey Collins realises the Qld Title with a chequered flag lap (Top) and then below celebrates with crew, friends and family (Bottom). – All pics courtesy of Racing Fix.

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NSW Late Model Title

On an exciting night at Dubbo’s Morris Park Raceway Victorian Peter Nicola turned around his recent run of bad luck to score the win in the NSW Late Model Sedan Championship. 16 big Late Models were on hand at the big track with pre-race favourite Ben Nicastri setting fastest qualifying time before going on to win the opening heat. The Newcastle Nightmare Nathan Disney won heat two with John Lodge and Carter Armstrong taking out the remaining two heats. Before a decent crowd on a good track that raced well all night with lines top to bottom the United Realty, Full Throttle Publishing feature was eagerly anticipated. The big banger sedans didn’t disappoint as the main event saw four lead changes with Disney leading the first 10 or so laps before NIcastri surged around the outside into the lead. Nicolas bad luck then passed to Nicastri who broke a tail shaft just three laps later, thankfully while under a caution flag. Lodge then lept to the lead for ten laps (hopefully you don’t have lisp while repeating this) before his exuberance caught him out as he tagged the wall and flattened a tyre. From here Nicola took the lead but Disney wasn’t yet done and retook it but was unable to stop Nicola from regaining it and holding on until the end with Damien Hodges completing the top trio. 68

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HOT PIX P62/63

Top – Peter Nicola ripping around the big Dubbo track. – All Photos by Lone Wolf Photography.

Top Page 66 – Greg Cassidy in full form Bottom left Page 66– Nathan Disney had a big crack even leading the feature before finishing runner up. Bottom right Page 67 – David Robertson was one of the fastest qualifiers, 2nd fastest in fact, but was on the infield before the half way point. Left – Nicola with chequered Polish victory lap. Bottom – Darren Hodges (3rd), a happy Peter Nicola (1st) and Nathan “Cowboy” Disney (2nd). All Photo’s Lone Wolf

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HOT PIX

Top left – Keith Blatch runs his neat Q77 in the Australian Lightning Sprint Championship at Morris Park, Dubbo, NSW. Bottom left – Pete Styles pushes the Styles Family Racing N45 hard during heat action. Top – Matt Reeds pristine 46 awaits hostilities at the Australian Lightning Sprint Championship. Bottom – Kurt Wilson smokin the field. All Photos by Lone Wolf Photography.

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SIDECAR RACING Chook Hodgekiss and Swinger at speed. Note the low air pressure in the tyres or the fact that they’re rolling under due to the speed and side-bite being generated.

It is hard to find the beginnings of sidecar racing in Australia as there is not a great deal of history recorded on the origins of the sport. Most publicly available records will tell you that the first Australian Sidecar Championship was held in Melbourne at the old Exhibition Speedway, which operated from 1928 to 1936. The track sits under what is now the Melbourne Museum. The first Australian title, held in 1931, was won by Les Medlycott with his passenger Tich Jones. The runner up is listed as Arthur Millard, al-

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though his passenger isn’t mentioned. Medlycott and Jones were Victorians, Millard too. If there was a third-place finisher his name eluded my research. Likewise, I have been unable to find the distance of the event. Similarly, if photos exist of Sidecar racing at the Melbourne Exhibition track or any other track during those years, they are few and far between. And, it would seem that apart from that one Australian Title no other major sidecar events


- Where did it all begin?

Story: Grant Woodhams, All photos courtesy of Full Throttle Publishing/Tony Loxley Collection were held either at the Exhibition Speedway or other major Australian tracks until after the Second World War. That is a big gap in racing! And without spending days searching through newspaper files at the National Library it is virtually impossible to locate any stories or details on Sidecar racing from the 1920’s and ‘30’s. However, after the Second World War Sidecar racing kicks into life again and the sport sees a revival of the Australian Championship at the Sydney Sports Ground in 1946. Jack Carruthers will win the race and write his name into the record books, along with his passenger Paul Bridson. The next year (1947) the race is held next door at the Sydney Showgrounds. Carruthers isn’t able to defend his title however and Victorian Jim Davies is triumphant. Carruthers and Davies are seen as the early heroes of the born-again sport which is now beginning to attract more competitors and certainly a lot of spectator interest. Many of the men racing have seen action in the Second World War and are not afraid to test themselves out in a new arena of combat. Curiously, again in 1947, another Australian Championship is held in Melbourne. With the

