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NDRC: Westernationals Delivers Wicked Entertainment

NDRC - National Drag Racing Championship

NDRC: Stevens Does The Westernats Double

Eleven three second passes, three side-by-side, four of those at more than 500kph including two at more than 510kph – Top Fuel well and truly put on a show for a packed house at the Perth Motorplex across the 53rd MacTrack Westernationals as part of the National Drag Racing Championship (NDRC) this weekend.

Benny Stevens backed up his 2023 Westernationals win with not one but two 2024 Westernationals Gold Christmas Trees as Top Fuel Motorcycle contested two championship rounds this weekend.

Benny Stevens
Benny Stevens

Stevens took the round one A-Final win over Damien Muscat when the final was run at midday today after a windstorm put a stop to it being run last night, and then raced through to his second A-Final of the day, this time against Wayne McGuinnes, who defeated Stevens in the Goldenstates A-Final back in November.





The ‘Sunday’ B-Final win went to Greg Durack over visiting US star Michael Beland, while Kim Leonard won the C-Final on a solo pass after Damien Muscat was pushed back from the startline with bike issues.

Damien Muscat
Damien Muscat

The ‘Saturday’ B-Final win went to McGuinnes over Durack, with Kevin Gummow winning the C-Final from Leonard, and the D-Final going the way of Beland over Ricky Wood.

“Two Gold Christmas Trees – what a week it has been!” Stevens said.

“We came out here on Wednesday for testing and didn’t do much good, we ended up hurting the motor.

“On Thursday we had another test day and put a new motor in it and got down the track and everything was good.

“Then on Saturday race day we torched a head and had to switch a motor out – luckily we ran a good time with that.

Benny Stevens
Benny Stevens

“Then today was a bit of a shamble with a few problems, but we found the problem before this last race.

“I want to thank all our sponsors and crew for everything, I really appreciate everything. Happy days!”

Also taking to the track with plenty of enthralling performances today were the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship competitors.

Competition Bike

Winner – Michael Holister
Runner-up – Chris Allen

In Competition Bike, Michael Holister and his Kawasaki ZX14 took the win over top qualifier Chris Allen. Competition Bike employs a Chicago Shootout format, with both Holister and Allen securing three wins apiece to book their tickets to the final, with Brentwood (WA) racer Holister winning over Gwyn Garland, David Edge, and Owen Rose, while Allen had won battles against Jason Roberts, Garland, and Edge.

NDRC Michael Holister
NDRC Michael Holister

NDRC Competition Bike

Modified Bike

Winner – Paul Nieuwhof
Runner-up – Paul De Klerk

After taking the win in Modified Bike, Paul Nieuwhof was counting his lucky stars. Nieuwhof rode his Kawasaki all the way to the final against Paul De Klerk with earlier victories over Geoff Smith, Andrew Sellears and Connor Wood before a semi-final bye, with the Heathridge (WA) racer reporting luck played a key role in his success. De Klerk meanwhile had booked his ticket to the final and the runner-up honours by taking wins from Chris Morgan (round one) and Ian Read – who had dispatched top qualifier Ashton Kilvington in the opening round – before a round three bye and a semi-final win over David Partington.

“It was just one of those weekends,” Nieuwhof said.

“We raced Geoff Smith in the first round, and he is a pretty good racer, but we were a bit quicker on the light and only just snuck across the line in front of him.

Paul Nieuwhof

“In round two I didn’t have that good of a light, but Andrew Sellears had a worse one and again I just got there in front of him.

“In round three I was up against Connor Woods, and he was a little too quick on the tree, if he had pulled it back just a bit he would have hammered me by half-track, and he would have had the solo, but I conveniently stole that for a free run into the final against Paul De Klerk.

“He was going pretty well but again I was quicker on the light even though it was like a .26 reaction time and nothing to be proud of. It was one of those things. Sometimes the luck is just on your side, and it is nice when it happens to you instead of being on the other end of it.

“Any day you take home a Gold tree is a good day. And getting down here is like a sanctuary away from the rest of the world,” he said, while thanking his wife Julia as well as Peter Nic

NDRC Modified Bike

The National Drag Racing Championship now looks ahead to the Ken Scroop Memorial at Mildura’s Sunset Strip over March 9 and 10 for the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship, before heading to Dragway at The Bend for the Riverbend Nationals, featuring Top Fuel, Top Doorslammer and Pro Stock as well as the Aeroflow National Sportsman Series across April 6 and 7. For event info and tickets, go to ndrc.tv


Qualifying

In Top Fuel Motorcycle, an extra battle will be mounted on Sunday to find the winner of today’s championship round of racing for the flame-throwing two-wheeled bracket, after they were unable to complete their racing this evening.

Thanks to their performances today, Benny Stevens and Damian Muscat will face off in the A-Final tomorrow while Wayne McGuinness and Greg Durack will do battle for the B-Final. Kim Leonard and Kevin Gummow will complete the C-Final, while US star Michael Beland and Ricky Wood will take on the D-Final.

The eight-strong Top Fuel Motorcycle field will then do it all over again, with a whole other round of championship racing to be contested tomorrow afternoon and evening.

For Stevens, the A-Final berth follows a frantic engine change between rounds one and two this afternoon, in a less than two hour window.

“I am so pumped,” Stevens said after running a 6.586 second pass at 346.38 kph in the second round of racing.

“In the first round we blew a motor up, torched the heads, the barrels, the whole lot.

“We got back to the pits and ripped the motor out, put the other motor back in, and we rolled into the staging lanes just as everyone was getting ready to go out.

“So, to come out here and do that (6.58) for my team, that is so good.”

Stevens’ round two pass followed a problematic round one effort that saw him run 9.247 at 232.86kph, while Muscat earned his place in the A-Final with a round one 7.371/213.40kph pass against Ricky Wood before a 7.190/216.87kph pass in round two, also against Wood.

Durack meanwhile had a comeback in round two after a clutch issue combined with a “rookie mistake” with the boost switch left off in round one, running 7.152/288.97 in round two for a win against Kim Leonard who had beaten him in round one (9.059/217.79kph), while Wayne McGuinness took two wins from two races with a 7.371/268.58kph win over Kevin Gummow in round one, and a 7.237/260.78kph win over visiting US star Michael Beland in round two, who suffered also a loss to Stevens in round one.

Despite two loses today, Beland was all smiles after today’s racing.

“This has been the best experience I have had in a long time; I am so happy to have been able to come over and run Benny’s bike, I am having a blast – you want, we will get this thing to run a number,” Beland said.

Across the day the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship also delivered plenty of enthralling qualifying performances.

Chris Allen
Chris Allen

Competition Bike

Competition Bike completed their qualifying today ahead of eliminations racing tomorrow, with Chris Allen taking top quailifying.

NDRC Competition Bike

 

Modified Bike

NDRC Modified Bike


For more information about the NDRC, please visit www.ndrc.tv

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