Karratha’s Stevie O’Dowd had one of the best showings of his career at Bunbury last night as he raced his way to a heat win and a third place in the heats. We would then go on to win the second preliminary feature to be leading the overall points after night one of the Bunbury Speedway 50th Anniversary celebrations!
The event, which is also the second round of the Tri City Series for SSA Street Stocks, which Stevie’s business ODH Mechanical is the naming rights sponsor of, attracted over thirty of the state’s best drivers, the crème de la crème heading to Bunbury, but unfortunately it didn’t go to plan for all of them!
Former National and State Champion Jamie Oldfield was the first to suffer issues, hurting an engine in the opening round of heats, seeing him sidelined for the remainder of the night and working hard overnight to change engines.
Next to experience issues would be another former State Champion in Hayden Norman, who also hurt a motor and was forced to borrow cars to salvage points. He too is sourcing another engine overnight and is expected to be back later today.
Two men who have confirmed they won’t be back are Newman’s Craig Clayton and Carnarvon’s Jace Kempton, who despite driving thousands of kilometres, are leaving with some heavily damaged cars: ‘Cheesy’ making heavy contact with the turn two wall, while Kempton went upside down in a big way in turn one during the heat races.
Heat race wins were shared by Damon Lyall (twice), Ben Norman, Lachlan Dellar, O’Dowd and Michael Hamon, with Lyall as high points scorer starting on pole for the opening preliminary race.
Unfortunately, it didn’t quite go to plan for Lyall, retiring infield after twelve laps, joining other solid qualifiers including Josh Stewart, Paul Joss and Bradley Roberts.
This left local hero Mick Hamon to barely hold off a fighting Jake Hoath in the official results, with Kayne Dellar steering a borrowed car to a solid third place.
In the second preliminary final O’Dowd led every lap to defeat Ben Norman and an impressive Jamie Goodwin.
As the high points scorer, O’Dowd was then given the chance to draw for the night two heat race invert and he picked out a six, meaning he will start from position six in his heat, inverting essentially the top eighteen cars from night one.
The finishing positions in tonight’s three, ten lap heats, will determine the starting order for the all-important feature race tonight, the top six automatically transferring through from each heat, while the rest will have to come through the B Main.
Also on the program last night were the SSA Production Sedans with State Champion Kyle Sayer going through undefeated with three heat wins while Kye Blight grabbed two and Jamie Graham grabbed the other.
Unfortunately for Graham, his weekend is over after his engine detonated with steam and smoke billowing out from his well-presented machine in spectacular fashion, while another solid point scorer in Graeme Rafferty has also advised his is now a withdrawal due to contact with the front straight wall.
SSA Junior Sedans were also on the program, with Mitch Binning going upside down on the front straight ending is night early, while Taia Giles also had a moment as she attempted to avoid a spinning car, making contact and lucky not to go upside down. Binning is out for the weekend, though the Giles team is working hard to make repairs ready for tonight.
Reuben Walsh claimed two heat wins to be leading Jesse Hamon and Seth Robinson in the overnight points for the New Stars, while Zach Munro and state Champion Beau Oldfield are tied on the top for the Top Stars with two wins and a second apiece, with local Jaxon Buszan just behind them with a win and two second places.
Racing kicks off again tonight from 4.30pm today, with SSA Super Sedans and SSA Modified Sedans also joining the celebrations!
SSA Street Stock Preliminary Feature Results
Feature 1, 15 laps: 1. WA1 Damon Lyall, 3. W7 Michael Hamon, 3. W19 Josh Stewart, 4. W29 Jake Hoath, 5. W69 Paul Joss, 6. W25 Bradley Roberts, 7. W11 Matthew Iwanow, 8. W24 Jake Williams, 9. W17 Aaron Sutton, 10. W4 Amber Shore, 11. W9 Kayne Dellar, 12. W70 Scott Hunter, 13. W51 Justin Melhuish, 14. W84 Brooke Oldfield, 15. W101 Tracey Saunders, 16. W10 Damon Thomson, 17. W16 Colin Metcalfe.
1. W7 Michael Hamon, 2. W29 Jake Hoath, 3. W9 Kayne Dellar, 4. W70 Scott Hunter, 5. W11 Matthew Iwanow, 6. W17 Aaron Sutton, 7. W4 Amber Shore (14). DNF: W69 Paul Joss (13), WA1 Damon Lyall (12), W19 Josh Stewart (9), W24 Jake Williams (7), W25 Bradley Roberts (6), W51 Justin Melhuish (4). DNS: W10 Damon Thomson, W16 Colin Metcalfe, W84 Brooke Oldfield, W101 Tracey Saunders. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 0.346. Fastest Lap: 20.520 W25 Bradley Roberts.
Feature 2, 15 laps: 1. W19 Stevie O’Dowd, 2. W66 Ben Norman, 3. W626 Jamie Goodwin, 4. W195 Lachlan Dellar, 5. W6 Hayden Norman, 6. W35 Craig Clayton, 7. W100 Linton Dickerson, 8. WQ55 Jace Kempton, 9. W20 Clinton Waldron, 10. W69 Tyron Hall, 11. W56 Ethan Cooper, 12. W65 Christian Williams, 13. W88 Chris Lowe, 14. W0 Jamie Oldfield, 15. W2 Marty Kelly, 16. W31 Cody Avins.
1. W19 Stevie O’Dowd 2. W66 Ben Norman, 3. W626 Jamie Goodwin, 4. W100 Linton Dickerson, 5. W6 Hayden Norman, 6. W56 Ethan Cooper, 7. W20 Clinton Waldron, 8. W88 Chris Lowe, 9. W65 Christian Williams. DNF: W195 Lachlan Dellar (6), WA69 Tyron Hall (4). DNS: W0 Jamie Oldfield, W2 Marty Kelly, W31 Cody Avins, W35 Craig Clayton, W55 Jace Kempton. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 1.112. Fastest Lap: 20.272 W19 Stevie O’Dowd.