demise of the Exhibition Speedway (not to be confused with the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds) this event is held at Maribyrnong Speedway, which also at different times was called Kirjon or Tracey’s. The winner is Keith Ratten, who finished second to Davies, the year before. Just for good measure Ratten repeats his win the following year (1948), again at Maribyrnong. By now Davies, Ratten and Carruthers have established themselves as the stars of the sport, which to this point has been dominated by Melbourne and Sydney based teams. However, several South Australian combinations have started to make their presence felt and later in 1948 another Australian Title is booked for Kilburn Speedway in Adelaide. Davies will win this with Ratten in second place. South Australian Trevor Richardson takes third. The drawing power of sidecars is proving to promoters to be very profitable. Despite this no Australian Title is held in 1949. However, in 1950 Kilburn again provides the venue for the Championship and Davies adds another A1 to his trophy cabinet. By now he has established himself as the man to beat. In what had almost become a tradition another Australian Title is set down in 1950. Kilburn had held their title race over three laps and now a four-lap championship is planned for the Sydney Sports Ground. Big crowds flocked to the Sydney races in the immediate post war years and sidecars were one of the major reasons. On his home turf Jack Carruthers is a tough nut to crack and annexes his second Australian Championship. Old rival Jim Davies finishes third, he and Carruthers split by the emerging talent of Chook Hodgekiss who is truly starting to carve a name for himself. Hodgekiss had finished third earlier in the year at the three-lap version of the race held at Kilburn. Into the 1950’s and any doubt that sidecar racing would last has been extinguished. SideHIGHLINE MAGAZINE

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cars are definitely here to stay and the sport had spread across Australia. The 1951 Championship is again at Kilburn which has become one of the true homes for the three wheeled brigade. Davies doesn’t mess around and adds another title, his fourth. In 1952 Rowley Park holds the first of many titles they will hold in their chequered history. Chook Hodgekiss has been knocking on the door for a few seasons now and grabs the hardwear. Davies has to settle for second. Another emerging talent, NSW based ‘Clacker’ Levy finishes third. Despite their popularity and ability to draw a crowd another Australian Title is not held for six years until Rowley Park decides in 1959 that it will hold the Championship. By this time the Davies, Carruthers, Rattens and Hodgekiss’s, the early sidecar ‘superstars’

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are no longer racing or unable to make the final. A new era in the sport has begun, one that has continued to this day. The pinnacle of the sport, the Australian Championship has been held every year since 1959, the only exceptions when weather has led to the meeting being can-

celled.


Over the years the event has been held in every Australian State except Tasmania. Twenty-four different tracks have held the event, with Sydney’s famous Showgrounds’ track leading the way having held the Title ten times. And finally, while many other great and legendary names in the sport might have faded over the years, Jim Davies still continues to be revered. People who came to the sport long after his racing days were over will still mention his name. It is synonymous with sidecar racing.

y d o o W

Top left– An unfortunate outfit takes a tumble at what look to be the Sydney Showgrounds. Hope they were both okay especially the rider who appears to be swallowing some series Showgrounds cinders. Bottom left - Jack Helback and Bert Martin and their respective passengers in action. Top – What a great photo of Jimmy Davies and unidentified riders from the 50’s. Note that while Davies wears gloves his swinger doesn’t – probably to get a better grip on Jimmy’s leathers, and have a look at the following riders eyes as his gloveless hands try in vain to steer the trike away from Davies’ leading combo. Bottom, an unidentified but no doubt proud pair of Aussies in what looks to be a test match event. Note the riders one glove on, one glove off.

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