Aussiefast cars on the charge at Avalon
The saying goes "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." That is exactly what both Craft Disbury Racing divers did when the World Series Sprintcar Championship invaded Avalon this evening.
Following their worst qualifying efforts of the Championship thus far with Jason Johnson 20th and Brad Heywood 23rd respectively the duo diced it out on a track that was torture for the tyres during the heat races. The American, Johnson suffered a rare spin in his opener costing him valuable points in the process. He recovered for third spot in his second heat while Heywood recorded a second and a third placing in his heat races.
Forced to qualify through the B-Main the pair did so successfully crossing the line second (Johnson) and sixth (Heywood).
During the opening laps of the A-Main event Johnson was the hard charger moving up to be just outside the top 10 within six laps after starting from 14th. He was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time when another car spun in turn two on the next lap making light contact with the wall dropping him to the back of the pack.
Not letting it bother him Johnson got up on the highline and drove like a man on a mission passing cars lap after lap. Heywood was following suit moving up the order to be knocking on the door of his first top 10 finish of the Championship this year.
With fewer than ten laps remaining Johnson had carved his way to be well inside the top ten and ready to clinch his eighth top six finish of the Australian Season. Heywood was also following the form of his teammate moving to the high groove to make up several spots over the closing laps.
Johnson battled with a broken front wing for the last five laps and was hounding the rear bumper of the fourth placed runner as the chequered flag was displayed. With only one car between the Aussiefast Transport/STP Eagles at the finish Heywood claimed 7th spot.
American Daryn Pittman won the round followed by Brooke Tatnell and Robbie Farr.
With one round remaining in the Jumbuck Speedweek (Mini Series within the World Series Championship) Johnson is within reach of claiming the top prize at Warrnambool's Premier Speedway on January 1st.
In the overall Series points score Johnson is currently third with Heywood eleventh.
WHAT THE DRIVER'S SAID
"Tonight we salvaged something good out of what could have potentially been something bad.
I was first car out in qualifying on a track that was so dry it was taking rubber during qualifying which hurt us badly. In my heat race I got up in the loose stuff and turned it around.
After the guys worked hard all night they gave me a car that was real good during the feature allowing me to move forward all race long. I was pretty lucky in the A when I rode a wheel missing Shane (Stewart who had spun) as it was almost all over then but somehow I got out of it with no damage.
The car worked great all throughout the A. As the race went on it seemed to get better but when the front wing broke I lost a bit of steer but all in all it was a good night. "
"After qualifying I was pretty disappointed.
During the heat races Paul (Knott crew chief) and the crew worked on the set up and come feature time it was a dream to drive. At the start of the feature I tried the high line for a little while and it didn't work but when Jason passed me after the restart I got back up there and away she went. It was a lot of fun.
It is a complete contrast to the other night where the car had a fair bit of damage and nothing went right. Between then and now the team had replaced the front end, rear end and a few bits in between and the car was a whole lot better tonight.
I'd almost say it is the best set up I've had a car all year."