Home-track hero aims high in Christmas Cup
SPEEDWAY: THE V8 Dirt Modified annual Christmas Cup on December 30 at Hession's Auto Parts Grafton Speedway promises to be one of the most keenly contested events in years.
Race officials have so far received 17 nominations for the trophy race, which falls in the middle of a very busy racing period between Christmas and the new year.
It is also a hectic time for Wingless Sprintcar drivers who will head to Grafton for another round of the coveted Driver to America series.
One driver who comes into early favouritism for honours in the festive feature is local speedway racer Andrew Firth.
Firth is clearly the form driver who has posted some strong results in fixtures earlier in the Grafton season.
He is very much the home track specialist who knows what it takes to win on the testing Grafton bull ring.
"There will be some opposition there on the night, so nothing can be taken for granted," Firth said. "But I am quietly confident my car will perform well on the night and the earlier heats will certainly serve as a good opportunity to get the car suspension set correctly for the main event later in the night."
Promoter David Lander said Grafton is the kind of circuit that can test any driver and his track curator Tony Powell will put in plenty of hours getting the circuit in top condition for the Christmas Cup.
Powell will most definitely ensure drivers will be greeted with a fast race strip come the opening event on the program.
Another highlight of the big variety fixture will be a spectacular fireworks display in the countdown to the new year.
Lander is big on fireworks - especially at this time of the year - and wants to see out 2017 with an impressive pyrotechnics display.
It's all part of what will be one of the biggest meetings of the season at the local speedway venue.
Racing for Street Stocks, National Four Cylinder Sedans, Junior Sedans and AMCA Nationals Sedans also will be featured.
The importance of the occasion cannot be overlooked for Wingless Sprintcar competitors.
The battle in points for the air ticket to America becomes a key point of the season.
With a lot of racing still to be conducted, this busy time over the next eight weeks will go a long way to determining those drivers who have the best opportunities to win the series as the points standings will change considerably over the next eight weeks.
December 30 clearly represents "moving day" for the Wingless Sprintcar Driver to America tournament.